Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Yusei Kikuchi's 2022 campaign ended without a postseason mound appearance Saturday as his team was eliminated by the Seattle Mariners in the American League Wild Card Series.
Kikuchi watched the end of the game from the bullpen at Rogers Centre in Toronto after his former team overcame a seven-run deficit to beat the Blue Jays 10-9 in Game 2 of the best-of-three series.
In his fourth year in the major leagues and his first with the Blue Jays, the 31-year-old from Japan was moved to the bullpen in August after struggling to a 4-7 record with a 5.25 ERA in 20 starts.
"It's disappointing," Kikuchi said. "I didn't expect my team would be done here. The team was looking to advance deep into the playoffs."
"Overall, it was a season that I struggled and got frustrated."
The Mariners advanced to the Division Series against the Houston Astros in their first postseason appearance since 2001, when they won an AL-record 116 games with then-rookie Ichiro Suzuki leading the way.
"I'll work on things in the offseason while remembering this bitter feeling."