Crisis management shines as Ryu Hyun-jin loses win with one out

The “Korean Monster,” Ryu Hyun-jin, 36, of the Toronto Blue Jays, showed off his crisis management skills, but fell one strikeout short of the win.

Hyun-jin Ryu pitched 4⅔ innings of one-hit ball with six strikeouts and two walks against the Boston Red Sox in the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) Baseball World Series at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Monday (Aug. 18).

However, Ryu had to leave the mound with the win requirement in sight. With Toronto leading 1-0 and runners on first and second in the top of the fifth, he was relieved by reliever Yimi Garcia.

On the day, Ryu threw 83 pitches, 54 of which were strikes. Since returning from elbow ligament reconstruction (Tommy John surgery), Ryu hasn’t thrown more than 90 pitches this season.

Ryu smiled wistfully as he walked off the mound. But it was a necessary move for player protection. This is the second time this season that Ryu has failed to complete the fifth inning, after being hit by a pitch on May 8 against the Cleveland Indians.

Garcia, who came on in relief, got out of the jam without allowing a run. Ryu improved to 3-3 on the season with the win. His season ERA dropped from 2.93 to 2.62.

On the day, Ryu’s fastball (37) touched 91.1 miles per hour (146.61 km/h) and averaged 89.1 miles per hour (143.39 km/h). His velocity is gradually increasing. He also utilized a variety of pitches, including changeups (19), curves (13), cutters (12), and sinkers (2).

In truth, his pitches were unsettling. He gave up a lot of hits and was in a lot of trouble.

Ryu started off the first inning with a bang, getting leadoff hitter Sedan Rafaela to fly out to right field and then retiring the next batter, Korean-born Rob Lefsnider, on a swinging strikeout. Justin Turner, a former teammate of his with the Los Angeles Dodgers, flied out to left field.

But from the second inning on, he was in trouble every inning. He gave up a deep infield single to Rafael Devers to start the inning and then gave up a one-out double to Adam Duvall in left-center field to put runners on second and third.

But Ryu didn’t falter. He induced a grounder to shortstop Pablo Reyes. Toronto shortstop Bo Bissett calmly fielded it and threw out Devers at third. With runners on first and second, the Rays got Trevor Story and Bobby Dalbec to fly out to center field to get out of the inning unscathed.

Ryu was rattled again in the top of the third, as the Toronto offense got on the board in the bottom of the inning on a Kevin Kiermaier sacrifice fly. The leadoff hitter, former Toronto teammate Liz Maguire, singled up the middle. She then gave up a double to Rafaela that skimmed the third base foul line, putting runners on second and third with no outs.

Once again, Ryu’s crisis management skills were on display. He threw an outside changeup to Lefsnider, who hit it into the left-field seats, and then got Turner to ground out to third for the second out. He walked Devers to load the bases and got Duvall to fly out to right field to end the inning.

Back on the mound in the top of the fourth inning with a 1-0 lead, Ryu got Reyes to hit a leadoff foul fly to first base. The next batter, Story, induced a grounder to third. However, Toronto third baseman Chapman missed a routine throw to the plate, putting runners on first and second.

Ryu then gave up a single to left to Dalbec, advancing Story to third with runners on first and third. But Ryu got Maguire to ground into a shortstop-second baseman-first baseman double play to end the threat.

After surviving three consecutive scoreless innings in the second, Ryu ran into trouble in the top of the fifth. One out later, he gave up an infield single to Lefsnider. Ryu caught it himself, but it bounced out of bounds, allowing the runner to score from first base.

Ryu struck out Turner on a wild pitch before giving up a single to Devers to put runners on first and second. At 83 pitches, manager John Schneider finally decided to make a change. Garcia took over on the mound and pitched a clean inning, and Ryu didn’t allow a run.

Toronto nearly blew a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth when reliever Eric Swanson gave up a game-tying solo home run to left off Devers. But Chapman’s game-tying RBI single with one out in the bottom of the ninth gave the Jays a dramatic 3-2 victory.

With the three-game win streak, Toronto improved to 83-67 on the season, leapfrogging the Texas Rangers, who also lost, into the second American League wild-card spot 안전놀이터.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *