After tying the best-of-five series at one game behind a Matt Kemp eighth-inning home run, the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals met for Game 3 at Busch Stadium Monday night. Despite not pitching since Sept. 12 due to shoulder irritation, Hyun-Jin Ryu took the mound with the Dodgers expressing confidence he wouldn’t skip a beat.

Ryu struck out the first two batters he faced in the first inning and got Jhonny Peralta to ground out after walking Matt Holliday. The southpaw allowed back-to-back singles to lead off the second inning, then faced runners on the corners with two outs but got out of the jam to keep the game scoreless.

As he’s done throughout the series, Matt Carpenter came up with a big hit as he led off the third inning with a solo home run that gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Holliday added a one-out single in the inning, but the Cardinals wouldn’t get anything else.

Ryu pitched scoreless fourth and fifth innings before the Dodgers managed to tie the game in the sixth, and the lefty then went out and threw a shutdown inning. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly pinch-hit for Ryu in the seventh with two outs and nobody on base.

Ryu had thrown 94 pitches through six innings but following the loss, said he was capable of remaining in the game, via the OC Register’s Pedro Moura:

Pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke grounded out to short and Scott Elbert took the mound in the bottom of the seventh. Elbert gave up a leadoff double to Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong followed with a two-run home run that proved to be the difference.

The apprehension to pushing Ryu another inning is certainly understandable given he hadn’t pitched in a live game for nearly one month. However, Ryu needed just eight pitches to get three outs in the fourth inning, and 26 pitches to get through the fifth and sixth.

Ryu routinely topped 100 pitches during the season and appeared to still have plenty left in his pitches Monday night. Moreover, the Dodgers’ bullpen struggles have been a recurring theme. Mattingly’s decision to call on a reliever rather than push his starter has now backfired in consecutive games.

Mattingly lifted Zack Greinke after seven innings in Game 2 and J.P. Howell promptly gave up back-to-back hits with the second a Carpenter game-tying, two-run home run. Conversely, Mattingly stuck with Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 and that also didn’t work out to his advantage.

Kershaw returns to the mound Tuesday with the Dodgers in a must-win position in order to avoid being eliminated by the Cardinals in consecutive seasons.

About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

2 Responses

  1. Ed De Rueda

    Mattingly didn’t really trust Ryu in his pitching ability to stay the course, and then he brings in Elbert, who did not have enough of a season to come in and be the guy to take over for Ryu……………..

    Reply
  2. Dan Horrocks

    Comparing the Ryu situation to when he stayed with Kershaw in game 1, is not even applicable, due to the fact that Kersh had just given up a string of solid line drive hits, so it was clear there was an immediate problem….however Donny hadn’t thought that that was a possibility, so he didn’t have any arms warm enough to make the change when he needed to before the big blast by Carp…Donny is to blame for that

    Reply

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