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Ryu Hyun-jin's first big league postseason ends as Dodgers get knocked out of NLCS

SEOUL, Oct. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korean hurler Ryu Hyun-jin's first Major League Baseball (MLB) postseason ended on a sour note in St. Louis on Friday, as his Los Angeles Dodgers were eliminated in the National League Championship Series (NLCS) following their 9-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6.

Ryu made two starts in the playoffs, going 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 10 innings pitched. Ryu was lined up to start Game 7 if the Dodgers won Friday to stay alive.

In his postseason debut on Oct. 6 against the Atlanta Braves at home in Game 3 of the National League Division Series (NLDS), Ryu was tagged for four earned runs on six hits and a walk in three innings. The Dodgers went on to claim the game 13-6, despite Ryu's shortest outing of the year. They eliminated the Braves in four games.

The left-hander bounced back in his next start on Monday against the Cardinals in Game 3 of the NLCS at home. He pitched seven shutout innings and gave up only three singles while striking out four, as the Dodgers won 3-0. Ryu earned his first playoff

victory and became the first South Korean pitcher to win a big league postseason game.

The Dodgers had lost the first two games of the series despite having two former Cy Young Award winners, Zach Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, as starters. The South Korean rookie rose to the occasion to keep the Dodgers alive.

Los Angeles lost Game 4, but beat St. Louis in Game 5 to extend the series. Kershaw, the NL Cy Young candidate with the league-best 1.83 ERA and 232 strikeouts during the regular season, was hammered in Game 6.

He gave up his season-high seven earned runs on 10 hits in four innings. In Game 2, he was also the losing pitcher despite giving up no earned runs in six innings as the Dodgers were shut out 1-0.

After spending seven mostly dominant seasons with the Hanwha Eagles in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), Ryu was put up for posting last winter for MLB clubs, and the Dodgers won the bid for the right to negotiate with him. They later inked him to a six-year, US$36 million contract.

During the regular season, the southpaw went 14-8 with a 3.00 ERA in 192 innings, with 154 strikeouts and 49 walks. He will likely receive some NL Rookie of the Year consideration. He ranked first in innings pitched and quality starts, and second in ERA among NL rookie pitchers.

Ryu gave the Dodgers a steady dose of solid starts. He made 30 starts and failed to pitch at least five innings just once. He gave up three or fewer earned runs in 25 starts, and had one complete game shutout, on May 28 against the Los Angeles Angels. The consistent pitcher went 7-3 in the first half and 7-5 after the All-Star break.


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