Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Postseason News: Russell Martin, Not Smith to Catch Hyun-Jin Ryu

After sitting on the bench for the first 2 games of the NLDS, Russell Martin will start and catch Hyun-Jin Ryu in game 3 on Sunday.

By now you know Hyun-Jin Ryu’s 2019 story. He was electric from the start of the season through about mid-August, tossing 142.2 innings with a 1.45 ERA over 22 starts. Then he hit a late season skid and allowed 21 earned runs over a 4 start and 19 inning span, ballooning his ERA up a full run.

Coincidentally or not, Will Smith caught 3 of those 4 starts and questions began to surface about Smith’s rapport with the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Focusing on Ryu, he had a 1.52 ERA in 20 starts throwing to Martin this season, and a 5.40 ERA in 6 starts with Smith.

Moreover, manager Dave Roberts tells Adam McCalvy of that it shouldn’t be considered a “strict pairing” with the lefty ace and veteran backstop. However, he does know the numbers and understands the comfort level between the two.

Beyond that, while Ryu has never placed any blame on the rookie catcher, the numbers paint a compelling argument. When you ask Martin, he only praises Ryu.

The numbers say that he’s good with me, but he’s just a good pitcher. He can execute pitches and do different things, and he’s really good at creating his own game plan. He studies hitters. He knows exactly what he wants to do out there. I’m trying to guide him, just stay in synch, feel what he wants to do. — via JP Hoornstra; OC Register

And now, thanks in part to his success with the NL Cy Young hopeful, Sunday will mark the first postseason game in a Dodger uniform for Russell Martin since October 21, 2009.

Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Bobby Miller, and any Dodgers of the future. Under Clint, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. He's a golf enthusiast, an amateur wood worker, and a friend.


  1. Smith isn’t ready to hit in the playoffs he should ride some pine as well as Seager and Pollock

    1. Concur at this point and we had to know that facing elite pitching, Dodgers would respond accordingly and we saw what I am talking about especially in Game 2. NODH, mark this date on your calendar:
      Tuesday, October 8, 2019, the day the Dodger off season begins…..

      1. I have it marked and it will also be the day of my scheduled organized riot at the stadium where we will set it a blaze after we vandalize it

  2. Another poorly written, incomplete picture painted. I could write an opposite view but I’ll just fill in some withheld stats. Will Smith after being called to be Catcher on 7/27 first caught Ryu on 7/31, the not mentioned here result was:
    7/31 – Ryu & Smith, 6 Inning 3-H 0.00 ERA (Smith 3-Run HR)
    8/11 RYU 1st Start SINCE 7/31 again with SMITH 7 INN 0.00-ERA = SMITH 3/2 3 RBI
    Next, and for some reason Martin was called to Catch for Ryu despte how well Ryu/Smith was working, result:
    Ryu failed to complete 6, pulled with 5.2 & 4 ER, the ERA about 7 & RM went 4/0

    So all these Ryu/Smith articles had an agenda or just poor research. Should I blame RM for Ryu’s snap?, or how about Barnes, since it was 8/23 when Ryu, Smith & the Dodgers in general hit a cold spell. Some blame the Yanks, some Martin, some the White Uniforms, others the Barnes return announcement, but that’s not fair, Ryu, like everyone else had a brief cool period.
    What I find horrible is writing with either a lack of Research or worse Painting an intentional false picture.I have noticed how often I read articles with an Agenda and Lobbying for certain Players, and against others
    BTW, Smith, slump and all has the Best Cluth Player record for the Dodgers

    1. Dang Martin, thanks for bringing that to our attention I had no idea. I always suspected there was shills writing for this site

  3. The last two innings (9th inning game 2 and 1st inning game 3) the Dodger have had the bases loaded and could not score. The Nats rookie just hit a two-run homer. Oh well….

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