The Dodgers needed a big performance from Hyun-Jin Ryu to avoid going down 3-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series and the rookie pitcher delivered.
Ryu threw seven scoreless innings last night and helped the Dodgers get a much needed win.
The LA Times notes that Ryu is only the fourth pitcher in Dodgers history to throw seven or more scoreless innings in the postseason. Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax and Orel Hershiser are the only other pitchers in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
After the game, Ryu said that he was inspired before last night’s game when he saw Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier put on their uniforms and head out to the field. Ramirez and Ethier are both battling through injuries (Ramirez has a broken rib) and Hyu said that it was inspiring to see them fight through the pain.
Ryu said: “It’s definitely a big motivation when you see your star players go out there hurt and putting it on the line for the team.”
Ryu may also be fighting through an injury. The Washington Post notes that some critics are concerned that the 26-year-old pitcher is being overworked. After letting up four runs in three innings during his NLDS start, he started wearing a compression sleeve for workouts. Ryu may be a little soar but he didn’t show it last night.
Manager Don Mattingly trusted the young pitcher’s arm enough to let him finish off the seventh inning against Matt Adam.
Mattingly went out to the mound to see if Ryu still had enough to finish the inning and the young pitcher was adamant that he could finish it out.
Ryu said: “When he walked away and gave me the green light to go after the last batter, whenever you feel that kind of trust from your manager, it motivates you to commit and get that out.”
Ryu struck Adam out with a 91 mph fastball.