Taking the mound with a 5-2 lead, Ryu induced a leadoff grounder to Song Seung-hwan, but the third baseman’s throwing error left the bases loaded.
Facing Kim Moon-soo in the fourth, the fifth pitch was dropped behind the plate at 1B1S. The runners reached second and third with no outs, and Kim gave up a nine-pitch walk to put runners on first and second.
A walk to Kim Min-hyuk in the fifth loaded the bases, and a wild pitch in the sixth against Ahn Seung-han allowed a run to score. 5-3.
Ahn Seung-han struck out swinging to put runners on first and second, but that was it. He was replaced by Lee Min-woo, who struck out Seo Ye-il and got Kim Tae-geun to ground out to the third baseman to end the fifth inning without further damage.
Lee threw a total of 21 pitches on the day, 15 fastballs, three curves and a slider. His fastball reached a maximum velocity of 145 kilometers, while his average velocity was recorded at 143 kilometers.
Ryu Won-seok is a pitcher who drew attention from fans with a fastball that can reach up to 156 kilometers. He was a pitcher that LG looked forward to every year. However, the problem was his fastball. His high strikeout rate made it difficult for him to pitch in the first team.
In 2019, he appeared in two games and gave up two hits and five walks in 3⅓ innings, and in 2020, he gave up eight hits and 11 walks in 4⅔ innings in four games. In 2021, he pitched six innings in six games, allowing one hit and striking out nine. In 14 innings with the first team, he allowed 11 hits and struck out 25. He had one loss and a 7.71 ERA.
LG let Ryu Won-seok walk after the end of last season, and among the teams that wanted his hard-throwing fastball, Ryu landed with Hanwha.
At Hanwha, he worked with the coaching staff to improve his command of his pitches, but it doesn’t look like he’s quite there yet. He appeared in three games in May, pitching 2⅓ innings, allowing one hit, two walks, and two strikeouts. On May 12, he pitched one inning of scoreless relief against KT with one hit, one walk, and two strikeouts, and on May 19, he struck out three in one inning against KIA. On May 21, he gave up one hit and one walk in ⅓ of an inning against KIA before being replaced.
He then disappeared for a while, only to reappear in the Futures League a month later on April 24, but his pitches were still shaky. When asked why he hadn’t pitched in the second team recently, he said that his pitches were still jagged and that he was giving other prospects a chance.
It’s unclear if he was intentionally reducing his velocity for the sake of his pitch, as his fastball was clocked at 145 km/h, or if it was just a case of not being able to control it well after a long time.
Fans are still waiting to see if Ryu Won-seok will be able to hit a 150+km fastball right on the catcher’s mitt.