The “Korean Monster,” Ryu Hyun-jin, 36, of the Toronto Blue Jays, pitched with complete class to pick up his second win of the season.

Ryu started the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 21 and pitched five innings of four-hit ball with one walk and seven strikeouts, allowing two runs (unearned) to earn his second win of the season.

The win lowered Ryu’s season ERA to 1.89 from 2.57. He also pitched 14 consecutive scoreless innings, proving his class. Ryu totaled 83 pitches on the day, 56 of which were strikes. Ryu used an even mix of 38 four-seam fastballs, 18 changeups, 16 curves, and 11 cutters to cook the Cincinnati lineup. His fastball topped out at 89.6 mph (about 144.2 km/h) and his changeup averaged 87.4 mph (140.6 km/h). On the other hand, his lowest curve came in at 65.5 mph (105.4 km/h). It was an impressive display of “art pitching” with literally perfect velocity control.
Cincinnati’s starting lineup was Stuart Fairchild (right field)-Matt McLane (shortstop)-Eli De La Cruz (third base)-Spencer Steer (left field)-Joe Votto (designated hitter)-Cristian Encarnacion Strand (first base)-Noelby Marte (third base)-T.J. Friedle (center field)-Luke Maylee (catcher). The lineup was centered around right-handed hitters (two lefties: Votto and Friedle), including switch-hitter De La Cruz.

For Toronto, the starting lineup was Whit Merrifield (second base), Bo Bissett (shortstop), Brandon Belt (designated hitter), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (first base), George Springer (right field), Dalton Bashaw (left field), Matt Chapman (third base), Danny Jansen (catcher), and Kevin Kiermaier (center field). In addition to Bissett, who returned from a knee injury the day before, George Springer and Danny Jansen also returned from injury.

Ryu Hyun-jin pitches against Cincinnati on July 21. /AFPBBNews=News1

Cincinnati starting fastball pitcher Hunter Green pitches against Toronto on Tuesday, Nov. 21. /AFPBBNews=News1
First inning: 12 pitches for a triple play.
The first inning got off to a good start. Ryu fouled off Cincinnati’s leadoff hitter, Fairchild, with a high fastball that turned into a ball. The first-pitch fastball was clocked at 85.3 mph (137.2 km/h). Then, with the count 2-1, he took away the timing with a 69.7 mph (112.1 km/h) curveball in the middle of the fourth, inducing a grounder to shortstop. The next batter was the man of the hour, McClain. Ryu sprayed him with curveballs in the first inning, then lined the second pitch for a strike down the line. He followed with a fastball, curveball, and cutter, then induced a foul swing with a 78-mph (125.5-kilometer) changeup that dropped in the middle of the zone on the sixth pitch. Two outs. He then got De La Cruz to ground out to third on a low 87.3 mph (140.4 km/h) four-seam fastball with a 1-0 count. His pitch count in the first inning was 12.바카라사이트
Second inning: Two unearned runs in a ‘big mistake show,’ but the Korean Monster remains steadfast
Ryu took the mound in the second inning with a comfortable 5-0 lead. The leadoff hitter was Steer, who after a first-pitch strike, artfully stabbed the second pitch high in the zone. The 85.4-mph (137.4-kilometer) four-seam fastball shined on the plate. With catcher Jansen visiting the mound for the second time, he fired a three-pitch fastball up and away for a grounder to third, but Chapman failed to make the catch and it was an infield single. It was the beginning of a bad inning. The next batter was Joey Votto, a traditional power hitter. Prior to this game, Votto had a strong career record against Ryu, going 5-for-17 (.294) with one home run. This time, however, Ryu struck out on three pitches. With an 0-2 count in his favor, he drew Votto’s bat away with an artistic 65.5-mph (105.4-kilometer) outside curveball. Ryu followed with a changeup that was well outside the zone against Encarnacion Strand, but the left-hander flicked it away for a single to right. The runner on first advanced to third.

