Former LAD colleagues + Korean pride + KBO team ties… Ryu Hyun-jin’s storied start against the Cubs

The ‘Korean Monster’ Ryu Hyun-jin, 36, will make his third start since returning from injury. It will be interesting to see if he can make up for the disappointment of his last outing, when he was unlucky to miss out on his first win. His opponent is the Chicago Cubs, who are looking to qualify for the postseason (PS) as a wild card.메이저사이트

Ryu will take the mound against the Cubs at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at 2:37 a.m. on Thursday (July 14). It will be the third start of the season for Ryu, who returned to the big leagues two days ago after a lengthy rehabilitation following elbow ligament reconstruction surgery last year.

Ryu pitched well against the Cleveland Indians on 8 August, allowing just one hit and no walks over four innings. However, in the bottom of the third inning, with the bases loaded, he was hit in the right knee by a hard-hit ball from Oscar Gonzalez, and although he made a good effort to handle the fly ball himself, he was helped to the dugout. His initial reaction as he fell to the ground raised concerns of a serious injury, but fortunately, he was diagnosed with a simple bruise and was able to stay in the rotation and start today’s game against the Cubs.

The Cubs are 61-56 with 13 games remaining, good for second place in the National League Central. They are third in the NL Wild Card standings, the final playoff spot. Ryu faces a team in desperate need of a win.

The Cubs, who went through a rapid rebuild after winning the World Series in 2016, are looking for a “win-now” this season. The batting order is diverse. There’s Dansby Swanson, the “extraordinary shortstop” who took the stadium by storm last winter, Nico Horner, the team’s young leader, and Cody Bellinger, the reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP) and former Los Angeles Dodgers slugger who has bounced back this season.

Add to that Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki, who is in his second year in the big leagues, and former Hanwha Eagles outfielder Mike Tuckman, who has used his experience in the KBO to make an impact in the big leagues. Hanwha is the same team that Ryu played for in the KBO.

No one in the Cubs lineup has hit more than 20 home runs this season. However, Patrick Wisdom, Christopher Morel, and Bellinger and Swanson have put together a formidable lineup with 18-19.

Bellinger won the NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in 2019 after hitting .305 with 47 home runs in a breakout season with Hyun-jin Ryu and the Los Angeles Dodgers. It went downhill from there, but he’s rebounded since joining the Cubs this season, batting .331 through 13 games. He is the most feared hitter on the Cubs right now.

Also of interest is the “Japan-Han” two-hit ego battle with Suzuki. Suzuki broke the cycle of Japanese outfielders like Yoshitomo Tsutsugo and Shogo Akiyama. While he hasn’t performed as well as he did in the Japanese leagues, he has been a mainstay in his second season in the big leagues. His batting average against lefties (.274) is higher than his season mark (.255), but he only has two home runs.

The Cubs have a balanced left-right lineup. Both the right-handed lineup (Wisdom, Horner, Swanson, Morel, Suzuki) and the left-handed lineup (Tuckman, Bellinger) and switch-hitters (Ian Happ-Jamie Candelario) have the ability to make contact and hit for power.

Ryu is a left-handed pitcher, but his career BABIP against right-handers (0.248) is lower than his career mark against lefties (0.257). It’s not all lefty-righty.

Each batter has a story to tell. It will be interesting to see if Ryu can get his first win since returning from injury.

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