Ryu Hyun-jin, the South Korean starting pitcher of the Los Angeles Dodgers, kicked off the latter half of the season on Sunday (local time), successfully containing the batters of the Boston Red Sox with eight hits, a walk, six strikeouts, and only two runs. He left the mound on the Dodgers’ 4-2 lead but lost the chance to chalk up a win after the game was equalized at the hands of a relief pitcher in the bottom of the eighth inning. The game went on extra innings to the 12th where the Dodgers eventually relished a 7-4 victory.
The first innings against the defending champions proved tough. Leading the game by 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning, the Dodgers saw Ryu yielded two runs owing to wobbly infield defense. With the bases full and two outs, Ryu induced a grounder from Andrew Benintendi, which was grabbed by Christ Taylor, who made an error while throwing the ball to first base, sending two runners to the home plate. The first run was considered as a result of an infield hit, and the second one as an error by the shortstop. But Ryu allowed another hit from Michael Chavis, also rendering the second run to be an earned one.
Recovering composure, Ryu retired nine batters in quick succession from the second to the fourth inning. With two outs and runners on first and second bases, the South Korean got a hit from J.D. Martinez in the bottom of the fifth inning but managed to put out the fire thanks to Alex Verdugo’s impeccable throw to the home plate. Ryu left the mound after throwing 94 balls until the seventh inning.
While it was no win, the game presented Ryu with a chance to redeem himself against David Price, who beat him in Game 2 of the World Series last year. Price gave up four runs (one earned), four hits and three walks over five innings. He threw as many as 114 balls, attesting to his unstable performance on the day.
“I am glad that I threw more innings than I did in the World Series game (four runs over four and 2/3 innings),” said Ryu in an interview after the game. About the dubious call on the two runs he allowed, he said Coach Rick Honeycutt will file a petition with the MLB office. If the two points are recognized as non-earned runs, Ryu’s ERA falls from 1.78 to 1.63.
Bae-Jung Kim email@example.com