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Ryu Hyun-jin fever sweeps U.S. Major League Baseball

Posted April. 27, 2013 05:45,   


“The Korean Monster” continues evolution. Ryu Hyun-jin is constantly making strides in pitching performance, number of pitches, and capacity to control play, in his fifth game as the starter and on the 23rd day after debuting in the Major League baseball, emerging as one of the top-notch pitchers in the big league in all aspects.

The Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher of Korea started in an away game against the New York Mets on Thursday and bounced back from a dreadful opening-day start against Baltimore last Saturday, winning massive acclaims from the U.S. media. The 26-year-old lefty allowed only one run on three hits and three walks in seven innings with eight strikeouts. Unfortunately, Ryu didn`t figure in the decision of Thursday`s game but analysts say that he has displayed the best pitching since his Major League debut. During the game against the Mets, Ryu pitched a season-high seven innings and wound up throwing 109 pitches, lowering his earned run average from 4.01 to 3.41.

NBC coined new term “Jinsanity” for Ryu, named after “Linsanity (Lin+insanity)” that U.S. media accorded to Jeremy Lin, the Harvard-educated Chinese-American guard who generated “ethnic Asian fever" in the National Basketball League last year. “If Hyun-jin Ryu keeps pitching like this, they`ll call it "Jinsanity," it said.

The Associated Press also commended him by saying, "Ryu turned in his longest outing of the season. He struck out eight and walked three, bouncing back from a rough outing in Baltimore." The Los Angeles Times reported, "They collected only five hits and were in danger of wasting another top-shelf pitching performance, this one by Hyun-Jin Ryu, who held the Mets to one run over seven innings."

On Thursday, the Dodgers defeated the Mets 3-2 by scoring additional two points in the ninth inning. The Dodgers` starter continued flawless pitching through the fifth inning, with just one hit and five strikeouts on 65 pitches, but in the sixth inning, he allowed a walk, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly, losing one point. With the score tied 1-1 in the top of the eighth inning, Ryu was deployed as pinch-hitter. He had two times at bat on the day, but was struck out in both battings.

"The last four games, our bullpen pitched 18 innings and was taxed pretty good," Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said after his Dodgers defeated the Mets. "That was a big decision for us [to send him back out for the seventh]. He told us he could do it. It`s a big win for us.”

Ryu is no longer a player who needs to be verified. He had quality starts (allowing three points or less in six innings) except one among the five games he has played. He had 34 strikeouts in 31.1 innings, which can be translated into 9.66 per nine innings, placing him sixth in this category in the National League. Ryu is off to a good start to aim for double digit wins he had in the first year after his debut. He is coming closer to winning the rookie player of the year award.