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Ryu Hyun-jin regains quality of changeup pitches

Posted June. 28, 2021 08:57,   

Updated June. 28, 2021 08:57


Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin secured his seventh win of the season ahead of July even though It would have been better if he had not taken the mound in the seventh inning.  

Ryu started in the home game against the Baltimore Orioles at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York on Sunday, and gave four runs during six and two thirds of innings. Ryu caused 15 consecutive batters to display poor batting through the sixth inning, while continuing the game without any run through his 62 pitches. However, he pitched 29 pitches in the seventh inning alone, giving five hits and a walk to allow four runs.

Ryu handed over the mound to Jacob Barnes with runners on the second and third bases and two outs while his team was leading 12-4 in the top of the seventh inning. As neither of the two teams added a run afterwards, Ryu became the winning pitcher in two consecutive games against the Orioles after the away game on June 21. Ryu elevated his ERA for the season from 3.25 to 3.41.

Ryu added three strikeouts on Sunday, which brought his overall strikeouts in the Major League to 809. This places Ryu ranking second only after Park Chan-ho (1,715) among the Korean pitchers who have played in the Major League. The third in the rankings is Kim Byung-hyun (806) who tied with Ryu until the previous day.

It was also promising that Ryu regained the quality of his “signature” changeup pitches. He expressed dissatisfaction about his changeups after the end of the previous game. He conducted bullpen pitching twice in an unusual move just ahead of Sunday’s game, testing his pitches. He threw 32 fastballs plus 26 changeups on the day, and outfoxed batters to control their swing time more efficiently.

Kyu-In Hwang kini@donga.com