This should be the first of a few awards that Hyun-Jin Ryu should receive for his performance on the mound this week. While technically, the Player of the Series award is just that, you cannot forget that Ryu pitched a complete game shutout last Tuesday.
Hope that Hyun-Jin Ryu enjoys NL Player of the Week honors as a consolation prize for his lost no-hitter: 17 innings, five hits, one walk, 15 strikeouts, 0.00 ERA.— Jon Weisman (@jonweisman) May 12, 2019
In fact, May has been a pretty good month for Ryu.
Pitchers to have three outings in a row of 8+ IP, no more than 1 run and 4 baserunners allowed, since the dead ball era:— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) May 12, 2019
- Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD), 2019
- Clayton Kershaw (LAD), 2016
- Clayton Kershaw (LAD), 2015
- Cliff Lee (CLE), 2008
- Sandy Koufax (LAD), 1963
For the record, he has made three starts this month and he has been fantastic.
25 innings pitched, one run, nine hits, one walk and 21 strikeouts.
But let’s focus on this series and Sunday’s game.
Ryu retired the first ten batters in a row before something that had not happened in awhile, happened.
For the first time in 65.3 innings, Ryu finally issues his third walk of the season. A BB to Dozier in the 4th.— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) May 12, 2019
After the walk to Dozier, Ryu retired another 11 Nationals in a row which meant that with one out in the eighth inning, he was still pitching a no-hitter.
Gerardo Parra, the National player who had faced Ryu the most and he was currently 5-for-22 with four strikeouts against him. Parra went the other way and hit a fly ball to wall in left-center for a double.
After the Dodger fans applauded Ryu’s no-hit bid, he now had the tying run at the plate with just one out. But even with Kenley Jansen now getting ready in a hurry, Ryu went back to work, he fielded a bunt-hit attempt cleanly to throw out Wilmer Difo. Finally, Michael Taylor lined out to left to end the inning and Ryu left the field with the sound of fans cheering all around him.
With the no-hitter gone and Jansen getting ready, it was the end of Ryu’s day but you had to wonder would he had gone out with 116 pitches thrown if he could still collect the no-hitter trophy.
After the game, manager Dave Roberts addressed that question of would he had let Ryu pitch the ninth inning if he had the no-hitter intact.
“The thing with Hyun-Jin,” Roberts said, “he’s not really a max-effort guy, so you just feel that he wasn’t losing any stuff, he was still commanding the baseball, so for me to entertain sending him out for there for the ninth, it was certainly a thought.”
Ryu said that for the past couple of games and going into Sunday’s game, he had been in a good rhythm and that his body feels great.
Ryu doesn’t focus on whether or not he has no-hit stuff as he begins his start.
“That is not necessarily my mindset going into games and facing hitters, I just try to use their weakness, Ryu said, “and just try to get aggressive and attack the zone so they have to make a play whether it is a hit or an out.”
When asked what bothered him more, the double to Parra or the walk to Dozier, Ryu said it was the walk.
The Dodgers are entering two weeks where they play five games each week with off-days between the two-game series. So Ryu will likely be a Sunday pitcher for the next two weeks.
Things can change, the Dodgers pushed back Rich Hill’s start from this Wednesday to next Friday. But for now, you will see him again in a week.