Ryu Leads Dodgers to Game One Playoff Win; Two Rookies Shine for Brewers

If you had to choose between Clayton Kershaw or Hyun-Jin Ryu for your opening day playoff pitcher which one would you choose? Most would say Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers chose Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Ryu has been having a solid year with a 1.97 ERA, which would get him Cy Young consideration if he had more than 15 starts. Ryu has had difficulty staying healthy this year with a three month battle with a groin issue. After coming over from Korea in 2013 he pitched two good seasons for the Dodgers. He missed all of 2015 and all except for one start of the 2016 season because of a shoulder injury that required surgery. In 2017 he got 24 starts but they were rather blah starts, failing to get him on the Dodgers post season roster. He was always a big game pitcher in Korea so the Dodgers chose him to start game one against the Braves.

All Ryu did was pitch seven innings of shutout ball, giving up four hits and striking out eight while walking none, proving his big game exploits are not just limited to Korea. The Braves had no chance against Ryu. Next they will have to deal with Kershaw.

Another unsung hero was Max Muncy. Last year everyone’s surprise team for making the playoffs the Oakland Athletics released Max Muncy. They had too many corner infielders and did not have enough room for him on their roster. He had played for them a little bit in 2015 and 2016 but struggled to stay above the Mendoza line, failing to get his OPS above .600. He did not play in the major leagues in 2017 spending all his time in the minor leagues.

The Dodgers picked him up even though they had rookie of the year Cody Bellinger to play first base. By mid-season Muncy had won the starting first base job, his 35 homeruns almost equaling that of Bellinger last year (39). The Dodgers decided to make an outfielder out of Bellinger, giving the first base job to Muncy.

He made that look good last night with a three run homer off Mike Foltynewicz to give the Dodgers an early 4-0 lead. It was his first official post season at bat. He had walked in the first inning in his first post season at bat. With Ryu tossing zeroes the Dodgers were the easy winner 7-0 in the opener and Ryu and Muncy share the spotlight of unsung heroes becoming heroes in these playoff rounds.

The Milwaukee Brewers had a couple rookies become unsung heroes in these playoff games. Rookie Brandon Woodruff, the Brewers top pitching prospect entering the 2018 season was given the opportunity to start the opening playoff game against the Rockies. This despite the fact he had only made four major league starts during the regular season. Most of his appearances had come in relief.

He almost pitched a perfect three innings against the Rockies. He walked one, but that was okay because that runner was caught trying to steal second base.

He was followed by another rookie prospect Corbin Burnes. He had made 30 relief appearances during the regular season, vulturing a 7-0 record during those 30 games. He pitched two shutout innings, striking out two and giving up one hit. Unfortunately, he could not vulture another win after being given a 2-0 lead on a Christian Yelich two run homer in the third because Brewer closer Jeremy Jeffress coughed up the lead in the ninth.

No worries. In the 10th the Brewers got a walk from Christian Yelich and a walk off single from Mike Moustakas, who was a Kansas City Royal at the start of the season, to win the game 3-2.

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