Whenever we pull Ryu, we immediately give up a run. I’m worried it’s a jinx.
The Toronto Blue Jays took another knee in a Ryu Hyun-jin start.
Ryu threw six innings of four-hit, one-strikeout, three-run ball against the powerhouse Texas Rangers at Rogers Centre on Wednesday. It was a strong performance against a Texas offense that leads the AL in team runs scored (793), team batting average (0.266), and team OPS (0.793), but Toronto gave up more runs after Ryu left the mound with an 0-3 deficit, eventually losing 3-6.
Ryu took the loss for the second straight start, following a no-decision against the Oakland Athletics on April 7, and is now 3-3 with a 2.93 ERA in eight starts this season. Toronto has lost two in a row after winning five straight with Ryu on the mound.
However, it was a huge accomplishment for Ryu to go six innings and earn a quality start for the first time since his return. It’s been a year and four months since Ryu’s last QS, a six-hit shutout against the Cincinnati Reds on May 21.
However, like his previous outings, it was a disappointment. Down 0-3 in the top of the seventh, Toronto manager John Schneider switched from Ryu to right-hander Yimi Garcia. Garcia had been Toronto’s primary setup man, posting a 4.06 ERA in 16 appearances the previous day. But in four games in September, he’s been shaky, giving up five runs on five hits and one walk in 2⅔ innings with a 10.13 ERA.
Garcia entered the game in the seventh inning and immediately gave up a leadoff double to Roddy Taveras to right-center and a run to Josh Smith on a double to right-center. He then walked Marcus Simien and was replaced by Tim Mazaya. However, Mazaya gave up a double to Corey Seager in right field. Both of Garcia’s runners reached base. Garcia’s ERA jumped to 4.32.
Ryu threw 82 pitches in six innings, and the fastball he used to strike out the final batter of the sixth inning, Nathaniel Law, was 89.3 mph, which was faster than his average of 88.9 mph on the day. The other three pitches in the sixth inning were 83.9 mph for Seager’s double to center, 84.9 mph for Mitch Garber’s fly to right, and 93.4 mph for Jonah Lim’s fly, so there were no hard hits. In other words, there were no signs that Ryu was tiring.
The rationale is to “protect” Ryu Hyun-jin, who is returning from elbow surgery, but the timing of the substitutions has been disastrous.
The pattern of the next pitcher giving up a run after Ryu has been repeated in the last four games, from last month’s game against the Cleveland Indians on March 27 to today.
In Cleveland, Ryu was replaced by Garcia after giving up a leadoff single to Cole Calhoun in the top of the sixth inning with a 5-2 lead and back-to-back errors by the infielders on grounders by Jose Ramirez and Oscar Gonzalez. However, Garcia hit Ramon Lorino in the body and pushed him out, increasing Ryu’s run total to three.
In the previous game against the Colorado Rockies on Feb. 2, Ryu, who had thrown 76 pitches through five innings, was pulled in the sixth inning with a 4-2 lead, but Garcia gave up two straight hits to start the inning and was removed two batters later, only to be replaced by Genesis Cabrera, who hit a three-run homer. “I wanted to use my bullpen early because we had the day off,” Schneider said after the game.메이저놀이터
Against the Oakland Athletics on July 7, Schneider threw 77 pitches through five innings before giving up another three-run homer to Trevor Richards in the sixth. “He was pitching on four days’ rest (for the first time since his return), so he didn’t have to push himself too hard,” Schneider said.
In the end, Ryu’s pitch counts and innings will narrow down the options for when he needs to be replaced.