Cherry picking Ryu’s Postseason like a seasoned Kershaw postseason apologist.

Grant Brisbee just published his top 50 FA list and while he’s normally the funniest baseball writer in town, this pitch was basically straightforward.

He ranked Ryu as the 22nd best Free Agent and I won’t quibble as I have zero ideas how I would rank the free agents but it was his comment about Ryu’s postseason that caught my eye.

22. Hyun-Jin Ryu

Possibly the most thorough and impressive of all of the comebacks. Ryu came back from the depths of shoulder hell to have a fantastic run. In the regular season, at least. In the postseason, he finished miserably, giving up 11 runs in his final 13 innings.

Still, while you shouldn’t expect a sub-2.00 (or sub-3.00) ERA again, Ryu is going to be a relative bargain because of his health history. Unless he’s a complete waste of money because of his health history. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to, really

I didn’t think Ryu had a miserable postseason but as Grant noted he did give up 11 runs in his final 13 innings. Of course, when you exclude the game where you excelled you can get lines like that. For instance, if we discussed the last two games of Clayton Kershaw’s 2018 postseason we get someone who gave up nine runs in his last eleven innings.  That sounds bad. Especially since we excluded his eight innings of shutout ball in the 2018 NLDS against Atlanta, and his brilliant game five in the NLCS that turned the series around.

Ryu suffers from the same fate. Ryu was also brilliant in the 2018 NLDS shutting out the Braves for seven innings and getting the Dodgers started out in a very positive manner. In his next start against the Brewers in the 2018 NLCS, he shut them out for four innings. In the fifth, he gave up a solo home run, followed by a single, double putting runners on 2nd / 3rd with one out. He was done, and Madson came in to get the final two outs while giving up just one run. It would be the last time anyone would say Madson did his job. That game wasn’t good but like many Kershaw, apologists would say “he only had one bad inning”, if you take away the 5th, he was fantastic.  In game six of the NLCS, he was legit hammered. Bad game.  I don’t feel he pitched a bad game in the World Series. He gave up a home run in the 1st inning and then was brilliant until he had two outs and two strikes in the 5th when Vazquez got a lucky single to RF. The opened the floodgates for Ryan Madson to put a horrible line on Ryu that I didn’t think was indicative of his game in any way.

Or to put this another way, Ryu was no worse over his last two postseason starts than Clayton Kershaw was but when you look at the total postseason package for both pitchers, they had their great moments, and their bad moments, and judging them on their last two games just seems like the bigger picture is being missed.

 

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