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Yusei Kikuchi: Embrace the Ace

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi has taken on the decisive role of transforming into one of the Jays ace pitchers this season. He is having a heck of a season and has bounced back from his unfavorable 2022 season with the Jays. In 2022, Kikuchi had a record of 6-7 with an ERA of 5.19; this season, he currently posts a 9-4 record with a more than respectable ERA of 3.44.

Kikuchi Continues to Be an Ace

Yusei Kikuchi

What a story Kikuchi has put on for the Jays this season. He has been one of the Jays’ strongest starting pitchers this season and continues to wow us. On August 15th against the Philadelphia Phillies, he recorded his 13th time this season where he only allowed one run or less. His astonishing comeback this season has displayed how he can put on quite a show for both the fans and his team. Another strong performance from him signified how much of a competitor he is. He effectively helped take down the Phillies and made it look all too easy. As well, Kikuchi is the type of pitcher that illustrates this “Eye of the Tiger” character that is compelling in more ways than you can think.

Dropping his ERA to 3.44 on the season is just another sign of his ace-star quality role as a pitcher. He is a pitcher that encapsulates a level of excellence in terms of his ability to command the strike zone. In addition, he has been a pitcher this season that has been really fun to watch.  Since the All-Star break, Kikuchi has put up lightning bolt numbers with an ERA of 1.29, a WHIP of 1.00, an opponent batting average of .213, eight walks, and 36 strikeouts over 35 innings pitched. If the Jays make the postseason, he will be a pitcher that batters will be intimidated by.

All Aboard the U Say Train

All season Kikuchi has represented himself as a pitcher that isn’t afraid to take risks. He represents true tenacity, athleticism, command, power, and leadership. Looking at the Twitter video above you can see how Kikuchi made a bare-hand grab to get the runner out at first. If that’s not impressive then I don’t know what is. You can tell how hard he is working this season to help the Jays earn a spot in the postseason. If the Jays make the postseason, he will be an exciting pitcher to watch takedown batters hopes of getting on base. He encompasses this electrifying mentality where he won’t stop until he gets the job done. He plays with a lot of precision.

On a Final Note

From a sour pitcher to an ace, Kikuchi has really transformed himself into a pitcher that is getting people talking. His jaw-dropping slider represents his keen asset as a pitcher. Looking at this body language it illustrates confidence, and this makes him so enjoyable to watch. Being confident with your pitches is so important and Kikuchi has shown us this all season long. Fans online have gone as far as calling him “Yu Cy Young” which is no surprise. He has become a fan favorite and a powerful ace for the Jays this season. It will be invigorating to see what he can do for the rest of the season for the Bluebirds.

Main Photo Credits: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports


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