Ryu: big leagues were no major adjustment

November 1, 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers pitches Ryu Hyun-jin listens to a question at a news conference at the Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul, Thursday, following a successful rookie season highlighted by 13  wins.  / Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin listens to a question at a news conference at the Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul, Thursday, following a successful rookie season highlighted by 13 wins.
(Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul)

By Baek Byung-yeul

Coming off a successful rookie season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Ryu Hyun-jin said Thursday that he expects even bigger things next year on baseball’s biggest stage.

After completing an illustrious seven-year career with Hanwha Eagles in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), Ryu joined the Dodgers for the 2013 season and quickly established himself as the team’s most important starter behind Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.

He became rookie of the year by going 14-8 with a 3.00 earned-run average (ERA), exceeding the expectations of most, but certainly not his.

”In the first few games, it was hard for me to take the mound after a four-day break, unlike in Korea where I took five days between pitching. But I think it took me about only 10 games to adjust,’’ Ryu told reporters at a news conference in the Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel, Seoul Thursday.

”I felt there was no major difference in the quality of baseball being played in Korea and the United States. My goal for next year is to get to the 10-win plateau first, that’s always been my goal since I became a professional baseball player. Everything comes after that.’’

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin speaks to reporters at a news conference at the Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul, Thursday, following a successful rookie season highlighted by 13 wins. / Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin speaks to reporters at a news conference at the Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul, Thursday, following a successful rookie season highlighted by 13 wins.
(Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul)

Although the Dodgers fell short of their quest to reach the World Series, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series, Ryu managed to leave a positive postseason impression. During a duel against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright in Game 3 of the series, Ryu pitched seven shutout innings to lead his team to a 3-0 win.

Ryu said he was satisfied with his first year in the majors.

”I would like to give myself 99 points out of a 100. I took one point out because I think I could have prepared better for the tiring major league season, which involves a lot of travelling and adjusting to time zones. Ninety-nine also happens to be my jersey number,’’ he said.

Ryu plans to stay in Korea until the Dodgers open spring camp next year.

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