After notching back-to-back wins against the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Stadium, the Los Angeles Dodgers went into Game 6 of the National League Championship Series one victory away from returning to the World Series.
Along with a bit of momentum on their side, the Dodgers could find comfort and confidence in sending Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound. He arguably was their best starter this season and he carried that success into October.
David Freese’s leadoff home run spotted Ryu with a lead, but he quickly squandered it as the Brewers rallied to score four runs with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. They pushed across another run — again with two outs — in the second inning.
While it was evident Ryu simply was failing to pitch to his standards, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts stuck with him. “That’s sort of what the situation we were in,” Roberts said.
“There’s the thought of trying to go to your ‘pen in the first inning or the second inning, but there’s a significant cost potentially for a potential Game 7. So I just felt that we needed to get some more innings out of Hyun-Jin to keep our highest leverage guys available for a potential Game 7.”
Ryu wound up going just three innings. The four earned runs were the most he’s allowed in any start this year. Roberts conceded if Friday’s matchup was Game 7, the hook would’ve been much quicker.
“But, again, to be all-in in a game and to not come out on the winning side of it, then there’s a significant cost,” he added.
Not turning to his bullpen any earlier in the game paid off in some regard as the Brewers began to pull away while the Dodgers scored just one run after Freese’s homer.
Excluding Ryu, Roberts said his entire pitching staff, which would mean Clayton Kershaw as well, is available for Game 7.
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