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Major League Baseball (MLB)

World Series: South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin bombs in historic debut

  • Yanked after loading the bases in the fifth, the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher may have blown his only chance in a World Series
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 October, 2018, 11:53am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 October, 2018, 1:52pm

Ryu Hyun-jin’s World Series debut did not go as planned.

The South Korean, who plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers, became the first ever from his country to start in a Major League Baseball final, but was pulled after 69 pitches over 4.2 innings.

Ryu allowed six hits and four runs against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, ending with an ERA of 7.71. The Red Sox won 4-2, taking a 2-0 series lead.

Ryu, 31, was pitted against David Price, a marquee pitcher who has struggled immensely in the play-offs until this season. Ryu looked respectable in his debut up until the bottom of the fifth, leaving the game after two singles and a walk loaded the bases. Replacement Ryan Madson ended up letting all the runners score before the inning ended. The Dodgers had been leading the game up until that point, their first lead of the World Series.

In a pre-game interview, speaking through a translator, Ryu admitted there was “more tension” in the Dodgers dressing room after they lost the first game of the series.

Ryu has pitched well at home during the play-offs over four appearances, and his best game came at Dodgers Stadium on October 4 against the Atlanta Braves where he lasted seven innings and did not give up any runs.

“Obviously it’s the stadium that I’ve pitched in the most so I feel pretty comfortable pitching in Dodgers Stadium,” he said beforehand.

Ryu is a left-handed pitcher who has played five seasons in the MLB, all with the Dodgers. He stands six-foot-three (190 centimetres) and weighs 250 pounds (113 kgs). Ryu came over from the Hanwha Eagles of the KBO League.

This could also have been Ryu’s last start for the Dodgers as he is a free agent after this season. He spoke about whether this was on his mind before his first start in the World Series.

“No, I did not think about it at all, my current focus is on tomorrow’s game and that is it.”