Ryu Hyun-jin (36) was still the hope of the Toronto Blue Jays. The 104km/h curve was proof of that.
On the 28th (Korean time), the American media Daily Hive paid attention to his recent performance, saying, “Ryu Hyun-jin has achieved a unique achievement in the major leagues.”
Earlier on the 27th, Ryu Hyun-jin started the 2023 Major League (ML) home game against the Cleveland Guardians at the Rogers Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (1st loss).
It was a pitch that drew everyone’s praise. His highest speed was only 90.8 miles per hour (approximately 146.1 km), but he met the requirements for a winning pitcher by pulling out hitters’ miss swings with an average speed of 69.8 miles (approximately 112.3 km) and a large curve drop. If it weren’t for the infielders’ consecutive mistakes in the 6th inning, the season’s first quality start (6 or more starting innings and 3 earned or less) would have been possible.
Even after returning from elbow ligament joint surgery (Tommy John surgery) at a considerable age, the atmosphere in the US and Canada is also encouraged by the unchanging performance of ‘Vintage Ryu’. The Daily Hive said, “Ryu Hyun-jin’s career in Toronto did not go according to plan. After undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, he has only played 11 games in the past two seasons and has not always had the opportunity to show his best performance. In fact, in December 2019, After signing a contract with Toronto, he made only 15 starts at the Rogers Center, his home stadium, for four years.”
At the same time, he was delighted, saying, “But Ryu Hyun-jin showed the best ball (curve) against Andres Jimenez in the Cleveland game and turned him into a strikeout.”
The scene came out in the second out of the fourth inning, with Toronto leading 3-1, and Ryu Hyun-jin threw a curveball at 68.1 miles per hour (approximately 109.6 km) as the first pitch and aimed it precisely at the top of the strike zone, receiving a strike call. He elicited a foul batted ball with an outside cutter and pulled Jimenez’s bat with a 64.6 mph (about 104 km) curve that deflected into a similar position.
Rob Friedman, a major league pitching analysis expert, said, “Hyunjin Ryu’s really cool 64.6 mile curveball. It’s the slowest curve that a starting pitcher has ever missed this season.” Most pitchers check how fast the pitch is taken, but Hyun-Jin Ryu checks how slow he throws.”
The Daily Hive introduced Friedman’s reaction and said, “Friedman’s story is proof that Ryu Hyun-jin was great as a finesse type pitcher during his long major league career. Ryu Hyun-jin is still showing his best performance, which is a green light for Toronto.”
It was a Toronto career that started as an ace. Ryu Hyun-jin signed a 4-year, 80 million dollar (approximately 106.2 billion won) contract, the highest free agent contract ever for a pitcher in the Toronto club, and headed to Canada. The contract with Ryu Hyun-jin was regarded as a sign of a new beginning for Toronto, which had completed the rebuilding, and large contracts such as Jose Berrios (7 years, 131 million dollars) and Kevin Gausman (5 years, 110 million dollars) continued one after another.
In 2020, Ryu Hyun-jin was Toronto’s ace in name and reality. From the first year of his contract, he recorded an average ERA of 2.69 in 12 games, 5 wins and 2 losses, even under the difficult conditions of a 60-game shortened season in which he could not use his home field, leading Toronto to advance to the postseason in four years. In recognition of his contribution, he was also ranked third in the American League Cy Young Award.
In 2021, he struggled with an average ERA of 4.37, but won the most wins in the team with 14 wins and 10 losses, and last year only had an average ERA of 5.67 with 2 wins and 2 wins in 6 games due to elbow pain. In addition, as he underwent a second Tommy John surgery, many media outlets, including MLB.com, predicted at the beginning of this season that he was a 5th or 6th starting candidate. As it is, there was also a skeptical reaction that he could finish the last year of his contract with Toronto with the bullpen.
However, Ryu Hyun-jin once again broke everyone’s expectations and proudly entered the starting rotation, becoming a new hope for Toronto with an average ERA of 2.25, 3 wins and 1 loss in 5 games, and 20 strikeouts in 24 innings. Thanks to Ryu Hyun-jin’s successful comeback, Toronto was able to plan for next year by excluding Alec Manoa (25), who is at a loss, from the first-team entry.스포츠토토
According to MLB.com on the 28th, Toronto removed Manoa from the first-team entry, but he was still accompanied by the first-team squad, not the Triple A team Buffalo Bisons. MLB.com said, “General manager Atkins said Manoa is not currently Toronto’s sixth starter. That stems from the two weeks he’s been out of the rotation.”