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October 15, 2013

Hyun-Jin Ryu Saves the Day for the Dodgers and Becomes

The First Korean Pitcher to Win in MLB Postseason

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu celebrates after getting the last out to end the seventh inning of Game 3 of the National League baseball championship series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, in Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu celebrates after getting the last out to end the seventh inning of Game 3 of the National League baseball championship series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

By Lee Kyutae

Hyun-Jin Ryu came through like Superman, saving the Los Dodgers to become the first Korean pitcher in history to win a Major League Baseball playoff game.

Ryu, 26, pitched seven shutout innings to best St. Louis Cardinal ace Adam Wainwright and kept the Dodgers from going down three games to none on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

The following is what he had to say after winning Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.

-How were you able to throw so well in such an important game?

▲Because we were down 0-2, it was a must-win situation and I was all out from the very beginning. As I’ve said before, a little bit of nervous energy is good. It kept me on my toes.

-Did you feel like it was the biggest game of your career?

▲It was right up there with the Olympic gold medal game, WBC finals, and the Korean Series when I was a rookie in Korea. It was intense.

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu throws during the first inning of Game 3 of the National League baseball championship series Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu throws during the first inning of Game 3 of the National League baseball championship series Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

-Do you think you benefited from your NLDS struggles?

▲Well, I only lasted 3 innings last time out, so it made me focus more from the beginning. I made sure I didn’t allow any runs early, and it worked.

-Did that experience help you?

▲Yes, it helped a lot. I realized that it’s important to get off to a fast start in big games. I’ll try to keep that up.

-But you did walk a batter in 1st inning, and had to survive through tough hitters.

▲I didn’t worry about it too much. With a runner on, my focus was to throw low, so I don’t allow anything big. Because I had a good fastball, it worked out well.

-You really had your fastball working today.

▲I knew I had it when I was warming up in the bullpen. I felt good, and my fastball had some juice. I got hit early last time, so I went right after them hard from the very beginning.

-Did you throw more warm-up pitches to do that?

▲No. I threw pretty much the same amount of warm-up pitches. I just felt good.

-What do you think about Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier playing hurt, and hard?

▲To see our star players do that… they inspire everybody on the team. I want to help the team just like them.

-What did your manager, Don Mattingly, say to you when he got to the mound in 7th inning?

▲I felt fine at the time. I had plenty left in the tank. He trusted me to face one more batter, so I did my best to get that one more batter out.

-He said yesterday that if you got off to another tough start, he might pull you early, and that since you are not a hard-thrower, it’s important for you to have good control.

▲I didn’t worry about the quick hook, and everyone knows that I am not a power pitcher, so his comments didn’t bother me.

2 Comments

  1. di

    October 15, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    I knew you can do it. RYU! You are so good!

  2. David

    October 15, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    I was moved at the 7th inning. You let the Matt just go to bench!!.

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