PITTSBURGH -- Hyun-Jin Ryu’s run of consecutive scoreless innings ended at 32 on Saturday night against the Pirates.
Ryu allowed a leadoff double in the second inning to Josh Bell, one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now. The Dodgers lefty got Melky Cabrera to chop a short dribbler near home plate in the ensuing at-bat, but Russell Martin’s throw to third to get Bell -- and help Ryu extend the streak -- sailed into the outfield to allow the Pirates first baseman to score.
Pittsburgh added another run on a Cole Tucker RBI single later in the frame.
“I wasn’t really thinking about the streak to begin with,” Ryu said through an interpreter. “So when I did give up that run, I wasn’t feeling really anything except for the fact that, as a starting pitcher, your job is to make sure that your team is in a position where it can win.”
The scoreless-inning mark, which Ryu compiled across parts of five starts, put him alone in 10th place all-time in Los Angeles Dodgers franchise history (since 1958).
Ryu has battled with injuries throughout his career, pitching more than 100 innings just once since 2014. He sustained a bad strain of his groin last year that required more than three months on the injured list. The groin problem flared up earlier this season, though he needed just a 10-day IL stay this time.
But when he’s healthy, he’s dominant. Ryu holds a 1.83 ERA over 25 starts made in the past two seasons with an astounding 7.95 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
“I’m happy for him. I’m proud of him,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s gone through a lot these last few years, and I know that nothing makes him more happy than to be active and competing. I didn’t think too much about the streak … He’s just pitching well. For him to stay healthy, good things are going to happen for him and for us.”
Though the historic tear didn’t continue on the mound, Ryu made the difference at the plate on Saturday. His long RBI double off the wall in right-center field provided the game-winning run in the Dodgers’ 7-2 victory over the Pirates. The ball landed just a few feet shy of becoming his first career home run.
“I knew it was hit well, but I have to work on my launch angle," he said.