TORONTO – The excuses for Jose Berrios were just sitting there if he wanted them.
Her first start after a concentrated spring training. On the opening day in front of 45,000 baseball-starved Torontonians, Pitching’s worries, stress and nerves are just a few months after signing a franchise-record, seven-year, $ 131-million extension that will see him throw in front of them for a long time. .
Throwing to the catcher only three times last season. Against the Texas Rangers lineup with five left-handed heaters, the platoon side hit him well in both cases recently (left-handed hitters did .789 OPS in 2021 while right-wingers fought at .540) and his career (.750 OPS). Vs. left; .641 OPS v. Right-handed).
A game scheduled to begin at 7:07 pm ET, which actually started at 7:40, followed a long pre-game event that included multiple prize presentations, unique introductions to 14 Olympians, and dramatic, piano-recitations. Music was included. Berrios knew what was coming, remember, and the Toronto Blue Jess Bullpen didn’t start warming up until about 7 p.m., but for a routine-based person like him, this pre-start preparation was nothing more than normal.
Of course, Bereos had nothing to do with it. He will never. The Blue Jays starter didn’t have it on Friday, as he took the mound to a Rogers Center to start a season of big hopes, big promises and big expectations. And when he left that mound with three hits, two walks, three runs – a fourth still to come – and just one out next to his name on the scoreboard, he didn’t blame anyone or anything, but himself.
“Of course, tonight didn’t go the way I wanted it to,” Barrios said after Toronto’s hellish pick against the Rangers on Friday, coming from behind, with a 10-8 win. “I was not in a good location. I was throwing around the plate. But in those days, you had to go there and try to keep up the competition. And I will. I am good and proud that I still compete. I’m annoyed with the way I’ve pitched, obviously. But I am happy and I am glad that I have a great teammate and a great team. They are behind me. And we still won the game. “
So, how many bloody details do you want?
Berrios begins his outing by falling behind Brad Miller, the Count returns to wrestle for him, and eventually sees the Rangers left fielder take a curbball for a ride that is not terribly-located-but-where-he-wanted. 412-feet above the left-center field wall. Or to put it another way: First batsman of the year, first homer of the year, off his best pitch.
In the blink of an eye, Barrios Marcus Semien had a 3-0 lead, drawing a five-pitch walk. He was then 3-1 to Corey Cigar, who threw a single to the right, pushing Semien to third. Semien scored and Segar Mitch advanced on a pass ball called a wild pitch during a fierce battle with Gerber, which Berrios lost as the 10th pitch of his plate appearance – a pretty bad curveball, fairly – fell into the dirt.
His pitching coach, Pete Walker, came out for a second-round tour of the innings, which helped Berrios get into the zone. The problem was Nathaniel Low recognized the fastball and fired a rifle at Berios ‘next pitch, a 93-mile-hour hitter, right in the middle, spraying Texas’ third run. Already in the blazing Blue Jess Bullpen, Taylor starts throwing sassido.
Back on the mound, fast-paced Adolis Garcia, 1-2 ahead, Berios misses both his curveball and heater before he gets his required ground ball but just one out. In front of Cole Calhoun, 0-2, Berios lost the handle in a back-foot curveball that went from intentional to literal, cutting off the right fielder’s toes.
And it was. Charlie Monto also did not allow Berrios to face the next batter, hitting right-handed Andy Ibenez so that Sassedo could at least start his out with a platoon advantage over leftist Willie Calhoun and Miller. With just one out of his team’s season, the Blue Jays manager was asked to pick up his opening day starter and record his bullpen a final 26 outs.
“His stuff was there – he was 95 and throwing hard. But his orders were off,” Montoya said. “And there’s a good lineup. So, if you step back, they’ll pay you.”
Which means it’s about to be the most delusional time of the year, as well. Danny Janssen let a fastball cross his glove and go to the backstop, allowing Semian to score a goal and let Cigar go from first to second. Later, with the first and second runners, Matt Chapman Garcia’s six-hole groundball could not be clearly transferred from the glove to the hand, eliminating the possibility of a double play. And Berrios watched his fourth run cross the plate from the dugout as Cavan Bigio missed a transfer to second base with an Ebenez ground ball that should have ended the innings with another double game.
“There were a few balls in which we didn’t start a double game,” Montoya said. “And I always talk about it. There’s just a lot you can hit. You still have to pitch and catch the ball. So, in that first inning, we didn’t play anything, and they took that chance.
In the end, Berios threw 34 pitches, of which only 18 were for strikes, and only one for swing. His curvature ran far from the rites; His fastball sat on top of the heart of the plate for the left; She had just gotten even her change up. It was the shortest outing of his career – just the second time since his debut at 148 in 2016 that Berrios had not been out in the first innings. This is not what you want.
“I did not come to the ballpark thinking that I do not think I have orders. I just brought my confidence, tried to compete, threw my pitches. But then, during the game, we see that we’re throwing around the plate, not recognizing well, “he said.” I just tried to go with my plan, my strength. That’s how I pitched. “
Berrios did not enter the game thinking it would go that way. He said he felt great about his pre-game bullpen. And supports the pitch data he has created. There was no shortage of speed, spin rate or action on Berios’ pitch. They’re all coming out the way they’re supposed to. Berios could not keep them where he wanted.
“Yeah, I was really good at bullpen. But then when it comes to the game, I was trying to be very perfect, I think. Likes, too bad, “he said.” I think I didn’t pitch – I just threw. But that’s part of the game. It’s something I’m learning. I’m upset because I couldn’t make that adjustment early in the game. But I just I have tried to continue the competition. “
This is certainly not a cause for concern. Surely you already know this. We’re talking about a guy with a 3.74 ERA of more than 134 outings since 2017, a top-50 mark across the MLB in that span. Berios knows what went wrong and knows how to account for it. He just has to move a little. As he said, he has to pitch, not throw.
These events occur at the highest level. Even the best pitchers in the game have catastrophic outings from time to time. Berios has been there before and he will get it again. After his shortest outing in 2021 – a three-innings, nine-hit, four-run defeat against the White Sox in late August – Barrios was outscored by seven with 11 strikeouts in his next outing. He knows he can do it again. The worst part for him would be that he would have to endure four days before he had to pick up the mound again and fix it.
“I understand and I know what I can do there. Tonight was not my night, “said Berios. “There is another day, another ball game. So, now I’m flipping through the page and getting ready for the next one. “