Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays) was handed his second loss of the season as the offense went silent.
Ryu Hyun-jin pitches against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday in Toronto. AP
Ryu Hyun-jin allowed two runs on five hits (one home run) and one walk with five strikeouts in five innings of a Major League Baseball (MLB) game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California, U.S., on Sunday. He was replaced by reliever Trevor Richard in the bottom of the sixth inning, trailing 1-2, and took the loss as Toronto fell to 2-5. It was his second loss of the season.
His season ERA rose to 2.65 from 2.48. He threw 77 pitches, with his fastball reaching 146 miles per hour. He threw a mix of cut fastballs (23), fastballs (21), changeups (18), curves (11) and sinking fastballs (4).
Ryu took the mound for the first time this season on just four days’ rest. In his return to the mound a year and two months after undergoing elbow ligament reconstruction surgery last June, he took the mound on five days’ rest in each of his previous six games. This time, however, he had to take a day off for team reasons.안전놀이터
To make matters worse, the catcher for Ryu’s balls was a new face. With starting catcher Danny Jansen out with an injury, the relatively inexperienced Tyler Heinemann had to share the battery for the first time.
Ryu Hyun-jin pitches against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, July 7. AP
Ryu cruised through the first inning with his trademark pinpoint delivery. He got Zack Greinke to fly out to center, Brent Rooker to ground out to second and Ryan Noda to ground out to first for a triple play. He needed nine pitches to get the three batters out.
With a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, he showed off his command against leadoff hitter Jordan Diaz. On a 2B-1S count, he threw back-to-back 110- and 101-mile-per-hour off-speed curves, then followed it up with a 146-mile-per-hour body fastball for a groundout. He then struck out Carlos Perez and Kevin Smith on infield grounders to end the inning. In the top of the third, he threw a curveball to Nick Allen for a single to left, but Allen stole second to end the inning and retired the next two batters to keep the game scoreless.
However, the Oakland batting order couldn’t prevent the comeback in the top of the fourth inning. Ryu threw a changeup to leadoff hitter Rooker and allowed a double to left-center field to load the bases. On the next batter’s grounder to Noda, Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made a great play at third base to pick off the leadoff runner, Rooker, but catcher Heidemann dropped the bound ball behind Perez at first base, allowing the runner to advance.
A shaken Ryu then threw a fastball on a 2B-2S pitch that Perez hit over the left field fence for a game-tying two-run homer. It was his first homer in his last three games. The Toronto defense was shaken again. Ryu induced the next batter, Smith, to hit an infield grounder, but Toronto shortstop Clement was slow to get the ball out of his glove. The first base umpire ruled it an out, but after video review, the play was overturned as an infield hit.
Ryu Hyun-jin reacts after giving up a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday. AP
Ryu went to the dugout and then back to the mound, where he again showed signs of agitation after giving up the first hit of the game to the next batter, Jonah Bride. Eventually, the pitching coach took the mound and got Allen to ground out to shortstop to end a tough fourth inning.
The fifth inning was no better. The leadoff hitter, Lewis, gave up a single to left and a stolen base to load the bases. Back-to-back strikeouts of Gallop and Rooker got them back in the game, but Noda got the ball back from the catcher at the plate, allowing Lewis to steal third. Ryu hadn’t allowed more than two stolen bases in a game since his MLB debut in 2013, but this was the first time he allowed three.
After a moment of panic, Ryu regained his composure and got Noda to fly out to right field. He was done for the day, getting out of a two-out, three-run jam without allowing another run. After giving up three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, Toronto could only manage a single run in the top of the eighth to fall to 2-5. It also ended their recent three-game winning streak.