The game had already fled his grasp. His standing within the Dodgers starting rotation already looked precarious. All that remained for Hyun-Jin Ryu on this wretched evening, when he weathered a hellacious beating in a 10-7 loss to Colorado, was a final fit of embarrassment.
As Ryu labored in the fourth inning, already down nine runs, a lengthy conversation developed between the pitcher and the umpiring crew. The message did not take. Ryu stepped backward to begin his motion, and then his body went slack. He held up his left hand to signal for more time. Umpire Todd Tichenor saw something different.
“Balk!” Tichenor shout-ed.
Ryu looked flabbergasted. In the dugout,...