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Hyun-Jin Ryu scheduled to start for Dodgers in Game 3 at St. Louis

Hyun-Jin Ryu scheduled to start for Dodgers in Game 3 at St. Louis
Hyun-Jin Ryu, who will start in Game 3 of the division series, held St. Louis to three runs and nine hits over seven innings while striking out seven batters in a 3-1 loss this summer. (Jabin Botsford / Los Angeles Times)

So far, the Dodgers can't complain much about how things are shaping up for their division series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

They are pretty healthy, and on Thursday, they got a little healthier.

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Manager Don Mattingly said Hyun-Jin Ryu came out of his Wednesday simulated game well and is now scheduled to start Game 3 in St. Louis.

Ryu has not thrown in a game since leaving after one inning Sept. 12 because of a sore shoulder. Still, Mattingly not only is confident Ryu will be able to start Monday in St. Louis, but also expects him to be able to throw his normal 100 to 110 pitches.

"We don't feel like he's lost a ton of arm strength or anything like that," Mattingly said. "This is late in the year, and if anything, Hyun-Jin is the right guy for missing this much time.

"He's not a bullpen guy, doesn't throw bullpens in between. He's been through this once before. I think he missed 21 days or something like that, came back and threw really well. You see him after he sits out for 15 days and his bullpens are right on."

Ryu was on the disabled list and went 19 games between starts earlier this season with a strained buttock. In his first start back on Aug. 31, he went seven innings, holding the San Diego Padres to one run and four hits. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.

And if anything, Ryu said he feels stronger now than when he came back from a layoff last time.

"I feel much better than the last time," Ryu said through an interpreter. "I think the obvious difference is the cortisone shot. I feel much better. There's less pain."

Ryu said it was the first cortisone shot he's had.

The Dodgers have planned on Ryu being able to come back all along, though right-hander Dan Haren said he had been preparing as if he was going to start Game 3. Even now, Haren said he's been told to be ready to go as a long man if it's needed in Game 3.

Which sounds as if the Dodgers are certainly planning to bring Clayton Kershaw back on short rest to start Game 4, despite Mattingly saying they would not consider that until after Kershaw pitches the opener.

Ryu made one start against the Cardinals in last year's playoffs, holding them scoreless on three hits in seven innings at Dodger Stadium. Monday will mark his first road playoff start.

"I'm pretty sure it will be very exciting," he said. "St. Louis is one of those stadiums that's packed every day. But I've been pretty comfortable on the road throughout the season, so I don't think it will be a huge difference."

Ryu was 10-4 with a 3.03 earned-run average in 15 road starts this season, and 4-3 with a 3.82 ERA at home.

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