Dodgers’ Ryu Hyun-jin to start Game 1 of NLDS

October 3, 2018

SEOUL, Oct. 3 (Yonhap) — The Los Angeles Dodgers will start South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin in their first postseason game of 2018.

The Dodgers announced Tuesday (local time) that Ryu will get the ball in Game 1 of the National League Division Series (NLDS) against the Atlanta Braves at 5:37 p.m. Thursday in Los Angeles, or 9:37 a.m. Friday in Seoul.

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.

In this Associated Press file photo from Sept. 28, 2018, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at AT&T Park in San Francisco. (Yonhap)

In this Associated Press file photo from Sept. 28, 2018, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at AT&T Park in San Francisco. (Yonhap)

Clayton Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award winner who has started eight of the past 10 postseason Games 1s for the Dodgers, will take the mound in Game 2.

The decision by manager Dave Roberts gives both left-handers five days of rest. Ryu’s final regular season game came Friday against the San Francisco Giants and Kershaw followed him the next day.

The Dodgers clinched their sixth straight NL West division crown by beating the Colorado Rockies 5-2 in a tiebreaker game on Monday and also earned themselves an extra day of rest since they didn’t have to play in the Wild Card Game on Tuesday.

Ryu enjoyed an outstanding regular season, with a 7-3 record and a 1.97 ERA in 15 starts spanning 82 1/3 innings. He struck out 89 and walked 15, achieving career highs in both strike-to-walk ratio and strikeouts-per-nine innings ratio.

Ryu was particularly strong down the stretch as he won his final three starts while giving up just one earned run in 19 innings.

In 2018, Ryu was 3-1 with a 1.36 ERA on four days’ rest, and 3-2 with a 2.67 ERA on five days’ rest.

The Braves, which won the NL East at 90-72, will counter with right-hander Mike Foltynewicz. He was 13-10 with a 2.85 ERA, and had a team-high 202 strikeouts in 183 innings.

This will be the first postseason appearance for the 26-year-old Foltynewicz. Ryu has a career postseason record of 1-0 and a 2.81 ERA in three starts.

Ryu didn’t face the Braves during the regular season. Over his career, he is 0-1 with a 2.95 ERA in three regular season starts versus Atlanta.

During the regular season, the Braves had the second-highest team batting average in the NL at .257 and ranked tied for fifth with 759 runs scored. They were also top five in both on-base and slugging percentages.

Ryu’s first postseason start came against the Braves in 2013. That was in Game 3 of the NLDS, when Ryu got a no-decision in a 13-6 LA victory after allowing four earned runs in three innings.

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