Japanese major leaguer Yusei Kikuchi (32) became the winning pitcher in his first appearance in the 2023 season. 

Kikuchi started the 2023 Major League (MLB) away game against the Kansas City Royals held at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, USA on the 5th (Korean time), recording 3 hits and 1 run in 5 innings, and the team’s 4 -1 and won the first win of the season. 

Kikuchi, who was on the mound in a situation where Toronto suffered three consecutive losses, hit a solo home run by Franmill Reyes in the bottom of the second inning and scored first, but then blocked it well for four innings. At the end of the 3rd inning, which was tied 1-1, the three-way offense, and the 4th inning against Salvador Perez and Reyes in turn, ‘Geopo Line’, also prevented a run. 

The 5th inning, with Toronto leading 2-1,온라인카지노 overcame the crisis well. A hit to lead batter Matt Duffy, and a walk to Jackie Bradley Jr. from first out and first base put the team on the verge of tying the game. In this situation, he overcame the crisis by striking out Nate Eaton and Nikki Lopez in a row. Eaton had a four-seam fastball (fastball) with a speed of 154 km per hour, and Lopez used a slider as the deciding ball. 

Kikuchi had already passed the pitcher to Garcia ahead of the defense in the bottom of the 6th inning, with Toronto leading 3-1. Toronto scored an additional point in the top of the 8th inning and took a 4-1 lead, and Jordan Romano, who reached the mound in the 9th, saved the victory. 

Kikuchi finished March on a good pace, going 2-1 with an ERA of 0.87 in 20 2/3 innings in a total of 7 appearances in this year’s demonstration games. 

Kikuchi, who made his big league debut as a member of the Seattle Mariners in 2019, failed to live up to expectations, going 6-11 with an ERA of 5.46 that year. He played 60 games per team due to corona issues, and in the 2020 season he recorded an average ERA of 5.17 with 2 wins and 4 losses, and an average ERA of 4.41 with 7 wins and 9 losses in the 2021 season. 

It was not unusual for him to return to Japan, but Toronto, which aimed to strengthen the starting lineup, reached out to him last year. It lasted for 3 years and received a total of 36 million dollars (approximately 47.4 billion won at the time). 

Kikuchi’s first season (2022), which he played in a Toronto uniform, was also sluggish with an average ERA of 5.19 with 6 wins and 7 losses. He was pushed as a reliever in the second half. However, he showed good form this spring and got a starter again. 

Toronto’s five starters included Alec Manoa, Kevin Gaussman, Chris Bassett, Jose Berrios and Kikuchi. 

Manoa is the ace from Team Farm. The other four players are all pitchers recruited through free agent (FA) contracts or given away prospects. It is true that Kikuchi is behind the most in terms of name value and current skills. His performance is expected to affect the position of Korean big leaguer Ryu Hyun-jin, who will return in July after elbow surgery rehabilitation treatment. Kikuchi pitched well in his first regular season appearance.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *