Kevin Gausman: "We need more urgency" following tough loss to Orioles

Kevin Gausman was understandably frustrated following his loss to the Orioles on Wednesday night, and while he still has belief, he knows the Blue Jays need to show more urgency with immediate effect.
Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

Kevin Gausman had plenty of reason to feel frustrated following Wednesday's 7-0 loss to the Orioles. The Blue Jays are now 1-3 in games he has pitched versus the team with which he made his Major League debut and played five+ seasons with.

More importantly, the Blue Jays wasted another strong outing from Gausman with a listless offensive performance. He allowed just five hits, a walk and two earned runs in 6.0 innings, striking out eight batters in the process.

Offence lacking

Of course it doesn't matter how effective you are, if you're getting little to no run support. Consider that the Blue Jays are just 2-3 in the 32-year-old's last five quality starts.

Further, the Blue Jays are just 2-7 in the last nine games Gausman has started full stop. As much as he did have a couple of poor outings within that sequence, the record is just not good enough when you have your staff ace on the mound. (Similarly, his overall 9-8 record in 25 starts this season is disappointing, especially considering how he has pitched in general.)

This undoubtedly alludes to an offence which is just 16th in scoring as of Friday morning. In terms of the Majors and their 30 teams, this is the definition of average for a lineup which has too much talent to be ranked so low.

Certainly Gausman knows the lineup is capable of more, although he didn't single out the lack of offence specifically when talking postgame on Wednesday. As per Sporstnet, he said:

"We're just waiting for that big stretch. We've kind of been waiting for that all year. Is it going to happen? I don't know. I hope it does. I hope it starts tomorrow, but we can't keep sitting back and waiting on that. We've got to go now and we need a little bit more sense of urgency."

Unfortunately for Gausman and everyone concerned it didn't start on Thursday, as the Blue Jays lost the rubber match 5-3. As much as the offence did contribute more, it still wasn't enough.

A superior pitching staff

Adding to the frustration for the two-time All-Star, the pitching has been tremendous all season. Consider that the pitchers and relievers combined have the best ERA in the Majors, are second in strikeouts, seventh in WHIP and have the fifth-best strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Along with the Blue Jays' stellar defence, they have allowed the fewest runs in the Majors this season. What will it take, to finally feel that sense of urgency to come around and perform closer to their offensive potential on a more consistent basis?

With just over five weeks to go in the regular season, tie-breakers must also be a consideration, especially with several teams realistically vying for a playoff spot. As Gausman said:

"Every game matters. You look at not just the AL East but obviously the American (League) wild card, there's five or six teams within a two or three-game difference."

AL East is key

As much as the Cy Young candidate is correct about every game and team they face being important, the Blue Jays do need to improve particularly versus their own division. They are just 12-25 against the AL East with still 15 games remaining, which also double as the final 15 games of their overall regular season schedule.

If nothing else at least it's still in the Blue Jays' hands, something which Gausman is willing to embrace. He said:

"As a player, that's what you want. You want to be in this spot with a month left with an opportunity to punch a ticket and control your own destiny. We haven't necessarily played great baseball all year, but we're in a situation now where we're right there and we’ve just got to keep going."

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At the time of writing the Blue Jays are 1.5 games back of both the second and third AL wild card spot and 2.0 ahead of the Red Sox. There's still plenty to do, but if the team can develop more of the mentality and consistency Gausman displays, they will be playing postseason baseball come October time.

NB - All statistics up to and including August 24.