“Ryu is smart.”
From predecessor Charlie Montoyo to current manager John Schneider. They’ve all called Ryu Hyun-jin, 36, a clever pitcher. And this clever strategy has helped him overcome the “pitcher’s graveyard.안전놀이터
Ryu took the mound against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, USA, on Tuesday (July 2) and went five innings, allowing two runs on four hits (one home run) with two walks and three strikeouts. Threw 76 pitches. He left without a win or loss.
On this day, Ryu was once again at his best. It was a satisfying outing at Coors Field, the “graveyard of pitchers” that he returned to after a four-year absence. Ryu’s pitches were shaky for a while and he gave up a home run at Coors Field, but he bounced back in the fifth inning and did his job. He threw 35 pitches, 19 cutters, 12 curves, and 10 changeups. His fastball topped out at 90.1 mph (145 km/h) and averaged 87.9 mph (141.5 km/h).
Ryu’s main weapon this year has been his rainbow curveball, which sits in the low-to-mid 60s. He utilized both his fastball and his breaking ball to keep hitters off balance. He threw his fastball 30.2% of the time this year, his changeup 25.3% of the time, and his curve 18.6% of the time. It was his third pitch, but the image and impact was different than ever. The cutter, which was his third pitch in place of his curve, has seen a decline in usage to 11.3% this year.
However, Coors Field, located at an elevation of 1600 meters above sea level, required a different strategy. Coors Field’s high altitude is characterized by a lack of oxygen, which creates less aerodynamic drag, so changeups drop less and batted balls travel farther. It’s not called the “graveyard of pitchers” for nothing. Ryu Hyun-jin also had a bad experience at Coors Field. In six games, he went 1-4 with a 7.09 ERA (26⅔, 21 earned runs). He gave up eight home runs at Coors Field alone. His OPS was a whopping 1.074. Naturally, there was a risk that Ryu’s main weapon, his curveball, might have a softer angle than before.
However, he chose a pitch mix that kept this threat to himself. Early in the game, I kept my curveball to a minimum and didn’t use it as a deciding pitch. He actively used his cutter, which was his least utilized pitch of the year. When he struck out Ezequiel Tovar and Elias Diaz in the first inning, both pitches were cutters. Against Tova, he threw three consecutive cutters to get a strikeout. In the second inning, he used a cutter and changeup combination to get a triple play.
In the third inning, he was shaky and gave up a two-run single to Elijuris Montero, putting runners on first and second and third. The pitch that got him out of the jam was a cutter. He induced a grounder to Diaz to give himself some breathing room, then dropped a curveball outside to left fielder Ryan McMahon for a swinging strikeout with runners on second and third. He kept his curveball hidden and brought it out when it mattered most.
On the day, he threw 35 pitches, 19 cutters, 12 curves and 10 changeups. His fastball topped out at 90.1 mph (145 km/h) and averaged 87.9 mph (about 141.5 km/h). The home runs might be a disappointment. But he pitched smartly with a different strategy than he’s used before and got the best results he could. The no-hitter may be disappointing, but considering it was Coors Field, it’s fair to say that he did his best to limit the long ball. In a game that featured five home runs, you had to assume that home runs were a constant. In the meantime, Ryu overcame the pitchers’ mound with a clever mix of pitches.
Ryu proved once again that he is a smart pitcher, and he led his team to victory. In the top of the sixth inning, Danny Jansen hit a two-run homer to make it 4-2 and give Ryu his fourth straight win. But in the bottom of the sixth, Hennessis Cabrera gave up a game-tying three-run homer to Nolan Jones, and in the top of the seventh, pinch-hitter Alejandro Kirk hit a three-run double with the bases loaded to give the Angels a 13-9 victory.