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Ryu Bat

Pic of the Day: Hyun-jin Ryu’s Pretty Bat Flip

by JAMES S. KIM

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu has been nothing short of spectacular in his second season with the team. Young teammate Yasiel Puig has also been lights out—especially when it comes to his amazing bat flips. Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully calls him the “maestro” of bat flipping.

Ryu doesn’t get to swing the bat often, but we can only imagine how satisfying it is for a pitcher to help his own cause by putting the ball in play. He looked quite excited this past Friday when he led off the 5th inning against the Colorado Rockies with a ringing double to the warning track in right field. So excited, in fact, that he nearly turned himself around completely on the swing.

Fortunately, Ryu polished off his “bail and wail” swing with a smooth bat flip that makes you wonder if he and Puig operate on a similar wavelength. (Ryu’s number, 99, when flipped upside-down, is 66, which is Puig’s number.)

Talk about an emphatic follow-through.

Ryu shuffles his way down the first base line, then takes it to another gear as he rounds the base and neatly slides into second. And despite having lost some weight coming into the year, it’s not often that Ryu gets to leg out an extra-base hit in the Mile High City. His teammates surely gave him a ribbing for the huffing and puffing that nearly blew down Coors Field.

He didn’t get too long of a break, though. Two pitches later, the Dodgers’ Dee Gordon followed with a triple to the gap in right center field, scoring Ryu to put the boys in blue up 3-0. The running wouldn’t really phase Ryu, as he went on to pitch two more innings. He would get the win, giving up two earned runs over six innings.

 

Image via Dodgers Digest. H/T to NESN

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Ryu’s 7-Inning Shutout Not Enough To Spoil Padres Season Opener

Hyun-Jin Ryu blanked the San Diego Padres for seven innings, but the bullpen and defensive errors turned a one-run lead in the eighth inning to a 3-1 loss for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night at Petco Park.

Ryu showed no signs of the toenail injury he suffered in his first start of the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia last week. The 26-year-old struck out seven batters and gave up no runs on only three hits and three walks through seven frames.

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The Dodgers held a 1-0 lead when manager Don Mattingly replaced Ryu with Brian Wilson, who gave up three runs. Rene Rivera sparked the comeback for the Padres with a solo homer to start the inning, followed by an error on a bunt and a hit by Chris Denorfia for two more runs.

“These kind of games happen,” Ryu said of the team’s loss despite his effort. “It’s part of the game. I know it’ll inspire us to try harder.”

Despite the loss, Mattingly praised Ryu who hasn’t given up a run in his first two starts of the season in 12 innings. The skipper was especially impressed how the southpaw mixed up the curveball and slider with his usual fastball and slider. He retired 13 straight batters from third to seventh inning.

“Hyun-Jin [Ryu] was, maybe, just about as good as we’ve seen him,” Mattingly said. “He used all his pitches. Maybe that wasn’t his first time, but he used his curveball, used his slider and obviously, his changeup and fastball were always at where he wanted it. He was really, really good.”

Ryu had to work himself out of a jam in the beginning, as the Padres put runners in scoring positions in each of the first two innings. He then started utilizing his slider and curveball at a significantly higher rate from the third inning and didn’t give up a single hit for the rest of the game.

Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said Ryu used spring training with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt to make minor tweaks to his curveball. Ellis remained tight lipped about specific changes Ryu made to his curveball, but revealed that he’s gripping the ball deeper and has changed his release point to add more deception.

“He’s worked really hard with his curveball,” Ellis said. “When he started throwing tonight in the game, immediately I could tell that the pitch was different from what he was throwing in the past. He’s a pitch maker.”

Ryu is expected to start for the Dodgers in their home opener against the San Francisco Giants on Friday.

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Texas Rangers Introduce Pricey Sandwich Named After Shin-Soo Choo

Just a few weeks after major league baseball star Shin-Soo Choo was seen in the New York Timeshawking bulgogi, his new ballclub announced a breaded monstrosity as part of their new ballpark concessions lineup.

Dubbed, the “Choomongous,” it’s a two-foot sandwich which features “Asian beef” that looks suspiciously like bulgogi, and “spicy slaw” which makes it seem like they didn’t want to go the full Monty with actual kimchi. A real shame. Topped with sriracha mayo on a bakery fresh bun, the picturessort of make the $26 sandwich look like a hot mess.

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For those who don’t want to shell out that kind of money for a sandwich that supposedly feeds four, you can opt for the mini Choomongous, which sells for a reasonable $10.

Rangers Ballpark will also be offering bacon-on-a-stick, dipped in maple syrup, for $7.

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Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Dodgers

Ryu Gets Win as Dodgers Start Season in Australia

Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched five shutout innings and picked up the win in his first outing of the season, but he injured his toe in the process and is questionable to start during the Dodgers’ next series in San Diego.

The Dodgers swept the Arizona Diamondbacks in their two-game opening series in Australia with a 7-5 win behind Ryu’s solid pitching performance. The 26-year-old struck out five batters and gave up only two hits and a walk while holding the D-backs scoreless for five innings.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly replaced Ryu with Chris Withrow at the start of the sixth inning for precautionary reasons after the southpaw started feeling discomfort in his right foot.

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Ryu hurt his toe after getting on base with a single in the third inning. He seemingly put too much weight on his foot when he stopped on a dime after going around third base on Dee Gordon’s double and hurt his toe nail. In the fifth inning, he was visibly feeling pain in his right foot as he lost his footing on a pitch and stepped out of the mound. Mattingly pulled Ryu as the Dodgers were up 5-0.

“I didn’t go as long as I would have liked,” Ryu said after the game, according to MLB.com. “I like to go more than five innings.”

Ryu’s older and a good friend traveled to Australia from Korea to watch him pitch, according to ESPN. Ryu said he enjoyed his time there but declined to sample kangaroo.

He is scheduled to start when the Dodgers resume regular season play next week against the San Diego Padres, but Mattingly may rest Ryu if his toenail doesn’t recover in time.

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