Blue Jays’ Ryu Hyun-jin holds MVP-winning sluggers hitless in win

SEOUL-- In beating the Los Angeles Angels for his second win of 2022, Toronto Blue Jays starter Ryu Hyun-jin scattered six hits across five innings, but none to two of the most dangerous hitters -- not just in the Angels' lineup, but in all of baseball.

Ryu gave up two runs on those half-dozen hits in a 6-3 win at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, on Thursday (local time). But Mike Trout, a three-time American League (AL) MVP in the midst of another MVP-worthy campaign, went 0-for-3 against the South Korean left-hander. And Shohei Ohtani, the reigning MVP who was also the Angels' starting pitcher opposite Ryu, was 0-for-2 with a walk at the plate.

Ryu's continued dominance against Trout, a generational talent and a surefire future Hall of Famer, is quite remarkable. After another fruitless day, Trout has now gone 0-for-13 with four strikeouts against Ryu and has hit only three balls out of the infield. Among all major league pitchers who have had at least 10 at-bats against Trout, Ryu is the only one to have held him without a hit.

Batting second, Trout flied out to right field in the first inning, though Ryu left an 88.6-mile per hour fastball over the plate.

Trout grounded into a fielder's choice in the third inning, unable to make good contact on a down-and-away changeup. Then in the fifth, Trout went down 0-2 in the count before taking three straight balls, but ended up popping out to first base after getting jammed on a cutter.

Ohtani, a two-way threat who can throw a 97-mph fastball on the mound and hit a 450-foot homer from the plate, was the only strikeout victim against Ryu. In the bottom fifth, Ryu got Ohtani to fan on a changeup for the final out. It was also Ryu's last pitch of the day.

Ryu generated just two whiffs all game.

Ohtani, who batted third, drew a six-pitch walk in the first inning without taking a swing. In the third inning, Ohtani helped his own cause with an RBI forceout but otherwise didn't do any damage at the plate against Ryu.

This was Ryu's first win when starting opposite a Japanese pitcher in his fifth try.

Ryu also outpitched Ohtani on the mound. Ryu is now 2-0 with a 5.48 ERA, and sports a 1.72 ERA in three starts this month since returning from left forearm injury.

Ohtani surrendered his season-high two home runs while allowing five runs on six hits to fall to 3-3 for the year.

George Springer greeted Ohtani with a leadoff homer in the first. Then in the sixth, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., runner-up to Ohtani in last year's MVP voting, drilled a hanging curveball off the left field foul pole for a solo shot.

Source: Yonhap News Agency