Veteran Ryu Hyun-jin (36-Toronto Blue Jays) will look to pick up his second win of the season against the rejuvenated Cincinnati Reds.
Ryu will start the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) Cincinnati game at 2:40 p.m. ET on April 21 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Ryu earned the win against the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 14 with five innings of two-hit ball, two walks, three strikeouts and two runs (unearned). After a lengthy rehabilitation following elbow surgery last year, the right-hander showed that he is still competitive, winning three games since his return and 444 days after his last win.
After using a six-man starting rotation for a 17-game stretch, Toronto returned to a five-man rotation, with Ryu retaining his starting spot.
He struggled a bit against the Baltimore Orioles in his first game back, but earned the team’s trust with strong performances against the Cleveland Cavaliers on the eighth and the Cubs in the third.
Ryu will look to extend his winning streak against Cincinnati.
He has pitched well against Cincinnati in eight previous appearances, going 5-2 with a 3.23 ERA. He has faced Cincinnati once since joining Toronto, at home on May 21, 2022, shortly before his injury. He earned his first win of the season with six innings of six-hit ball, striking out three and walking none.
However, the Cincinnati of last season and the Cincinnati of this year are completely different teams.
Cincinnati went 62-100 (.383) last year, joining the Pittsburgh Pirates (100 losses), Oakland Athletics (102 losses), and Washington Nationals (107 losses) in the dubious honor of the 100-Loss Club.
This season, however, they’re in a three-way tie for first place in the National League Central with the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs with a winning percentage of more than 5 percent at 63-59 so far (through 18 games). They’ve gone from last place to postseason contender in one year.
Giving promising young hitters a chance to shine has paid off. First baseman Spencer Steer (26), center fielder T.J. Friedle (28), shortstop Matt McLain (24), and third baseman Eli Delacruz (21) have all made the jump to the major league level this season.
While they have plenty of experience against Cincinnati, there will be plenty of first-time hitters, so Ryu will need to be especially prepared.
In particular, Steer and McLain are considered ‘key players’. Both are young right-handed hitters who have performed particularly well against lefties.
Stear is Cincinnati’s top hitter this season (through 18 games) with a .270 batting average, 18 home runs, 66 RBIs, and an OPS of .817.
Against lefties, however, he’s even better, batting .297 with a .924 OPS. Eight of his 18 home runs have come against lefties.
McLain, the starting shortstop, is similar. He’s batting .298 with 13 home runs, 44 RBIs, and an OPS of .877 on the season, but against left-handed pitching, he’s batting .329 with five home runs and an OPS that jumps to .992.
The veteran anchoring the young lineup is Joey Votto, 39. A “franchise star” who has only played for one team, Cincinnati, since his rookie year, Votto is in the twilight of his career.
After hitting just .205 last season, he’s batting just .216 this season. 토토사이트
However, Votto still has a lot of fans in Korea, including a close relationship with Shin-Soo Choo.
Against Ryu Hyun-jin, Votto is 5-for-17 (.294) with one home run. Votto has been bothering Ryu by hitting a lot of long balls.
Meanwhile, another Cincinnati pitcher who will start against Ryu is right-hander Hunter Green, 24.
After going 5-13 with a 4.44 ERA in his first full-time start last season, Green is 2-4 with a 3.93 ERA in 14 games this season.
Green is the fastest starting pitcher in the major leagues and beyond. He averages nearly 100 miles per hour (160.9 km/h) and tops out at 104 miles per hour (167.4 km/h).
This is in stark contrast to Ryu, whose fastball sits in the low 140 mph range. The matchup between Ryu, with his trademark finesse, and Green, with his strength and grit, will be interesting to watch.