It was a close game, but it didn’t matter. Toronto won again. Fall baseball is starting to take shape, and it’s up to Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto) to keep it going.
The Jays won 7-1 against the Oakland A’s on Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California, USA. The six-run margin may seem generous, but it was anything but. The score remained tied at 0-0 until the sixth inning. It wasn’t Oakland, whose postseason chances had already been mathematically eliminated, but Toronto, who needed a win.
Toronto’s offense broke through in the seventh inning. Three walks loaded the bases. They got a little lucky. This is where they showed off their focus. Back-to-back singles by Kiermeyer and Springer brought relief to the dugout. From there, an energized Toronto offense wore down the Oakland bullpen, scoring six runs in the seventh inning to take the win.
With the win, Toronto moved into third place in the tight American League wild-card race. In each league, the three district winners and the three teams with the best winning percentages (wild cards) outside of the winners receive invitations to the postseason. The American League East, of which Toronto is a part, was already too much for Baltimore. Tampa Bay, second in the division and first in the wild card race, is separated from Toronto by seven games.
That means Toronto is realistically fighting for the second and third wild card spots. Currently, Toronto is competing with teams in the American League West. Houston, Seattle, and Texas, in that order. The double-district winner automatically qualifies for the postseason, so it’s going to be a tough battle with the other two teams. With the win, the Rangers leapfrogged Texas into third place.
Toronto, which has won five of its last six games, will try to complete the sweep by sending Ryu Hyun-jin to the mound in the final game of the series on Sunday at 4:37 a.m. ET. Oakland is well below Toronto in objective power. Through six games, Toronto’s winning percentage on the season is .554, while Oakland’s is .302. This is the worst team in the league. The mound is weak, the offense is weak, which means that every game Toronto loses is more than a loss. Ryu has a lot on his shoulders.
Fortunately, the mood isn’t too bad. They have quite a few injuries, but they are still hitting well. Ryu Hyun-jin has good velocity. He has pitched well since returning from elbow surgery, going 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in six starts. On top of that, Oakland has one of the worst offenses in the league. They rank last out of 30 teams in the league in team OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage). They also rank 27th in OPS against lefties. Nothing special. This is where Ryu’s seasoned pitching can shine.
The local media was also predicting a victory for Toronto and Ryu. ESPN, the largest sports network in the U.S., “strongly recommended” Ryu in its seven-day guide for fantasy leaguers. In fantasy leagues, players are scored based on their actual performance. The recommendation is to add Ryu to your roster, as he is likely to pitch well. Since he’s just returned from injury, Ryu is only owned by 27% of all players.
“When in doubt, letting (picks) flow against Oakland has been useful at times this season,” ESPN wrote. The idea is that Oakland is so bad that it’s not a bad idea to take a ‘no brainer’ bet against them. Here’s what ESPN says: ‘Ryu made his seventh start since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 1. He hasn’t pitched more than five innings, but he’s still 3-1, and Toronto should be the favorite (to win) this game.
They went on to say that Ryu will pitch well. ESPN noted, “Oakland has the third-worst weighted slugging percentage in the league against lefties. Add to that an above-average strikeout rate, and you have a synergistic combination of Ryu’s upside and the weakness of the Oakland lineup.스포츠토토
This is Ryu’s first start on four days’ rest since his return. However, he minimized his pitch count in his last start against Colorado. At the time, Toronto manager John Schneider explained that the decision was based on Ryu’s need to pitch on four days’ rest. He didn’t throw many pitches in his last outing, so his strength shouldn’t be an issue. While velocity is a concern, Ryu has already proven that he can pitch well regardless of velocity. It will be interesting to see if he can deliver the good news of four wins this season to the Korean fans.