LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers got something out lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu that they haven't gotten in years, but it came at the expense of a defeat.Ryu battled over seven innings and 102 pitches against the Nationals in a 4-2 loss on Monday, finishing the game having allowed four runs on
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers got something out lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu that they haven't gotten in years, but it came at the expense of a defeat.
Ryu battled over seven innings and 102 pitches against the Nationals in a 4-2 loss on Monday, finishing the game having allowed four runs on seven hits, but it was his longest outing since Aug. 31, 2014.
Ryu's velocity was on display early, with his fastball touching 94 mph, which was an encouraging sign for Ryu and manager Dave Roberts.
"Hyun-Jin was good," Roberts said. "He was really good. He came out with a lot of conviction. The changeup was good. The cutter was good. Just to see him come out with a purpose and focus was really encouraging."
Ryu, who had surgeries on his left elbow and shoulder the last two seasons, has been working to get back to his old form. In his last four home starts, Ryu has been more than serviceable, going 2-2 and striking out 25 against six walks.
"That's one of the things with Ryu early on coming off injury, to be able to hold velocity," Roberts said. "Tonight was the most he's pitched and the hardest I pushed him. For him to get through 100 pitches, seven innings and the stuff was there and held, I think is something for him to build on."
The southpaw has been in and out of the Dodgers' rotation and even spent some time in the bullpen, where he recorded a four-inning save.
"I feel like I'm getting stronger as the season is progressing," Ryu said. "I was pretty happy to see 94 being hit on the radar, at the same time, I gave up runs with two outs. Overall, just talking about velocity, I feel like I'm getting stronger."
Roberts isn't sure when Ryu will start again, but said his performance on Monday ensured he'll get another shot this season.
"You look at the whole body of work, seven innings, he gave up four runs, not a lot of quality contact, there was some strikeouts in there," Roberts said. "I think from start to finish, it was one of the best outing he's had all year."
Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.