With Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Max Scherzer out for the season with an oblique strain, the Texas Rangers won three straight over the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rangers minimized the impact of Scherzer’s loss by holding onto the second wild-card spot in the American League (AL). Toronto, meanwhile, dropped to the fourth wild-card spot, putting fall baseball in jeopardy.
The Jays dropped a three-game series to the Texas Rangers on Thursday (Sept. 14) at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
After dropping the first three games of a four-game series against Texas that began on April 12, Toronto is now 80-66. They are now 1.5 games behind Texas (81-64) for the second American League wild-card spot after a five-game winning streak. A 0.5-game lead before the series has changed dramatically in three games. After losing the third wild-card spot to the Seattle Mariners (81-65), Toronto dropped to fourth place with one game in hand.
Ryu pitches well, but Yusei Kikuchi falls apart against the Rangers
Toronto starter Yusei Kikuchi couldn’t hold up against the Texas bats. He gave up six runs on five hits (two homers), two walks and three strikeouts in five innings, dropping to 6-9 on the season. His ERA rose from 3.57 to 3.81. Has been plagued by a horrendous ninth inning, going winless in his last seven starts, with his last victory coming against the Baltimore Orioles on May 3.
After tossing a one-hit no-hitter through three innings, Kikuchi was hit hard in the fourth after the bases were loaded. After walking Corey Seager, he gave up a single to Robbie Grossman and a walk to Jonah Heim for the first run. He then gave up a three-run homer to Nathaniel Lowe in the middle of the inning. Lowe pulled a three-pitch body slider from Kikuchi for his 16th home run of the season.
In the fifth inning, Kikuchi completely collapsed, giving up a single to Seager two batters later and a two-run homer to Grossman in left. Grossman, who had hit a two-run homer off Ryu Hyun-jin in the fourth inning the previous day (Dec. 13) to hand him the loss, got to Kikuchi today. He lined a four-pitch curveball up the middle for his 10th home run of the season. He went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs, three runs scored and two walks.
Toronto has now had three straight starters take losses before Kikuchi, after Chris Bassitt gave up five runs on nine hits (one homer) with three walks and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings at Texas on Dec. 12-13, and Hyun-jin Ryu gave up three runs on five hits (one homer) with one walk and five strikeouts in six innings. Ryu was the only one of the three to have a quality start, but he didn’t get much help from his offense, which managed just three runs.
The Toronto offense was silent again. They were held scoreless by Texas starter Jordan Montgomery. The offense was so ineffective that they didn’t have a single scoring chance all game, including two walks.
Texas overcomes shock of Scherzer’s season-ending injury, gets another transfer, Montgomery, in the lineup
Texas announced before the game that Scherzer was out for the season. Scherzer had started the previous day (Dec. 13) against Toronto and picked up the win with 5 1/3 innings of one-hit ball with two strikeouts and no walks, but was lifted at 72 pitches after throwing a first pitch to Bo Bissett in the top of the sixth inning with right triceps soreness. Tests revealed a right oblique strain, which will keep him out for the rest of the season.
“We’ll continue to monitor his progress, but he’s unlikely to be available for the postseason,” Texas general manager Chris Young said. While the injury doesn’t require surgery, with less than three weeks left in the season, there is very little time to prepare for fall baseball. “It’s really unfortunate that this happened to him,” Young said. He was pitching great before he got hurt,” Young said, adding, “Even with all the injuries, we’re still in a good position to make the playoffs. We have a lot of injuries, but we’re still in a good position to make the playoffs.”
True to Young’s expectations, fellow transfer Jordan Montgomery dominated the Toronto lineup on the day, allowing just one run on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts. The left-hander, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in a trade for Scherzer in late July, topped out at 94.9 mph (152.7 km/h) and averaged 92.9 mph (149.5 km/h) with a sinker (63 pitches), followed by a curve (14), changeup (12), four-seam fastball (seven) and cutter (one). Montgomery, who earned his ninth win of the season and lowered his ERA to 3.47, was 3-2 with a 3.59 ERA in eight games (47⅔ innings) with Texas.먹튀검증
Left-hander Martin Perez, one of Young’s top candidates to replace Scherzer, also pitched one inning of scoreless relief in the eighth. Perez, who struggled through July, going 8-4 with a 4.98 ERA in 20 starts, has found some stability in August, going 1-0 with a 3.32 ERA in 11 appearances since switching to relief.