NLDS 2013: Atlanta Braves Power Will Be Hyun-Jin Ryu’s Kryptonite
The Atlanta Braves will play their first away game of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday night, and it will be another pitcher’s duel, just as the first two, but this game has a twist. Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers and Julio Teheran are both rookies. The media loves to coddle the Dodgers and their star studded team, but they’re going to get an eye opener when Teheran opens Sunday night, as he doesn’t pitch like a rookie.
If there is one game in which the Braves have a chance to blow the Dodgers out with their home run prowess, it’s Sunday night. Ryu’s season statistics show a weakness at keeping balls in the park, relative to the rest of the Los Angeles staff. His home run per nine innings rate is the highest on the team at .7, as well as his home run per fly ball ratio which stands at 8.7. Let’s not forget the Braves’ left handed power they possess, which will certainly challenge Ryu.
The most interesting aspect of the game, however, is definitely the rookie matchup in the playoff atmosphere. Ryu played baseball in Korea and is no stranger to big games, but it will be nothing compared to Sunday. After seeing the performance of some pitchers in front of home crowds, I don’t really know if the Dodgers have an advantage here. If Ryu loses command at any point during the game, the Braves are going to make him pay, because he just doesn’t have the stuff to make up for misplaced balls.