He mixes his own balls… Ryu Hyun-jin’s pitch-calling skills are ‘pro-level’

Around 2000, the Braves were in their prime. They had the best pitcher of the era, Greg Maddux. They also had a great catcher. Harvey Lopez, the greatest offensive player of all time. But the relationship between the two is strange. It’s kind of creaky.

Maddux is by far the best of the bunch. He doesn’t like Lopez, so he always chooses a different catcher to partner with. And not just for a while. This went on for five years. Eddie Perez, Paul Bako, and a bunch of other guys wearing masks.

Around this time, the team had a saying: “ABL (Anyone But Lopez).” It means “Anyone but Lopez. It doesn’t matter if you hit 30 home runs. Not in the All-Star Game, not even in the postseason. If Maddux is on the mound, Lopez is on the bench.

Is it because he doesn’t have a good throw to second base? Is it because his framing is off? No, it’s not. There’s only one reason. It’s because he’s clueless. There’s something Maddux hates. It’s the gap between pitches. He needs to sign a bunch of autographs and throw straight away to loosen up.

It’s not a mood thing. There’s also a logical reason. It puts the pitcher at a disadvantage. It gives the batter a chance to breathe. It gives the batter a chance to breathe. He worries that his pitches will be read.

It’s Maddux’s style to compete with technique rather than power. I can understand that. Sometimes he’d throw pitches that weren’t signed, and one time he broke Lopez’s finger (from a bad pitch).

Ryu Hyun-jin narrowly missed out on a fourth win. He was pulled with one out. He was pulled with two outs in the fifth inning of a home game against Boston at Rogers Centre in Toronto on Aug. 18. He allowed six hits, two walks and two strikeouts in 4.2 innings. No runs were allowed. With a 1-0 lead, it was disappointing. The good news is that he lowered his ERA to 2.62.

He was praised for getting out of a couple of jams. He had runners on second and third with no outs twice (second and third), and in the fourth inning, he ended the inning with runners on first and third. The local media was full of praise. “Stayed solid in crunch time” (mlb.com) and “got into trouble a few times, but did a good job of getting out of it” (Toronto Sun).

But there was one thing that stood out. His chemistry with his catcher. His best friend, Danny Jansen, is out with an injury. Tyler Heinemann was chosen as his replacement. It’s been three games now. It’s noteworthy that Alejandro Kirk, an offensive catcher, continues to be excluded.

Of course, this casting was a team decision. Manager John Schneider, a former catcher himself, said: “The relationship between a pitcher and a catcher is difficult to build in a short period of time. But Heinemann is a player who prepares hard. Ryu seems to feel comfortable with him.”

But it’s never enough. There were several times on the day when Ryu shook his head. The catcher’s signature is not quite right. In the middle of the inning, a member of the staff was seen saying something to Heinemann.

Let’s apply Maddux’s logic here. It’s all about pace. A fast pace is essential to keep the batsmen on their toes. That’s the argument. This is especially true for pitchers with a variety of pitches, velocities, and locations. You need to be on point with your pitches. If you shake your head a couple of times, you’ve already lost steam.

Especially in today’s environment. Pitch clocks have been introduced. When you’re on the countdown, you’re in a hurry, which makes the tiki-taka of the battery even more important.

There is a silver lining. You can use a pitchcom. In the wake of the autograph theft scandal, the MLB office introduced electronic equipment for catchers to sign their autographs. Instead of using their fingers, they press buttons to send and receive signals. This was a revolutionary change. Pitchers can also use this equipment, which means that it’s not just the catcher who signs, but the pitcher can also sign backwards if necessary.

Ryu Hyun-jin has been doing this a lot lately. He shakes his head a few times at the catcher’s sign. If he’s not satisfied, his gaze shifts to his waistband and he presses the button on the pitchcom on his belt. “Curve this time,” he says, “No, let’s go with a changeup.” It’s clear communication.

A good pitcher’s mix of pitches is complex and interconnected. It’s not just one pitch in isolation. At the very least, they think about the next pitch, even three or four pitches ahead. Like, ‘I’m going to throw a fastball to the body this time, an outside slider next, and then a third one high to the body again, and I’m going to get a swinging strike’.

Maddux says he already has a clear picture in his head of what he’s going to throw next, and the next, and the next. If it doesn’t happen right away, it breaks the rhythm.

He has his own method. Right after he throws the ball, he signals to the catcher. It’s a prearranged sign. For example, if he touches his hat, it’s a slider; if he takes a step back and receives the ball (thrown by the catcher), it’s a fastball; if he kicks the ground with his foot, it’s a curveball.메이저놀이터

But Ryu doesn’t have to do that. It’s all done with a few buttons now. As his best friend Danny Jansen told a media outlet before his injury. “I have the primary authority to call the pitches. Ryu still recognizes that. But if I go against him twice, he changes it. He pushes the button himself. That way the rhythm is not broken, and the pitch clock is fine.”

Of course, electronics skills are also important. He’s probably a good early adopter. Even after a year and a half of closed practice, he’s no stranger to unfamiliar equipment. Jansen agrees. “(Ryu) handles the pitchcom better than anyone on our team. He’s a pro.”

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