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Ryu Hyun-jin displays quality pitching but loses game

Posted April. 22, 2019 07:38,   

Updated April. 22, 2019 07:38


Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin (32) had nine strikeouts and gave two runs during five and two thirds of innings in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers, which took place at Millar Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Sunday. The Dodgers lost the game 0-5 as their batters lineup, who had enabled Ryu to win the opening game of the season by hitting the largest number of homers (eight) among the season’s openers, failed to display good performance on the day, and rendered Ryu his first loss (two wins) of this season. Ryu saw his ERA edge up from 3.07 to 3.10. The Dodgers’ winning streak thus came to an end at “six” (14 wins and nine losses overall, ranked first in the National League’s Western Division).

The Korean pitcher, however, showed stable pitching in the game as he returned to the mound 12 days after being replaced by a relief pitcher due to pain in his left adductors after pitching one and two thirds of innings (two runs) in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 9. From the first inning in the latest game, which was the 100th game he started in the Major League Baseball, Ryu displayed quality pitching, which was evidenced by three successive batters going out in quiet order from the first inning.

He allowed the first batter to hit a double in the bottom of the fifth inning, but gave three strikeouts to the next three batters, thereby demonstrating his ability to manage a crisis. He recorded the top speed of his fastballs at 148 kilometers per hour, with the average speed of his pitches standing at the low 140 kilometers per hour level. But he managed to throw diverse forms of pitches and maintain precision ball control, troubling the opponent team’s batters. It was a far cry from the lackluster performance he displayed at the two games of the National League Championship Series last year, when he had one loss and posted an ERA of 8.59 while taking the mound at the Miller Park in Milwaukee.

If Ryu successfully joins the rotational lineup of the Dodgers’ starting pitchers, he could have his first showdown with fellow Korean batter Kang Jung-ho (32) of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ryu is expected to pitch again at an away game against the Chicago Cubs on April 26, or a home game against the Pirates on April 27. Kang, who played in a game against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, had his third homer (one run) in this season to lead his team’s 3-1 victory.

Bae-Jung Kim wanted@donga.com