Hyun-Jin Ryu loses perfect game in eighth inning against Reds

Dodgers pitcher came very close to once again doing something special on Monday. One day after Josh Beckett no-hit the Phillies, left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu took a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Reds. Todd Frazier broke it up with a solid double to left leading off the inning.

Ryu had thrown only 82 pitches through the first seven innings, so his pitch count was in very good shape to go the distance. His career high is 114 pitches, set last May. Ryu went to only one three-ball count (Zack Cozart in the fourth inning) before allowing the double and third baseman Justin Turner made a pair of nice diving stops behind him to take away hits.

The Dodgers rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, an inning that took more than 27 minutes to play. Ryu reached base on a throwing error in the inning and had to run the bases — he eventually came around to score — so the long delay may have thrown him off. Three of the first four Reds to bat in the eighth picked up base hits, ending Ryu’s night.

The 27-year-old Ryu came into Monday’s start with a 4-2 record and a 3.00 ERA in eight starts and 45 innings. He spent a few weeks on the disabled list earlier this season with shoulder inflammation, but obviously he is over that. The Reds entered the game with a .242 batting average and a .309 on-base percentage as a team, both of which rank 23rd in MLB.

Only three times in history have there been two no-hitters within the span of 48 hours: Dave Stewart and Fernando Valenzuela in 1990, Don Wilson and Jim Maloney in 1969, and Gaylord Perry and Ray Washburn in 1968. The Dodgers have had multiple no-hitters in a season only once, when Carl Erskine and Sal Maglie did it in 1956.

via Hyun-Jin Ryu loses perfect game in eighth inning against Reds – CBSSports.com.

Hyun-Jin Ryu stays perfect on the road in Dodgers’ 2-1 victory

Next time Hyun-Jin Ryu starts at home, disguise Dodger Stadium. Put a giant Coke bottle beyond left field. Add a pool in center. Slap Petco Park signs in the dugout or something.

Anything to make Ryu believe he’s pitching on the road, where currently he is invincible.

Ryu was at it again Thursday afternoon, holding the Giants scoreless in his seven innings to help the Dodgers salvage the finale of their three-game series at AT&T Park with a 2-1 victory.

The Dodgers now return home Friday to begin a 10-game homestand, tied with the Giants for first in the National League West with a 10-6 record.

Ryu (3-1) has started four games on the road this season and has yet to give up a run in 26 innings. In his only start at Dodger Stadium this year, he only made it through the second inning.

He gave up four hits, all singles, one walk and struck out three Thursday. Despite his rough start at home, he lowered his earned-run average to 1.93.

via Hyun-Jin Ryu stays perfect on the road in Dodgers’ 2-1 victory – latimes.com.

Son Yeon-jae Breaks Title Drought in All-Around at World Cup

The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea - Son Yeon-jae Breaks Title Drought in All-Around at World Cup

Son Yeon-jae wrote a new chapter in the history of Korean rhythmic gymnastics by winning the individual all-around at a World Cup event in Lisbon on Saturday.

This is also Korea’s first-ever medal in this discipline at a senior-level competition hosted by the International Gymnastics Federation.

Son earned the highest marks in three events — 17.900 points in hoop, 17.800 in ball and 17.550 in club — and the second-highest score of 17.950 points in ribbon.

With a combined total of 71.200 points she collected the gold with a convincing lead over runner-up Melitina Staniouta of Belarus (68.150) and third-place finisher Dina Averina of Russia (68.000).

Son had slightly less competition this time around as some of the world’s top athletes did not compete. Russia’s Yana Kudryavtseva, the reigning world champion in the individual all-around, was absent, as was Ganna Rizatdinova of Ukraine and Margarita Mamun of Russia. They usually receive scores in the region of 18 points for each event.

Son, who finished fifth in the 2010 Olympics in London, has previously missed out on a medal in the individual all-around due to a loss of focus or stamina in one or two events.

But as her goal for this year is to win gold at the Incheon Asian Games in September, she has made all four programs more diverse and mature.

Son will compete at a World Cup event in Pesaro, Italy next week before returning home for the Korean Cup and a gala show.

via The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea – Son Yeon-jae Breaks Title Drought in All-Around at World Cup.

