Hyun-Jin Ryu made his first start since Aug. 31 on Wednesday as the Dodgers went for a second consecutive sweep against Arizona. A win would have lowered their magic number to just four games, but they lost the series finale 4-1.
Ryu looked like he needed to shake off the rust from his extended rest after giving up three straight singles for one run to start the game. He then induced a double play, and a ground out to stop the scoring at two runs.
He gave up another run in the second, and held the Diamondbacks scoreless until he was removed after six innings, but he never looked very good. Ryu put Arizona down in order just once in six frames, and gave up ten hits while striking out one.
After the game Mattingly said, "He does what Hyun-Jin does. Gives up a couple early, but gives us a chance to really get back in the game." He continued, "(Ryu) throws the ball around the plate and gives up some hits, but as we see with Hyun-Jin, he's a guy that knows what he's doing, he pitches out of trouble. This guy can pitch."
Ryu struggled in his last three starts, giving up 23 hits and eight earned runs in 17.1 innings pitched. The question that keeps coming up is if Ricky Nolasco has eclipsed Ryu as the Dodgers true number three starter.
That will not be clear until the playoff rotation is announced, but Mattingly was not willing to comment, "We haven't got there yet. There is no reason to talk about any of that." It appears to be a clear decision, even if he will not provide his thoughts. Nolasco has been consistently great lately, but there is still a few weeks for the pitchers to prove themselves.
The Dodgers had a frustrating night with the bats, scoring just one run off a Yasiel Puig solo home run in the seventh. They left eight runners on base, and did not get any hits with a runner in scoring position.
Adrian Gonzalez, Michael Young and Scott Van Slyke, the four through seven hitters, combined to go 0-11 in the team's eight-hit effort. The Dodgers had a runner on second or third in four consecutive innings but did not score, then finished the game going 1-13 with Puig's homer being the lone hit.
Brandon League made his first appearance since Sept. 4, loading the bases on two hits and a walk in 0.1 innings. Brian Wilson had to clean up his mess, but let one run score in the process.
Onelki Garcia made his big league debut on Wednesday. He walked one batter and was removed from the game. Welcome to the Dodgers, kid! Carlos Marmol and Peter Moylan also came out of the bullpen, throwing scoreless innings.
The Dodgers may have missed the chance to sweep the Diamondbacks for the second straight time with the 4-1 loss, but will have one more chance to do that with a four-game series in Arizona starting Monday.