What followed was a Toronto fielding error show. With Marte at the plate, he fought off a full count. Six pitches later. Ryu’s changeup was up and away, but Marte lined it into short left field. Steer, at third, couldn’t get home easily. Toronto left fielder Basho calmly throws to home plate. So far so good, but at this point, first baseman Encarnacion Strand was running for second base. Chapman cut the ball off and threw to second, but the ball went horribly sideways. To make matters worse, the ball rolled past the advancing center fielder Kiermeyer to the fence. It was an error that put Ryu on the back foot. In the meantime, the two runners in scoring position reached home plate. However, both runs were unearned because of the error. That wasn’t the end of it. Ryu Hyun-jin induced Friedel to ground out to first, but Guerrero Jr.’s throw to first didn’t quite reach Ryu Hyun-jin, who made a good throw to cover. The official score was a throwing error by Guerrero. The coaching staff visited the mound to give him a chance to catch his breath. In the end, there was no further danger. Ryu induced Mailly to fly out to right field on two pitches to end the long second inning. Ryu threw 21 pitches in the second inning alone.

Ryu Hyun-jin pitches against Cincinnati on July 21. /AFPBBNews=News1

Toronto’s Danny Jansen, left, celebrates after hitting a two-run double against Cincinnati on Monday, Nov. 21. /AFPBBNews=News1
Third inning: The storm is over, and Ryu’s ‘Art Curve Show’ has begun
Having weathered the storm, Ryu began to settle down in the third inning. TJ Hopkins came to the plate after leadoff man Fairchild suffered a concussion while fielding a fence. And Ryu served it up perfectly. A fastball in the first inning, followed by a changeup for back-to-back strikes in the second, then a ball in the third. On the fourth pitch, he froze him in place with an 85.9-mph (138.2-kilometer) cutter outside. One out. The next batter was McLain. On a 2-1 pitch count, Ryu threw two pitches in a row for his first walk of the night. It was Ryu’s fifth walk of the season. Ryu shook his head slightly after the walk. But he didn’t allow any more runs. Against De La Cruz, he mixed a fastball and changeup to get a 2-2 count, then turned it into a swinging strikeout with an artful low 66.2-mph (106.5-kilometer) waterfall curveball on the sixth pitch. Steer then induced a grounder in front of the plate with a curveball to end the third inning. He threw 49 pitches through three innings.
Fourth inning: With a seven-run lead, Ryu virtually mows down the Cincinnati bats.
Ryu returned to the mound in the bottom of the fourth inning with a 9-2 lead, and with plenty of run support, he began to lighten up his pace. Votto led off the inning. On a 2-2 count, he lined a five-pitch, 84.6-mph (136.1-kilometer) cutter just inside the borderline for a double to left field. He followed that up with a two-pitch high cutter off Encarnacion Strand that hit the first-pitch borderline. The count was 1-1. He followed with a third pitch, a 69.9-mph (112.4-kilometer) curveball that took away his timing completely and was flied out to right field. Once again, the Cincinnati hitters couldn’t get timing on Ryu’s changeup. Marte was next up. Ryu’s command was on full display. He took away the timing with a borderline curveball in the first inning, then induced a foul with a cutter in the second. And in the third. This time, he struck again, this time with an 89.6-mph (144.2-kilometer) fastball on the body for three strikes. It’s not an exaggeration to say that he toyed with the batters with his pitch mix. His pitch count reached 60.

Against Marte in the fourth inning, Ryu threw a curveball on the borderline in the first inning, then a cutter on the body in the second inning, and then a fastball down the middle in the third inning that froze Marte in his tracks. / Gameday

