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[Newsmaker] Ryu first Korean to win in MLB postseason

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin throws during the first inning of Game 3 of the National League baseball championship series in Los Angeles on Monday. (AP-Yonhap News)
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin throws during the first inning of Game 3 of the National League baseball championship series in Los Angeles on Monday. (AP-Yonhap News)
Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers threw seven shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday, becoming the first South Korean to pick up a starting win in the Major League Baseball postseason.

At Dodger Stadium on Monday night, he allowed just three singles and struck out four batters in seven innings, leading his team to a 3-0 win over the Cardinals.

It was the second career postseason start for the 26-year-old left-hander, who signed with the Dodgers last December after seven seasons in Korea.

Ryu has also become the fourth starting pitcher in Dodgers’ history to throw seven or more scoreless innings and allow three or fewer hits in a postseason game. The other three are Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax and Orel Hershiser.

Drysdale allowed just three hits and no runs in nine innings, leading the Dodgers to a 1-0 shutout over the New York Yankees in Game 3 of the World Series on Oct. 6, 1963.

Koufax limited the Minnesota Twins to no runs and three hits in nine innings in a 2-0 win in World Series Game 7 on Oct. 15, 1965.

Hershiser shut out Game 2 of the World Series against the Oakland Athletics on Oct. 17, 1988, with just three hits.

It took the Dodgers 25 years to repeat that feat.

Ryu also gave the Dodgers their first postseason shutout since they beat St. Louis 4-0 in 2004. He has made two starts in the 2013 postseason, one against the Braves and one against the Cardinals.

Against the Braves in Game 3 of the National League Division Series, he struggled, giving up four runs on six hits in just three innings and striking out only one batter.

However, his second start was a far cry from the first, as he kept the Dodgers from falling to a third loss in the best-of-seven series.

Ryu made his MLB debut against the San Francisco Giants on April 2, where he allowed 10 hits and one earned run in 6.1 innings. His first big league win came on April 7 versus the Pittsburgh Pirates.

He has recorded the highest strikeout count in an MLB game, striking out 12 batters in six innings against the Colorado Rockies on May 1.

Ryu, who usually throws his fastball at around 145 kilometers per hour, pitched a complete game that shut out the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the first shutout in his MLB career.

By Chun Sung-woo (swchun@heraldcorp.com)
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