Enjoying The Jays We’re Not Used To Seeing

The Toronto Blue Jays have gained a reputation over the years for being big bats and questionable arms. Wins would be when the batting did enough work to avoid a loss. Losses would be when bullpen woes or an unfortunate start undid the damage that the lineup inflicted.

But that’s not what we’ve seen recently. In fact, we’re almost seeing the inverse of that through May. Throughout the month, the Jays have reflected a team that struggles at the plate but exceeds on the mound.

The batting issues with the Jays are obviously concerning. Is “issues” the right term? Has the team truly struggled, or have they faced many of the league’s great arms and suffered due to that? The answer is likely somewhere in the middle. Whether they’re facing the best or the worse, the team certainly isn’t free from criticism.

For a team that is known to light up pitchers, there’s arguably some reason to panic when it seems like something was switched off across the entire clubhouse. One can hope that whatever issue or whatever combination of issues are holding them back, can be solved.

But until then, doom and gloom are simply not the way to look at this team. There’s a part to the club right now that is holding up their side of the deal, and arguably doing so in a much better way than we’re used to.

The Jays rotation is incredibly strong right now, and it’s hard not to sit back and view it as a delicacy.

If you’re someone who enjoys pitching, the Jays have been a treat. The starters had a good April, and May have only seen them heat up as a whole. The names who struggled at the beginning – namely Yusei Kikuchi, Hyun-jin Ryu, and Jose Berrios – have found their footing in more recent appearances.

The most reassuring performance from Ryu came Friday when he went six scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds. Not only was that his first scoreless appearance, but it was the first time he earned a decision from an appearance this season.

Berrios has yet to have his best performance of the season. His latest games have not been stellar, although they have shown improvements compared to rougher appearances earlier in the season. There is also clearly room for improvement with Kikuchi, who seems to struggle to get going early in games. But, he definitely has impressive performances under his belt at this point.

There has been little room for improvement for starters Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah. The starters have done their job to a tee this year, and the latter name has continued to exceed the expectations of a 24-year-old that is only in his second year as an MLB player. If he can keep his current success going, which to be clear, would be incredibly hard to uphold, he will be one of the best starters in the league this year.

And one cannot discuss the pitching of the Jays without mentioning their stellar closer, Jordan Romano. The Markham-raised right-hander has truly been overworked due to the team’s high number of close-score games. But, when needed, he has done the job and put a bow on strong performances on the mound. Along with Adam Cimber, a reliever that certainly also deserves a shout, Romano has hit a stride throughout the month.

It’s valid to have concerns about how the Jays, as an overall team, are playing right now. A record just above .500 clearly won’t cut it, as it puts us seven games behind the top-ranked New York Yankees currently. However, it must be appreciated that the rotation is anything but a problem right now – and if that can remain and other holes can get fixed for the team, we’re looking at a pretty good club.

Giants Finish Season With Lopsided Win Over Tigers

The Lotte Giants closed out their 2020 season on Friday with a 13-2 win over the Kia Tigers. The win for the team closed out a week-long series of games at the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, South Korea.

The win for the Giants saw them take over a tied game in the sixth inning, kicking off a three-stint marathon of scoring that made the score look lopsided by the end.

The Giants were the first to score in the game, as Jeon Jun-woo hit a solo home run in the third inning.

The Tigers took their only lead within the game in the fourth inning, as a hit from Kim Min-sik scored two runners.

The Giants tied the game up in the fifth inning, as a sacrifice fly ball from Lee Dae-ho scored a runner.

Giants Take Game Over In Sixth

The sixth inning was the first inning where it was clear that the Giants would take over the game. The scoring kicked off with a two-run home run from Han Dong-hee.

Another run came in off of a hit from Jeon later in the inning.

The rally from the Giants caused the end of starting pitcher Drew Gagnon’s stint. Being given the loss in his last appearance of 2020, Gagnon finished the season with a record of 11-8.

Lee scored another run for the Giants before the inning finished, taking a runner home off of a hit.

Giants Pile On More Runs

The scoring only continued in the seventh inning. Dixon Machado put down two runs with a home run, his 12th of the season. The runs came against reliever Kim Hyun-joon, who was replaced by Park Jin-tae before the inning finished.

