Ryu to start Dodgers’ postseason game against the Braves

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Ryu to start Dodgers’ postseason game against the Braves


From left: Oh Seung-hwan of the Colorado Rockies throws a pitch during a wildcard game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois, on Tuesday. Ryu Hyun-jin of the LA Dodgers throws a pitch during a game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, on Sept. 23. [GETTY IMAGES/YONHAP, AP/YONHAP]

Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers will start the team’s postseason series against the Atlanta Braves tomorrow after the Dodgers won the National League West regular season title for the sixth consecutive time.

The Dodgers announced on Wednesday that Ryu will start Game 1 of the National League Division Series, which begins tomorrow, instead of Clayton Kershaw, who was previously expected to begin the playoff game.

The winner of the National League Division Series will advance to the National League Championship Series. The division series is played in a best-of-five format while the championship series is best-of-seven.

Considering the two pitchers’ recent conditions, Ryu may be a better decision.

Although Ryu had to miss more than three months of the season with a groin injury, he had been at his best shape when he returned and finished the season with seven wins and three losses with a 1.97 ERA.

What’s even more impressive is that, in the nine games in August and September that Ryu started after his injury, Ryu picked up four wins and three losses with a 1.88 ERA.

In comparison, Kershaw picked up three wins and no losses with 3.89 ERA in the six games he started in September.

Regarding Ryu’s successful pitching in important games, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “He’s always been a big-game pitcher, and I’ve seen it from the other side.”

Ryu was the first to start in the Dodgers’ last three-game series against the San Francisco Giants and helped the team win.

During the 2013 and 2014 postseason, Ryu started in three games and picked up a win while maintaining a 2.81 ERA. This will be Ryu’s first postseason appearance since 2014.

Following shoulder and elbow surgeries, Ryu was limited to only one start in 2015 and 2016 and was kept off the postseason roster in 2017 after going 5-9 with a 3.77 ERA in the regular season.

Against the Braves, Ryu tossed 18 and one-third of an inning in three games and picked up a loss with a 2.95 ERA throughout his career.

This season, Ryu has not yet started against the Braves.

Before Ryu, Oh Seung-hwan of the Colorado Rockies was the first Korean to appear in the postseason this year during the Rockies’ wildcard game against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.

The Rockies defeated the Cubs 2-1 in the 13th inning to clinch a spot in the National League Division Series.

While the Rockies were tied at 1-1 at the bottom of the 10th, Oh appeared as the Rockies’ fourth pitcher of the game. Oh tossed a scoreless one and two-thirds of an inning, where he gave up two walks.

With his appearance, Oh became the first Korean player ever to appear in postseason games in the Korean, Japanese and American leagues.

Oh, who joined the Rockies from the Toronto Blue Jays in a July trade, has been rock solid in the bullpen, with a 2-0 record and a 2.53 ERA in 25 games as a Rockie during the regular season.

BY KIM HYO-KYUNG, YONHAP [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]
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