A legendary left-handed pitcher of the MLB, Tom Glavine, had an average pitch speed of 140 kilometers per hour. However, he is one of the 24 members of the MLB’s 300-win club. He later left a famous quote that his passion for baseball is not registered on a speed gun.
The Toronto Blue Jays’ pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin proved again during the match against the Atlanta Braves that there is something more important than the speed to a pitcher.
The average fastball speed of Ryu on the away game held at Truist Park in Atlanta was 144 kilometers per hour with the fastest record at 147 kilometers per hour. Ryu’s pitches are rather slow compared to those of many MLB pitchers who can throw fastballs with the speed of 160 kilometers or over per hour.
However, the South Korean pitcher mixed four types of pitches – fastball, cutter, changeup, and curveball – to dominate the opposition team’s batters with the good utilization of the strike zone. He pitched seven innings and allowed one run on five hits and one walk. He struck out six batters and pitched only 94 balls. He was replaced at the top of the eighth inning leading the game 2-1 and picked up his third win of the season with his team’s 4-1 win. His ERA of the season improved from 3.15 to 2.95. This was also his 160th career win, including those in the U.S. and South Korea.
Ryu disturbed the timing of the opposition batters by mixing changeups with not-so-fast fastballs. His controlling of cutters’ speed ranging from 127 kilometers per hour to 138 kilometers per hour was particularly effective. “I was preparing for this strategy before the game, which led to good results. They could be considered sliders in a way,” said Ryu after the game.
“He is back to being “Ryu,” throwing strikes, keeping hitters off balance,” Charlie Montoyo, the manager of Ryu’s team, said. “You don’t know what’s coming, what pitch is coming next. That’s when you know he’s on. He did that today and his pitch count was low, which allowed him to go deep into the game.”
Kyu-In Hwang firstname.lastname@example.org