Ryu Hyun-jin, 36, of Toronto, is proving that restraint isn’t everything when it comes to pitching. In an era where the iconic 100-mile-per-hour (161-kilometer-per-hour) wall is cracking here and there, he’s cooking hitters with pitches under 90 mph (145 km/h).

He wasn’t always a fastball player. Instead, he used elaborate pitches and commands, a variety of pitches, and hand-to-hand combat to subdue hitters. But as he’s gotten older, and even after a year and two months off due to elbow surgery, his velocity has declined.

According to Statcast, Ryu is averaging just 88.4 mph on his four-seam fastball this year. That’s down from 89.3 mph in 2022. Ryu’s four-seam fastball average ranks in the bottom 2% of the major leagues. If you lined up 100 people, Ryu would be in the 98th or 99th spot.

But despite that, he’s been solid in his seven starts since returning, going 3-2 with a 2.65 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. Opposing hitters wouldn’t have given him much credit for coming back from elbow surgery, but Ryu has been one of the best mutant pitchers in the majors right now.

Locally, Ryu’s success is attributed to his precise command of his pitches and his ability to use a variety of pitches to perfection. Ryu throws a four-seam fastball by default and has recently started throwing more fastballs with sinker-like movement, which he used to mix in, and a slower, angled cutter. I also have a changeup in the 70s and a curveball in the 60s. That’s a total of four pitches, even if you group the fastball and sinker in the same family.

Even if you can throw four pitches, it’s not easy to throw all four pitches well. But that’s what Ryu is. His changeup has an incredible drop to the outside of the plate. It’s his primary weapon. Here’s a slower curveball. It’s a slower curveball that hits lefties and righties alike. If hitters have these two pitches in mind, they’ll look for a fastball or a cutter with more velocity. Naturally, the timing is off.

Buck Martinez, a veteran commentator for Sportsnet in Toronto, praised Ryu, saying, “The best thing about him is that hitters never know what’s coming next,” adding, “When you see a fastball after a slower pitch, it makes his four-seam look faster.”

Lately, batters have been looking for Ryu’s curveball. Usually, few batters look for the curveball from the first pitch. If they do, it’s usually because the timing is off. This makes it difficult to choose a pitch against Ryu, and it also makes him a risky proposition.

This was the case in his last start against Oakland. He was able to get a fastball up and away, but he was also able to get a full-count fastball in the middle of the plate.

Sportsnet commentator Joe Sears was also intrigued by this pitching pattern against Oakland. “He throws a 62-mph curveball, and then he drops a curveball. He’s going to do that, and then he’s going to throw a cutter to the right side of the plate.” The expectation was that he would capitalize on the velocity difference.

Ryu actually threw a four-seam and got a strikeout. Díaz was stuck. “Look at that,” Sidle said, smirking, “it doesn’t matter to a pitcher like Ryu, who is a veteran.”

At the time of Dias’ at-bat, Ryu’s curveball was sitting at 62.5 mph (100.6 km/h), but the pitch he used for the game-winning run was sitting at 90.4 mph (145.5 km/h). That’s a difference of 45 kilometers. Even in the major leagues, it’s rare to find a pitcher who can switch between these velocities so freely. A 145 mph fastball is bound to feel faster to a hitter than a 100 mph fastball. If you throw a 10-mph changeup to the same spot where you dropped your curveball, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference, which is what Ryu is doing now.토스카지노

Ryu will try again for his fourth win of the season on April 13 at home against Texas. Perhaps this will be the game that gives us a glimpse into whether or not this pattern will work in the future. The Texas offense is qualitatively different from the Cleveland, Colorado, and Oakland offenses he’s faced in the past. They have a lot of hitters with good fundamentals. They have some guys who can hit for power.

In fact, the previous three teams were undeniably weak against lefties. Cleveland’s .658 OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) against lefties this season ranks last in the league. However, Colorado is 29th (.675) and Oakland is 28th (.680). This shows the relative ease of Ryu’s matchups. But Texas’ OPS against lefties is a whopping .805, good for third in the league. Qualitatively different. If Ryu continues to perform well here, it could lead to a big free agent deal.

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