Jose Berrios gives the Blue Jays exactly what they needed

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 25: Jose Berrios #17 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches to the Boston Red Sox in the second inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on April 25, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 25: Jose Berrios #17 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches to the Boston Red Sox in the second inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on April 25, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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The Blue Jays picked up a big win over the Red Sox on Monday night, and it was thanks in large part to a badly needed performance from Jose Berrios.

The 27 year old right-hander has had a shaky start to the 2022 campaign, entering Monday’s outing with a 6.35 ERA and a 2.029 WHIP over his first three starts. That only covered 11.1 innings so far, with Berrios notably only recording one out on Opening Day to balloon his numbers. He’s been solid since, and was even pretty good against the Red Sox in his last start when he allowed just one earned run over 6.0 innings, but Monday was another level.

Berrios ended up going 7.0 + innings, and allowed two earned runs on just five hits and a walk, with the Red Sox finally breaking the shutout in the eighth inning. He gave up hits to the first two batters he faced in the eighth, and unfortunately Adam Cimber wasn’t able to strand them, otherwise Berrios could have picked up his second win of the season instead.

Almost as important as the win was the length of the outing that Berrios was able to give the Blue Jays. Just yesterday I wrote about how the bullpen has been ridden pretty hard to start the year, and if they want to continue to have an effective relief corps then the Jays are going to need more from their rotation. Right on cue, Berrios delivered exactly what they needed, which allowed them to use just two relievers to get through the last two innings in Cimber and Julian Merryweather. It helped that Bo Bichette delivered with an eighth inning grand slam, but either way Berrios and company held the Red Sox offence at bay.

Berrios still didn’t have his best stuff on Monday night, and admittedly got awake with a few mistake pitches against the Red Sox. That said, the fact that he still found a way to keep Boston off the score sheet for seven innings is very encouraging, and it bodes well for when the right-hander does eventually find his groove.

The Blue Jays extended the 27 year old’s contract for seven years and at least 131 million dollars this past offseason, and they hope to receive top-of-the-rotation type of production from the former Minnesota Twin. There’s no doubt that he has the kind of talent to deliver on that kind of potential, and I’d even argue that the Blue Jays could very well end up with a bargain when all is said and done.

Assuming the Blue Jays stick with a five-man rotation this week, Berrios’ next start should come on Saturday at home against the Houston Astros in the second series of their 10-game home stand. It’ll be another difficult test for Berrios and the Blue Jays, and there have been a lot of them to begin the season, but I like the direction that both the pitcher and the team are heading right now.

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Monday’s outing wasn’t perfect, but it was more than enough to help the Blue Jays pick up the win, and give the bullpen a bit of a breather in the process. That’s exactly what they needed right now.

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