Jung Hoon got on the board later in the inning, driving a runner home with  a hit.

Home runs from Lee Byung-kyu and An Chi-hong kicked off the eighth inning for the Giants. Hits from Han Dong-hee and Son Ah-seop took the game to its final score of 13-2.

Strong Showing By Sampson

Giants starter Adrian Sampson finished his rocky season on a high note, playing seven innings and only allowing two runs for a win. The game was only the second time in the season he pitched seven innings in one game.

Being given the win for the game, Sampson finished his 2020 season with a record of 9-12.

Giants Finish Season With Improved Seventh Place, Although Without A Playoff Spot

The Giants finished their 2020 season with a record of 71-72-1, placing them seventh in the league. While being two spots short of making the playoffs, the season is an improvement from the year before, where a 48-93-3 record put them last in the league.

The Tigers also finished the season without a playoff spot, with their 2020 record of 72-71 putting them sixth in the league. The team was not close to making the wild card spot, being eight-games behind the fifth-place Kiwoom Heroes.

Around The KBO

The close standings in the KBO for the second to fifth-ranked teams caused a dramatic final full gameday of the season.

The LG Twins had a disastrous final game of the season. Losing to the SK Wyverns 3-2, the Twins dropped from third in the league down to fourth. The implications for the loss mean the Twins won’t bypass the first round of the playoffs and instead will have to face the Kiwoom Heroes in the wild card series, which starts on November 1st.

Lead by starting pitcher Raul Alcantara, the Doosan Bears won a shutout 2-0 game over the Kiwoom Heroes. The win bumped the team up to third in the standings, allowing them to have a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The loss solidified the Heroes’ spot in the wild card round of the playoffs.

The Hanhwa Eagles finished their last-place season with an upset, defeating the KT Wiz 4-3. The Wiz will pass through the first two rounds of the playoffs, playing for a spot in the Korean Series later in November.

The top-ranked NC Dinos tied a game 4-4 against the Samsung Lions after 12 innings of play. The game saw the first start for star pitcher Koo Chang-mo after an injury took him out in July. Koo pitched five innings, giving up three runs before being pulled.

Dinos Dominate Giants For Second-Straight Game

The NC Dinos took another blowout victory over the Lotte Giants on Thursday, defeating the team 11-4. The game, hosted by the Giants at the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, South Korea, saw the Dinos get up by 10 runs before the Giants scored.

The top-ranked Dinos scored 10 runs in the first four innings of play. The first four runs came in the opening frame against starting pitcher Lee Seung-heon. Hits from No Jin-hyuk, Kang Jin-sung and Ji Suk-hoon all scored runs in the inning.

Lee was pulled an inning later. The short appearance was enough to give Lee the loss for the game, making his 2020 record 3-2.

The scoring picked back up in the third inning for the Dinos. The team put down three more runs in the inning. The scoring started with a two-run home run from Yang Eui-ji which made the score 6-0. Later in the inning, a hit from Kim Chan-hyung scored another run.

The lead moved into double digits an inning later after Na Sung-bum hit a home run and hits from Aaron Altherr and Kang Jin-sung scored runs.

Dinos pitcher Drew Rucinski was taken out of play after five innings. Leaving the Giants scoreless in his appearance, Rucinski was given his 19th win of the season.

The final run from the Dinos came in the eighth, as No Jin-hyuk drove home a runner with a hit.

Giants Score Runs Late

The Giants started to score late in the game, putting runs down against reliever Ryu Jin-wook in the seventh inning. Han Dong-hee scored the first run for the team with a solo home run.

A sacrifice fly ball later in the inning from Son Ah-seop scored another runner.

Two errors allowed runs to score against the Dinos in the eighth inning.

Giants To Finish Season on Friday

The Giants will finish their 2020 season on Friday with a game against the Kia Tigers. The first pitch for that game, as well as the others scheduled for Friday, is set for 6:30PM KST (5:30AM EDT).

Around The KBO

The KT Wiz won a nearly one-sided performance on Thursday, defeating the Hanhwa Eagles 12-1.

After putting down five runs in the opening inning, the Doosan Bears cruised to a 9-2 win over the Kia Tigers.

