Ryu Hyun-jin has been struggling with his pitches and is facing his fourth loss of the season.
Ryu struggled in his start against the Rays at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay on Thursday, giving up five runs on seven hits and three walks in 4.1 innings.
Toronto vs. Tampa Bay starting lineup on April 24
Backing up Ryu was the Toronto lineup of George Springer (designated hitter), Bo Bichette (shortstop), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (first base), Cavan Biggio (right field), Matt Chapman (third base), Dalton Bashaw (left field), Davis Schneider (second base), Kevin Kiermaier (center field), and Tyler Heinemann (catcher).
Tampa Bay will send right-hander Zack Littell to the mound. In 26 appearances this season, Littell is 3-6 with a 4.12 ERA in 83 innings pitched. In his last seven starts, he is 1-3 with a 4.14 ERA, including a 4.2 inning, one-run outing against Baltimore on April 17.
Tampa Bay’s starting lineup is Yandy Diaz (first base), Harold Ramirez (left field), Curtis Mead (third base), Isaac Paredes (second base), Junior Caminero (designated hitter), Josh Lowe (right field), Manuel Margot (center field), Christian Batancourt (catcher), and Taylor Walls (shortstop).
Ryu turns question marks into exclamation points as he chases four wins
Ryu has been pitching flawlessly since his return. In nine starts this season, he’s 3-3 with a 2.62 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 44.2 innings pitched with 35 strikeouts.
However, luck hasn’t been on his side as he continues to struggle to win four games. He took the loss in Oakland on June 6 after pitching five innings of two-run ball, and then took the loss in Texas on June 12 after pitching six innings of three-run ball. In his last outing, he gave up six hits and struck out two in 4.2 innings against Boston on April 18.
Although he didn’t get the win, Ryu’s crisis management skills stood out in that game. Ryu gave up back-to-back singles to leadoff man Rafael Devers and Jared Duvall in the second inning against Boston, putting runners on second and third with no outs, but with the help of Bissett’s defense, he retired the next two batters to end the inning. The third inning was no different. Ryu gave up back-to-back singles and a double to the two leadoff hitters, but he was able to get out of the jam without allowing a run, prompting local media to hail him as a “crisis reliever.”
But Ryu has been weak against Tampa Bay in his career
In five career starts against Tampa Bay, Hyun-jin Ryu has yet to record a win. In five regular-season starts, he has a 2.55 ERA. Ryu has a bad history against Tampa Bay. Most notably, he took the mound against the Rays in the second round of the 2020 American League Wild Card Game, giving up eight runs on eight hits, including two home runs, in 1.2 innings of work and suffering the loss with a 16.20 ERA.
Ryu is winless against Tampa Bay in his major league career. With four wins on the day, it will be interesting to see if he can get his first win against the Rays.
An important win for Toronto, but how will Ryu face the Rays’ lineup?
Currently, Toronto is 85-68 on the season and in the hunt for a postseason berth in the American League Wild Card. Tampa Bay is in first place with 94 wins and 60 losses.
Toronto needs more wins, including tonight’s, to move closer to the postseason.
The Tampa Bay offense has a team OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) of .772 this season, which ranks fourth among the 30 major league clubs, and the team home runs are fifth with 217.
Notably, the Rays have no player with more than 30 home runs, but they have five players with 20 or more home runs and 10 players with double-digit home runs.
Isaac Paredes, who has a team-high 29 home runs, is categorized as Ryu’s No. 1 player. Randy Arozarena, who hit 23 homers, and Yandy Diaz, who hit 20, are also on Ryu’s list of players to watch out for.
Ryu gave up a lot of runs in the first inning
Ryu gave up an unfortunate run in the first inning against the first batter he faced. Facing Diaz, Ryu fired back-to-back outside sinkers in the first and second pitches to take advantage of a 0-pitch, two-strike count. The next five pitches were 1-2 strikes, but the sixth pitch, a fastball in the zone, was over the fence, giving Diaz a solo home run over the left-center field fence.
That wasn’t the end of Ryu’s damage. He walked Ramirez to load the bases with no outs. Mead and Paredes followed with a fly ball to left field and a strikeout, respectively, to load the bases, but Caminero walked to put runners on first and second with no outs. Then, with a two-ball, two-strike count, Ryu threw a six-pitch fastball down the middle for another home run over the center field fence. At the end of the first inning, Ryu had thrown 32 pitches, the most in a single inning this season.
The Toronto offense was silent in the second inning. Two batters later, Schneider singled and Kiermeyer doubled to put runners on second and third, but Heinemann followed with a grounder to first that didn’t help Ryu.
In the second inning, Ryu was in trouble again. After a first-pitch outside sinker to Betancourt for a popup to second, Walls followed with a grounder to second on just two pitches. However, he walked Diaz and gave up a single to Ramirez to put runners on first and second. However, he got a fly ball to center field to end the inning.
In the third inning, Ryu started pitching well. The ball that was high in the first inning settled down in the third. He got Paredes to ground out to shortstop on a five-pitch count. A body curveball to Caminero was hit into left field to load the bases for the second out of the inning, but Ryu got the next two batters to pop out to third base in a three-pitch battle and struck out Margot on a 1-2 pitch count with a four-pitch outside curveball to keep the game scoreless.
Ryu’s Troubled Fourth, Three Home Runs
In the fourth inning, Ryu gave up a home run. After a four-pitch battle with leadoff man Betancourt, a former member of the KBO’s NC Dinos, a high fastball found the bat of Betancourt, who smashed a solo home run over the left field fence.토토사이트
He then got Walls to ground out to third, but gave up a single to left to Diaz. He then got Ramirez and Mead to ground out to shortstop and third base, respectively, to end the inning.
In the fifth inning, Ryu took the mound. He struggled with his command of his pitches. Facing Paredes with the bases loaded, Ryu worked a three-pitch, two-strike, full-count walk to get Paredes out. He followed that up by getting Caminero to fly out to right field on a two-pitch, two-strike count. However, a cutter to Lowe led to a single to right field, and that’s where Ryu’s night would end.
Ryu was in trouble, and his pitches were shaky, especially in this game. His ERA jumped from 2.62 to 3.31.