Major League Baseball

Rookie vs. Ryu as Rockies try to stop Dodgers

mlb13ROCKIES (40-35) AT DODGERS (52-25)
7:15 p.m. ET; FOX, MLB.TV

Hyun-Jin Ryu‘s march to a start in the All-Star Game will continue Saturday when he faces the offense-minded Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium.

At 9-1 with a 1.26 ERA over 14 starts, the left-hander seems to have the credentials for a high-profile appearance at Cleveland on July 9, but he still has three more starts to pad his resume, and one of those is expected to be at altitude in Colorado.

First things first. Saturday’s outing against the Rockies will be at home, where Ryu is 6-0 in seven starts, with a near-spotless 0.87 ERA. In 51 2/3 innings in his own park, Ryu has walked just two batters while striking out 53.

Ryu has had his issues with the Rockies in his career, going 4-6 in 10 starts with a 4.97 ERA. Nolan Arenado has given him the most trouble, going 11-for-19 with three home runs. Charlie Blackmon, who has reached base in 31 consecutive games, is 8-for-24 against Ryu.

Yet Ryu’s impressive season and his success at home could be enough to give him the upper hand.

Ryu does not have impressive velocity. Instead, his season is a testament to changing speeds, pinpoint control and the knowledge that comes from six years in the major leagues. There is also perseverance after he fought through shoulder, elbow and other health issues, missing all of the 2015 season and pitching in just one game in 2016.

It all seems worth it now.

“As I always like to say, I’m not a power pitcher who’s going to blow by these hitters,” Ryu said through an interpreter, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I just focus on executing my pitches.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said this week that he was altering the rotation to get his starters another day of rest. Roberts went with a bullpen day in a victory Thursday against the San Francisco Giants.

But Roberts, who is the National League manager in the All-Star Game, also happened to move Ryu’s final start of the first half. Instead of starting two days before the All-Star Game, Ryu will now pitch well in advance of the showcase game, giving him ample rest in order to make the appearance.

Rockies rookie right-hander Peter Lambert (2-0, 6.00) will have to take on Ryu in his fourth career start. He certainly looks like he can be up to the task if he can repeat the performance of his first two outings.

He faced the Chicago Cubs($9) in his initial two appearances and held them to a combined two runs over 12 innings as the Rockies won both games. But against the San Diego Padres($9) on Sunday, he gave up eight runs on nine hits in three innings.

“I don’t want to put any extra pressure on myself,” Lambert said, according to “That’s just going to hurt me in the long run. I just want to go out there and make quality pitches.”

There is no telling where the Dodgers offense might come from. Cody Bellinger is the obvious worry. He hit a home run against the Rockies on Friday. But rookie Matt Beaty delivered the decisive blow, a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth as the Dodgers finished off a 4-2 victory.

Lambert has given up two home runs over his last seven innings, one from the Cubs’ Jason Heyward on June 11 and the other from the Padres’ Hunter Renfroe on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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