Dodgers News: Hyun-Jin Ryu Facing ‘Important’ Start Against Rockies

What was considered a blip on the radar has turned into a previously unforeseen rough stretch from Hyun-Jin Ryu heading into Wednesday’s start. While still in the midst of an impressive season, he’s regressed some after emerging as the ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers staff.

Ryu’s recent struggles have seen him allow a combined 18 earned runs on 25 hits in his last three starts, going 0-3 during that span. As a result, his season ERA has ballooned to 2.35 — its highest mark since it was at 2.55 on May 1 after the first six starts of the year.

The seven earned runs Ryu has allowed in each of his past two starts tied a season high set on June 28 at Coors Field. Now the left-hander faces the same Colorado Rockies that knocked him around for what Dodgers manager Dave Roberts considers a key outing.

“It’s important. I think the last three haven’t been particularly good,” Roberts said.

Keenly aware he hasn’t been his usual self, Ryu threw a bullpen session in preparation for the start. He notoriously skips the common between-starts routine, but has now twice thrown off the mound this season in effort to make corrections before an ensuing outing.

“He and Honey feel they cleaned some things up with the delivery,” Roberts said. “Don’t think it’s fatigue, so I expect the execution to be a lot better.”

After Ryu struggled in consecutive starts, Roberts said the club would potentially skip him in the order at some point during September or look to shorten his outings. Ryu’s 157.1 innings pitched are his most since throwing 192 during a rookie season in 2013.

That led to some whispers of fatigue potentially settling in, though Ryu emphatically denied that being the case. Roberts reiterated it likely wasn’t a factor even after the 32-year-old was chased by the Arizona Diamondbacks last week.

He maintained Ryu was not far from being back at his elite level, a stance that was supported by the Diamondbacks succeeding behind a bevy of soft contact. If Ryu is to validate Roberts’ confidence, it will need to come against a Rockies team he’s had mixed results against this year.

He’s 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts, but twice allowed one earned run or fewer in those outings.