It was a painful four-game sweep. Ryu Hyun-jin, 36, and his Toronto Blue Jays dropped a four-game series at home to the Texas Rangers in what was supposed to be a watershed moment for their fall baseball run. The collapse of the starting rotation was so severe that Hyun-jin Ryu, who seemed to be doing just fine with a six-inning quality start, looked like a fairy in retrospect.
The Jays were swept 2-9 in a three-game series against Texas at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on April 15. The shocking sweep dropped Toronto to 80-67, 11.5 games behind the first-place Baltimore Orioles (91-55) in the American League East and six games behind the fourth-place Boston Red Sox (74-73) for third place.
In fact, third place in the East was virtually assured, so the wild card position was important. Before the series with Texas, Toronto was in second place, one game behind the third-place Seattle Mariners and 1.5 games ahead of fourth-place Texas, but a four-game losing streak dropped them to fourth place, behind both Texas and Seattle.
With 15 games remaining for Toronto and 16 for both Texas and Seattle, the statistical outlook doesn’t look promising. Toronto’s postseason chances, which were 79.3% just before the home four-game series against Texas, have plummeted to 33.9% after a shocking four-game losing streak.
The tough schedule and opponent strength of schedule has drastically reduced Toronto’s chances of making the postseason to less than half. With three games against the ‘5-to-win’ Boston Red Sox (74-73), six games against the New York Yankees (74-74), and six games against the ‘1 wild card’ Tampa Bay Rays (91-57), the Jays have a tough road ahead. They’re also three games behind wild-card contenders Seattle and one game behind Texas in the head-to-head standings, so they’ll need a solid head-to-head advantage at the end of 162 games.
Worse yet, the team’s struggles against postseason contenders this season have directly limited them. Against Texas, the Jays were 9-for-35 for the entire four-game series. Ace Kevin Gausman told US outlet The Athletic, “We were just awful in every way in this series. The pitching staff gave up a lot of runs and the hitters couldn’t score. That’s not how you win against a good team.”
It got off to a rocky start. In the first game, starting pitcher Chris Bassitt rushed to third base with runners on second and third in the top of the second inning when third baseman Mitch Garber stole second base with a big lead. Garber was trying to take advantage of a defensive shift by Toronto third baseman Cavan Biggio, who had left third base empty and headed for shortstop, and Bassitt got caught up in the action. Bassitt’s interference turned into a balk, and he was charged with five runs on nine hits (one homer) with three walks and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. 4-10 loss for Toronto.
Hyun-jin Ryu, on the other hand, pitched a stellar second game against Texas. He struck out 10 batters in a row with a slower fastball that averaged just 88.9 miles per hour (143.1 kilometers per hour) and showed off his art of throwing off batters’ timing with an ultra-low curveball that touched as low as 62.5 miles per hour (100.6 kilometers per hour).
The result was six innings, five hits, one walk, five strikeouts and three runs, his most innings pitched since returning from Tommy John surgery on his elbow last year. However, the lack of run support from the offense led to a 3-6 loss for Toronto, and Hyun-jin Ryu suffered his third loss of the season.토토사이트
At the time, I had no idea that six innings and three runs would be his best outing. The third starter, Yusei Kikuchi, went five innings and gave up six runs on five hits (two homers) with two walks and three strikeouts. The Toronto offense couldn’t do much better, falling to 0-10. And in the final meeting between the two teams this season, even highly touted ace Gaussman had his worst outing of the season, allowing four runs on six hits (two homers) with six walks and five strikeouts in 4⅔ innings as Toronto fell to 2-9.
“Toronto’s series against Texas was a total disaster, a worst-case scenario, a colossal failure,” The Athletic wrote after the Jays’ fourth straight loss, “and the pitching staff deserves some of the blame. Of the four starters in the series, only one, Hyun-jin Ryu, has recorded a quality start.”
“Toronto was thoroughly outplayed in every way by Texas. The 37,594 fans in attendance booed the Jays throughout the game, and the home fans have every right to express their displeasure,” he wrote.