It bends and falls. I can’t hit it
Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays), who returned from an elbow injury, is on a roll with his grounding curve. Ryu Hyun-jin, who underwent ligament surgery on his left elbow in June last year, returned to the big leagues after 14 months of long rehabilitation, and as of the 29th (Korea Standard Time), he has maintained an outstanding performance of 3 wins and 1 loss and a 2.25 ERA.
The secret of Ryu Hyun-jin’s good pitching is a curve that is much stronger than last year. A curve is a type of pitch in which the index and middle fingers are attached to the ball’s thread, and the wrist is twisted while throwing. The trajectory of the curve appears to be directed toward the batter’s head height and then drops down the knee in front of the home plate.
This most basic pitch has become Ryu Hyun-jin’s most reliable weapon this year. The proportion of curves in 2021, the full-time season before injuring his elbow, was 12.6% of all pitching, but increased to 18.6% this year. This is the third-largest proportion after fastballs (30.2%) and changeups (25.3%). Last year, the proportion of curves was 21.0%, but it was a temporary measure due to elbow injuries at the time.
The proportion has increased, but the speed has unexpectedly decreased sharply. According to the U.S. baseball statistics site Baseball Servant, the average speed of the curve this year was only 69.6 miles (112 kilometers) per hour. It is 4.3 miles (6.9 kilometers) slower than the average speed of 73.9 miles (118.9 kilometers) in the 2021 season before being injured. In the game against Cleveland, the most recent appearance, the lowest speed of the curve fell to 64.6 miles per hour (104km). Rob Friedman, a Major League Baseball pitching analyst, said, “This is the slowest ball that a starting pitcher has induced a swing this season. Pitcher speed generally checks “how fast,” but Ryu Hyun-jin explains “how slow it is.”
In general, it is common sense that slow balls are easily attacked by batters. However, Ryu Hyun-jin’s batting average is only 0.182. This is because it bends slower but wider and falls sharply.
In fact, compared to the season when Ryu Hyun-jin was healthy, the curve’s fall and bending trajectory have changed significantly. In the 2021 season, he threw a curve that fell 64.2 inches (163 centimeters) from the point where the ball was released (release point). In addition, in the 2019 season, when he ranked first in the National League ERA, the fall was 66.1 inches (167.9cm). However, this year, it will fall further to 71.5 inches (181.6 centimeters). This is 2 inches (5.1cm) larger than the league average. The horizontal movement of the ball has also improved noticeably. In 2021, it was 11.7 inches (29.7 centimeters) in the opposite direction from the thrown hand, but this year it is bending further to 13.5 inches (34.3 centimeters) 파워볼추천
A data expert at a club in the Seoul metropolitan area hinted, “When looking at the professional data, Ryu Hyun-jin is becoming a curve master.” This year, it is nearly 30 kilometers per hour different from the average fastball speed, and it is difficult for opposing hitters to respond with a drop that falls down while bending significantly. In fact, the ratio of batters’ swing to the curve rose from 13.3% in 2021 to 36.1% this year. However, no matter how good the ball is, it is useless if the control is not supported. Ryu Hyun-jin’s control is already well-known in the Major League. Looking at Ryu Hyun-jin’s pitching distribution, he put everything in the strike zone except for throwing low on purpose to induce a swing. On top of that, it is not easy to hit the ball he threw because he is cleverly fighting for the number of ball counts. Song Jae-woo, a commentator for Major League Baseball, said, “Until recently, deformed fastball such as cut fastballs has become very popular in Major League Baseball, and slow breaking balls have become rare.” Ryu Hyun-jin is reading the trend of the times well and using a slow curve as a decisive factor. Ryu Hyun-jin is a really smart pitcher,” he praised