Yusei Kikuchi just can’t find his command.
He’s struggled all year walking batters left right and center in games, and last Thursday, it appeared he got things back under control.
Oh, what fools we all are.
The Jays needed a big start from the lefty on Tuesday night against the Oakland A’s having dropped a 5-1 stinker before. Instead, they got 2.1 IP where Kikuchi gave seven of the 14 batters he faced a free pass to first plate.
Five walks, two batters hit by pitches, and four earned runs allowed on two hits.
While Trent Thornton was able to come into the came and right the ship with a solid 2.1 IP allowing just one hit and an earned run while walking one, the damage had been done. Toronto just couldn’t recover and by the end of the night, they tied a season-high walking eight batters by the end of the night.
As tough as the pitching was to watch, the offence was equally as frustrating as we had to watch the Jays outhit the A’s 10-4, but still lose by two runs. While Matt Chapman blew the doors off going 3 for 4 with a two run, 424-foot blast and Teoscar Hernandez smashed a solo home run, the Jays just couldn’t get it going.
In the top of the six, the Jays had a chance to get themselves back into the game. Alejandro Kirk stood at second with Hernandez at first when Chapman hit a deep single into left-center field. Jays 3B coach Luis Rivera inexplicably waved Kirk through to home plate even with the ball already well on its way back to the infield. Kirk, as you would expect, got thrown out at home and Raimel Tapia struckout on the next at bat retiring the side.
The Jays’ game has completely unravelled in the last two nights in simply unacceptable fashion. The A’s have an MLB-worst record and can barely string together a few runs. Turns out Toronto is their antidote.
At home this year, Oakland has won just 10 games, 20% of which now were against the Jays.
And now, Toronto will be banking on Jose Berrios — who has had more than his own fair share of struggles — Wednesday afternoon as they look to avoid the sweep.