Giants are second team to fall to Ryu this season
The Korean left-hander kept the Giants to two runs in seven innings with five strikeouts in his side’s 6-5 win at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Ryu collected his second consecutive win of the 2019 Major League Baseball season following his Opening Day action last week.
Ryu allowed six hits, including one home run, against the Giants, but gave an efficient performance by throwing 87 pitches. His ERA went up slightly from 1.50 to 2.08.
Against the Giants, Ryu now has a record of six wins and six losses with a 2.94 ERA. He also improved his head-to-head record against the Giants starter Madison Bumgarner to 3-3.
With veteran catcher Russell Martin playing behind the plate, Ryu got off to a good start by striking out two batters in the first inning. He allowed a single to Buster Posey to start the second but got Brandon Crawford to line out to left and produced a double play from Yangervis Solarte.
Ryu retired three batters with 10 pitches to end the third. He began the fourth by striking out Steven Duggar and wrapped up the inning with two infield groundouts.
He threw only six pitches to end the fifth. Through five innings, Ryu only threw 48 pitches.
With Ryu cruising on the mound, the Dodgers’ offense also showed its power.
In the bottom of the third, with Martin on first, Ryu drew a walk from Bumgarner. Enrique Hernandez then hit a single to center and brought Martin home.
Bumgarner retired the next two batters, but A.J. Pollock produced a single and loaded the bases. Cody Bellinger then smashed a grand slam to deep center field, giving the Dodgers a 5-0 lead.
Yet Ryu got shaky in the sixth. With Gerardo Parra on first and one out, Ryu gave up a two-run shot to Bumgarner.
It was the first time that Ryu, who joined the majors in 2013, allowed a home run to a pitcher. Prior to Bumgarner’s two-run shot, Ryu had surrendered 56 home runs in the big league, but all of them were from position players.
Ryu then allowed two consecutive hits to the Giants but managed to get out of the inning without giving up extra runs. He threw 28 pitches alone in the sixth inning.
Ryu completed his job in the seventh by producing another double play from Solarte and a groundout. With the Dodgers leading 5-2, Ryu was due to bat in the bottom seventh, but manager Dave Roberts lifted him for pinch hitter Alex Verdugo.
The Dodgers made the score 6-2 in the bottom seventh on a sacrifice fly from Justin Turner. With the Giants making their last-ditch efforts in the top of the ninth, the Dodgers sent Kenley Jansen to close the game, but he nearly blew his team’s lead by giving up three runs.
Jansen was able to wrap up the game without further damage by inducing a ground ball double play from Pablo Sandoval.
Ryu found similar success in his first game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on March 28, the opening game of the season.
Throughout six innings, Ryu gave up four hits and a run while striking out eight. Tossing just 82 pitches, Ryu could have kept going, but manager Roberts opted to pull him out while the Dodgers were leading 7-1.
Although the Dodgers’ bullpen gave up four more runs after Ryu left the mound, they still cruised to a big 12-7 victory to start the 2019 season.
With the win, Ryu became the first Korean pitcher since Park Chan-ho in 2001 to do so in the majors. In 2001, Park also played for the Dodgers.
Park started in the Dodgers’ opening game against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 3, 2001, and tossed seven scoreless innings to help the Dodgers win 1-0.
BY KANG YOO-RIM, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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