Toronto Blue Jays starter Yusei Kikuchi was disappointed with his performance in a key series against the Texas Rangers.
In an interview following the Blue Jays’ 10-0 home loss to the Texas Rangers at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Thursday, Kikuchi reflected on his outing (five innings, five hits, two home runs, two walks, three strikeouts, six runs).
“I knew how important today’s game was, so I wanted to win,” he said. “I think I threw too many pitches in the strike zone. I gave up a lot of hits on pitches in the zone and it didn’t go my way.”
The damage was done when Kikuchi gave up a triple to Nathaniel Lowe in the fourth and a two-run homer to Robbie Grossman in the fifth.
Kikuchi had been strong in his six starts since the All-Star break, posting a 1.29 ERA (5 ER in 35 innings). However, he has struggled a bit in his last four games, with a 4.43 ERA (10 earned runs in 20 1/3 innings), and today’s outing tied his season high for runs allowed.
“My fastball velocity has dropped a little bit, but the bigger thing is my command and ability to throw with my plan,” he said of his recent struggles.
A particularly frustrating day at the plate may have made it even harder for him.
“It didn’t really matter,” he said, placing more of the blame on not doing his job.
Toronto manager John Schneider described Kikuchi’s performance, saying, “He had a breaking ball up the middle and he got a home run with the bases loaded.”
“He’s been really consistent throughout the season. He’s been really good all season, especially when he throws his slider on schedule. Today, the slider was down the middle,” he said, noting the difference.
The loss puts Toronto at a disadvantage in the race for a postseason berth, as they are now three games behind Texas in the wild-card race.
When asked about the team’s current mood, Kikuchi said, “We all knew it was an important series. It’s disappointing, but we’re going to forget about today’s game and focus on a new game tomorrow.”토토사이트
“All we can do is focus on each ball, each inning, and move forward,” he said of his team’s approach to the rest of the season.