South Korean pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu retired all 12 Angels batters he faced… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)
In the middle of the Dodgers’ 3-0 victory over the Angels in Anaheim on Thursday, I got an email from Dodgers public-relations representative Jon Chapper saying Hyun-Jin Ryu was ready.
Because he had just wrapped up throwing four perfect innings against the Angels, I emailed back: "The kid has a chance."
Turns out, Chapper meant that Ryu was ready to be interviewed in the Dodgers’ clubhouse.
Hey, he looks ready to me.
Ryu is the great unknown from South Korea. He is acclaimed as its best pitcher and is trying to become the first to go directly from that country to the majors. Looks ready to me.
Ryu, who had retired his last 11 batters in his previous start, retired all 12 Angels he faced Thursday, when he struck out four, and has now sat down 23 in a row.
"Tonight was by far my best game of the spring," Ryu said through an interpreter. "After the last game, I told myself I don't want to let anyone score, so I'm happy I accomplished that."
Ryu, who turned 26 on Monday, looks like a more confident pitcher than the left-hander first seen in camp.
"There was a lot of talk in the very beginning about how I would perform," he said. "I was actually anxious and nervous at first, but after the games went on, I got more comfortable. I'm just happy to end camp on a good note."
Ryu is not a power pitcher, but his fastball was clocked at 92 mph against the Angels.
"Ninety-two, that's not too bad," he said.
Ryu is scheduled to make the Dodgers’ second start of the season, against the Giants at Dodger Stadium. He spoke boldly about his season's goals at his introductory news conference and is hardly backing down.
"I still want to have an ERA in the 2.00s, but I also would like to win rookie of the year," he said.
Offensively Thursday, the Dodgers broke open a scoreless game in the seventh on a Tim Federowicz run-scoring single against Mark Lowe, the reliever the Dodgers had recently released.
Matt Kemp tripled in another run in the eighth and scored on an Andre Ethier sacrifice fly.
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