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Monday, November 18, 2019

Dodgers manager explains why he did not pull starter Ryu earlier

Dave Roberts

Manager Dave Roberts explained after the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 7-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 6 of the NLCS on Friday why he did not remove starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu earlier in the game.

Ryu got hit hard in the first inning of the game by the Brewers. He allowed an infield single to Lorenzo Cain, a walk to Ryan Braun, and then with two outs, he allowed doubles to Jesus Aguilar and Mike Moustakas, and singles to Erik Kratz and Orlando Arcia before getting out of the inning. By the time he got his third out, the Brewers were up 4-1.

Roberts could have managed aggressively and removed Ryu after the back-to-back doubles, which potentially could have kept the game at 3-1. Instead, he stuck with Ryu through the inning and let him go two more, leaving down 5-1.

Roberts shared what his thought process was after the game.

“That’s sort of the situation we were in. They were taking good at-bats against him. There’s the thought of trying to go to your pen in the first inning or the second inning, but there’s a significant cost potentially for a potential Game 7. So I just felt we needed to get some more innings out of Hyun-Jin to keep our highest-leverage guys available for a potential Game 7,” Roberts said.

That explains it. Ryu getting into trouble so quickly and so early just put the Dodgers in a hole they could not come out of. Had Roberts pulled Ryu after the consecutive doubles, he would have needed 8.1 innings out of his bullpen with the game already 3-1. That would have been a lot to ask from the pen. So for the rest of the game, he still had to walk a difficult tightrope of trying to allow his offense a chance to come back in Game 6 while still trying to keep his bullpen somewhat fresh to contribute in Game 7. He used seven pitchers in Game 6 as he attempted the difficult maneuver.

As for Saturday’s Game 7, Roberts said “outside of Ryu, everyone will be available.”

Jhoulys Chacin against Walker Buehler will be the starting pitcher matchup for the game. Roberts probably will have a quicker hook in that game than he did on Friday night.

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