Blue Jays: A Jekyll and Hyde performance from the rotation

Jun 20, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios (17) throws the ball against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 20, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios (17) throws the ball against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Blue Jays have a lot of talent in their rotation, but that hasn’t added up to a consistent performance from their starters lately.

We saw the latest example of a Jekyl and Hyde type of performance from Jose Berrios on Monday night as he was chased after 4.0 innings having given up six runs against the White Sox, including three home runs. It was a frustrating showing for the right-hander, especially coming off of a string of quality outings that seemingly had him back on track after a rough start to the year.

If you haven’t been following along with Berrios’ starts this year, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster thus far. Have a look at his last five turns throughout the rotation as a perfect example:

June 20–  4.0 IP, 6 runs, 9 hits, 1 walk
June 15–  7.0 IP, 3 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks
June 10–  8.0 IP, 1 run, 5 hits, 1 walk
June 4-     7.0 IP, 2 runs, 3 hits, 2 walks
May 29-   2.1 IP, 6 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk

We could go all the way to the start of the season for Berrios, but it’s just more of the same in a back and forth between very effective, and looking lost.

Unfortunately Berrios isn’t the only starter who has been inconsistent lately. It hasn’t been quite the same yo-yo for Yusei Kikuchi, but he has gone from badly struggling, to looking like he was on the verge of really putting it together, and back to being unable to make it through five full innings in five of his last six starts. The short outings have put a lot of strain on the overworked bullpen, and the results have compounded lately.

With the loss of Hyun Jin Ryu, it’s really been a kick while the rotation is down to see Kevin Gausman struggling a bit lately too. After looking like an early Cy Young candidate, the right-hander’s last four outings haven’t been on the same level.

May 31-  5.0 IP, 3 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk
June 5-    3.2 IP, 5 runs (3 ER), 6 hits, 1 walk
June 11-  6.0 IP, 2 runs (1 ER, 6 hits, 3 walks
June 16-  2.1 IP, 7 runs (5 ER), 7 hits, 1 walk

The good news for the Blue Jays is that their bats have started to heat up over the last few weeks, and they’ve won a few games even when the pitching staff hasn’t been at their best. It’s understandable that any player will go through ups and downs throughout the course of a 162 game season, but we’re talking about some pretty big extremes recently for three-fifths of the rotation.

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Gausman is the next man up on Tuesday evening as the Blue Jays try to even up their series with the Chicago White Sox. Here’s hoping the Blue Jays get the best version of their big offseason free agent signing, because they could really use a quality start right about now.

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