“I thought I did a really good job today.”

Japanese starter Yusei Kikuchi, who holds a spot in the Toronto Blue Jays’ starting rotation, reflected on his 12th start of the season. He didn’t rack up the wins, but he was satisfied and praised his manager.

Kikuchi started against the New York Mets at Citi Field in Flushing, New York, USA, on 5 May (local time) and pitched five innings, allowing two runs on four hits (two home runs) with eight strikeouts and one walk.

Supported by two-run second innings and two-run third innings, Kikuchi came off the mound with the win requirement, but fell short of the win as the bullpen allowed the tying run to score.

“I thought he threw the ball very well overall today,” said manager John Schneider. The changeup was on point.” Kikuchi himself was pleased.안전놀이터

“I think I did really well today,” Kikuchi said of his slider and curveball. He was hit by two home runs and had to put his quest for a seventh win of the season on hold, but for the second time in as many games, he was held to two runs in five innings.

Kikuchi got out of the first inning without allowing a run on a swinging strikeout and a grounder to shortstop before giving up a solo homer to Tommy Pham in the third, when his team took a 4-0 lead. He was hit by a 95.3 mph (153 km/h) four-seam fastball.

In the fifth inning, he gave up another home run to Pham. Two batters later, he threw a 89.8 mph (145 km/h) slider for a long ball. But Kikuchi stayed on the mound, mixing in a curveball, slider, and a fastball that touched 96.9 mph (156 km/h).

“He induced 19 swings and misses on the day, 11 of them on sliders,” MLB.com reported. His average velocity on the slider was 88.7 mph, which is down from his season average, but the rotation and vertical and horizontal changeup showed an effective version.”

Toronto went on to win the game 6-4. Kikuchi missed out on the win, but Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh.

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