At Chase Field in Arizona on Monday, an unusual scene unfolded where both Kim Byung-hyun, former pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Ryu Hyun-jin, starter of the Los Angeles Dodgers, were at the same field. Yet, what the two South Korean pitchers might have felt leaving the mound must have been greatly different.
In an opening game of the season against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field in Phoenix, the Arizona Diamondbacks invited its former closer Kim Byung-hyun to throw out the ceremonial first pitch as part of the team’s celebration of its 20th anniversary. Having pitched for the Diamondbacks from 1999 to 2003, Kim was All-Star closer when they won the World Series in 2001. He collected 70 of 86 saves in Arizona.
“I still want to throw balls, but not for the moment. I’m too old,” Kim said with a laughter at a press conference, who also pitched in the Dominican Winter League last year. “I am here to cheer on Hyun-jin. I am sure he’ll pitch well here,” Kim also said, showing his support for the fellow Korean pitcher.
Ryu Hyun-jin, the Dodgers’ fifth starter of this season, struggled mightily in his first start of the new season, becoming the only starting pitcher of the team to leave the mound before the fifth inning. The Dodgers staked Ryu to a 3-0 lead before he even took the mound, but the left-hander had to leave the game when he was charged with three earned runs on five hits and five walks in 3 2/3 innings.
The Diamondbacks outlasted the Dodgers, 8-7, in a 5-hour and 45-minute marathon on Monday night
Bo-Mi Im firstname.lastname@example.org