“Korean Monster” Hyun-jin Ryu of the Toronto Blue Jays held the Cleveland Cavaliers’ bats to a minimal number of runs while getting no help from his defense, giving the Blue Jays their third straight win.
Ryu threw 70 pitches over five innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits (two home runs) with five strikeouts and no walks in his start against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Sunday. His season ERA rose from 1.89 to 2.25.
Hyun-jin Ryu returned to the big league mound on June 2 after more than a year away from the game due to Tommy John surgery on June 2 last year against the Chicago White Sox. Ryu suffered the yoke of a loss in his first start, leaving behind a disappointing performance and outcome, but the bad luck didn’t last long.
After a 97.7 mph (157.2 km/h) fastball hit him in the right knee and forced him to leave the game against Cleveland on April 8, Ryu threw a four-inning “no-hitter,” followed by two consecutive five-inning, two-run (non-hit) performances against the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds. And when it mattered most, with his team mired in a three-game losing streak, Ryu took the mound once again.
The Cleveland offense, which had been perfect with a no-hitter, gave up a run early in the game. Facing Cole Calhoun, who had been “underperforming” against him, Ryu got off to a bad start when he induced a grounder on a four-pitch fastball. The big hit came later.
Facing Jose Ramirez, Ryu threw an 87.8-mph (141.3-kilometer) fastball high in the strike zone on the second pitch of the at-bat, and Ramirez’s bat spun wildly. The pitch was so well placed that Ramirez knew it was a home run as soon as it left his bat, and the 104 mph (167.4 km/h) fastball traveled 391 feet (119.2 meters) before clearing the left field fence for a leadoff solo home run. The moment the 14-inning no-hitter was broken.
Ramirez was hit by a pitch, but no further damage was done. Facing the next batter, Oscar Gonzalez, Ryu threw three changeups to get a favorable 0B-2S count, then threw a four-pitch 65.8 mph curveball for his first strikeout and induced Ramon Loriano to ground out to second base to end the inning.
With full support from his offense, Ryu recorded his first triple in the second inning. Ryu stuck with an outside pitch to leadoff hitter Andres Jimenez and struck him out with a cutter, then struck out Gabriel Arias with a changeup to quickly pile up the outs. From there, Ryu’s defense shined once again.
Ryu made an animalistic catch on a hard-hit ball from leadoff hitter Cole Calhoun to end the inning, and then chased down Tyler Freeman’s fly ball as it rolled between first base and the pitcher and made a glove toss for the third out to end the inning.
The first inning went well. Ryu started the inning by giving up a leadoff double to Cam Gallagher down the left field foul line. However, it didn’t have much of an impact on Ryu’s pitching. After trading a leadoff double for a Miles Straw walk, Ryu got Calhoun to fly out to left field, and Ramirez continued his cruise with the help of a sliding catch by center fielder Dalton Bashaw.
Ryu, who had only thrown 36 pitches when he took the mound in the top of the fourth, was able to conserve even more. After getting leadoff hitter Gonzalez to ground out to third base on two pitches, Ryu got Loriano to fly out to center field on three pitches, and Jimenez with a curveball-cutter for a quick two-strike count, he used his “winner” to induce a false swing with a 64.6-mph (104-kilometer) slow curveball for another triple play on eight pitches.
After a solid outing, Ryu gave up another run in the fifth inning. Ryu led off the inning with a walk to Arias, who drove a 90.8 mph (146.1 km/h) four-seam fastball into the middle of the strike zone. The disappointment came later. Against Freeman, Ryu was hit by his “go-to” curveball in the first inning, this time for a solo home run over the left field fence.
But the home run didn’t affect the flow of the game or Ryu’s pitching. Ryu threw a changeup to Gallagher, who had given up his first hit of the day, to get the second out on a grounder to shortstop, and a changeup to Straw to induce a grounder to the pitcher to end the inning without further damage.
The most disappointing pitch of the night came in the sixth inning. Ryu started the inning with a leadoff single to Calhoun and looked to be working his best inning since returning to the big leagues when he induced a grounder to Ramirez, but third baseman Matt Chapman made a throwing error that allowed all the runners to score. The bad news didn’t stop there.
With runners on first and second, Ryu remained calm and induced another grounder to Gonzalez. But once again, the defense didn’t help Ryu. This time, shortstop Santiago Espinal didn’t handle Gonzalez’s throw properly, leaving the bases loaded. Eventually, the Toronto bench decided to take Ryu out of the game and bring in the bullpen.메이저놀이터
Imai Garcia took over for Ryu and immediately gave up a hard-hit ball to Loriano, allowing a runner to score from third base and pushing Ryu’s deficit to three runs. But there would be no more runs. Garcia retired the next three batters – Jimenez, Arias, and Freeman – to end the inning, and Ryu walked off the mound with the win.