The Dodgers needed a quality outing from Hyun-Jin Ryu on Saturday like every 6-year-old fan walking into Dodger Stadium needs a Yasiel Puig T-shirt.
After Manager Don Mattingly exhausted the bullpen to the point of using utilityman Skip Schumaker in the team's 16-1 loss to the Phillies on Friday night, Ryu delivered one of his best outings of the year. His two earned runs and seven hits with six strikeouts and three walks in seven innings were good enough to keep the Dodgers in the game before ultimately walking off with a 4-3 win.
"Your starter sets the tone and he gave us a good seven innings, put us in position to win," Mattingly said
Aside from two solo home runs to Chase Utley, Ryu (6-3, 2.83 earned-run average) threw his fastball hard and accurately and had command of his slider — picking up five of his six strikeouts on the two pitches. He tossed 66 of 108 pitches for strikes in his seventh consecutive quality start.
But despite a 2.73 ERA in the month of June, he's just 0-1.
It looked like he'd get the win Saturday before a pair of blunders from Puig and Matt Kemp allowed the Phillies to tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the ninth.
A.J. Ellis came through with the game-winning single in the bottom half of the frame, but Ryu was left with another winless quality start.
"I don't worry about wins," Ryu said. "The wins will come throughout the season."
Ryu's only two real mistakes were the pair of Utley homers. The second made Utley 7-for-10 in the three-game series against the Dodgers with three long balls.
"Perhaps I had a feeling that against left-handed batters I'm a little more predictable," Ryu said.
Still, behind Clayton Kershaw he's been the most consistent pitcher on the Dodgers' staff. The seven frames Saturday puts him at 105 for the season, trailing only Kershaw. And in his last seven starts, he's posted a 2.17 ERA.
"Overall, I'd say it was an above-average performance," Ryu said.