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Dodgers` Ryu Hyun-jin faces tough rival in quest for 12th win
JULY 28, 2014 02:40  
Ryu Hyun-jin, a South Korean pitcher of the LA Dodgers, has seized an opportunity to become a national star in the United States the match against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on Monday morning (Korean time). The game was originally scheduled to take place at 1:00 p.m. local time. However, the time has been changed to 5:00 p.m. due to sports channel ESPN`s nation-wide airing of the Sunday Night Baseball.

Ryu will be responsible for his team`s last game of the three-game weekend series, after throwing in the first one for the first time since his debut in the Big League. He has already saved his team from its losing streak by winning the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. If he wins on Monday, the Dodgers will win all the three visiting weekend series games. Dodgers pitchers Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw won the previous two games. The Sunday victory by the Dodgers (58 wins and 47 losses) has allowed it to take the lead from the Giants (57 wins and 47 losses) in the National League west.

The Giants has changed its starter a welcome change for ESPN. Yusmeiro Petit was announced as the Giants` starter in lieu of Matt Cain, who got on the injury list. Petit is not as well-known as Ryu nationwide. However, the Giants changed its starter rotation after acquiring right-hander Jake Peavy from the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, making a showdown between Ryu and Peavy happen.

The Giants traded a pair of promising minor league pitchers for Peavy with 13 years of experiences in the Major League. It is bad news for the Dodgers, as Peavy is a Dodgers killer. During his eight years with the San Diego Padres, he won 14 games and lost two, with an earned run average (ERA) of 2.21 against the Dodgers. Of course, his pitching is not as formidable as in 2007, when he won a Cy Young award. He performed poorly at the Red Sox with one victory and nine losses with an ERA of 4.72 this year. He has also given up 20 home runs. Still, a natural enemy exposes its claws any time.

Ryu can catch two hares at Monday`s game keeping his team`s league lead against a rival team and become the Big League`s co-leader in wins (12 wins). Currently, the win leaders of both leagues have 12 wins. In the National League, six pitchers are competing for the top honor, including Ryu`s teammates Greinke and Kershaw. Ryu appeared ESPN`s Sunday Night Baseball once. On May 6, he faced the Giants` Matt Cain, only to lose 3-4. At that time, he allowed eight hits, two walks and four runs in six and two-thirds innings, striking out two.

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