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Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin heralds his revival

Posted March. 23, 2017 07:12,   

Updated March. 23, 2017 07:20

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin has heralded his revival. Ryu started in an exhibition game of the Major League against the Milwaukee Brewers at Glendale Camelback Ranch in Arizona on Tuesday local time, and finished his pitching by giving one hit and two strikeouts without allowing any run during four innings. As a result, Ryu has had eight strikeouts and posted an ERA of 1.00 during nine innings that he pitched in three exhibition games of this season.

“I feel that my pitching form has come closer to the one in 2013 (when he garnered 14 wins at his first year at Major League,” Ryu said in an interview after the game. “I am not a pitcher who handles batters by throwing fastballs. Nonetheless, I will be able to pitch more efficiently if I regain my ball speeds from 2013.”

According to local media reports, Ryu pitched the fastest ball of up to 92 miles (148 kilometers) per hour on the day. In his team’s offense in the bottom of the fourth inning, he took the batter’s box and had his first hit in this year’s exhibition games as a timely hit, with runners in the first and third bases and a two strikeout count.

“If he's right around 87 to 90-91, touching 91, with his pitchability and his mix, he's fine right there,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He's shown us a lot. We're a better team if he's in our starting rotation.”

Nonetheless, Ryu is not quite ready to make the roster for the season’s opening game just yet. Analysts in the U.S. say that since his physical condition has not reached the 100-percent level yet, Ryu will more likely take part in the season’s opener as a player on the disabled list.

The Milwaukee Brewers started Eric Thames, who played for the NC Dinosaurs in Korea’s KBO League until last year, as the cleanup hitter and first baseman on the day. Ryu caused Thames to display a poor batting show by giving a strikeout in the top of the second inning and a grounder to the shortstop in the fourth inning. Since Ryu moved to the Major League in 2013 and Thames joined the NC Dinosaurs in 2014, the two players never faced off in the Korean league. “I did not want to give a hit to Thames,” Ryu said after the game.

Kyu-In Hwang kini@donga.com