Ryu Hyun-jin overcomes ‘Pitchers’ Graveyard’… ‘Challenge for 4th win of the season’ as a sacrifice to ‘ML last place batting lineup’ Auckland

‘Korean Monster’ Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays) is making another attempt at winning his fourth win in a season that unfortunately failed. His team, Toronto, needs good pitching more than ever to advance to fall baseball.

Ryu Hyun-jin will start in the 2023 Major League Baseball away game against the Oakland Athletics held at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California in the early morning of the 7th (Korean time).

Hyun-Jin Ryu previously started in an away game against the Colorado Rockies on the 2nd, allowing 4 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, and 2 runs in 5 innings. A quality start and 4th win of the season should have been expected for the next time, but he did his part by pitching well at Coors Field, Colorado’s home stadium, infamous as the ‘pitcher’s graveyard’.

Coors Field is located at an altitude of 1610m above sea level, so the hit ball experiences less air resistance and the speed and distance of the hit ball are significantly increased. It is known as the most hitter-friendly stadium in the major leagues, which is absolutely disadvantageous for pitchers. It is also a place where not only Ryu Hyun-jin but all big league pitchers are reluctant to pitch.

After starting his big league career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013, Ryu Hyun-jin did not get along well with Coors Field until last year. He performed poorly in his career, with 6 games and 26⅔ innings, 1 win, 4 losses, and an ERA of 7.09.

But the game against Colorado on the 2nd was different. The two-run home run allowed to Elephuris Montero in the bottom of the second inning was a mistake, but he performed effective pitching based on his unique blade control and excellent game management ability.

Even though the maximum fastball velocity was 145km and the average fastball velocity was in the low to mid 140km range, it was not a problem. He shook up the timing of batters by throwing a variety of breaking balls, including a slow curve with a large drop that has been fun this season, a cut fastball, and his main weapon, a circle change-up.

Although the bullpen arson prevented him from achieving his fourth win of the season, Ryu Hyun-jin faithfully fulfilled his role. Since returning to the major league mound last August after elbow surgery in June of last year, he has shown performance no less than in his prime, with 3 wins, 1 loss, and an average ERA of 2.48 in 6 games.

Except for the game against the Cleveland Guardians on the 8th of last month (4 scoreless innings), where he collapsed after being hit in the leg by a batted ball, Ryu Hyun-jin took responsibility for 5 innings every time he appeared on the mound. He continues to be the veteran starting pitcher that Toronto was hoping for and is contributing greatly to the team’s race to advance to the postseason.

After taking a four-day break after the Colorado game, Ryu Hyun-jin is now on the hunt for his fourth win of the season against Oakland. Since entering the big league in 2013, he has recorded a total of 3 games against Oakland, 2 wins, no losses, and an ERA of 5.40, and it is an interesting point to watch whether he can continue his undefeated streak against Oakland.

The result of the most recent match against Auckland was not good. Ryu Hyun-jin bowed his head in April last year when he was attacked by the Oakland batsmen, allowing 6 hits and 5 runs in 4 innings. However, this was two months before Ryu Hyun-jin underwent left elbow surgery. It must be taken into account that he was not 100% fit.

Oakland is undisputedly the weakest team among the teams Ryu Hyun-jin has faced since returning to the big league after undergoing rehabilitation after surgery. This season, they are at the bottom of the American League West Division with 42 wins and 97 losses and a winning percentage of 0.302. As the batting line is weak, Ryu Hyun-jin is expected to be able to deal with him with more confidence.

Auckland’s weak point is the bat. This season’s team batting average is 0.224, an overwhelming last place among the 30 major league teams. The team OPS is also the lowest at 0.671. Instead, Ryu Hyun-jin needs to be careful about taking big shots. Oakland’s team home run this season was 145, ranking 22nd overall in the major leagues, which is somewhat competitive.토토사이트

Toronto also has high expectations on Ryu Hyun-jin. Toronto is currently ranked 3rd in the American League East Division and 3rd in the wild card rankings with 77 wins and 62 losses this season. They are slightly ahead of the 4th place Texas Rangers by 0.5 games, so they are disappointed with one win in the remaining 23 games of the regular season.

Toronto’s team situation is not very good due to injuries. Key infielders Bo Bisset and Matt Chapman, as well as Danny Jansen, who is Hyun-jin Ryu’s dedicated catcher, are unable to operate at 100% power as they are listed on the injured list.

Ryu Hyun-jin also needs to play games with a new catcher and battery for the time being until Jansen returns. The key is how to overcome the changed environment based on the experience of a pitcher with 11 years of experience in the big leagues.

Left-hander JP Sears was selected as the Oakland starting pitcher who will face off with Ryu Hyun-jin. Sears has 3 wins, 11 losses, and an average ERA of 4.60 this season.

Meanwhile, Ryu Hyun-jin currently has a major league record of 78 wins, 46 losses, and an average ERA of 3.24. Considering Toronto’s remaining number of games this season, he is expected to be able to reach the 80-win mark.

Ryu Hyun-jin, as an individual, must increase his value as much as possible in his remaining appearances. Ahead of the 2020 season, the four-year free agent contract worth $80 million (approximately KRW 106.6 billion) signed with Toronto will expire at the end of this year.

Either way, whether he stays in Toronto or transfers to another major league team, it is important for Ryu Hyun-jin to maintain his competitiveness as a big league starting pitcher in order to secure a favorable contract.

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