The last few seasons have been difficult for Los Angeles Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu as he underwent shoulder surgery and then dealt with an elbow injury, keeping him out for all but one start in 2015 and 2016.
Ryu was able to return in 2017 and pitch 126.2 innings, but it was easy to see that he did not look the same as he did before dealing with the arm injuries. The 2018 season was a much different story.
He not only got back to being his old self but was even better. Ryu missed time due to a groin strain, but in 15 starts went 7-3 with a 1.97 ERA, 3.00 FIP and 1.01 WHIP with 89 strikeouts and 15 walks in 82.1 innings.
As he gets set to make his third postseason start, Ryu believes that having an offseason without having to do any rehab on his arm played a big factor in his strong 2018 campaign.
“To be honest, I feel like whenever I go into a season when I work in the offseason, I try to make sure that I’m in the right shape to perform,” he said.
“But obviously the year prior to this year, well, prior to this year, I had to deal with injuries, and the focus of the offseason were different than coming into this season. So I guess that might be the reason why he say that. But honestly, I prepare the same way I do, offseason is always the same.”
Ryu takes the ball against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on Friday night with a chance to send the Dodgers back to the World Series.
As good as Ryu has been this season, he knows the Brewers are not just going to roll over and give up. “They’re very competitive and they have very good hitters,” he said.
“And the fact that they’re here in the NLCS is a testament to their ability. But our pitchers, just like other pitchers, I have to do my job and prepare for them. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s outing.”
Ryu has been solid so far in the postseason, giving up 10 hits and two runs in 11.1 innings while striking out 12 without allowing a walk.
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