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Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu pitches in simulated game

Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu pitches in simulated game
Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu delivers a pitch against the New York Mets on May 21. (Jim McIsaac / Getty Images)

Hyun-Jin Ryu threw 45 pitches over three simulated innings in a closed-door workout Wednesday, the Dodgers said.

Ryu, who has been sidelined for three weeks because of an irritated left shoulder, will be examined Thursday to determine whether he can start Game 3 of the National League division series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Clayton Kershaw is expected to start Friday at Dodger Stadium in the first game of the best-of-five series, followed by Zack Greinke the next day in Game 2.

If Ryu can't start Monday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Dan Haren is expected to take his place.

The Dodgers said Ryu pitched at his "normal velocity" and didn't experience any problems with his shoulder "before, during or after" the simulated game.

However, the Dodgers have not always provided fully accurate medical information this season and took the usual step of closing this workout to the media.

Asked why the workout was closed, Manager Don Mattingly said, "We want to be able to relax, as much as anything. There's no reason for you guys to be here every day, talking about the same things."

Shadows

What's more difficult than hitting Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright?

Hitting him when his pitches are darting in and out of shadows.

That's the challenge the Dodgers are expecting Friday in Game 1, which is scheduled for a 3:37 p.m. start.

"I'm going to swing with my eyes closed and see what happens," Matt Kemp joked.

Kemp didn't understand why baseball would schedule games in the afternoon.

"Honestly, I don't get why we play during the shadow times," he said. "The first five innings are going to be tough for both teams. Those shadows are definitely going to be tough around 3:37 or whatever time it is we play. But both teams have to deal with it."

Short hops

Kershaw is a finalist for four Players Choice Awards, which are voted on by major league players. Kershaw is a candidate for outstanding NL pitcher, outstanding NL player, outstanding MLB player and man of the year. … The Dodgers are adding a free shuttle from the South Bay for the playoffs. Fans with tickets can board the shuttle at the Harbor Gateway Transit Center starting two hours before games and every 15 minutes thereafter.

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