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Dodgers 2019 Postseason: Hyun-Jin Ryu Looks Ahead to Game 3 Start

The Korean Monster is healthy and ready.

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DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 31: Starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on July 31, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

It’s been a long road for Dodgers ace Hyun-Jin Ryu to get to his upcoming NLDS game 3 start. Moreover, it’s been a strange road leading to him even being in the conversation of being called an “ace” of the staff.

Shoulder surgery wiped out his 2015 season, and all but 1 start of his 2016 season. He returned in 2017 and each start felt like something could happen at any time. Then in 2018, the Korean native did something that hadn’t been seen since parts of his rookie campaign.

He dominated.

While a groin injury disrupted his season, it didn’t upend his game plan. Now Ryu has a 2.21 ERA over the last two seasons under his belt, and his eye on an important game 3 start in the NLDS on the road.

When assessing the last few seasons of his career, Ryu was honest with his take on whether he felt much emotion about his upcoming postseason start.

“I don’t think there’s much difference, but I guess the mind set has to change when it comes to postseason games,” Ryu said through an interpreter.

The lefty took the ball in game 1 of the 2018 NLDS and shut down the Atlanta Braves for 7 scoreless innings. However, he allowed 11 earned runs over his next 12 innings pitched, picking up two losses along the way.

After pitching a total of 213.2 innings between 2015-2018, Ryu was healthy enough to toss 182.2 innings in 2019. And with that, there’s more confidence heading into his first postseason start this season.

I feel healthier this season compared to the past seasons. But my job is to go out there and make sure to put up zeroes and try to give up the least amount of runs as a starting pitcher — and just go hard from the get go. I think there’s a little change in that respect, but in general I don’t think there’s much change from last season.

Now Hyun-Jin is poised to give the Dodgers a 2-1 series lead over the Nationals and Anibal Sanchez on the road. Our friend, and Dodgers stats man, Rick Krajewski helps identify one key to Ryu’s success against Washington.

Number 99 has a 2-1 record with a 1.35 ERA in 5 career starts against the Nationals.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

7 Comments

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  1. The Astros and Yankees took care of business at home as well they should; the dodgers didn’t. Unless they blow out the Nats 2 of the next 3, if it goes that long, they won’t win and possibly not even participate in the ws. This from a four decade Dodger fan.

  2. If Bellinger stops screwing himself into the ground swinging and missing and the rest of the team shows some plate discipline ( besides Muncy, of course, who already does– and should be the model), we have a chance. So tired of watching so many on the team swinging at balls a foot or so outside the plate ( Pollack has been the king of this).

    In game 2, if we had played some small ball–bunts, stealing bases etc–like the nats did, we could have won despite Kershaw’s 2nd rate start. When something isn’t working, try something else! Do the unexpected sometimes.. It could pay off

    • Robin, watching the Astros and Rays ALDS game last night made me cringe at the thought of Dodgers facing Verlander and Cole in the WS should they get there. But honestly, if Dodgers are even close to that effort on Friday against the Nats, the last game will be on Monday and the off season for the Dodgers will begin on Tuesday October 8.

      • I am hoping for the best, but reality keeps hitting me in the face and I don’t see these Dodgers beating Atlanta. I mean, Pollock at lead off was kinds odd. I think the Dodgers try so hard to mix up the opposition, they might be baffling themselves. I know we were all swinging for 17 home runs, but 17 strikeouts is absurd.

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