Hyun-jin Ryu retired all 12 batters he faced on Thursday night, ending his spring on a high note for the Dodgers against the Angels in the first game of the Freeway Series in Anaheim.
Ryu was magnificent in his previous start, on Saturday night at Camelback Ranch, as he allowed just two runs on one hit. He retired 17 of the final 18 batters that night, including the final 11 he faced. Counting Thursday, Ryu retired the final 23 batters he faced and 29 of the last 30.
"After the last game, I told myself I don't want to let anyone score, so I'm happy I accomplished that," Ryu said. "Tonight was by far my best game of the spring."
Ryu's fastball reached 92 mph on Thursday, and he said his pitches working best were his fastball and change. He didn't throw many curve balls, but said he was slowly working that into his repertoire. He was originally slated to pitch three innings but was rewarded by his efficiency.
"For the first time, I didn't overthrow in the first inning. So after three innings I had a low pitch count and was able to go another inning," Ryu said.
Ryu ends his spring with a 3.29 ERA, with 27 strikeouts against just eight walks in 27⅓ innings, and looking very ready to face the Giants on Apr. 2 in his first regular season start.
"There was a lot of talk in the very beginning (of spring training) about how I would perform. I was actually anxious and nervous at first, but after the games went on I got more comfortable," Ryu said. "I'm just happy to end camp on a good note."
Ryu was asked if his goals for the season remained the same from his introductory press conference in December.
"I still want to have an ERA in the 2.00s, but I also would like to win Rookie of the Year," he said.
If Ryu's regular season is anything like his spring training, he'll be hard to beat for that honor.
After six scheduled split squad days during the last 28 days - more than Don Mattingly could remember having during any one spring training - the Dodgers are back to one game per day beginning Friday. Hopefully the paint will dry on the finishing touches on all the renovations at Dodger Stadium in time for the 7:10 p.m. PT start, with Josh Beckett starting against Jason Vargas.