A home run was missed, but it wasn’t a blown save. Ryu Hyun-jin (36) did his job, but the silence of the Toronto Blue Jays’ bats, which scored just two runs, spelled doom.
Hyun-jin Ryu pitched five innings, allowing two runs on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday (July 7) at Levi’s Center Coliseum in Oakland, Calif.
After allowing two earned runs or fewer in his last six starts, Ryu suffered his second loss of the season (three starts) as Toronto fell to 2-5. His ERA increased from 2.48 to 2.65. Despite being the losing pitcher, Ryu’s performance was enough to earn his manager’s defense and opposing hitters’ respect.
Ryu’s majesty was recognized by opposing batters, even though he didn’t give up a home run.
Facing the lowly Oakland A’s, who have the lowest winning percentage in the majors (.307), Ryu allowed just one hit through three innings, but a home run off Carlos Perez with two outs in the fourth inning with a 1-0 lead proved costly. On a 2-2 count, he threw a five-pitch, 90.5 mph (145.6 km/h) four-seam fastball low and away from the body. It wasn’t a live pitch, but it caught the bat of Perez, who was coming in with the intention of hitting it, and sailed over the left field fence. It was Perez’s sixth home run of the season. It was Ryu’s fifth homer in his last three games.
메이저놀이터According to local media, including MLB.com, Toronto manager John Schneider said of Ryu after the game, “He was perfect for the first couple innings. He gave up a home run to Perez, but it wasn’t a terrible pitch. It was low and in,” he said, emphasizing that it wasn’t a bad pitch. Ryu also said, “I gave up a home run, but I threw it where I wanted to. My command and everything else was pretty good overall,” he said.
[Photo] Carlos Perez of the Oakland Athletics circles the bases after hitting a game-winning two-run home run off Ryu Hyun-jin in the fourth inning. ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)
After the home run, Ryu put runners on second and third with a single and a walk, but Nick Allen grounded out to shortstop to prevent any further damage. In the fifth inning, he allowed a single and a stolen base to Esteemed Luis with the bases loaded, but retired the next three batters, including back-to-back strikeouts, to complete his five-inning assignment.
On the day, Ryu threw a lot of cutters (23) along with his four-seam fastball (21), which touched 90.7 mph (145.8 km/h) and averaged 88.9 mph (143.1 km/h). When his curveball didn’t sit high enough, he turned to his cutter. His cutter movement was sharp enough to induce seven false swings. He also threw a mix of changeups (18), curves (11), and sinkers (4). Four of his five strikeouts were for strikes, showing good command of both pitches. He worked the count with his changeup and used his cutter and four-seam as his deciding pitches.
According to the Associated Press, Oakland infielder Kevin Smith said, “There’s a reason he’s been pitching for so long (in the majors). He throws good pitches and knows how to get outs. He’s got some nice stuff, like a changeup with good movement. It’s not overpowering, but he can throw it where he wants it. When he has that going well, it’s a tough day (for opponents).” Smith worked with Ryu in Toronto in 2021. He went 1-for-2 against Ryu with a grounder to shortstop in the second inning and an infield single in the fourth.
[Photo] Kevin Smith of the Oakland Athletics. ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)
First start on four days rest, manages with 77 pitches…but Toronto bullpen struggles leave them in last place
It only took 77 pitches, but Toronto activated its bullpen in the sixth inning. Ryu, who had thrown as high as 86 pitches against the Chicago Cubs on March 14, could have gone another inning, but Schneider said, “I was trying to keep him short because it was his first time on normal rest.”
Four-day rest starts are common among major league pitchers. Ryu Hyun-jin, who returned from Tommy John surgery on March 2, was managed with four games on five days’ rest and one game on six days’ rest. Today was his first start on four days’ rest, and he threw fewer than 80 pitches to account for the high-fatigue day game.
However, judging by the outcome of the game, it was an unsuccessful pitching change. Trevor Richards, who came on in the sixth after Ryu, gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning before giving up a three-run homer to Smith. The Toronto offense was unable to pull within one run on Davis Schneider’s solo home run in the eighth inning and fell to 2-5.
Toronto’s three-game winning streak came to an end when they were swept by last-place Oakland. At 77-63, they remain in the third wild-card spot in the American League (AL), but are a half-game behind the fourth-place Texas Rangers (76-63). Ryu said, “There are a lot of games left. All the remaining games are important, not just for me, but for all of us. We need to win more games,” he said. /[email protected]
[Photo] Oakland’s Nick Allen stole second base. Toronto’s second baseman is Davis Schneider. ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)