Ryu Hyun-jin picked up his 14th win of the season for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday after two recent losses. In a road game he limited the San Francisco Giants to one run in seven innings with four hits and one walk, leading the team to a 2-1 victory.
Ryu now has 14 wins and seven losses this season, while his ERA improved from 3.03 to 2.97.
He is scheduled to start the final match of the regular season against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium this weekend. "I got better results than I expected before the season started. Not that I thought it was going to be easy, but it's been much better than I anticipated. I'll do my best to maintain my current ERA in my final start of the regular season," he said.
With another seven innings under his belt, Ryu has now pitched 188 this season. If he adds two more on Sunday he will earn an extra bonus of US$25,000. His contract with the Dodgers has an optional clause based on the number of innings pitched per season. This nets him an additional US$25,000 for his first 170, plus the same again for every 10 innings after that until he reaches 200. Ryu has already secured US$50,000 and is looking a good bet for another installment on Sunday.
He has started in 29 games this season and pitched at least six innings in 24 games. He has had 22 quality starts, defined as pitching at least six innings and giving up three or less runs. In his last 15 starts, the Dodgers won 11 and lost four times.
U.S. media are also praising his solid performances on the mound.
"Barring some unforeseen circumstances -- or perhaps a misguided decision by the Los Angeles Dodgers to go with Ricky Nolasco -- [Ryu] will pitch Game 3 of the Dodgers' first-round playoff series," reported ESPN.
The Associated Press noted how he is now tied with "Shelby Miller of St. Louis for most wins by a rookie in the National League."
If Ryu racks up another win on Sunday, he will be second only to Rick Sutcliffe in terms of the highest number of wins by a Dodger rookie in the club's history. Sutcliffe had 17 wins and 10 losses in his rookie year in 1979.