Ryu Hyun-jin and Hwang Jae-gyun face off in MLB clash

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Ryu Hyun-jin and Hwang Jae-gyun face off in MLB clash


Left: Hwang Jae-gyun of the San Francisco Giants throws during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium on Sunday. Right: Ryu Hyun-jin of the LA Dodgers.[AP/YONHAP]

For the first time in the major league, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Hwang Jae-gyun of the San Francisco Giants faced each other at Dodgers Stadium on Sunday. The Dodgers won 3-2 against the Giants.

Though Ryu was well aware of Hwang’s ability to take advantage of fastballs, he started with a pitch with a speed of 148 kilometers per hour (91.96 mph) against Hwang in the second. Then, Ryu changed his style to cutters and curveballs, only targeting off the plate. With a full count Ryu threw another fastball against Hwang, which was hit but grounded out.

The two met again in the fifth. Hwang once again struck out, struggling against Ryu’s change-ups. As a result, Hwang went 0-for-2 in the matchup.

“I tried not to get hit, and I had a good command of my pitches when Hwang Jae-gyun was at the plate,” Ryu was quoted as saying on Yonhap. “I threw him everything in my repertoire, and I think the change-up worked the best. That’s why I was able to strike him out.”

“It was kind of fun facing him, but I am a little disappointed that I didn’t do so well,” Hwang was quoted as saying on Yonhap. “He just pitched so well. [In the second-at-bat], he threw a great first-pitch fastball, down and away.”

For the first time this season, Ryu was pitching like it was 2014, when he picked up 13 wins. Ryu pitched seven scoreless innings while giving up five hits, one walk and striking out seven. It was Ryu’s first time this season throwing seven innings since the game against the Washington Nationals on June 6 and the first game of the season for Ryu to pitch scoreless innings. Aside from Ryu’s individual record, the Dodgers set another record with a total of six double plays during the game.

Ryu’s fastest pitches flew at an average 144-145 kilometers per hour and his change-ups dropped below the batters’ knees. Ryu made a total of 85 pitches for seven innings. Though Ryu had by far his best game of the season, throwing seven scoreless innings, he ended with another no-decision.

The batters struggled to produce a hit against Madison Bumgarner, the Giants’ starting pitcher, until the seventh, given almost close to zero opportunity to score.

Throughout the season, in games where Ryu was the starting pitcher, the Dodgers’ batters’ average scoring was only at 3.17 runs, which is the lowest among the National league pitchers that pitched more than 80 innings this season. Though Ryu failed to pick up his fourth win of the season, he still managed to lower his ERA from 4.17 to 3.83.

While the Dodgers were losing 1-0 at the bottom of the ninth, Yasiel Puig scored a run to tie the game. It wasn’t until the 11th inning that Kyle Farmer’s hit, which was Farmer’s debut appearance in the batter’s box, ended the game.

With the win, the Dodgers extended their winning streak to eight and improved their record to 74 wins and 31 losses, ranking first by winning percentage in the major league at 0.705.

Meanwhile, the Giants are ranked last in the National League West by winning percentage, at 0.377 with a record of 40 wins and 66 losses.

BY KIM WON [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]
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