Los Angeles Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly announced that Hyun-Jun Ryu will start Game 3 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals and will be followed by right-hander Ricky Nolasco.
Ryu, 26, was as steady as any pitcher in the league during the regular season for the Dodgers, going 14-8 with a 3.00 earned run average in 30 starts. He provided a notable addition to the Los Angeles rotation, settling in behind ace Clayton Kershaw and Zack Grienke.
However, against the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series, Ryu looked like a completely different pitcher, struggling to locate pitches and failing to use his off-speed arsenal effectively.
He allowed four earned runs on six hits in just three innings of work in a Game 3 win over the Braves, thanks to an offensive explosion of 13 runs by the Dodgers’ bats. Reports of a potential injury were denied by the organization and Mattingly, and evidenced by his announced Game 3 start, must not have been the cause of his struggles.
Nolasco came over in a midseason trade with the Miami Marlins and performed masterfully down the stretch for Los Angeles, going 8-3 with a 3.52 ERA. He finished the year with a 13-11 record to go with a respectable 3.70 earned run average.
He did not make an appearance in the NLDS against Atlanta.
The NLCS begins tonight in St. Louis with Greinke taking the hill for the Dodgers. He will be opposed by Cardinals rookie right-hander Joe Kelly.