Tommy John surgery and four days of rest. The Toronto manager defended his decision to pull Ryu Hyun-jin in the fifth inning.
Ryu started the game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California, U.S., on Sunday (July 7) and was effective, allowing two runs on five hits (one home run) with one walk and five strikeouts in five innings. However, he suffered his second loss of the season as the team fell to 2-5. His record is now 3-2 with a 2.65 ERA.
The score was 1-2 when Ryu went down. Ryu was unable to protect the lead after Ernie Clement’s RBI single in the second inning. He gave up a two-run homer to Carlos Perez in the fourth. After throwing 77 pitches through five innings, Ryu was replaced by his second pitcher, Trevor Richards, to start the sixth.
The problem was that Richards was unable to keep the Oakland offense in check in the sixth. Richards gave up back-to-back singles to Jordan Diaz and Perez to put runners on first and second with no outs. The next batter, Kevin Smith, hit a three-run home run over the left-center field fence. The three-run shot proved to be the game-winner. The game was tied at one run apiece, and it was a moment that tipped the scales in Oakland’s favor.
While Ryu took the blame for the loss, the bullpen was criticized more. Many Toronto fans took to social media to criticize manager John Schneider’s decision. Many felt that not bringing in Ryu in the sixth inning allowed the game to get out of hand.
Ryu had only pitched in the sixth inning in his major league debut against Baltimore on April 2 and against Cleveland on April 27. In both of those games, he was removed before getting the sixth out, keeping his most innings in a game this season at five. In Baltimore on Aug. 2, he gave up a home run to Gunner Henderson in the top of the sixth, and in Cleveland on Aug. 27, he was removed with the bases loaded after back-to-back infield errors.
There were other occasions when he could have pitched the sixth inning based on his pitch count. In his last start against Colorado on April 2, he had only thrown 76 pitches by the fifth inning, but the Toronto bench had already sent Garcia to the mound to start the sixth. This game was no different. He threw 77 pitches in the fifth inning, but started the sixth in the bullpen.
According to Sportsnet Canada, Schneider explained after the game why Ryu continues to pitch inside the 90-pitch range more than five games after his return. First, he explained that he stopped in the fifth inning, given that the seventh game was his first start after four days of rest. “It’s his first time in a normal rotation and he’s coming off four days of rest, so we wanted to keep him short,” Schneider said.
When asked another question about the timing of Ryu’s departure, Schneider said, “There were games where he could have pitched one or two more innings. In this game, we had room in the bullpen and it was before the travel day.” The fifth-inning substitution was not a sign of distrust in Ryu.
Opposing hitters now watch Ryu with awe. Smith, who hit an infield single in the fourth inning, said, “There’s a reason he’s been pitching in the majors for so long. He gets hitters out with good pitches. He has some unique pitches, like a changeup that moves well. He’s not a power pitcher, but he puts the ball where he wants it. When he has his stuff, he’s really hard to hit.”
“He throws a very tricky mid-60 mph curveball along with his fastball,” said Perez, the final out. I had to be ready for it.” Perez crushed a low fastball in the zone for a home run.
Schneider didn’t see it as a mistake either: “He pitched well. His pitches were perfect.” “I didn’t think it was a bad pitch. He pitched well,” he said, adding, “It was just one bad pitch that led to a bad outcome.”
According to Sportsnet Canada, Ryu said, “Overall, it was a good game. The home run was right where I wanted it to be. My command was good and everything else was good,” he said. He said he didn’t feel any pressure to pitch after his first four days of rest.
Ryu threw 77 pitches in five innings in Game 7. He threw the most cutters (23), followed by fastballs (21), changeups (18), curves (11), and sinkers (4). His highest fastball velocity was 90.7 miles per hour (145.9 kilometers per hour) when he struck out Brent Rooker in the first inning. His average fastball was 88.9 mph (143.0 km/h), 0.6 mph above his season average.
The five strikeouts were the second-most of the season. He set a single-game high with seven strikeouts in five innings at Cincinnati on May 21. His five strikeouts in a game were his second since Aug. 27 against Cleveland.
It was also his worst outing of his major league debut. Ryu gave up a third-inning double to Nick Allen and an inning-ending double to American League stolen base leader Esterly Lewis. It was the first time he allowed a runner to steal in nearly two years since Sept. 1, 2021, against Baltimore.
It’s also the first time Ryu has allowed three stolen bases in a game. In fact, he has never allowed more than two stolen bases in a game. Ryu is known for his on-base discipline, with two stolen bases being the most he has allowed in a season, but the rule change and the superstars that have begun to take advantage of it have not been easy to stop. Lewis stole his 57th and 58th bases of the day, pushing him closer to 60 stolen bases.메이저놀이터
Meanwhile, Ryu said of Toronto’s postseason chances, “We don’t have many games left. Every game is important, and we need to win a lot,” he said of fall baseball. Toronto is in a three-way tie for the American League wild card with the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.