Daejeon in 4,172 days… The eyes of the ‘monster’ have changed

Ryu Hyun-jin (37), a “monster” standing on the mound of the Hanwha Eagles’ home stadium for the first time in 11 years and five months (4172 days), is ready to fly. He will measure this year’s performance against KIA Tigers and Lotte Giants led by the new head coach in the long-awaited exhibition game of the KBO League in the 2024 season.핑크알바

Ryu started the game against Blue and White at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on Monday, and allowed one hit, three strikeouts and one run in three innings, enhancing his sense of play in the game. The showdown between Ryu and Moon was confronted by national team ace Moon Dong-ju (21). Moon also pitched well in three innings, allowing two hits, one strikeout and no run. The game was the last warm-up between the two pitchers before an exhibition game that opens on Friday.

The situation was stable, too. When Ryu lightly hit 15 pitches in the top of the first inning by using a cutter, Ryu faced off. However, in the next inning, Ryu gave up a run on Chae Eun-sung, the leadoff hitter, through a double that flew along the third base line, and Lee Jae-won’s sacrifice fly. After finishing the third inning with three batters, Ryu handed over the ball to Kim Min-woo.

After the game, Ryu said, “I did everything I could. I will throw about 20 more balls in the bullpen and throw about 65 pitches in the exhibition game.” “It was an interesting showdown, but they didn’t let me slide. I will just consider it as a training today as we have to do well together.”

Hanwha picked Ryu as the starting pitcher for the opening game against the LG Twins in the regular season league on Sunday, and scheduled the exhibition game to take the mound after four to five days of rest. Therefore, Ryu will take a final look at his physical condition in the match against KIA on June 12 and Lotte on June 17, and will face defending champion LG.

The coaches of KIA and Lotte were given an opportunity to test the team’s performance with a showdown with the best pitcher of their own. KIA manager Lee Bum-ho arrived in Korea after finishing the Okinawa spring camp on the 6th and said, “I think Ryu Hyun-jin will throw 60-70 balls. I will start the main players so that batters can face each other at least once.” KIA, which boasts strong attack power, has cleared its window in off-season training. Kim Do-hyung is still recovering from his injury, but the main batters, including No. 1 hitter Park Chan-ho, Na Sung-bum, Choi Hyung-woo, and Socrates Brito, are still in good shape. Backup infielders Seo Geon-chang and Yoon Do-hyun also recorded five hits, one run and a batting average of 0.556 from nine times at bat, six hits from 13 times at bat, four runs scored, and three RBIs and 0.462 in practice games, respectively.

Veteran Lotte manager Kim Tae-hyung is expected to display his signature strong baseball color based on cohesion. Ko Seung-min, who changed his position to infielder, was named the MVP of the spring camp, and Kim Min-sung, a transfer student, was also highly praised by Kim, raising expectations. The two players are expected to add stability to their weaknesses in the infield.

Victor Reyes, a foreign player who met Ryu Hyun-jin in the Major League Baseball in 2021 and hit two hits, will take the center stage in the batting lineup. Solid starting pitchers such as Aaron Wilkerson, Charlie Barnes, Park Se-woong, and Na Kyun-an, and strong pitching by Koo Seung-min, Choi Joon-yong, and Kim Won-joong are also considered competitive against the Hanwha Eagles.

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