When Hyun-Jin Ryu suffered a strain in his right gluteus, manager Don Mattingly expressed hope the left-hander wouldn’t miss time. However, Ryu wound up being placed on the 15-day disabled list and the optimism turned to uncertainty.
Given the lack of history of pitchers dealing with such an injury, the Dodgers weren’t sure when the southpaw would manage to return. Ryu wound up recovering at a rather quick pace and he returned to the mound Sunday.
Ryu showed no ill-effects of his injury as he held the San Diego Padres to one run in seven innings. After Ryu allowed a game-tying RBI double in the bottom of the first inning, he retired the next 14 batters he faced.
Following the win, Ryu said he got in rhtyhm and felt comfortable on the mound, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
I felt pretty comfortable,” Ryu said. “It didn’t take me too long to find a rhythm. I know it’s been two weeks, but it feels like I was there a few days ago.”
Known to pitch well when starting on extra rest, Ryu also alluded to his time off as beneficial:
I think most pitchers would say that rest is always good,” Ryu said. “Obviously, not too long, but if you can squeeze in a bit here and there, it always helps.”
With the win, Ryu improved to 14-6 this season and lowered his ERA to 3.18. He also improved to 4-0 in five career starts against the Padres, with three of the wins coming this season. Ryu’s return also stabilizes the front end of the Dodgers’ starting rotation, which manager Don Mattingly is understandably pleased by.
Entering Monday, the Dodgers hold a 2.5-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the National League West standings. The division rivals will meet six more times this season with each team hosting a three-game series.
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