With a day to look back on Hyun-jin Ryu's performance on Tuesday night against the Angels, it becomes even more impressive. The Dodgers' left-hander not only pitched a two-hit shutout, but he also didn't walk a batter.
Since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, the Dodgers have played 8,809 games. Ryu's was just one of 25 games in which a Dodgers starter pitched at least nine innings and allowed no more than two baserunners. Only 22 of those games were shutouts. In other words, what Ryu did on Tuesday happens once every 400 games, or 2½ seasons by a Dodger.
Tuesday was a True Blue LA summit of sorts, as I took in the game with Phil Gurnee, Craig Minami, Brandon Lennox, Ben Haber, and Delias Man. At some point Phil and I were talking about the Dodgers rotation, specifically the top of the rotation with Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Ryu. I said Ryu was our Jerry Reuss, and perhaps that was more apt than I realized.
No Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher has as many games with two or fewer baserunners than Reuss's four. The big left-hander two-hit the Astros in 1979, no-hit the Giants in 1980 (missing a perfect game only because of a fielding error), then pitched a pair of one-hitters in 1982, one with a walk.
Though if Ryu continues to pitch like he has in his first 11 starts, he'll be more Fernando Valenzuela than Reuss, at least in terms of mania.