The Dodgers overcame their latest injury, a tight hamstring for Carl Crawford, with Ramirez's first start since tearing a ligament at the World Baseball Classic and needing right thumb surgery. Ramirez credited the club's medical staff for a return two weeks early.
"I felt like a little kid in a candy shop," said Ramirez. "I'm happy to be on the field and around my teammates competing."
Meanwhile, Ryu not only shut down the Rockies, he gave the weary bullpen a break after the exhaustive workload required Monday night after Ted Lilly's three-inning start. He's now 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA.
"That was huge," manager Don Mattingly said of Ryu's ace-like start.
Ryu, throwing harder than he had in recent starts, made 105 pitches and allowed two runs on three hits. He has 46 strikeouts and 10 walks this year in 37 2/3 innings. The 12 strikeouts were the most for a Dodgers rookie since Hideo Nomo had 13 against the Mets in 1995.
"You could see it early on," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "He had his 'A' game and it was going to be tough to put together a big inning or something big against him. He was in control. There was a big difference between his fastball and changeup -- 93 to 80 [mph] -- and he was commanding everything."
Ryu allowed a first-inning home run to Carlos Gonzalez on a changeup and from that point relied less on that out-pitch, although Ryu said the changeup and slider weren't sharp while warming up before the game and that dictated more fastballs and curves.
With a special guest dancing appearance from Psy of Gangnam Style fame between the top and bottom of the fourth inning, fellow Korean Ryu also singled in a run for the Dodgers. Jerry Hairston replaced Crawford leading off and had three hits, while Nick Punto (filling in for Mark Ellis) and Matt Kemp had a pair of hits each.
After the game, and after many of the Dodgers posed for pictures with Psy in the clubhouse, Kemp said what it means to add a hitter of Ramirez's caliber to a lineup that has struggled for RBIs.
"He's been an All-Star. He's been a batting champ. When you're able to put somebody like that in the lineup, it's always going to help," Kemp said. "And for him to do that in his first game back, that's a huge confidence builder for him to know he's all right and can do it."
While Ramirez's bat was ready for prime time, his throwing isn't. He made two throws, neither crisp, one from the hole that allowed an infield single to Josh Rutledge.
"Definitely, but I don't want to think about that," said Ramirez, who plays with a small splint taped to his right thumb. "I do the best I can."
While the fans may have come out for Ramirez, Mattingly said it was Ryu who set the tone in the wake of Monday night's drubbing.
"For what they did last night to us, with our bullpen being on the edge of disorder, he kind of righted that ship for us," said Mattingly. "He changes speeds, hit spots. Tonight he had a good curve, a slider. He didn't use changeup as much tonight. That's a sign of a guy who uses what he needs to. He's a tough matchup."
Ryu seemed nearly as excited about meeting Psy as beating the Rockies. The pair exchanged gifts and made plans for dinner in what turned into a bonanza for the roughly 50 Korean media.
"He's a worldwide, global star," said Ryu. "I realize tonight he's a far bigger star than I am."
The Dodgers scored all of their runs in the first three innings off losing Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa, who now is 0-8 lifetime against the Dodgers. It sounds like it's getting to De La Rosa, who brought a 2.86 ERA into this game.
"It's like they know what is coming," he said. "They stood ready on the changeup. I'm going to see my video tomorrow and see what I did. I have to do something next time."