After a period of hard work, the rebuilding of the field team, centered on Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Beau Bichette, has been completed to some extent, and Toronto has been spending money boldly in the free agent (FA) market starting in 2020, making full use of its power. began to reinforce. It was a will to improve performance by recruiting veteran players along with the growth of young fielders.
A representative example is the spending of $80 million over four years with Ryu Hyun-jin ahead of the 2020 season to fill the ‘ace’ position that had not previously existed in the team, the highest amount paid to a pitcher in the history of the Toronto club at the time. He then designated veteran outfielder George Springer (6 years, $150 million) as the ‘captain’ to lead the young fielders, and spent the highest free agent fee in the club’s history.안전놀이터
Toronto’s investment later culminates with the signing of Jose Berrios’ contract extension (7 years, $131 million) and Kevin Gausman (5 years, $110 million). In addition, veteran pitchers such as Yusei Kikuchi and Chris Bassett were recruited from the free agent market, and the batting lineup was filled with Whit Merrifield, Brandon Belt, Kevin Kiermaier, and Dalton Basho through trades to build a complete lineup.
Toronto was selected as a candidate to win the American League East Division ahead of this season. The starting rotation was also selected as the best on Earth. The power of the batting line was never weak. Before the season started, there was a strong sense of the club and players’ determination to “deliver something this year.” Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto), who was concentrating on rehabilitation after elbow surgery, clearly shared this trend.
In an interview during spring training last February, Ryu Hyun-jin said about the team’s fall baseball and championship prospects, “At this time, all players, coaching staff, and front office all start with the same goal,” and “We also want to win the World Series, first in the fall.” “I’m preparing in the same way because my goal is to advance to baseball,” he said, expressing his trust in his teammates. There was a lot of positive atmosphere inside that said it could be done.
However, Toronto’s goal is in danger of being frustrated. They accepted the worst result of losing all four games against Texas held at Rogers Center, their home stadium, from the 12th (Korean time) to the 15th. While the batting line did not use its strength, the mound melted into the Texas batting line, which boasts the league’s top batting line.
It was a very painful and shocking fourth consecutive loss. With Baltimore and Tampa Bay already surpassing 90 wins, it was difficult to win the American League East Division. If so, it was Toronto that had to survive in the wild card race.
First of all, either Baltimore or Tampa Bay comes down to the wild card race. And of the three teams (Houston, Texas, and Seattle) competing to win the American League West Division, one team went straight to the postseason, while the other two teams and three teams, including Toronto, competed for two spots.
Before the start of the four-game series, Toronto was fiercely competing with Texas for third place in the wild card race. We started from almost the same position. The winner of this series would increase the odds of advancing to fall baseball. However, Texas won four games in a row and was in an absolutely advantageous position.
For Toronto, it was a series with nothing to say about both pitches. The total number of points scored in the four-game series was only 9. They lost 4-10 on the 12th, 3-6 on the 13th, 0-10 on the 14th, and 2-9 on the 15th. The hitters didn’t do their job. The starting pitchers’ sluggishness was also noticeable on the mound. Ryu Hyun-jin, who appeared on the 13th, was the only player to have a quality start, allowing 3 runs in 6 innings.
Chris Bassett, who started on the 12th, gave up 9 hits (1 home run) and 5 runs in 5⅓ innings, Yusei Kikuchi, who started on the 14th, gave up 5 hits (2 home runs) and 6 runs in 5 innings, and on the 15th, even trusted ace Kevin Gausman gave up 6 hits in 4⅔ innings. (2 home runs) collapsed with 4 runs. In some ways, Ryu Hyun-jin, who allowed 3 runs in 6 innings, pitched very well. However, it is not much of a comfort to Ryu Hyun-jin.
As of the 15th, Tampa Bay is overwhelmingly first in the wild card race. Whether it’s Baltimore or Tampa Bay, the team that takes second place in the American League East division is very likely to advance to first place in the wild card. The battle for first place in the American League West Division is also lost in the fog, and at this point, Texas is in second place and Seattle is third. Toronto is 2.5 games behind second-place Texas and 1.5 games behind third-place Seattle.
Now, the number of cases where Toronto can go on its own is becoming very rare. Toronto has to do its best and hope that other teams don’t. Ryu Hyun-jin also has a few appearances remaining. Toronto needs a savior other than Ryu Hyun-jin.