Updated August. 04, 2014 05:41
Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers failed to be tied for the lead in wins of the season. In the game against the Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodger Stadium, Ryu allowed Arismendy Alcantara to make a timely two-base hit in the first half of the 7th inning when Dodgers held the 2-1 lead, losing the opportunity to make the 13th win. His 4th consecutive win stopped, too.
He had to be satisfied with making a 16th quality start in the season, allowing two runs on nine hits, a walk, and six strike-outs. His ERA is 3.39 this season, with twelve wins and five losses. The Korea-Japan pitchers competition between Ryu Hyun-jin and Wada Tsuyoshi grabbed attention but ended in a draw. Wada did his bit as a starting pitcher, lasting 5 2/3 innings with two runs on six hits, two walks, and six strike-outs. Dodgers won the game 5-2 in the bottom of the 12th inning thanks to Hanley Ramirez`s first walk-off home run.
The driving force of Ryu Hyun-jins recent wins in the three consecutive games are fast balls and sliders with changed gribs. The speed of his sliders is as powerful as his fast balls after four-day resting. In Saturdays match, four out of six strike-outs were fast balls with the speed of more than 149km (93 miles) and two were sliders with the speeds of 139 kilometers (87 miles) and 141km (88 miles). However, when the slider is empowered, the change-up, his main ace, gives a chance for a timely hit.
As the slider becomes a new weapon, as Ryu said himself, the power of his change-up has weakened. Before the injury, the changeup was his exit from a crisis. On Saturday as well, the tie hit in the 7th inning was made during the changeup of 133 kilometers (83 miles). After the game, Ryu Hyun-jin said, It was really regretful. The hitter seemed to be out for it. Other balls were good but I regret giving it three consecutive times. After allowing the tie in the 7th inning, Ryu Hyun-jin came back to the dugout and lost his temper, throwing his hat and gloves away. If the slider and changeup are compatible with each other, Ryu Hyun-jin can jump onto the place of top-notch pitchers for the league. He lacks 2 percent. However, Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly commended him, "(I thought) he pitched really well.
Ryu Hyun-jin records 8 wins and 2 losses in away games and 4 wins and 3 losses in home games. He was particularly weak at home early in the season. However, he has recovered his powerful pitching in the Dodger stadium. After the match against Cincinnati on May 27, he has recorded four wins and one loss in the seven home games. His pitching was excellent, too. His ERA is 2.64. While striking out 48 times, he allowed only 3 walks. The ratio between strike-out and walk is 16:1. In the recent home games, he was as good as Dodgers ace Clayton Edward Kershaw. The speed of his balls today was typical of Ryus balls after 5-day resting. The average speed of fast balls was 147 kilometers (92 miles) and he recorded 150 kilometers (94 miles) when he stroke out Wada, counterpart pitcher, in the 2nd and 5th innings.