CHICAGO — Hyun-Jin Ryu started the season with two goals: to win 10 games and be named the National League rookie of the year.
Ryu reached the first of those goals Friday, as he improved to 10-3 in the Dodgers’ 6-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Ryu gave up 11 hits over 5 1/3 innings, but was charged with only two runs. He struck out six.
“My new goal now is reaching 11 wins,” Ryu said through an interpreter.
The last Dodgers rookie to win 10 or more games was Kazuhisa Ishii in 2002.
As far as Ryu’s rookie-of-the-year candidacy, it has the backing of Manager Don Mattingly.
“I think he should be considered,” Mattingly said.
Ryu has won his last four decisions and the Dodgers have won the last seven games that he has started. Ryu’s most recent loss was June 19 in New York against the Yankees.
“I think he’s been underrated,” Mattingly said. “I don’t hear a lot of people talking about him.”
Mattingly said Ryu has probably been overshadowed by rotation mates Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, as well as fellow Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig.
Ryu conceded that he wasn’t particularly sharp on this day.
“It was a tough battle early on,” he said.
Ryu has failed to complete six innings in three of his last four starts.
Even though he is pitching once every five days for the first time in his career — he used to pitch once a week in his native South Korea — Ryu said the shorter starts aren’t a result of fatigue. Rather, he thinks it’s a reflection of problems with his command, as well as new approaches taken by opposing hitters.
Mattingly said he would do what he could to give Ryu and the other starting pitchers extra days of rest. While noncommittal, Mattingly hinted Stephen Fife could return from the disabled list and start the series finale at Wrigley Field on Sunday. That would push back Greinke’s next start to Monday, when the Dodgers open a four-game series in St. Louis against the Cardinals.
Marmol back home
Carlos Marmol had pitched for only the Cubs until he was traded to the Dodgers last month.
Marmol was once an All-Star. He was on two Cubs teams that reached the playoffs.
But he was displaced as the Cubs’ closer this year and was frequently booed by the fans at Wrigley Field until the team designated him for assignment on June 25.
Marmol was booed again Thursday, this time when he took the mound for the Dodgers in the ninth inning.
“I was a little nervous,” he admitted.
Of the boos, Marmol said, “I heard it, but I didn’t worry about it.”
He gave up a leadoff double to Julio Borbon, but Borbon was thrown out attempting to take third on a pitch in the dirt. Marmol escaped from the inning unscathed and lowered his earned-run average to 6.32.
“It was a lot of fun,” Marmol said.
Sandy Koufax, a special advisor to the Dodgers, has spent time in the team’s clubhouse before the last two games. … Mark Ellis extended his hitting streak to 13 games.