Top-Ranked Dinos Score Six Runs Against Choi To Hand Giants Loss

The NC Dinos handed the Lotte Giants a decisive loss on Wednesday, finishing the game with a 7-1 score to kick off a two-game series. The game was hosted by the Giants at the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, South Korea.

The Dinos gained a three-run lead early in the game against starting pitcher Choi Young-hwan. The first run was a hit in the first inning by Na Sung-bum, allowing a runner to get home.

In the third inning, a three-run home run from Yang Eui-ji gave the team a 3-0 lead.

While Choi was pulled in the fourth inning, the three runs scored in the frame were scored against him as he loaded up the bases before his departure. The inning culminated with a hit from Yang which allowed the loaded bases to reach home for the Dinos.

The game was only the sixth appearance of the year for Choi, who had only appeared as a reliever previously. Being handed the loss for his start, Choi has a 0-1 record in 2020.

The Giants scored their sole run in the game in the third, as a solo home run from Dixon Machado was hit against Song Myung-gi. Song pitched five innings in total before being taken out of the game.

The Dinos were able to put down one more run in the sixth inning as a fielding error allowed Kim Chan-hyung to reach home.

The Giants are scheduled to host a second game against the top-ranked Dinos on Thursday, with first pitch scheduled to 6:30PM KST (5:30AM EDT).

Around The KBO

Needing 11 innings to find a winner, a hit from Song Kwang-min in the 11th inning scored a runner and gave the Hanhwa Eagles a win, defeating the LG Twins 7-6.

The Kia Tigers won in walk-off fashion, as a hit from Preston Tucker scored a run in the 10th inning and gave the team a 4-3 win against the KT Wiz.

Jeon Hits Walk-Off Run To Give Giants Win Over Wyverns In One-Run Game

The Lotte Giants kicked off their final week of play with a walk-off 1-0 victory over the SK Wvyerns. The sole run of the game from a home run in the ninth inning came from Jeon Jun-woo, earning the Giants the win at their home park, the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, South Korea.

The home run from Jeon, his 25th of the season, came against reliever Lee Tae-yang, who was given the loss for the game. Lee had pitched the inning before the home run as well.

Tuesday’s game was the eighth win for the Giants against the Wyverns this season out of 16 meetings.

The win for the game went to Kim Won-joong, who pitched the ninth inning for the Giants. The closer now has a 5-4 record along with 25 saves in 2020.

Leaving the game scoreless for seven innings each, starting pitchers Ricardo Pinto and Noh Kyung-eun both had good appearances on the mound.

Wyverns pitcher Pinto earned six strikeouts in his appearance, only allowing two hits through 106 pitches.

Noh allowed four hits while earning three strikeouts for the Giants.

The Giants will play their next two games against the top-ranked NC Dinos, who have clinched a fast-track to the 2020 Korean Series with a record of 81-54 so far.

The first pitch for Wednesday’s games is 6:30PM KST (5:30AM EDT).

Around The KBO

Pinch hitter Kim Min-hyeok gave the KT Wiz a final inning lead with a two-run home run, earning the team a 7-6 lead to defeat the Kia Tigers.

Lead by starting pitcher Chris Flexen, the Doosan Bears won a shutout 3-0 game over the Hanhwa Eagles.

The Samsung Lions put on a dominating performance over the NC Dinos to start the week, defeating the team 12-2.

Wiz Hand Giants Loss After Scoring Six Runs Against Starter

The Lotte Giants finished their week of play with a 10-5 loss to the KT Wiz on Sunday. The one-off game on Sunday was hosted by the Wiz at the Suwon KT Wiz Park in Suwon, South Korea.

The win for the Wiz saw them up down six runs against a starting pitcher to get ahead. Their lead allowed them to take a safe win despite a late comeback attempt by the Giants.

The Wiz scored six runs against Giants starter Adrian Sampson to take a lead in the game. The scoring opened with a bang, as Yoo Han-joon hit a three-run home run in the first inning.

Scoring picked back up in the fourth inning, where hits from Jo Yong-ho and Kang Baek-ho scored three more runs. Sampson was pulled from the game after the sixth run scored against him. The loss for Sampson ended his 2020 record at 8-12.

The Giants scored their first run in the fifth inning, as Lee Byung-kyu hit a solo home run to kick off the inning. The run was the only scored against starter Bae Je-seong, who was awarded a win after playing six frames.

