Toronto’s ‘Korean Monster’ Ryu Hyun-jin threw 65 pitches in 5 innings and became the winning pitcher with 6 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout and 2 runs. It was a two-game win in a row after winning the first win of the season with six scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds on May 21. Until then, few baseball fans thought that it would take a long time of 444 days until Ryu Hyun-jin’s next victory.
However, after recording 3 runs in 4 innings against the Chicago White Sox on June 2, Ryu Hyun-jin finished pitching early due to elbow pain and was placed on the disabled list for the second time in the season the next day. Ryu Hyun-jin, who was judged to have damaged the medial collateral ligament of his left arm as a result of the examination, ended his season as he underwent an elbow ligament joint surgery on June 18. It is a surgery that takes at least a year to rehabilitate after surgery, and if the return is delayed due to recurrence of pain, the contract period with Toronto could have ended.
Fortunately, Ryu Hyun-jin completed the rehabilitation process 13 months after surgery and returned to the big league mound. And on the 14th, the third game after returning to the big leagues, he won his first victory after 444 days of thrilling return with a good pitching of 5 innings and 2 runs against the Chicago Cubs. Considering the age of Ryu Hyun-jin, who has passed his mid-30s, it was a splendid revival of the ‘Korean Monster’ that ridiculed the pessimistic outlook of some baseball fans that he might no longer be able to demonstrate competitiveness as a starting pitcher.
Ryu Hyun-jin was 35 years old on June 18 last year when he underwent elbow ligament joint surgery. He was never too young to undergo surgery, which would require at least a year to return after rehabilitation. In fact, the players who are currently active as starting pitchers in the major leagues over the age of 35 are Justin Verlander (Houston Astros), Max Scherzer (Texas Rangers), Adam Wainwright (St. Louis Cardinals), and Jack Greinke (Kansas City Royals). There are so few that you can count them on your back.
Ryu Hyun-jin, who pitched well with 4 runs in 18 innings in 4 rehabilitation appearances against minor clubs, became a losing pitcher with 9 hits (1 home run), 1 walk, 3 strikeouts and 4 runs in 5 innings against the Baltimore Orioles on the 2nd, when he returned to the big league. He showed excellent crisis management ability by inducing two double hits, but it was difficult to give a passing score as a starting pitcher to have 10 runners on base until the 5th inning. This is the reason why it is evaluated that he has not fully regained his competitiveness as a starting pitcher after his return from injury.
However, Ryu Hyun-jin showed a completely different pitch in the next two games. Ryu Hyun-jin, who showed off a no-hit pitch that allowed only one walk until he came down the mound in 4 innings after being hit by a strong hit against the Cleveland Guardians on the 8th, also scored 2 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts and 2 runs in the 5th inning against the Cubs on the 14th (own book). won the victory with Against the Cubs, he gave up two runs in the first inning, but he would have finished the inning without a run if it hadn’t been for an error by first baseman Brandon Belt.먹튀검증
Of course, it is a little too early to be sure of Ryu Hyun-jin’s resurrection just by looking at the results of the three games. However, the Cubs, against which Ryu Hyun-jin faced on the 14th, was the team that led the major leagues in scoring (187 points) in the second half until the match. However, 36-year-old veteran pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin tied the burning Cubs’ hard hitting line with only two hits in five innings. Ryu Hyun-jin’s ERA, which started at 7.20 after the Baltimore game, dropped to 2.57 after the Cubs game.
When Ryu Hyun-jin returned to the mound in 2017 after a two-year hiatus after undergoing shoulder surgery in 2015, baseball fans who watched Ryu Hyun-jin’s relay always used to pay attention to Ryu’s velocity. In fact, Ryu Hyun-jin seldom allowed his opponent to hit intensively on days when the speed of the fast ball exceeded 150 km/h, and when the speed was less than 150 km/h, he would easily get a long hit. And this continued even after the transfer to Toronto, and 150 km/h became the criterion for checking Ryu Hyun-jin’s condition.
However, after Ryu Hyun-jin returned from elbow surgery, his fast ball velocity was not as good as before the surgery. In the match against the Cubs on the 14th, Ryu Hyun-jin’s fast ball stayed at a maximum of 146 km, and his average speed was 142.3 km (88.4 miles), far short of the major league average of 151.3 km (94 miles). However, Ryu Hyun-jin proved once again that the most important factor for a pitcher is not the speed or power of the ball, but the direction (control) through the game against the Cubs.
On this day, Hyun-Jin Ryu threw 86 balls, almost none of which hit the center, and threw most of the balls near the edge of the strike, inducing the opponent to hit. The only slugging allowed was one two-run double, hit by Dansby Swanson in the first inning, and he gave up two walks, but rarely allowed a hit except for one timely hit in the inning. It can be evaluated that it was a game in which Ryu Hyun-jin showed the ‘aesthetics of slowness’ against the Cubs on the mound.
Ryu Hyun-jin is not classified as a ‘power pitcher’ in the big leagues, but he has a relatively high strikeout rate of 8.0 per 9 innings in his big league career. But he’s only struck out eight in 14 innings this season (5.1 per nine innings). Although the strikeout rate is declining, baseball is not a sport where two outcounts go up just because you strike out. This means that if Ryu Hyun-jin learns how to easily catch batters with slow balls, he can expect more efficient pitching in the future.
Toronto has a solid and stable starting rotation, with Chris Bassett recording 11 wins this season and serving as the first starter, and Jose Berrios, Kevin Gaussman, and Yusei Kikuchi each winning 9 wins abreast. is building Considering the time when he struggled because he was not even suitable for the second starter to support Ace Ryu Hyun-jin, who recorded 5 wins, 2 losses and 2.69 in 2020 and ranked 3rd in the American League Cy Young vote, it cannot but be a change in the starting lineup that truly makes you feel ‘a sense of urgency’.
But one important name is missing from Toronto’s current starting rotation. It is Toronto’s young ace Alec Manoa, who finished third in the American League Cy Young Award voting along with All-Stars with a record of 16-7, 2.24 last year, when Ryu Hyun-jin was struggling to rehabilitate after surgery. Manoa, who had the best season last year, fell into the worst slump with 3 wins, 9 losses and 5.87 in 19 games this year. done.
The reason why the Toronto club, where wild card competition is fierce, can boldly send Manoa, a 16-win pitcher last year, to the minor leagues is because of Ryu Hyun-jin’s healthy return. Ryu Hyun-jin, who became the losing pitcher in the first game after his return, showed off his strength by pitching 4 no-hits in the second game. He was hit on the knee by an assault ball and was replaced, which made the Toronto team and fans dizzy, including manager John Schneider, but was diagnosed with a minor bruise and won the mound against the Cubs on the 14th without any problems.
At the end of this season, Ryu Hyun-jin’s 4-year, $80 million contract with Toronto, ahead of the 2020 season, ends. In order for Ryu Hyun-jin to win another good contract in the free agent market this winter, it is very important to show his competitiveness by appearing in as many games as possible for the rest of the season. Under such circumstances, Ryu Hyun-jin succeeded in winning the competition with Toronto’s next-generation ace Manoa, who was an all-star pitcher last year and recorded 16 victories, remaining in the starting lineup and getting a chance to show his value for the rest of the season.