Blue Jays’ Ryu Hyun-jin vows to perform well in next game

August 5, 2020

Toronto Blue Jays’ starter Ryu Hyun-jin said Wednesday that he has refreshed his mind to get ready to make a turnaround from his worse-than-expected previous outings.

“I performed poorly in the last games,” the left-hander with his new short, neat haircut said in a video interview. “I had my hair cut to get myself up for the next match.”

He will start the game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday (U.S. time). It is Ryu’s third outing of the 60-game 2020 season, which was shortened due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In his first game against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 25, he got a no-decision, giving up three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.

His next start was poorer as he suffered his first loss against the Washington Nationals last Friday, allowing nine hits and five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Ryu’s ERA now sits at 8.00, compared with last year’s league-leading 2.32 ERA while he was pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 33-year-old southpaw joined the Toronto Blue Jays after inking a four-year US$80 million contract as a free agent last December. He’d spent the past seven years with the Dodgers.

Ryu said the main issue was his fastball command, and he is making all-out efforts to improve his pitches in the upcoming game.

“I couldn’t control the locations of my pitches in two previous games,” he said. “I’ve studied my pitches and done a lot of things.”

He said his wife and daughter, now staying in Florida, will go back to South Korea soon, as the U.S. state is struggling with a spike in new COVID-19 cases.

“They are preparing to go back to safe Korea,” he said. “Some would feel this season is short, or others say it’s long. I’ll do well even though I am left alone.”