What was just another Saturday night game for the
The Dodgers left-hander rarely has had as many eyes on him as he did in this game against the
"I was definitely more nervous," Ryu said through a translator.
Ryu responded by delivering one of the finest performances of his rookie season, limiting the
Ryu (9-3) struck out nine. His only walk was to Choo to start the game. Choo was hitless in two other at-bats against Ryu, including a sixth-inning strikeout.
Those who have watched Ryu since
"He seems to rise to the occasion all the time," Manager
And this was unmistakably an occasion for Ryu.
"It seemed like he had a little extra," Mattingly said. "We saw him touch 95. He doesn't do that very often."
"He was just very serious today," catcher
The first-place Dodgers extended their lead over Arizona in the
The offense was powered by
The Reds' only run against Ryu was
While pitching in the Korean Baseball Organization, Ryu said he never thought of facing Choo. They'd played for their country in international tournaments, so, Ryu said, "I thought of him more as a teammate."
They had dinner together after the series opener Thursday, won by the Reds.
Ryu smiled. "The owner of the restaurant," he said.
Ryu and Choo took distinct paths to the majors. Ryu turned pro and pitched seven seasons in the KBO; Choo signed with the
Choo made his major league debut with Seattle in 2005. He was traded to Cleveland a year later, and to the Reds before this season.
Saturday's game marked the first time two South Korean players faced each other in the major leagues since Choo, then with the
This game presumably drew a larger viewing audience because Ryu, 26, and Choo, 31, are both in the primes of their careers.
"I mean, it's a big deal," Ellis said. "It's one of his best friends and one of his idols. It was special to be a part of."