‘Korean Monster’ Ryu Hyun-jin (36)먹튀검증 will make his third appearance after returning from injury. Attention is focusing on whether he will be able to soothe the regret of the last appearance, which missed the first win due to bad luck. The opponent is the Chicago Cubs, who are aiming to advance to the postseason (PS) as a wild card.
Ryu Hyun-jin will start at 2:37 am on the 14th (Korean time) in the home game against the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) Cubs at the Rogers Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This is Ryu Hyun-jin’s third start this season, who returned to the big leagues on the 2nd after going through a long rehabilitation period after undergoing elbow ligament joint surgery last year.
Ryu Hyun-jin threw well enough to allow one on-base walk without a hit in 4 innings against the Cleveland Guardians on the 8th. However, in the bottom of the 3rd inning with no runners and two runners, he was hit on his right knee by Oscar Gonzalez’s assault ball, and showed fighting spirit in handling the flowed ball himself, but went into the dugout after being supported. When I looked at Ryu Hyun-jin’s initial reaction after falling to the ground, I was concerned about a major injury, but fortunately, I was diagnosed with a simple bruise, and I did not miss the rotation and started the game against the Cubs that day.
The Cubs recorded 61-56 as of the 13th, and are in second place in the Central Division of the National League (NL). The NL wild card ranking is 3rd, which is the last line to advance to PS. Ryu Hyun-jin is facing another line that desperately needs victory.
After winning the World Series in 2016, the Cubs began a rapid rebuilding and are pursuing a ‘win-now’ again this season. The appearance of the line is also diverse. Dansby Swanson, the ‘top-notch shortstop’ who heated up the Stove League last winter, infielder Nico Horner, who is considered the team’s young leader, and Cody Bellinger, a former LA Dodgers striker who rebounded again this season.
Here is Seiya Suzuki, a Japanese outfielder in his second year in the big leagues, and former Hanwha Eagles foreign hitter Mike Tuckman, who showed his presence in the big leagues based on his experience in the KBO league. Hanwha is the team Ryu Hyun-jin played in the KBO League.
No hitter hit more than 20 homers in the Cubs lineup this season. But Patrick Wisdom, Christopher Morell, and Bellinger and Swanson are building a formidable long-hit line with 18-19.
Bellinger is a player who became the NL MVP with a batting average of 0.305 and 47 homers in the 2019 season, when he and Ryu Hyun-jin worked together with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After that, it went downhill rapidly, but after transferring to the Cubs this season, it rebounded with a batting average of 0.331 as of the 13th. He is currently the scariest hitter in the Cubs.
The ‘Korea-Japan’ fighting and other pride confrontation with Suzuki also draws attention. Suzuki is a player who ended the failures of Japanese outfielders such as Tsutsugo Yoshitomo and Akiyama Shogo. Although he has not performed as well as when he was playing in the Japanese league, he has maintained his starting position in the second season of his big league debut. His batting average against lefties (0.274) is higher than his season record (0.255), but he has only two home runs.
The Cubs are a team with a good balance between left and right hitters. Right-handed hitters (Wisdom, Horner, Swanson, Morel, Suzuki), left-handed hitters (Tuchman, Bellinger), and switch hitters (Ian Happ, Jamer Candelairio) all have contact ability and long hitting power.
Ryu Hyun-jin is a left-handed pitcher, but his batting average against right-handed hitters (0.248) is lower than the left-handed hitter record (0.257). I’m not the type to be unfamiliar with left and right.
Each hitter has a story to tell. Attention is focusing on whether Ryu Hyun-jin will be able to win his first win after returning from injury.