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With 11 wins, Ryu Hyun-jin expected to secure large deal in FA market

With 11 wins, Ryu Hyun-jin expected to secure large deal in FA market

Posted July. 22, 2019 07:34,   

Updated July. 22, 2019 07:34


Four hits, four walks, and one run during seven innings… These numbers would be widely considered to be representing impressive pitching for ordinary starting pitchers. Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers expressed regret after the home game against the Miami Marlins on Friday.

The South Korean starter garnered his 11th win of this season by giving one run during seven innings. Ryu further lowered his ERA for this season from 1.78 to 1.76, consolidating the No. 1 spot in the entire Major League Baseball.

Ryu gave three base-on balls and one dead ball on the day. These are the most he has given in a game so far this season. He could have blamed the umpire’s “narrow strike zone,” but he said with a smile, “I did not have proper control in my pitching early in the game. However, the outcome was satisfactory and okay when considering my pitching.”

As his team’s batters acquired two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning when the Dodgers were trailing 0-1, the game ended 2-1, making Ryu the winning pitcher.

Ryu fulfilled his role as starting pitcher. He had seven strikeouts including three consecutive strikeouts in the top of the seventh inning. He pitched as many as 61 strikes of his 102 pitches.

As a result, Ryu has continued his “unending winning streak” in home games, as he has secured eight wins and had no loss during the 10 games he has played in the Dodger Stadium this season, to post an ERA of 0.89. He has also displayed good performance at away games (three wins, two losses, and ERA of 2.92 during nine games), but he has displayed among the best performances in home games in the entire history of the Dodgers.

Among former Dodgers pitchers, the one who was strongest in home games was Sandy Koufax, a legendary lefthander who played in 15 home games in 1964 to post impressive 12 wins and two losses and an era of 0.85. Among the pitchers who are still active, Clayton Kershaw pitched in 10 home games to post an ERA of 1.08 in 2016. If Ryu continues his current strides, he could challenge and overcome Koufax’s records.

As Ryu has continued to show stellar performances in the second half of the season, watchers say that he stands a high chance of securing a large deal after the end of the season. “Ryu Hyun-jin is the undisputed ace of his team. Not only the Los Angeles Dodgers but also the Philadelphia Phyllis, which must reinforce its starting pitcher lineup, could pay attention to him,” Dodger Blue reported Saturday. “Unlike the recent free agent market where large deals have been scarce, Ryu Hyun-jin may secure a large contract this fall.”

Having accepted a “qualifying offer” from the Dodgers after the end of the previous season, Ryu is receiving 17.9 million U.S. dollars in annual pay this year. He will be released to the free agent market again after the end of this season.

Heon-Jae Lee uni@donga.com