Brandon Belt, center, celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a two-run homer in the second inning against Cincinnati on Monday. /AFPBBNews=News1
◆ 5th inning: No outs, runners on first and second, ‘another joke’… Ryu’s job is done
Ryu took the mound in the fifth inning and gave up a leadoff single to Friedel. He then hit a hard line drive to shortstop that Bissett couldn’t catch and fumbled, putting runners on first and second with no outs. It was Ryu’s fourth walk of the day. Ryu was in danger of giving up a run. But Ryu didn’t falter. He struck out the next batter, Hopkins, on a full count with a seven-pitch fastball in the zone. The next batter was McLain. On a 2-2 pitch count, Ryu fired a six-pitch, 70.7 mph curveball to the catcher for a foul fly out. It was the 80th pitch of Ryu’s career. Two outs. And the final batter was De La Cruz. Once again, Ryu’s class shone through. After a first-pitch changeup for a strike, he followed with a second-pitch 88.2 mph (141.9 km/h) high fastball to induce a wild swing. You never know what he’s going to throw, and then came the third pitch. A 66.8-mph (107.5-kilometer) curveball left Ryu’s hand. It took a beautiful trajectory and sank into Jansen’s mitt. A frozen De La Cruz. Inning over. It was a moment when Hyun-jin Ryu accomplished his mission perfectly.
Ryu picked up his first win of the season against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 14 and then followed it up with his second win in a row. After undergoing elbow ligament reconstruction surgery last June, Ryu returned to the mound against the Baltimore Orioles on Feb. 2 after a year-long rehabilitation period. He gave up four runs (four earned) on nine hits (one home run) with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings, taking the loss. He then pitched four scoreless innings against Cleveland on August 8, allowing just one hit while striking out one and walking two. However, he was hit in the knee by a hard-hit ball in the fourth inning and was unable to secure the win.

Later, when he returned to the mound against the Cubs without any major injuries, Ryu threw five innings of two-hit ball with two walks and three strikeouts, giving up two runs (two earned) and finally earning his first win of the season. It was his first win in 444 days since May 27 against the Los Angeles Angels last year, and he showed fantastic class in his fourth start of the day to earn his second win of the season. In four starts this season, Ryu is now 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA, allowing eight runs (four earned) on 15 hits (one home run) with five walks and 15 strikeouts in 19 innings of work, with a .214 batting average and a 1.05 WHIP. With the win, Ryu improved to 77-46 with a 3.24 ERA in the major leagues.

Ryu Hyun-jin delivers a pitch against Cincinnati on July 21. /AFPBBNews=News1

Toronto, meanwhile, pounded out 12 hits on the day, including five home runs, en route to a 10-3 victory. The Jays took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, capitalizing on an error, and made it 5-0 in the second on RBI doubles by Kiermeyer and Belt. After Cincinnati scored two runs in the second inning during a Toronto fielding error show, the Reds virtually put the game out of reach with a four-run fourth inning. After leadoff hitter Bisset hit a solo shot to right and Belt followed with a solo shot to left, Springer hit a two-run arch to left with the bases loaded. The score was 9-2. As Springer celebrated in the dugout, a beaming Ryu was seen sitting in the dugout. Cincinnati got a run back in the seventh on Stephanson’s solo shot to left, but Toronto closed out the scoring in the ninth on Jansen’s RBI single to left to seal the 10-3 victory.

Bissett, Belt, Springer, and Jansen all had multi-hit games for Toronto, while Cabrera tossed one inning of one-hit ball and Francis pitched three innings of two-hit ball (one earned run). Meanwhile, Cincinnati starter Hunter Green, who had drawn attention for his 160-mph fastball, was charged with nine runs (eight earned) on 10 hits (five home runs) with three walks and four strikeouts in three innings to suffer his fifth loss of the season (two wins). Greene came into the game having spent nearly two months on the disabled list (IL) after being placed on the DL on June 20 with a hip injury, and he didn’t live up to expectations. The ball was still fast, but virtually untouched by Toronto hitters. Cincinnati was held to a scattered seven hits. With the win, Toronto improved to 69-56 and remained in third place in the American League East. They’ve won two straight to complete the sweep. They remain in the fourth wild card spot and keep their hopes alive for a trip to fall ball. The Reds are 0.5 games back of the third wild card, the Seattle Mariners. Cincinnati, on the other hand, fell to 64 wins and 61 losses. They are in third place in the National League Central.

Toronto’s Bo Bissett circles the bases after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against Cincinnati, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2018. /AFPBBNews=News1

Toronto’s George Springer, left, celebrates after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning against Cincinnati on Monday, Nov. 21. /AFPBBNews=News1

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