Dodgers Dugout: Hyun-Jin Ryu showed he wasn’t given the Game 1 start, he earned it

Hyun-Jin Ryu
Hyun-Jin Ryu
(Jeff Gross / Getty Images)
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Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and the Dodgers are only 10 wins away from … well, let’s not jinx it.


That went better than expected. I was a little worried when the Dodgers left the bases loaded in the first, but that was much ado about nothing.

Let’s talk about Hyun-Jin Ryu. All the talk before the game was about Clayton Kershaw not getting the start. And while everyone was talking about that, Ryu went to the mound and proved to everyone that he wasn’t given the start, he earned it. If the Ryu we saw in September and in Game 1 hangs around the whole playoffs, and you add him to Walker Buehler and Kershaw, then the Dodgers will be a very difficult team to beat.

Including the postseason, Ryu has made exactly 100 starts for the Dodgers. Let’s look at his numbers after 100 starts.


Innings: 576.2

Hits per 9IP: 8.65

K’s per 9IP: 8.07

Walks per 9IP: 2.22

ERA: 3.17

FIP: 3.25

WHIP: 1.087

ERA+: 122

How does that compare to 32 other Dodgers who have made at least 100 starts for the team since they started playing in L.A. in 1958?

ERA: 16th, just below Al Downing and just above Doug Rau.

FIP: 11th, just below Jerry Reuss and just above Bob Welch.

WHIP: Fifth, just below Andy Messersmith and just above Derek Lowe

K/9IP: Seventh, just below Kevin Brown and just above Chad Billingsley

BB/9IP: Sixth, just below Don Drysdale and just above Tommy John

H/9IP: 24th, Just below Tom Candiotti and just above Odalis Perez

So, there you go. Ryu ranks among the second tier of starters in Dodgers history (with Sandy Koufax, Drysdale and Kershaw leading in almost everything). He’s in the top seven in three categories. Yet all we heard was how this was going to impact Kershaw.


Everyone forgot that Ryu had earned it. He has been a stellar Dodger in his career. He worked his way back from major arm problems to become an important contributor to his team. And he will be a free agent after the season. If another team offers him big contract, my guess is the Dodgers will let him go.

And that’s a shame, because it seems that only now are fans really beginning to appreciate the career he has had for L.A. I’m not saying they should build a statue in his honor. But it’s high time he gets the respect he deserves, the respect that he has earned. I bet that if you asked Dodgers fans to name the best L.A. Dodgers pitchers of all time other than Koufax, Drysdale and Kershaw, it would be quite a while before Ryu’s name was mentioned.

I would analyze the game, but what’s to analyze? It was a pretty straightforward victory and nice to see. I could nitpick, but why be a Debbie Downer? Let’s hope Game 2 is more of the same.

What else?

There is one thing I meant to write about in the last newsletter and totally forgot. I just want to take a minute to salute Mike Scioscia, who stepped down as Angels manager after 19 seasons.

When you think about it, Scioscia has been a part of the L.A. sports scene for 38 years. He came up as a 21-year-old with the Dodgers in 1980 and helped them win two

World Series title. His home run off Dwight Gooden in Game 4 of the 1988 NLCS is one of the great overlooked home runs in Dodger history (You can watch it here). He should have managed the Dodgers, but the Fox ownership group had no clue on how to run a baseball team and disrespected Scioscia in a major way, (You can read about that here) causing Scioscia to quit, making him available to manage the Angels when Terry Collins resigned. He managed the Angels to their only World Series title in 2002. He was named AL Manager of the Year twice and finished in the top three in voting six times.


I don’t know what his future holds. I would hope the Dodgers find room for him somewhere, but his style doesn’t mesh well with the analytics-driven Dodgers. Whatever happens, he deserved a standing ovation the next time he is seen in Dodger Stadium.

NLDS schedule

Game 2-Friday, 6:30 p.m.: Atlanta (Anibal Sanchez, 7-6, 2.83 ERA) at Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 9-5, 2.73 ERA). TV: FS1.

Game 3-Sunday, 5 p.m.: Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 8-5, 2.62) at Atlanta (TBA). TV: FS1

Game 4*-Monday, 1:30 p.m.: Dodgers (TBA) at Atlanta (TBA). TV: FS1

Game 5*-Wednesday, 5 p.m.: Atlanta (TBA) at Dodgers (TBA). TV: FS1.

*-if necessary. All times Pacific.

And finally

Watch 91-year-old Tommy Lasorda get drenched with champagne after the Dodgers won the NL West. You can see it here.

Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me and follow me on Twitter: @latimeshouston.