Hyun-Jin Ryu joined Clayton Kershaw (three times) and Brandon McCarthy (twice) as the only Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitchers to throw six innings. Outside of the trio, no starter has so much as pitched more than five innings.
While Ryu turned in his longest start of the young season, held his velocity through out and struck out seven, he surrendered three home runs. Two of which were hit by Nolan Arenado.
“Just missed location,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts of the homers. “Obviously, Nolan is the their best player. [Ryu] tried to come in with a fastball, it leaked back and it was down. That’s his nitro zone. He put a good swing on it.”
Ryu expressed frustration over being stung by the long ball, but took some solace in other aspects of his outing. So too did Roberts, who’d been saddled with a worn-down bullpen in recent games.
“If we eliminate the slug, [Ryu] pitched a heck of a ball game,” Roberts said. “Gave us the much-needed length we were looking for. Ryu will be fine. It’s just trying to minimize that long ball.
“To expect him to be locked in right now is a little unfair. It’ll get there. The velocity was up, so, again, if you look at the full body of work, it was three pitches that hurt him.”
Ryu dropped to 0-3 on the season and he now sports a 5.87 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He’s allowed six home runs in 15.1 innings pitched. Tuesday night was the first time in Ryu’s career he surrendered three homers in a single game.
Prior to that point, the southpaw had been tagged for multiple home runs in a game only twice. Both instances came during Ryu’s rookie season in 2013. He finished the season with a career-high 15 home runs allowed.
No matter the valleys endured thus far, the 30-year-old has the full backing and confidence of Roberts. “We feel comfortable with him making a start every fifth day,” the second-year manager said.
“As he gets into the rhythm of the season we know he’ll get better. For us the barometer for Ryu is repeating his delivery, holding velocity and executing pitches, which he’s doing.”