Ryu returns healthy…80-pitch outing an ‘achievement,’ flat delivery a ‘challenge’

August 2, 2023 | by

His 14-month comeback was half the battle. Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto) allowed four runs on nine hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings of Major League Baseball’s home game against Baltimore at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Tuesday. He was removed in the top of the sixth inning after falling behind 3-4 and took the loss as Toronto fell to 3-13.

It was a comeback that showed the results of a long rehabilitation and the work ahead. Ryu, who has been rehabbing since undergoing elbow ligament reconstruction surgery on June 2 last year against the Chicago White Sox, threw a total of 80 pitches against Baltimore, the American League’s winningest team.

His command was far from perfect. He hadn’t fully regained his velocity and, most importantly, his changeup wasn’t responding. Ryu, who had upped his velocity to 90.8 mph during his rehab start, touched 91 mph (146.5 km/h) on the day. His average velocity was 89 mph (143 km/h) and four of the nine hits he allowed were long balls.

Ryu threw 33 fastballs, 41 percent of his pitches, and relied heavily on his curveball (20) to work the count when his changeup (22) didn’t work as well.

He gave up back-to-back hits, including three doubles in the first and second innings, scoring two runs and one run, respectively, but settled down in the third. He touched 91 mph on his fastball for the first time in five pitches with Anthony Santander at bat. He got Santander to fly out to left, but then got the next four batters, Austin Hayes, to ground out to second and Gunner Henderson to strike out looking on a 91 mph fastball to end the inning. 메이저놀이터

After walking the leadoff batter in the fourth and getting a strikeout, groundout, and fly out to end the inning, Ryu worked out of trouble again in the top of the fifth when he induced a grounder to shortstop with runners on first and second.

Ryu took the mound again in the top of the sixth, but with a 2-2 pitch count and a five-pitch changeup up the middle to Henderson, the leadoff hitter, he fouled off the pitch. Henderson didn’t miss it, and it became a solo home run. After 80 pitches, Ryu turned the ball over to the bullpen with the score 3-4.

After the game, Toronto manager John Schneider said, “We got caught off guard by the Baltimore offense in the first inning, but we expect to be better in our next outing. I’m glad he came back and contributed to the team. He showed what we knew he could do.”

After the game, Ryu said, “I was nervous, but it was fun. I’m very happy to be back, but I don’t think I did a good job as a starter,” he said, adding, “I think my velocity will go up another mile or two.”


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