The Wiz scored another trio of runs in the fifth inning. After Sim Woo-jun and Hwang Jae-gyun brought in a total of three more runs, the Wiz were leading 9-1.

The final run from the Wiz came in the sixth, with a hit from Bae Jeong-dae taking a runner to home.

The Giants attempted to make a comeback late, putting down four runs in the final three innings. A double from Shin Bon-gi and a single from Son Ah-seop scored a trio of runs in the seventh. The final run was a solo home run from An Chi-hong in the ninth inning.

The Giants’ final week of play consists of four games, two of which are against the top ranked NC Dinos. Their Tuesday game is against the SK Wyverns, with their season-ending game against the Kia Tigers scheduled for Friday.

Around The KBO

The Kia Tigers won a blowout game on Sunday, defeating the Samsung Lions 10-1.

Bears Score Two Runs Against Park To Defeat Giants

The Lotte Giants lost a one-off game to the Doosan Bears on Saturday, being defeated 2-1. The win for the Bears came at their home park, the Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul, South Korea.

Bears Score Two Runs Against Park To Win

The low-scoring victory for the Bears came from their two runs scored against Giants pitcher Park Se-woong.

The first run came in the opening inning of the game, where a sacrifice fly ball from Jose Miguel Fernandez took home a runner.

The deciding run came in the third inning, as a hit from Choi Joo-hwan a runner in.

Park played into the sixth inning before being pulled from the game. Being given the loss for the game, Park’s 2020 record is now 8-10. He has not won in his last six appearances, with his last recorded victory dating back to September 19th.

The sole run for the Giants came in the sixth inning, as a hit from Lee Dae-ho scored a runner.

Giants Finish Week Against Wiz

The Giants will finish their week of play on Sunday with a game against the KT Wiz. The first pitch for the game is scheduled for 2:00PM KST (1:00AM EDT).

Around The KBO

The NC Dinos clinched the top seed in the KBO playoffs after tying the LG Twins 3-3. Clinching the top seed advances the Dinos to the 2020 Korean Series, which is scheduled to start on November 17th.

The Samsung Lions defeated the Kia Tigers in a high-scoring game, winning 11-7.

Straily Earns Milestone 200 Strikeouts In Shutout Win Against Wyverns

The Lotte Giants evaded a shutout loss on Friday, defeating the SK Wyverns in a shutout 3-0 game. The game concluded a three-game series hosted by the Wyverns as the Incheon SK Happy Dream Stadium in Incheon, South Korea.

The victory for the Giants came along with a monumental moment for starting pitcher Dan Straily. Recording nine strikeouts in his six-inning performance, Straily reached the 200 strikeout milestone for the season, a figure only nine other pitchers have attained in league history.

Leaving the Wyverns scoreless for the majority of the game, Straily was given another win, making his 2020 record 15-4. His last loss dates back to mid-August.

The appearance on Friday was likely his last in the season.

Innings pitched by Choi Jun-yong, Koo Seung-min and a performance which earned Kim Won-joong the save for the game left the Wyverns with no runs in the end.

Giants Score Three For Victory

The first two runs for the Giants were scored in the first two innings of play against starting pitcher Lee Geon-wook, who was given the loss for the game.

In the first inning, a hit from Lee Dae-ho drove home Jung Hoon. A hit from Son Ah-seop took in Dixon Machado an inning later.

The final run of the game for the Giants was scored in the ninth inning, as Jeon Jun-woo hit a solo home run against reliever Seo Jin-yong.

Giants To Play Two Weekend Games Against Separate Teams

The Giants will play a one-off against the Doosan Bears on Saturday. After that, the team will finish the week of play with a game against the KT Wiz.

The first pitch for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 5:00PM KST (4:00AM EDT).

Around The KBO

Winning their second-straight game against the Kia Tigers, the LG Twins took an 8-4 victory on Friday.

After getting a five-run lead in the third inning, the Hanhwa Eagles added on to their lead to win 11-6 against the NC Dinos.

The Kiwoom Heroes won their Friday game 6-2 against the Doosan Bears.

Wyverns Score Three Runs To Earn Walk-Off Victory Over Giants

The SK Wyverns won their second game of a three-game series against the Lotte Giants on Thursday after a walk-off 9-8 win in the ninth inning. The win continued a three-game series hosted by the Wyverns at the Incheon SK Happy Dream Stadium in Incheon, South Korea.

