Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays) changed his main weapon after returning from Tommy John surgery (elbow ligament joint surgery). What kind of ball will you use to attack the opponent in the third pitch?

Ryu Hyun-jin will start as a starting pitcher in the 2023 MLB regular season home game against the Chicago Cubs held at the Rogers Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at 2:37 am (Korean time) on the 13th. He was aiming for his first win in 444 days since the match against the Los Angeles Angels on May 27 last year.

Ryu Hyun-jin, who underwent rehabilitation after being on the operating table in June of last year, climbed the big league mound after 426 days in a home game against the Baltimore Orioles on the 2nd. He faltered and gave up two runs, such as allowing long hits in succession from the first inning, but quickly found stability through his crisis management ability.안전놀이터

Ryu Hyun-jin, who blocked the game with 3 runs until the 5th inning, went down the mound after hitting a home run by leading hitter Jordan Westberg in the 6th inning. On this day, Ryu Hyun-jin finished his first appearance on his return with 9 hits (1 home run), 1 walk, 3 strikeouts and 4 runs (4 earned) in 5 innings.

In the first game, Ryu Hyun-jin showed a somewhat out of control. In particular, there were several occasions when his changeup, his main weapon, did not drop low and was driven into the middle of the strike zone. At the same time, he only induced one swing with a changeup. All balls entering the strike zone were attacked.

Nevertheless, the driving force that Ryu Hyun-jin was able to endure 5 innings was the curve. Ryu Hyun-jin, who threw 20 curveballs, ¼ of a total of 80 pitches, stole the timing of Baltimore hitters with an unexpected ball. Baltimore hitter hit 14 bats against his slow curve with a large drop, but withdrew 5 times with a miss. According to local media such as the Toronto Sun, Ryu Hyun-jin himself expressed satisfaction, saying, “It was okay overall, and the curve was especially good.”

In the match against the Cleveland Guardians held five days later on the 8th, the power of the changeup, which was originally the main weapon, shone. Most of the changeups thrown by Ryu Hyun-jin on this day formed a group of hits outside the right-handed hitter. Then, the Cleveland batters failed to target the changeup properly and made a miss or an infield grounder.

At the same time, Ryu Hyun-jin recorded 0 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts and no runs in 4 innings, including not sending one batter to first base until the 3rd inning. Although he went down the mound complaining of pain after being hit by Oscar Gonzalez’s knee in the 4th inning, the previous pitches were reminiscent of the heyday. According to Adan Zwelling of Canadian Sportsnet, Ryu Hyun-jin said after the appearance that day, “The command of today’s game has improved compared to the previous appearance,” and “Especially, the changeup went well where I wanted it. It can be said that it did a good job.” did.

What kind of pitch will Ryu Hyun-jin, who is now on his third appearance, throw? If you look at the opponent’s Cubs lineup, there is a high possibility that the proportion of changeups will increase. Except for Cody Bellinger, a teammate of Ryu Hyun-jin from his LA Dodgers days, the Cubs’ main hitters Dansby Swanson, Patrick Wisdom, Ian Happ (both hitters), and Christopher Morel are all right-handed hitters. With that in mind, he has no choice but to pay more attention to his changeup.

Ryu Hyun-jin has appeared in 4 games against the Cubs in his career and is recording an ERA of 3.00 with 1 win and 1 loss. In his most recent appearance, in 2019, he gave up no runs in 7 innings, giving up 7 hits and striking out 8. However, since the Cubs have changed a lot in the composition of players, such as breaking up with key players such as Chris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Wilson Contreras around 2020, the opponent’s record is not very meaningful. At least, Swanson was the player who faced Ryu Hyun-jin the most, but he was not very strong with 1 hit in 8 at-bats (batting average of 0.125).

As of the 13th, the Cubs are in second place in the Central Division of the National League with a season record of 61 wins and 56 losses and an odds rate of 0.521. The Cubs, who recently defeated the Cincinnati Reds and placed second, have the highest average (+71) in the district, trailing the Milwaukee Brewers by 2.5 games. Team OPS is also 0.754, the fourth highest in the National League. Certainly not an easy opponent.

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