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Dodgers sign South Korea pitcher Ryu to deal

Dodgers sign South Korea pitcher Ryu to deal

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Dodgers signed South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin to a $36 million, six-year deal on Sunday, bolstering their starting rotation for next year.

The team and Ryu (Ree-YOO He-YUN Jin) had until 2 p.m. PST to reach an agreement or else the left-hander would have returned home and the Dodgers would have been refunded the $25.7 million fee they paid for exclusive rights to negotiate with him.

Ryu becomes the first player to go directly from the Korea Baseball Organization to the U.S. big leagues, and he's expected to join a strong rotation that includes 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang. The Dodgers also are trying to sign free-agent right-hander Zack Greinke.

Ryu's agent, Scott Boras, said last month he was confident a deal could be struck with the Dodgers, whose new ownership has shown a willingness to spend money on new players.

``He has the ability to command the fastball from 90-95 mph and his changeup is a very elite weapon for him,'' Boras said at the time. ``And he has a quality slider and curveball.''

The 25-year-old pitcher has spent seven seasons with the Hanwha Eagles in the Korean league and was an All-Star each year. He was rookie of the year and MVP of the league at age 19, and is 98-52 with a 2.80 ERA in his career.

He won the league's strikeout title five times. He earned a silver medal pitching on South Korea's team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, appearing twice in a relief role at Dodger Stadium. He pitched on his country's gold medal-winning team in the 2008 Olympics.

Last season, the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder was 9-9 with a 2.66 ERA in 27 games. He limited opponents to a .232 batting average and led the league with a career-high 210 strikeouts.

The Dodgers paid the third-highest posting fee by a big league team for the chance to negotiate a contract with a player from Asia.

The Texas Rangers paid Yu Darvish's former team in Japan $51.7 million last year, and the Boston Red Sox paid Daisuke Matsuzaka's team $51.1 million in 2006.

Ryu will follow in the footsteps of Chan Ho Park and Jae Weong Seo as South Korean pitchers for the Dodgers. The team also had first baseman Hee-Seop Choi.

``I'm excited to see him carry on the tradition of great international pitchers in Dodger blue and have Ryu represent Korean baseball in the United States,'' Park said.

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4 reasons the Caps beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

4 reasons the Caps beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

The Caps put together their best performance of the series Thursday in a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 4 of their 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series.

he win pulled Washington even with Columbus in the series 2-2.

Here's how the Caps got the big win.

4 Reasons why the Capitals beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

1. Tom Wilson factors in the offense

Wilson’s hands are good for more than just punching.

He proved that again on Thursday as he scored the first goal for the second consecutive game. Chandler Stephenson and John Carlson provided the pressure on Sergei Bobrovsky. With Bobrovsky scrambling in the crease, Evgeny Kuznetsov passed the puck back to Wilson who fired the one-timer past the Columbus netminder.

In the first two games of the series, Wilson had no points and no shots. In the last two games, he has two goals and 13 shots on goal.

2. A great keep-in by John Carlson

We saw how dangerous it was when penalty killers fail to clear the puck in Game 1 when the Caps failed to clear in the third period leading to the game-tying power play goal.

In Game 4, the roles were reversed. Trying to kill off an Artemi Panarin penalty, Cam Atkinson attempted to clear the puck with the backhand. Carlson skillfully corralled the puck out of the air at the blue line to keep it in the zone.

The power play was able to reset and T.J. Oshie scored the rebound goal soon after.

3. Braden Holtby closes the door to finish the second period

After the Caps took the 2-0 lead, the Blue Jackets made a late push to try to pull one back.

In the last 10 minutes of the second period, Columbus had 13 shot attempts, five of which were not net. Several of those shots were high-quality opportunities, but Holtby came up with the big saves that the team was not getting earlier in the series.

His play ensured the Caps took the 2-0 lead to the locker room.

4. Alex Ovechkin extends the lead to three

Washington entered the third period up 2-0. In each of the first three games, the Caps held a two-goal lead and allowed the Blue Jackets to battle back and tie the score. Even with a two-goal lead, it still felt at the start of the third that the next goal would decide the game. If Columbus pulled within one and got the crowd back on their side, we have seen what that momentum can do for them.

This time, however, Ovechkin struck first. After a board battle behind the net, the puck trickled out to the faceoff circle. Ovechkin grabbed it and quickly snapped the puck past Bobrovsky before anyone could react.

The goal gave Washington their first three-goal lead of the series and shut the Blue Jackets’ comeback down before it could begin.

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Tarik's 3 stars: Ovechkin said Caps would even the series, on Thursday, he helped them do it

Tarik's 3 stars: Ovechkin said Caps would even the series, on Thursday, he helped them do it

COLUMBUS — Alex Ovechkin confidently predicted earlier this week that the Caps were going to win twice at Nationwide Arena and take their first round series back to Washington knotted, two games apiece.

And, on Thursday night, that’s exactly what Ovechkin made sure his team did.

No. 8, who was playing in his franchise-record 101st playoff game, scored his third goal of the playoffs early in the final frame and the Caps beat the Blue Jackets 4-1 in Game 4.

Tarik’s Three Stars of Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 4

1. Tom Wilson, Capitals

After a slow (and penalty-plagued) start to this series, Wilson has become a force. Yes, he took another minor, but the good is far outweighing the bad these days. Big Willy recorded a goal, an assist and a team-high seven shots. 

2. Braden Holtby, Capitals

Holtby had his best game in, well, a long time. He stopped 23 shots, including all eight he saw in a contentious second period.

The goal he surrendered was a nearly unstoppable tip-in by Boone Jenner.

3. T.J. Oshie, Capitals

Osh just plays the game so dang hard.

So it should come as no surprise that he delivered in his team’s biggest game of the season to this point. Oshie, of course, scored the game-winning goal on the power play midway through the second period.

It was No. 77’s second tally of the series. He also directed six shots at the Columbus net and made a couple of hits...all from a player who's been fighting through injury the past few weeks.

Agree? Disagree?

Let us know what you think in the comments.