All eyes will be on “Vintage Ryu” Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays) to see how he chooses to pitch at Coors Field, the “graveyard of pitchers”.
Ryu will start the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, USA, on April 2.
Ryu will attempt to win his fourth straight start. After undergoing the second elbow ligament reconstruction surgery of his career (Tommy John surgery) last June, Ryu made his return on Aug. 2 against the Baltimore Orioles. Starting on Aug. 8 against the Cleveland Indians, he went 18 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run, followed by a five-inning, two-run performance against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 14, a five-inning, two-run performance against the Cincinnati Reds on Aug. 21, and a five-inning, three-run performance against Cleveland on Aug. 27.
Much has been made of his “magic curve,” which has touched as low as 64.6 miles per hour (about 104 kilometers per hour). Ryu used the curveball as a decisive pitch on July 27 in Cleveland, drawing praise from fans in the United States and Canada. Major League Baseball pitching analyst Rob Friedman said, “That’s a really nice 64.6 mph curveball from Ryu. It’s always fun to see the slowest curveball that a starting pitcher has induced a swinging strike on the scoreboard this season. Most pitchers make you look at how fast they’re throwing, but Ryu makes you look at how slow they’re throwing.”
However, the curve can be a significant variable in Coors Field. That’s because of Coors Field’s geography. At an elevation of 1609 meters above sea level, the air is 18% less dense than at sea level, so a ball traveling at the same speed will travel farther. According to University of Illinois professor Alan Nathan, a 100 mph (160.9 km/h) ball with a launch angle between 25 and 30 degrees will travel 400 feet (121.9 meters) at sea level, but up to 425 feet (129.5 meters) at Coors Field.
Worse, it also affects the ball’s motion. All ball speeds and movements are different on flat ground, and according to Nathan, curves are even worse. If you throw an average curveball at a major league ballpark other than Coors Field, it will land 9.5 inches (about 24.1 centimeters) below and 9 inches (about 22.9 centimeters) to the side of where you aimed. At Coors Field, however, it falls only 7 inches (17.8 centimeters) below and 7 inches to the side. That’s a 2.5-inch (6.3-cm) difference, so a curveball that would land in the corner of the strike zone at other stadiums can be a terrible pitch to hit at Coors Field, as it will be driven right down the middle. A prime example of this is from June 29, 2019. Ryu, then with the Los Angeles Dodgers, threw 81 pitches – 28 four-seam fastballs, 18 changeups, 17 curves, nine cutters, and nine sinkers – in four innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits (three homers) with one walk and four strikeouts.
What’s more, Ryu’s curveball averages just 70 miles per hour (112.7 kilometers per hour), so he’s not throwing it as much as he could. About a month after the Shock’s seven-run loss, Ryu returned to the mound for Coors Field with a completely different mix of pitches. On August 1, 2019, Ryu threw 30 cutters, 21 changeups, 10 four-seam fastballs, nine sinkers, seven sliders, and three curveballs, relying less on the four-seam fastball and more on the curveball, and went six innings with one hit, one walk, and one strikeout. As a result of sealing off his hard-hitting four-seam fastball and curveball, Ryu would not return to Coors Field for nearly four years.
Four years later, Coors Field is still the place to be. Over the past three years, Coors Field has been the best hitter-friendly ballpark in baseball, with a park factor of 111, more than the league average (100), according to BaseballSabermetrics. With a weakened Colorado lineup after the departure of franchise star and top home run hitter Nolan Arenado (St. Louis Cardinals) in 2021, the home run factor falls short of its reputation at 108 (9th in the league). However, the outfield is huge, with fence lengths of 106 meters in left, 126 meters in center, and 107 meters in right, so there are still plenty of long balls to go around, maintaining its reputation as a “pitcher’s graveyard.
Ryu’s career record at Coors Field is a dismal 1-4 with a 7.09 ERA in six games (26⅔ innings). However, Ryu has evolved since returning from Tommy John surgery to adjust to his new body and balance, so it remains to be seen how he will utilize the curveball that has become his primary weapon.카지노사이트
The opposing pitcher is Chris Flexen, a familiar face to KBO fans. After leading the Doosan Bears to the Korean Series in 2020, Flexen returned to the big leagues in 2021 with the Seattle Mariners. He was the team’s No. 3 starter in his first two years in Seattle, but was released this year after struggling to a 7.71 ERA in 17 games and was sent to Colorado, where he is 1-2 with a 5.87 ERA in six starts.