The San Diego Padres, the team of Kim Ha-seong 바카라 (27) and Choi Ji-man (32), suffered three consecutive losses, making it virtually difficult to advance to the fall baseball season. With 27 games left, they recorded 62 wins and 73 losses, an 8.5 game gap over the San Francisco Giants (70 wins, 64 losses) who placed third in the National League wild card.
Bae Ji-hwan’s (24) Pittsburgh Pirates, who are ranked 4th in the National League Central Division, also missed out on advancing to the postseason. Pittsburgh (61 wins, 73 losses) has one less win than San Diego.
It could be a Major League Baseball (MLB) postseason without any Korean big leaguers, but ‘eldest brother’ Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays) remains the only hope.
As of the 1st, Toronto has the best record among Korean big league teams with 73 wins and 61 losses. However, they are 10.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles (83 wins, 50 losses), first place in the American League East Division, so they must aim for fall baseball as a wild card.
Toronto is currently in 4th place in the wild card, and must move up at least one place to advance to the postseason. There are plenty of possibilities.
Toronto is chasing the wild card second-place Houston Astros (77-58) by 3.5 games and third-place Texas Rangers (75-58) by 2.5 games. The fate of this distance could change depending on the outcome of the remaining matches.
The key is whether Toronto can ride a steady upward trend. Toronto played 27 games in the month of August (local time) and recorded 14 wins and 13 losses, with a winning percentage of just over .500. They failed to show their strength at a critical time when there was a full-fledged competition for rankings.
Starting on September 12, Toronto will face off against Texas, a wild card competitor, and other tough teams from the American League East Division.
Prior to this, they must rebound and gain momentum through nine consecutive games against the Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics, and Kansas City Royals. Colorado, Oakland, and Kansas City are weak teams with winning percentages below .300, ranking last in their respective districts.
With an important series ahead, Ryu Hyun-jin cuts off the first tape with a great sense of responsibility. Ryu Hyun-jin will start the away game against Colorado at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, USA at 9:40 am (Korean time) on the 2nd.
Pitching at Coors Field, notorious as the ‘pitcher’s graveyard’, may be burdensome, but this is the same for Colorado pitchers. Ryu Hyun-jin needs to recall good memories from that time as he pitched 6 innings, allowing 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, and no runs in the most recent game on August 1, 2019, at Coors Field.
Toronto’s firepower is not bad, scoring 32 points in the last five games. If Ryu Hyun-jin holds out with the minimum number of goals conceded, the likelihood of victory increases.
Although it has only been a month since he recovered from his elbow injury and returned to the major league stage, Ryu Hyun-jin has become the team’s blue bird with his dependable appearance. Even though the ball was not fast, he overwhelmed opposing hitters with his powerful changeup and curve, precise control of the ball, and skillful combat. Toronto is recording a high winning percentage, with 4 wins and 1 loss in the 5 games in which Ryu Hyun-jin appeared.
If Ryu Hyun-jin pitches well against Colorado and leads the team to victory with four consecutive wins, Toronto’s hope for fall baseball could grow further.