LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers didn't need a shutdown performance from Hyun-Jin Ryu on a night in which the offense dominated the Rockies, but they sure got one from the southpaw in Monday night's 8-2 win at Dodger Stadium.Facing the Rockies with the National League West lead on the line,
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers didn't need a shutdown performance from Hyun-Jin Ryu on a night in which the offense dominated the Rockies, but they sure got one from the southpaw in Monday night's 8-2 win at Dodger Stadium.
Facing the Rockies with the National League West lead on the line, Ryu posted seven shutout innings with just four hits, no walks and five strikeouts. He was quickly backed up by a Dodgers offense that made the score 2-0 after one inning, 6-0 after three and 8-0 after four.
The low-stress win put the Dodgers a half-game up on the Rockies for the division lead and provided evidence that Ryu is ready for some even more important starts.
"He's always been a big-game pitcher and I've seen it from the other side," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "For him to be healthy and set the tone for this series, in complete command tonight. Stuff was really good. We fed off of him and it was good to see."
Since his return on Aug. 15 from a disabled-list stint due to a groin injury, Ryu has posted a 2.21 ERA and just three walks in 40 2/3 innings. He had his usual arsenal of pitches working again on Monday against a Rockies lineup that has been slumping lately.
"Typical Ryu," Rockies catcher Andrew Butera said. "Good command, sneaky fastball and he kept us off-balance going back and forth with that curveball."
Once Ryu was out of the game after 93 pitches, the Dodgers were able to use the available low-leverage innings to give work to a trio of relievers that had just joined the active roster on Monday. Together, John Axford, Yimi Garcia and Tony Cingrani combined for 1 1/3 innings of work, allowing one hit and striking out one.
Saving the bullpen to such a degree could spill over into the next two games, in which Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler will try to match the tone set by Ryu.
"To start the year, [Ryu] was throwing the ball really well and he just has that ability to control the heartbeat and make pitches," Roberts said. "You have a guy who can get lefties and righties out, can really throw a strike when he needs to. There's a lot of trust there, and Hyun-Jin's earned it."
Jack Baer is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.