“Blue Monster” Ryu Hyun-jin, the 34-year-old South Korean starting pitcher at the Toronto Blue Jays, won his eighth win (five defeats) this season on Thursday. In a visit to the Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Ryu held the Baltimore Orioles to a run on five hits and led a comfortable win by 10-2, with seven strikeouts and two walks. His ERA has improved from 3.65 to 3.56 as well in his last outing as a starter in the first half of this season.
Ryu was seen wiping the sweat from his face every time before throwing, but his control remained razor-sharp. The South Korean landed 56 in the zone out of 86 throws. “The lefty was also working the edges of the plate much batter, particularly with his trademark cutter,” MLB.com commented about Ryu’s latest winning performance.
Ryu threw many fastballs on Thursday instead of sticking to his signature changeups. The fastest one was 149km/h, and the average speed of his throws, at 146km/h, was also higher than his season average (144km/h). Ryu blasted 42 fastballs, which took up around half the count of throws. After two strikes, he mixed various types of breakers including 18 changeups, 16 cutters, and two sinkers.
“It was the perfect outing to go into the break,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Ryu found what he was missing, that changeup, which is huge for him, and his cutter was better today. He located that better. It was a perfect game for him to take into the break.”
Reportedly, he took his colleagues to a Korean restaurant before the game. The morale of his teammates seemed high too, excelling both in the offense and defense.