Los Angeles Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu put on a clinic for the Dodger fans, and the nation also got to witness the rising superstar work both sides of the plate with poise.
The Dodgers behind Luis Cruz home run defeated the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 in the second game of the freeway series.
The Angels were without their $125 million slugger Josh Hamilton who sat out due to back spasms.
Ryu dominated the mound, especially during the first five innings. Ryu also helped his own cause knocking out a single in the third inning that gave the Dodgers their first hit of the game.
With one on in the fifth inning, Luis Cruz who currently batting an awful .105, stepped up and delivery a two run homer deep to left for the 2-0 lead.
The Dodgers continued their offensive onslaught in the sixth, when the slumping Matt Kemp connected on a double off of Angels starter Joe Blanton. Dodger manager Don Mattingly strategically placed Kemp fifth in the line up which seemed to have to have worked out well.
AJ Ellis then knocked out an RBI single that scored Kemp for the 3-0 lead.
Kemp left the game in the ninth inning due to some numbness he experienced when he was hit by a pitch that got away from Blanton back in the second inning.
Joe Blanton (1-8) picked up the loss. He gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings of work.
“I felt like I made one mistake. It was almost where I wanted it, but the pitch didn’t do what it was supposed to do. It just kind of flattened out and didn’t sink, but I had command of all of my pitches,” Blanton said.
Ryu (6-2) was sensational and went the distance, as he struck out seven, and only gave up two hits to Howie Kendrick and Chris Iannetta.
“I didn’t think my first complete game would come this early in the season. I was just really comfortable. After the seventh when I realized my pitch count wasn’t that high, I realized I could challenge myself to finish the game,” Ryu said through his translator.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia spoke about Ryu’s dominance on the mound against his team. “He worked in some good change ups and some breaking balls here and there. We just didn’t get too many good looks at him.”
Proud manager Don Mattingly enjoyed Ryu’s performance, “It’s more of an artist for me, being able to throw both sides of the plate and changing speeds. It’s the art of pitching.”
Matt Kemp was also impressed by the performance of Ryu.”He’s a superstar! He kept some great hitters off balance tonight.”
Ryu does not throw between starts something the Dodgers knew before signing the phenom to a six year, $36 million contract. So far it has worked out tremendously for him and the team.
“Mostly it’s to preserve the arm but the habit started in Korea,” said Ryu.