Ryu Hyun-jin tosses six scoreless innings for first win of season
Ryu Hyun-jin tossed six scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the 2022 major league season on Friday as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-1.
Facing the Reds at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ryu struck out three while allowing six hits but no runs in six innings pitched, leading the Blue Jays to a tight 2-1 victory for his first win of the season.
Ryu started off shaky, giving up a single to Matt Reynolds to open the inning. The Korean left-hander recovered quickly, recording his first out with a quick flyball and then forcing a double play to get out of the inning.
That pattern repeated itself throughout the following five innings, with Ryu giving up a hit each inning before rallying to get the outs before any damage could be done. Control remained something of a concern, with Ryu serving up five doubles in the second to sixth innings.
The win comes after Ryu got off to a rough start this season, walking away with no decisions in three starts while giving up a total of eleven runs. Friday's scoreless outing lowers Ryu's ERA from 9.00 to 6.00 and gives him his first quality start of the season. Ryu struck out three and didn't give up any walks.
“He’s back to himself,” Blue Jays manager manager Charlie Montoyo said of Ryu. “He’s commanding his pitches, he’s throwing his breaking pitches for strikes. And when you see that, that’s when he pitches well. That’s what he’s done in his last two starts.”
Despite Ryu's efforts on the mound, the Blue Jays were only able to scrape together a tight 2-1 victory as hitting remained an issue. The Toronto club left seven runners stranded on base and only pulled off one of eight chances with runners in scoring position.
“There’s going to be those games," Ryu said after the game. "Hitters are going to have those games. That happens as a starting pitcher. If you go out there and try to keep our team in the game to give us a chance of winning, there is going to be one of those innings where we can get a couple of runs in.”
Ryu's first win comes a week after he returned from injury. Having given up 11 runs in two games for a 13.50 ERA in April, Ryu spent a month on the sidelines and returned on May 14.
Although he walked away with his third no decision in that game, Ryu already looked much more confident, giving up one run on four hits with three strikeouts and one walk in four and two third innings pitched. With Ryu's ERA dropping from 13.50 to 9.00 and now 6.00, the southpaw has clearly started building some positive momentum.
After taking that 2-1 win on Friday, the Blue Jays went on to beat the Reds 3-1 on Saturday to lock in a series win. As of press time Sunday, the Toronto club was due to chase a sweep on Sunday before flying to St. Louis, Missouri to take on the St. Louis Cardinals from Tuesday.
BY JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]