The game-deciding hit came from Lee Jae-won in the ninth inning, who drove home two runs with a hit into center field. The team crept up to the lead earlier in the inning, as a hit from Choi Jeong scored a run as well.

The runs came against Giants closer Kim Won-joong, who was handed a loss for the performance in the ninth inning.

Giants and Wyverns Take Lead Numerous Times Through Earlier Innings

The Giants had a one-run lead early in the game, as a hit in the second inning from Han Dong-hee scored a runner for the team.

The Wyverns took the lead for the first time in the fourth inning, as a two-run home run from Jamie Romak put the team ahead. Adding onto their lead, hits from Oh Tae-gon and Choi Jeong, as well as a ground ball from Ko Jong-wook, scored runs each, making the game 5-1.

An explosive sixth inning from the Giants saw them tie up the game. Against reliever Kim Jung bin, solo home runs from Lee Dae-ho, Lee Byung-kyu and An Chi-hong scored runs. Park Min-ho was able to finish the inning for the team, but not after giving up a home run to Han Dong-hee.

Giants pitcher Lee Seung-heon was pulled in the sixth inning after giving up a walk to Chae Tae-in. The next play scored Chae, putting another run against Lee.

Giants Take Lead Prior To Ninth-Inning Loss

The Giants walked into the final inning with a three-run lead after scoring in the seventh and eighth.

Son Ah-seop kicked off the seventh inning with a solo home run. Later in the inning a fielder’s choice play hit by Lee Byung-kyu scored a run.

Jung Hoon scored the last run for the Giants in the eighth inning, hitting a solo home run.

Wyverns Chase Sweep

The Wyverns will look for a sweep in the series on Friday, playing the Giants at 6:30PM KST (5:30AM EDT).

Around The KBO

A high-scoring win for the KT Wiz saw them have two-innings where they scored eight runs in each. The team defeated the Doosan Bears 17-5 to clinch their first playoff berth in franchise history.

Another high-scoring matchup saw the Kia Tigers defeat the Hanhwa Eagles 10-4.

Wyverns Score Nine Runs Against Noh To Defeat Giants

The SK Wyverns took the first of a three game series against the Lotte Giants on Wednesday, defeating the team with an 11-3 score. The ballgame was hosted by the Wyverns at their home park, the Incheon SK Happy Dream Stadium in Incheon, South Korea.

Noh Allows Nine Runs

The game saw the team put down a large number of runs early, scoring a total of nine runs against starter Noh Kyung-eun.

The Wyverns took the lead after a first inning which saw both teams score. After a hit from Lee Dae-ho scored a run for the Giants, a three-run home run from Choi Jeong put the home team up 3-1.

The Wyverns extended their lead in the next inning, as a ground ball from Park Sung-han and a hit from Ko Jong-wook scored a run each.

Son Ah-seop contributed the second run for the Giants in the fifth inning, hitting a solo home run.

The scoring contunued for the Wyverns in the fifth. After a double from Lee Jae-won allowed two runners to get home, another two scored off of a hit from Kim Sung-hyun.

Giants starting pitcher Noh Kyung-eun was pulled after allowing the first two runs in the fifth inning. Being given the loss after nine runs were recorded against him, Noh’s 2020 record is now 5-10.

Late Runs From Both Teams

The final scoring plays from the Wyverns came an inning later, as Jamie Romak and Lee both attained hits to score runners, moving the score to 11-2.

Son scored another run for the Giants in the seventh inning, driving home Shin Bon-gi with a hit.

Wyverns starter Park Jong-hoon was pulled shortly before the scoring play. The win for Park moved his 2020 record to 12-11.

Second Game To Be Played on Thursday

The second of a three-game series will be hosted by the Wyverns on Thursday. The first pitch for the game is scheduled for 6:30PM KST (5:30AM EDT).

Around The KBO

The KT Wiz won their game on Wednesday in walk-off fashion, as a sacrifice fly from Yoo Han-joon in the 10th inning allowed Sim Woo-jun to score and give the team a 2-1 win over the Samsung Lions.

A game between the NC Dinos and Kia Tigers hosted in Gwangju, South Korea, was rained out.