Baseball is called “a game of inches” in the U.S. as the difference between out and safe, fair and foul, and strikeout and walk is determined often times by the margin of an inch (2.54 cm), not to mention three inches (7.62 cm).
This was what happened to a cut-fastball (cutter) Ryu Hyun-jin threw to a Yankees hitter at the Yankee Stadium in New York on Tuesday. The horizontal movement of Ryu’s cutter that day was three inches longer than his season average. From the view of a right-handed hitter, the ball started farther than usual and was curved toward the body.
A cutter is usually somewhere between a fastball and a slider but Ryu’s cutter that day was somewhere between a slider and a cutter. Ryu himself called the pitch “a slider-cutter.”
Ryu was effective at the mound as a result. Ryu, who had failed to clinch a win in the last two games, picked up a win against the Yankees, striking out six while allowing three hits in six scoreless innings. His season record is now 13-8 with a 3.77 ERA.
Ryu, who is placed in second after Gareth Cole of the New York Yankees in most wins (14) in the American League, said he studied Robbie Ray’s pitches. “Ray is pitching well with his fastball and slider. Since I can throw similar pitches, I thought it would be good to use those pitches,” said Ryu. Ray is currently 11-5 with a 2.60 ERA.
Kyu-In Hwang email@example.com