Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire chats with Manager Don Mattingly before… (Rob Carr / Getty Images )
BALTIMORE — The elements offered Hyun-Jin Ryu an opportunity to observe some American customs.
After the start time of his start Friday night was pushed back because of rain, Ryu had to wait almost two hours before he was informed he wouldn't pitch that night. The Dodgers are now scheduled to play a split doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, with Ryu pitching the first game at 10 a.m. PDT and Josh Beckett the second at 4 p.m.
"In Korea, this would have been called much sooner," Ryu said through an interpreter.
In Ryu's native South Korea, games are often called off hours before their scheduled start times if rain is forecast.
But the rain delay allowed Ryu to learn of another American tradition.
"I learned some of the card games they play in America," Ryu said. "I just learned today, but I think I'll be good from now on."
Once the game was officially pushed back a day, Ryu threw a 30-pitch bullpen session. Ryu last pitched April 13 and doesn't throw on the side between starts, but didn't want to go an entire week without standing on a mound.
Because the Dodgers have a day off Monday, the rainout won't force Manager Don Mattingly to reshuffle the rotation. However, Mattingly was hoping he could use the day off to pitch Ryu on five days' rest on his next turn in the rotation.
Lilly stepping in
Less than a week ago, Ted Lilly's season and career appeared to be limbo.
But he is now scheduled to start Wednesday in New York against the Mets, as he will be replacing the injured Chris Capuano, who replaced the injured Zack Greinke.
"I've been told the game is always fluid," Lilly said. "Isn't that true?"
Lilly last pitched in a major league game last May 23. He was 5-1 at the time and had aspirations of making his third All-Star team, but suffered what turned out to be a season-ending shoulder injury and had surgery over the winter.
"It's hard enough when you're in a rotation and have to wait four days to pitch," Lilly said. "I spent plenty of time on the DL last year. I can't wait to get off it. I'm very grateful of the opportunity to pitch in the big leagues, realizing that could change at any minute."
Lilly, 37, and in the final year of a three-year, $33-million contract, thought this opportunity might never come.
"That was definitely a realistic possibility," he said. "Although I haven't been in that position, I've seen these types of situations go down over years."
The Dodgers started the season with eight starting pitchers and Lilly was No. 8. Whereas Capuano and Aaron Harang were moved to the bullpen, Lilly was placed on the disabled list, which the Dodgers used as a taxi squad of sorts in his case. But Harang was traded to the Colorado Rockies, and Greinke and Capuano were injured.
"To be completely frank, the last thing we need is for something like that to happen to Zack Greinke or for Cappy to go down," Lilly said. "This club doesn't need that. I really hope that they get back as soon as possible."
Ramirez continues to progress
Encouraged by a power-hitting display he put on in an early batting practice session Friday, sidelined shortstop Hanley Ramirez said he hoped he could be in the Dodgers' lineup on his April 30 bobblehead night.
"I want to be in there," Ramirez said.
Is it possible?
"Hopefully, yeah," he said.
When Ramirez tore a thumb ligament last month, he was initially expected to be out until mid-May.
Ramirez said it's unlikely he will be activated any time on the Dodgers' current six-game trip, which includes three games in Baltimore against the Orioles and three games against the Mets.
Mattingly said he would like for Ramirez to play in a minor league game before he is activated. Ramirez said he didn't think a rehabilitation assignment is necessary.
Capuano underwent an MRI exam on his left calf muscle, which confirmed the initial diagnosis of a strain. The left-hander also received an injection of platelet-rich plasma. … Capuano and Greinke didn't travel to Baltimore with the Dodgers. … Andre Ethier is one of six major league players featured in a photo spread in the May issue of GQ.