Dodgers ready to roll with Ryu in Game 3 vs. Cards
LOS ANGELES -- Hyun-Jin Ryu was named the Game 3 starter by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly after Ryu came out of Wednesday's 45-pitch simulated game with no setbacks with his left shoulder.
Against the Cardinals in the National League Division Series, Ryu will be pitching for the first time in 23 days Monday in St. Louis, his most recent outing being a one-inning start in San Francisco on Sept. 12. Coincidentally, Ryu missed 23 days with the same injury in May.
Ryu said he felt "much better" coming back this time than he did last time, speculating that the difference was a cortisone injection he took that he didn't take for the earlier injury.
Mattingly said Dan Haren would be on standby if Ryu can't start or must leave the game early. The Dodgers are preparing for, but not discussing, the likelihood that Game 1 starter Clayton Kershaw will return to start Game 4 (if necessary) on Tuesday on three days' rest, as he did in the NLDS last season against the Braves.
Mattingly said he expects Ryu to be able to make his typical 100-110 pitches despite the layoff.
"We don't feel like he's lost a ton of arm strength or anything like that. This is late in the year, and if anything, Hyun-Jin is the right guy for missing this much time," said Mattingly. "And the other guys know that he's not a bullpen guy, he doesn't throw [bullpen sessions] in between. He's been through this once before ... came back and threw really well.
"You see him after he sits out for 15 days, and his [bullpen sessions] are right on. He throws the ball where he wants. So he's not a guy that we're really concerned about coming off this layoff. But we'll still be the same. Even when he's been 100 percent fully healthy, he's been a 100 to 110 [pitches] guy, unless everything goes really smoothly."
In the 2013 playoffs against St. Louis, Ryu limited the Cardinals to three hits over seven scoreless innings in a Game 3 NL Championship Series win. This season, Ryu lost his only start against St. Louis, allowing three runs on nine hits in seven innings on June 27 at Dodger Stadium.