Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers has a poker face. He puts on a poker face whether the game is going well or not. However, he was agitated Sunday when the umpire called a ball in a match with the Atlanta Braves. It was a game-clinching pitch.
The South Korean pitcher was touched for four earned runs on six hits, including two home runs in 5 2/3 innings in a match with the Braves held at SunTrust Park in Georgia, the U.S. The Braves defeated the Dodgers 4-3, which was the third loss (12 wins) for Ryu this season.
The third loss came since June 29, when Ryu had been rocked for seven earned runs in four innings against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver. It was the second time of the season that Ryu has allowed more than two earned runs in a game.
Ryu had a close match with Adeiny Hechavarria, the first batter, in the bottom of the third inning. His fifth cutter at 140 km/h passed a low strike zone on a 2-2 pitch.
But umpire Paul Nauert did not raise his hand. Ryu could have missed the ball for a second, or catcher Russell Martin’s framing could have caused an adverse effect. When Nauert called a ball, Ryu looked disappointed. Hechavarria had a two-base hit that went over the right fielder. Outfielder Joc Pederson’s slow judgement was another factor that contributed to the loss. Ryu allowed Ozzie Albies to have a two-run double going into leftwing on first and third and one out.
The Dodgers later earned a 2-2 draw, but Ryu allowed two home runs in a row in the bottom of the sixth for the first time since he joined the Major Leagues in 2013. George Donaldson hit a solo home run when Ryu threw a high fastball and Adam Duvall also hit a fastball. Ryu got batter Charlie Culberson to ground and stepped off the mound. He delivered 101 pitches in total. The ERA increased to 1.64 from 1.45, but Ryu is the only one in the Major Leagues whose ERA is still in the ones.
The New York Yankees (83 wins, 42 losses, winning rate 0.664) got past the Dodgers (82 wins, 43 losses, winning rate 0.656) and ranked top in the winning rate in the Major Leagues. Ryu now has a mission to win the Atlanta, which ranks first in the Eastern Conference that Dodgers is likely to meet in the post season.
Heon-Jae Lee email@example.com