Wednesday night, Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman will look to have a better start against the Phillies than in some of his most recent outings, as the 31-year-old has seen his ERA jump more than a half a run per game over his last seven appearances.
Going into the middle of August, Gausman was sporting a 2.91 ERA, which was near the tops in the American League and had added 12 quality starts in his first 21 appearances. However, in seven appearances since August 14, he has failed to pitch six innings on three occasions and has only given the team seven innings twice. During his last two starts, Gausman has surrendered 10 earned runs, including four home runs over just 12.1 innings pitched.
In total, over those seven starts, Gausman has given up eight home runs on his way to posting a 4.97 ERA and allowed opponents to post a slash line of .286/.305/.470. Fortunately for the Blue Jays, there are some positives as the offence has helped him out as the club has been able to win five of those seven games and he has walked just five batters to 49 strikeouts.
Wednesday night will be Gausman’s seventh career appearance against the Phillies and while he has not faced them this season, he did toss six shutout innings in his only start opposite them last season, which happened to be his first win of the 2021 campaign. For his career, he is 1-3 with a 5.22 ERA.
Kevin Gausman has been almost everything the Blue Jays hoped for this season but is battling through some struggles which he looks to overcome Wednesday
The right-handed pitcher doesn’t have much of a history against many of the Phillies hitters, but the ones that he has faced have hit him hard. Bryce Harper owns a 1.352 OPS over 21 at-bats, while Jean Segura has a 1.154 OPS over 13 at-bats against the Jays starter.
The Blue Jays offence is expected to face Zack Wheeler, who is coming off the injured list and has not pitched since August 20th due to elbow soreness. It will be the second time that Toronto has faced Wheeler this year as the team gave him his worst outing on the season back on July 13. The club chased him from the game in the fifth inning (4.2IP) after he surrendered six runs, including home runs to Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Teoscar Hernandez.
The Blue Jays currently find themselves five and a half games back from the AL East leading New York Yankees and while it is a large gap to makeup, they do still have a shot at taking the pennant. If the club wants to get a bye in the first round, they’ll need Gausman to round back into form sooner than later.