“I wasn’t really sure”…why Ryu was happy with the last eight pitches

“I wasn’t really sure.”

Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays) smiles with satisfaction after his third rehab start. It was a satisfying outing in which he managed both his innings and pitch count, two of his most important tasks for a big league start.

Hyun-jin Ryu pitched five innings of three-hit ball (one homer) with no walks and five strikeouts against the Toledo BirdHens (Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) at Salem Field in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday (June 16). For the first time in his rehab start, he went the full five innings, which is the primary task of a starting pitcher, and earned his first career Triple-A win in an 8-2 victory.먹튀검증

Toronto’s target pitch count for the start was 65. He was on the verge of reaching the 80-100 pitch mark that Toronto general manager Ross Atkins has set for big league call-ups.

Ryu threw 58 pitches through the fourth inning. To finish the fifth inning and earn the win, he needed to retire three batters on seven pitches, which he did. He got the next two batters to fly out to center field with three pitches, then struck out the final batter, Andrew Knapp, with five pitches. He was only one pitch over, but it was a great example of Ryu’s pitch count management.

The final eight pitches meant a lot to Ryu, who told the Canadian media outlet Toronto Star after the game, “I was really unsure. I had to throw 65 pitches. I wanted to compete with the hitters as soon as possible, and I’m really happy with (the result),” he said, smiling broadly.

The Toronto Star reported, “Ryu threw mostly fastballs in the first inning (nine out of 18 pitches) and then started to rely on his cutter a little more in the second. His velocity dropped a bit, but he was still getting strikes with regularity.

Ryu said, “I didn’t intentionally throw that way. You have to mix up your pitches. You can’t throw the same pattern to every batter. So I had to change my pitch mix later on,” he said defiantly.

Ryu Hyun-jin makes his third start. Buffalo Bisons SNS

He was even more satisfied with his performance in Triple-A, the highest level of the minor leagues. Previously, Ryu had pitched in the Rookie League for the past five days and Single-A for the past 10 days to check his feel for the game.

“I’m really happy because I pitched at a higher level, and now I feel like I can focus on what I need to do a little bit more. I’m executing my plan, so it feels good.”

Ryu has been rehabbing for about 13 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery last June. Ryu has been pitching consistently well in his minor league rehabilitation stint, which is the final gateway to his return to the big leagues.

Local media in the U.S. and Canada reported on the same day that “Ryu’s return to the big leagues seems to be really close”. The expectation is that Ryu will pitch two or three more Triple-A games and then join Toronto as soon as he feels healthy. It won’t be long before we see him back on the mound in the big leagues.

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