In the major league where light-speed balls that exceed 100 miles per hour (about 161 km) are rampant, they proudly throw super-slow balls at 100 km per hour.
It is as if we are looking at commentator Yoo Hee-gwan (former Doosan Bears), who enjoyed an era in the KBO League with the ‘aesthetics of slowness’. Toronto Blue Jays Ryu Hyun-jin (36) is making the major leagues nervous with the ‘Arirang Ball’ curve at 100 km per hour. It just doesn’t work. This is because of his unique confidence, perfect analysis of his opponent, and agile arm swing that matches the fastball exactly.
Ryu Hyun-jin started on the 27th (Korean time) in a home game against the Cleveland Guardians held at Rogers Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and recorded 4 hits (2 homers) and 5 strikeouts and 3 runs (2 earned) in 5 innings. The team won 8-3, and Ryu Hyun-jin took his 3rd win (1 loss) of the season. His earned run average has gotten a little worse, going from 1.89 to 2.25.
In the top of the first inning, he was hit by a solo shot by Jose Ramirez, and it was regrettable that he allowed two homers, including a solo shot to Tyler Freeman in the top of the fifth inning, but he continued the inning stably. Expectations were high for pitching the most innings this season as the number of pitches was only 60 until the 5th inning, but he was replaced by Garcia when he faced a crisis with the bases loaded safely due to a series of defensive errors. As Garcia allowed the follow-up hitter to walk, Ryu Hyun-jin’s run increased by 1 point (own fault).
After the game, praise was added. Toronto manager John Schneider said, “It’s amazing. Ryu Hyun-jin throws extremely efficiently and has great control. He has a great sense of how the hitter will come out. His speed control is the best in the league.”
On this day, Ryu Hyun-jin’s curve caught the eye. In the top of the 4th inning, 2nd out and 3rd baseman Andres Jimenez struck out on a miss, and the ball set up was a curveball with a high drop of 104 km/h. Every time Ryu Hyun-jin’s curve ball is taken, the major leagues are surprised. The average speed of the curve thrown by Ryu Hyun-jin that day was 109 km, which was lower than before.
MLB analyst Rob Friedman posted a picture of Himenis striking out and was surprised, saying, “It’s a beautiful 104km curve. It’s the slowest ball that this year’s big league starting pitcher induced a miss. When Ryu Hyun-jin pitches, you’ll see ‘how slow’ it is.” marked스포츠토토
On this day, Ryu Hyun-jin used a variety of his weapons, including a fastball of up to 146km (29), changeup (19), curve (13), and cutter (9). What stands out is the restraint of the pitchers. A fastball of 140 km/h, a cutter of 130 km, a changeup of 120 km, and a curve below 110 km.
In particular, this year, he lowered the velocity of the curve and increased the drop. In the past, Ryu Hyun-jin’s curve was formed from the mid-110 km to the mid-120 km. Now, it means that the speed has been lowered by more than 10 km. He increased the speed gap with the changeup. Hitters have a harder time getting the timing right. Ryu Hyun-jin’s changeup has a similar trajectory to a fastball. The curve has a higher trajectory, but the swinging arm swing is very fast compared to the velocity. It is easy for the batter to mistake it for a faster ball. It’s hard to get the timing right.
Because the speed limit has been lowered even more, batters on the bat are shaking their breath. Even in the entire major leagues that go all-in at super speed, this type is rare. There is a rarity.
It is not easy for Ryu Hyun-jin, who is in his mid-30s, to raise his restraint further. Diversification of patterns and the precision of digging into the opponent’s psychology in reverse are Ryu Hyun-jin’s new weapons.