Hyun-Jin Ryu was nothing short of dominating all the way up until the fifth inning during last night’s game against the Washington Nationals. Kudos to Stephen Strasburg for forcing a long at-bat against Ryu in the 5th.

With 2 outs in the fifth, Strasburg was able to work a deep 3-2 count that ran Ryu’s pitch count up close to 100. After Strasburg won the battle with a walk, Trea Turner followed with a walk of his own and Dave Roberts was forced to bring in Ross Stripling to finish the inning.

However, up to that point in the game, Ryu showed signs of brilliance, matching the National’s Ace pitch-by-pitch. He kept the Dodgers in the lead with just one run to spare. All in all, he went 4.2 innings, allowing just three hits, two walks, and he struck out five. After this performance, it raised some eyebrows at Dave Roberts’ future decision: Who is in the rotation and who will be out of the rotation come October.

As of now, there are an easy two guys in the playoff rotation: Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish. Keep in mind, the playoffs typically only use four starting pitchers. So who will be the back two for the Dodgers? Right now it looks like Rich Hill will have the third slot, and the fourth slot is still left up for grabs.

Based on recent performances we can narrow it down to either Alex Wood or Hyun-Jin Ryu. One will start, and one will go into the bullpen. I know what you’re thinking, Alex Wood seems like he’s earned it! “He’s 15-3 with an ERA of 2.69!” Sure, but if you look into the playoffs and who we will be facing, it may be critical to have a solid lefty arm out of the pen.

Alex Wood could bring some much-needed stability to the bullpen against some big lefty bats that the Dodgers could potentially face. It also helps that Wood has experience out of the bullpen, whereas Ryu does not.

Decision time is around the corner but for now, the Dodgers head into Philadelphia to take on the Phillies. With the magic number down to four, can the Dodgers clinch the division title this week? Dodgers Nation will keep you updated!

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