Saturday’s Red Sox-Dodgers matchups: Jon Lester vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu

August 24, 2013 - 5:36 am

The Red Sox are missing Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in their weekend series with the Dodgers, but Boston won'€™t be so fortunate when it comes to LA'€™s No. 3 starter, Hyun-Jin Ryu, a 26-year-old left-hander enjoying much success during his first season in Major League Baseball. Ryu will get the ball Saturday afternoon at Dodger Stadium to oppose lefty Jon Lester. Ryu spent seven seasons playing pro ball in South Korea before coming stateside and signing a six-year, $36 million contract with Los Angeles in December. He has been durable and consistent ever since. While making all 24 of his starts, Ryu has averaged 6.5 innings per outing while posting a 2.95 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. He also strikes out 7.3 batters per nine innings '€” nearly three times as many as he walks. Ryu has been particularly effective of late, completing at least seven innings in each of his last three starts and allowing a combined four earned runs. On Monday, he tossed 7 1/3 frames in a 6-2 loss to the Marlins. Miami got to him for three earned '€” Ryu's most in the last month '€” on six hits and two walks. Ryu also struck out five. Lester, however, has him one-upped. He dominated the Dodgers'€™ National League West rival, the Giants, Monday night to the tune of 8 1/3 innings of shutout ball in a 7-0 win. While striking out three, Lester scattered two walks and six hits, two of which came in the ninth before John Farrell pulled him. The manager gave Lester every chance to finish the complete-game shutout, but when Buster Posey and Hunter Pence reached on one-out singles, Farrell called on Brandon Workman to finish the job. '€œJon was exactly what we needed,'€ Farrell said afterward. '€œWe needed a strong performance on a night when he could use a guy to go deep in the game and he gave us just that. He wanted every intention to finish out that game, but we had agreed he wasn'€™t going to go out and grind the ninth inning just to get a complete game. An outstanding effort on his part. A lot of strikes. I thought his fastball was sharp. It was powerful, and he missed in some breaking balls. Particularly his cutter was powerful tonight.'€ On the season, Lester hasn'€™t fared as well. He has a 4.09 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, though, he has been steadily improving most of the month. Neither Lester nor Ryu have pitched against the team they are going against Saturday. Red Sox vs. Ryu (LHP) No Red Sox have faced Ryu. Dodgers vs. Lester (LHP) Carl Crawford (39 plate appearances): .265 BA/.342 OBP/.294 SLG, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts Mark Ellis (16): .167/.375/.167, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts Nick Punto (12): .250/.250/.250, 2 RBIs, 3 strikeouts Hanley Ramirez (6): .333/.333/.833, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout Juan Uribe (6): .400/.400/.400 Jerry Hairston (4): .333/.333/.333 No other Dodgers have faced Lester.