Final start of the season pushed back…Hyun-Jin Ryu set to start Oct. 1 against Tampa Bay

The final start of the regular season for “Korean Monster” Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays) has been pushed back a day.

“Toronto manager John Schneider has changed his starting pitcher in an effort to quickly clinch a postseason berth,” Canadian media outlet Sportsnet reported on Monday (Sept. 29). Ryu Hyun-jin, who was originally scheduled to start the home game against the Tampa Bay Rays on the 30th, will take the mound on the 1st of next month, followed by Japanese pitcher Yusei Kikuchi on the 30th.

Toronto is 88-71 (.553) with a 6-0 shutout of the New York Yankees on the 29th. They are in second place for the American League wild card behind Tampa Bay and one game behind the third-place Houston Astros, with the fourth-place Seattle Mariners close behind. The outcome of the three-game series on April 30 will determine the fate of all three teams, and they’ll need to pull out all the stops to win the remaining games.

With only three games left to play, Toronto is in the best position of the Toronto-Houston-Seattle trio. However, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the standings could change, and Schneider is not going to let his guard down until the end.

A loss by Houston or Seattle would improve Toronto’s chances of making the postseason, but the Rapids would prefer to clinch the wild card on their own. They want to make sure they get the first game of the three-game series against Tampa Bay on April 30.

With that in mind, the Rays felt it was too much to ask of Hyun-jin Ryu to start the first game.

After successfully rehabbing from elbow ligament splicing surgery last June, Ryu made his first big league start in a year and two months on May 2 at home against the Baltimore Orioles. He took the loss after giving up four runs on nine hits (one home run) in five innings with one walk and three strikeouts, but he pitched like a seasoned starter.

After showing off his health, Ryu continued to build his confidence. In his second start, on August 8 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, he threw a no-hitter with four innings of one-hit ball and two strikeouts. He had a scary moment in the bottom of the fourth inning when he was hit in the knee by a batter’s hard hit ball, forcing him to leave the mound earlier than expected, but he got a pass for being more stable than in his previous outing.

Ryu’s upward trend continued. He earned his first win in 444 days when he pitched five innings of two-hit ball against the Chicago Cubs on May 14, allowing two runs (unearned) on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts, and he picked up his second win of the season on May 21 against the Cincinnati Reds when he pitched five innings of four-hit ball with one walk and seven strikeouts. He also picked up a win against the Cleveland Indians on July 27, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits (two home runs) with five strikeouts in five innings.

After not winning since his third win of the season, Ryu continued to perform well in September. He started on the road against the Colorado Rockies on Sept. 2, allowing two runs on four hits (one homer) and two walks with three strikeouts in five innings, and then followed that up with another strong outing against the Oakland Athletics on Sept. 7, allowing two runs on five hits (one homer) and one walk in five innings. At home against the Texas Rangers on the 13th, he pitched six innings of five hits (one homer), one walk, five strikeouts, and three runs, his first six-inning and quality start of the season.

However, he did not last five innings against the Boston Red Sox on April 18, allowing five runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts, and in his last start against Tampa Bay on April 24, he allowed five runs on seven hits (three homers) with three walks and two strikeouts in 4⅓ innings. It had been nearly two years since he had allowed more than three home runs in a game since August 27, 2021, against the Chicago White Sox.

As a result of his recent struggles, Toronto has adjusted his schedule to accommodate the team. It was not a health issue or a protective move, but rather a rotation change due to poor performance.

Yusei Kikuchi, Toronto’s top pick, went 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA in five starts and 27 innings in April before falling short of expectations in May, going 2-2 with a 5.83 ERA in six starts and 29⅓ innings. However, he settled down after June, going 1-1 with a 3.03 ERA in five games and 29⅔ innings in August.

In September, he’s struggled, going 1-2 with a 4.94 ERA in five games and 23⅔ innings, but it’s likely that the Jays have decided to go with Kikuchi for Game 1 of the series based on a combination of factors, including his ability to allow fewer home runs and induce more strikeouts.메이저사이트

Another thing to keep an eye on is Ryu’s lineup. If Toronto finishes the regular season in the second wild-card spot in the American League, they’ll play the Tampa Bay Rays for the wild card on October 4-6, but if they don’t, October 1 against Tampa Bay will be Ryu’s last start of the season.

Even if Toronto manages to clinch second place and make it to fall ball, it’s unclear if Ryu will ever take the mound in a Toronto uniform again. He is eligible for free agency at the end of the season, and this could be the last time he pitches in a Toronto uniform. In many ways, a lot of attention will be paid to Ryu’s final regular-season start.

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