In a major league where fastballs exceeding 100 miles per hour (about 161 kilometers per hour) are commonplace, he throws ultra-slow balls in the 100-kilometer-per-hour range.
It’s like watching Yoo Hee-kwan (formerly of the Doosan Bears), a commentator who made a name for himself in the KBO with his “aesthetic of slowness. Toronto Blue Jays’ Ryu Hyun-jin, 36, is keeping the major leagues on their toes with his 100-kilometer-per-hour ‘Arirang Ball’ curveball. It doesn’t just work, it’s because of his confidence, impeccable analysis of his opponents, and a nimble arm swing that precisely matches his fastball.
On July 27 (ET), Ryu started a home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and allowed four hits (two home runs), five strikeouts, and three runs (two earned) over five innings. The team won 8-3 and Ryu improved to 3-1 on the season. His ERA worsened slightly from 1.89 to 2.25.
He gave up two home runs, a solo shot to Jose Ramirez in the first inning and a solo shot to Tyler Freeman in the fifth, but he settled down and pitched well. After reaching 60 pitches in the fifth inning, expectations were high for his best outing of the season, but back-to-back fielding errors left the bases loaded and he was replaced by Garcia. Garcia gave up a push ball to the next batter, adding one more run (unearned) to Ryu’s total.
More postgame praise. Toronto manager John Schneider said, “It was awesome. He throws incredibly efficiently and has great command. He has a great feel for what hitters are going to do. His velocity control is one of the best in the league.”
On this day, Ryu’s curveball stole the show. In the top of the fourth inning, he struck out Andres Jimenez on a swinging strike with two outs. Every time Ryu’s curveball velocity is recorded, Major League Baseball is surprised, and on this day, his average velocity was 109 mph, which is even lower than before.
MLB analyst Rob Friedman posted a video of the Jimenez strikeout, writing, “Beautiful 104 mph curve. It’s the slowest fastball induced by a big league starter this year. When Ryu pitches, you see ‘how slow it is,'” he said.
On the day, Ryu used a variety of pitches in his arsenal, including a fastball that topped out at 146 mph (29 pitches), a changeup (19 pitches), a curve (13 pitches), and a cutter (9 pitches). What stands out is his fastball. A 140 mph fastball, a 130 mph cutter, a 120 mph changeup, and a sub-110 mph curve.토스카지노
In particular, this year’s curveballs have been lowered in velocity to create more drop. Ryu’s curveball used to sit in the mid 110s to mid 120s. Now, he’s dropped it more than 10 kilometers. The difference in velocity with his changeup has increased. Hitters have a harder time timing it. Ryu’s changeup has a similar trajectory to his fastball. The curve has a higher trajectory, but the arm swing is very fast compared to the velocity. Hitters can easily mistake it for a fastball. Timing is difficult.
Hitters are out of breath at the plate because they’ve dropped their velocity even further. This type of pitch is rare, even in the entire major leagues that go all-in on fastballs. There is scarcity.
In his mid-30s, it’s hard for Ryu to push his velocity further. Pattern diversification and the precision to read the opponent’s mind are his new weapons.