The Toronto Blue Jays ended the postseason early. Criticism continues against coach John Schneider, who suddenly replaced starting pitcher Jose Berrios, who was struggling.
Toronto bowed out 0-2 in the second game of the American League wild card game (2 wins out of 3) against the 2023 Major League Minnesota Twins held at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA on the 5th (Korean time). Toronto, which suffered two consecutive losses, had to make a lonely exit from the postseason stage.
On this day, Toronto brought on itself defeat by using an incomprehensible pitcher. Starting pitcher Jose Berrios pitched well through the third inning, allowing three hits, five strikeouts and no runs, but when he gave up a walk to leadoff hitter Royce Lewis in the fourth inning, manager John Schneider immediately ordered a replacement pitcher. Yusei Kikuchi, who was warming up in the bullpen, was brought to the mound early.
We tried to force the starting pitcher early, but the result was a failure. Kikuchi gave up an infield hit to Max Kepler and a walk to Donovan Solano, putting the bases loaded. In the end, he was hit by Carlos Correa with an RBI single to left. As the runner responsible for Berrios hit home, a run was lost. In a continued critical situation, Kikuchi converted Willi Castro into a double play, but gave up another run when the runner on third base hit home. Kikuchi finished the inning without allowing any additional runs, but lost the momentum.스포츠토토
MLB.com, the official Major League Baseball website, also criticized Manager Schneider’s use of pitchers. Toronto reporter Keegan Matheson said, “Berrios’ early strong performance had an adverse effect on Toronto,” and asked, “What was the reason for dropping Berrios, who had blocked Minnesota’s batting line, and hiring Kikuchi?” At the same time, he responded that he could not understand Manager Schneider’s choice, saying, “Kikuchi has not played as a bullpen pitcher since the second half of 2022.”
The players were also taken aback by Berrios’ harsh judgment. “Obviously all the players were surprised. We were all shocked by the coach’s decision, but there are some things we can’t control. We can ask ourselves many times, but there is no decision we can make,” said Vlamir Guerrero Jr.
Berrios has been the most reliable starting pitcher this season. He started all 32 games and pitched 189⅔ innings. He stayed on the mound in Toronto, recording 11 wins, 12 losses, and an ERA of 3.65. Berrios, who made his major league debut with Minnesota in 2016, left behind bad memories at his most familiar stadium, Minneapolis Target Field.
Berrios expressed his disappointment with Schneider’s decision to substitute, saying, “I did my best to face the first 12 batters. Other than that, I have no control.” MLB.com expressed regret, saying, “The frustration was evident on Berrios’ face and eyes. He showed his ability to the best of his ability against his home team full of people who meant something to him, but it wasn’t enough.”
Opposing hitters also praised Berrios’ pitch. Kyle Palmer said, “Berrios was throwing well. His slider looked good and his fastball was powerful. He was trying to put us out, but luckily we got a lot of help from Carlos Correa.”
In fact, the silence of the batting lineup was also disappointing. He failed to score every time he had a chance. In the 5th inning with 2 outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd, second base runner Guerrero Jr. was hit by Sonny Gray’s check, and in the 6th inning with 1 out and bases loaded, Matt Chapman was caught on a double play to shortstop.
MLB.com left a bitter note on the silent batting lineup, saying, “After Kikuchi, the bullpen blocked the game without allowing any additional runs. However, Toronto’s batting lineup was unable to turn the game around.”