LOS ANGELES — — There were questions about his last few poor starts, about perhaps being fatigued and about the catcher receiving the pitches before Hyun-Jin Ryu made his final regular season home start on Sunday.
Now, we may not know the answers about those bad outings that began in his start at Atlanta last month but we do know that Ryu pitched seven solid innings for his 13th win of the season.
This was his 13th start of seven or more innings with one or zero walks which is the most of any starting pitcher in 2019.
But it wasn’t only his pitching that got Ryu this series honor, it was for his use of Cody Bellinger’s bat in the bottom of the fifth inning when the Dodgers trailed 1-0.
Hyun-Jin Ryu said he homered swinging Cody Bellinger’s bat.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) September 22, 2019
I have posted both the SportsNet LA call and the Korean broadcasters call because they are both great.
RYU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP.— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 22, 2019
That’s a first career homer for @HyunJinRyu99 in the last regular season game at home! pic.twitter.com/QD7Lh2UGlR
Korean call (MBC Sports+) of Hyun-Jin Ryu's home run vs. the Rockies. #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/90LhiASgwg— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) September 22, 2019
Who was more excited, Ryu or Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser
How can you not love Joe and Orel?— Lindsay Adams (@LAtweets22) September 22, 2019
You can’t. pic.twitter.com/ZkbFCw9aQj
After Sunday’s game, both Ryu and his manager Dave Roberts talked about his performance.
“Except for the two home runs I gave up, I think it was a good game overall,” Ryu said through his translator after the game, “the first one, I could deal with, the second one was mistake pitch and it was another opportunity for me to learn how if you make mistake you get punished, [Sam] Hilliard put a good swing on it, the mistake pitch.”
“It was literally pitch and hit a game-tying homer,” Roberts said about Ryu’s performance, “took good at-bats, the homer was big but just the way he threw the baseball today, it was back to what you expect from Hyun-Jin, his entire mix was good, the change ups down below, the fastball command, the cutter, the breaking ball when he needed it.”
“We needed this from him, for him to go deep in the game, was really good to see, it was good that he kept us in a position to win a baseball game and from that point on the offense took over.”
Ryu will have one more start in San Francisco and then the Dodgers will slot him for his start in the NLDS, likely at home given his record at Dodger Stadium in the last two seasons.
Finally, Ryu does have his home run ball and it already in a cube!
Home run No. 1— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 23, 2019
Save that ball, @HyunJinRyu99. pic.twitter.com/nbMs0m9Pc9