Choo Shin-soo Hits 500th Career Homer in MLB

Big-hitting Choo Shin-soo of the Texas Rangers recorded the 500th run of his career in Major League Baseball on Saturday. He hit the milestone at the top of the first during an away game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The big moment came in Choo’s 858th game and 10th season in MLB. He began his career in the league with the Seattle Mariners back in 2005

Choo started as a leadoff hitter and left fielder and had two hits, one run and one RBI in four at-bats. He recorded two hits against David Price, the 2012 winner of the Cy Young Award in the American League. Despite Choo’s efforts, the Rangers lost 5-4.

via The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea – Choo Shin-soo Hits 500th Career Homer in MLB.

TUF China Finale draws announced attendance of 6,000 in Macau

venetian-macau.jpgMACAU – Saturday’s TUF China Finale drew an announced attendance of 6,000, which UFC executives classified as a sell-out.

Executive Vice President and Managing Director of UFC Asia Mark Fischer announced the total at the post-event news conference, which MMAjunkie attended. No live gate total was announced.

The TUF China Finale took place at The Venetian Macao’s CotaiArena. The complete card streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

The attendance figure was down from the UFC’s first trip to the same venue for UFC on FUEL TV 6 in November 2012. That event drew an announced attendance of 8,415 fans. That card also had a live gate total announced for it of more than $1.3 million.

At Saturday’s TUF China Finale, Dong Hyun Kim (19-2-1 MMA, 10-2 UFC) knocked out John Hathaway (17-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) with a vicious elbow in the main event. And in the co-feature, Zhang Lipeng (7-7 MMA, 1-0 UFC) took a controversial split decision from Wang Sai (6-5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) to win the “TUF: China” welterweight crown.

Following the card, Fischer said that the success of the promotion’s second trip to Macau already had led to the next two events in Asia being booked. The UFC will return to Macau on Aug. 23, then will make another trip to Japan on Sept. 20. Both events will be “Fight Night” cards.

via TUF China Finale draws announced attendance of 6,000 in Macau | MMAjunkie.

Is Seattle Mariners firstbasemen Ji-Man Choi the Real Deal? 

Ever since signing with the Mariners in early July 2009, Ji-Man Choi has done one thing really, really well: hit. Through the first three-plus seasons of his professional career, the Korean-born lefty-swinger owns a .323/.424/.522 line.

After hitting a lofty .360/.440/.517 as a 19-year-old in 2010, Choi missed the following season – reportedly due to a back injury that essentially forced the converted catcher to first base. The time away, however, did little to damper his impressive skill set.

During his 2012, which, admittedly, should have landed him among the team’s top 16 prospects, Choi hit .298/.420/.463 with an elite eye at the plate (13.3% BB-rate), strong contact skills (18.7% K-rate), and solid average power (.165 ISO). The lone red flag being his age at the time: 21.

This season, though, Choi has blazed through High-A by hitting .337/.427/.619 with a minors-leading total of 24 doubles, three triples, and seven homeruns; all the while showing an elite eye (12.8%) and a modest strikeout rate (15.6%).

This led the Mariners to recently promote their potential first baseman of the future to Class AA, putting Choi against older competition for the first time in his career.

So, is Ji-Man Choi the real deal?

Well, sort of.

The California League, home to the High Desert Mavericks, is the premier offensive environment among all of the stateside levels, leading the way with an absurd 5.12 runs per game. It gets worse though. High Desert’s home ballpark, aptly named Mavericks Stadium, adds to the inflated offensive numbers too.

According to MinorLeagueCentral.com, the ballpark is sporting some absurd hitter-friendly park factors: 125 for runs, 112 for hits, 116 doubles, and a league high 138 for homeruns (PFs for 2012).  All that means, of course, is that Choi’s numbers this season need to be looked at with some caution.

Still, though, using Weighted Runs Created Plus, a park and league adjusted metric measuring all offensive contributions, his production was 73% better than the Cal League average, the highest in the league.

Choi’s power grades out as solid-average and the doubles should eventually turn into 20 homeruns potential down the line, though he needs to show some more loft (46.3% GB-rate with High Desert). He’s always shown strong plate discipline. And despite the lackluster showing this season against fellow southpaws (.182/.302/.386), he has a decent track record against them throughout his career (.226/.336/.462).

Right now, Choi profiles as a solid prospect, maybe topping out as a 2.5- or 3.0-win player during his peak years. And he probably rank somewhere near the latter part of the team’s top 10 prospects.

Ji-Man Choi is currently in spring training with the Mariners.

via Is Ji-Man Choi the Real Deal? | Prospect Digest.

