Ryu Hyun-jin signaled a resurgence. Ryu Hyun-jin, 36, of the Toronto Blue Jays, threw four perfect innings of no-hit baseball against the Cleveland Indians on Monday. He allowed just one walk. He struck out two. For the first time in a long time, the nickname “Korea Monster” was appropriate. The Blue Jays went on to win 3-1, but Hyun-jin Ryu’s first win of the season would have to wait until the fifth inning when he was pulled after feeling pain in his knee.
Ryu underwent elbow ligament splicing surgery last June and rehabbed for a year and two months. He made his comeback on April 2 against the Baltimore Orioles, the American League’s winningest team. His performance was less than stellar, with four runs allowed in five innings. His fastball was slow, touching 91 miles per hour (146.4 km/h), and his changeup wasn’t working well. He gave up nine hits, including one home run.
Toronto Blue Jays’ Hyun-jin Ryu reacts in pain after being hit by a pitch during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on July 7. Ryu was hit in the right leg by a hard hit ball from Oscar Gonzalez with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, but he fought through the pain to catch the deflected ball and throw to first base for the final out of the inning. 2023.08.08/Reuters Yonhap News
In his second start of the day, however, it was a completely different story. His fastball didn’t change much, topping out at 90.7 miles per hour (145.9 kilometers per hour), but his signature “knife-edge” pitches came alive and dominated the opposition. His changeup pierced every corner of the strike zone, and he mixed in a slower curveball that touched as low as 66.8 mph (107.5 km/h) to throw hitters off their timing. MLB.com wrote, “Ryu’s fastball velocity still needs to come up. But his command was very good, and his changeup had hitters batting in circles.”
The number of hard-hit balls has also dropped significantly. Ryu allowed five hard-hit balls over 100 mph (161 km/h) in his first start, but none in his second. The fastest pitch the Guardians hit against Ryu was 99.4 mph (160 km/h). “My pitches were better than in my last start, especially my changeup,” Ryu said, “and I was happy to be able to throw it where I wanted to throw it.” He also surpassed 900 strikeouts in his MLB career (901). He is the second Korean major leaguer to do so after Park Chan-ho (50-1715).
There were some dizzying moments. With two outs in the fourth inning, a 97.7-mph (157.2-kilometer) fastball from No. 4 hitter Oscar Gonzalez (25) hit Ryu in the right knee. Ryu quickly picked up the ball and threw to first base for the out, then immediately collapsed to the ground in severe pain. He was eventually replaced in the fifth inning. There were fears of a major injury, but fortunately, it turned out to be a simple bruise. “It was a brutal timing for Ryu, who had been rehabbing for more than 13 months,” said US sports media, “and it was hard to watch him lay on the ground.”
“I got hit in the knee by a ball and it’s swollen,” Ryu said after the game, adding, “I don’t think it’s going to affect my ability to run or play.” The Blue Jays said they would “take further tests, such as X-rays, but do not plan to do an MRI.” Blue Jays manager John Schneider joked, “I thought he had an extra calf in his right leg.”메이저사이트
Ryu’s next start, originally scheduled for Thursday at home against the Chicago Cubs, could be pushed back. “We’ll have to wait and see what the tests show, but it’s unlikely Ryu will pitch against the Cubs,” MLB.com reported. Ryu is eligible for free agency at the end of this season and will need to sign a new contract.