NLDS Game 3: Ryu ready?

October 6, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner, from left, pitcher Clayton Kershaw, pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, of South Korea, and Scott Van Slyke joke around in the dugout before a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner, from left, pitcher Clayton Kershaw, pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, of South Korea, and Scott Van Slyke joke around in the dugout before a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

By The Korea Times Los Angeles staff

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ starter Ryu Hyun-jin is confirmed for his 2014 postseason debut at the St. Louis Cardinals’ Busch stadium on Oct. 6 for Game 3 of the National League Division Series (NLDS).

Ryu has been battling minor shoulder inflammation since his Sept. 12 regular season start against the San Francisco Giants, but showed optimism throughout his rehabilitation.

“I feel very confident right now,” he said through an interpreter at a press conference on Sunday night. “My arm feels really good. My shoulder feels really strong, and I have a pretty good feeling I’ll be able to put in a good game tomorrow.”

But if Ryu performs poorly, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly stands to receive a lot of criticism for sending out a pitcher who hasn’t pitched in more than 20 days due to injury to start the pivotal Game 3 of the NLDS.

In Ryu’s third career postseason start and his first on the road, he will be facing the Cardinals’ John Lackey, a playoff veteran with a 3.03 postseason ERA and two world series titles under his belt. He is not as reliable as he used to be, but today’s game is exactly the reason the Cardinals traded for him back in July.

As long as both starters make characteristic starts, the match up should be fairly even and provide another close game. So far though, the 2014 playoffs have been everything but characteristic.

Dodgers’ ace and NL Cy Young probable, Clayton Kershaw, gave up eight runs in Game 1 of the NLDS.

The Los Angeles Angels, the team with the most wins in the regular season, have already been eliminated in a three game sweep by the Kansas City Royals.

The Baltimore Orioles also unexpectedly swept the Detroit Tigers.

The best thing for the Dodgers is to take it game by game instead of getting distracted by anything outside of the field.

“We have all the confidence in the world in [Ryu],” said Dodger outfielder Matt Kemp. “We’re going to go out there and back him up and try to get Game 3.”

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