Blue Jays’ Derrick Chung catching on fast

DUNEDIN – Remember the name Derrick Chung.

It wouldn’t be fair — or very nice — to hang the Blue Jays Catcher of the Future tag on him.

A.J. Jimenez has that title … but shhhhh … don’t tell him.

Sports Illustrated has its cover jinx and the Blue Jays organization has its Catcher of the Future jinx.

Chung, 26, remains a fast mover.

A back-up infielder, at class-A Vancouver in 2012, Chung caught one game. He asked the Jays if he could come to camp last spring to catch (“they always need extra catchers in the spring,” said Chung). Assigned to class-A Dunedin in April, he threw out a whopping 43% of attempted base stealers in the Florida State League, earned a spot in the Arizona Fall League and is now in big league camp with the Jays.

That’s break neck speed for climbing a minor-leaguer ladder. He leapfrogged Daniel Klein, Tucker Frawley, Leo Hernandez and Santiago Nessy, skipping class-A Lansing like a University of Michigan-bound blue chip legacy recruit. Frawley and Hernandez have since been released.

And, best of all, he has a sense of humour.

“I’d throw you out,” he eventually told Jays minor-league coach Tim Raines, after the former Montreal Expos speedster had teased him.

“What’s your time throwing to second?” Raines asked.

“Maybe 1.85, 1.9 seconds, you put Marcus Stroman on the mound with a 1.3 second release time and we’ll throw you out,” said Chung.

“Ah, I’ll steal second and be heading to third,” said Raines.

“What if my pitcher is 1.1 seconds to the plate?” Chung asked.

“I’m not stealing then,” said Raines. “I’m staying put.”Raines has seen Chung throw. “He’s Mike Fitzgerald, maybe a little better,” said Raines looking at Chung who had a who in the heck is Mike Fitzgerald look?

“Who threw you out the most?” Raines was asked.

“Nobody,” said Raines. “Sal Butera got me once. You know those bloopers that you dunk into right field over the first baseman’s head … you know, the ones … we call hitting a Chung? When I played, we called it a Butera.”

Butera is the longest serving member of the Jays scouting staff. Raines and Butera were teammates with the Expos.

Growing up in Cypress, Calif., Chung, whose parents are from Korea, played for the Artesia High Pioneers and was in the same graduating class as James Harden of the NBA’s Houston Rockets. Anthony Gose and the rival Bellflower High Buccaneers were in the same conference. Both pitched and as a grade 11 student, Gose tripled off Chung, who is a year older.

Chung headed to the Sacramento State University Hornets for five years as an infielder. He broke his hand as a junior, so he had a medical red shirt season.

The next fall one catcher was ruled out for academic reasons and in the last practice the other injured his elbow needing Tommy John surgery. Coach Reggie Christenson asked Chung to move behind the plate.

“All those ground balls, all that practice … gone, but I was one of the older guys, I should have been the one to move,” said Chung. “Looking back on the move now I’m thankful.”

Jays scout Darold Brown of Elk Grove, Calif., drafted Chung in the 31st round. He was given a $1,000 US signing bonus … and a chance.

“I didn’t have a lot of time between the last workout of the fall and start of spring workouts, but it helped make the adjustment as an infielder,” said Chung. He praised the Jays roving minor league instructor Sal Fasano and minor league field co-ordinator Doug Davis, a former catcher, helping him make the transition.

At age 26, Chung has a way to go and a short time to get there. Yet, infielder Pat Border with little power at double-A Knoxville was moved behind the plate at age 24 in 1987 bt Jays minor-league guru Bobby Mattick.

A year later he was in Kansas City as the Jays opened the season, platooning with Ernie Whitt under manager Jimy Williams. Borders went 3-for-4, including a triple, and five RBIs in Game 2.

He celebrated his start the way most from Lake Wales, Fla. would, taking his father to Denny’s near Kauffman Stadium for the Grand Slam breakfast. Borders was sent to triple-A Syracuse as the aforementioned Butera arrived. Borders stuck with it playing from 1982 until 2006.

He played with the Jays for eight seasons winning the World Series MVP in 1992.

Borders came so quickly there wasn’t any time to hang the Catcher of the Future Tag on him.

And we did not, repeat did not, hang that tag on Chung.

via Blue Jays’ Derrick Chung catching on fast | Blue Jays | Sports | Toronto Sun.


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