We’ve been told of his power but hadn’t seen it until Sunday afternoon. The Dodgers trailed 1-0 and Ryu was behind in the count 0-2. But that didn’t stop him from driving a fastball over the wall and tying the game.
But Ryu did more than just prove that he could hit for power. He also proved that he can still pitch and should still be considered for the Cy Young award. It had been a while since he last pitched well, and his last win was August 11.
But better balance led to better command. And with better command, came better results. Ryu lasted 7 innings and allowed 3 earned runs 6 hits. He didn’t walk anyone and he struck out 8.
Ryu also silenced the rumor that he couldn’t pitch to rookie catcher Will Smith.
“It was never a problem [in] the first place,” said Ryu. “Coincidentally, when he started catching, I started struggling, so I’m kind of sorry because I’m well aware of the talk. Today, we were on the same page and we did really well as a battery.”
Ryu wasn’t the only one hitting for power on Sunday. 4 batters after Ryu’s homer, Bellinger came to the plate with the bases loaded. With his MVP case in jeopardy due to his late-season struggles, he showed why he should still be considered by voters by blasting a Grand Slam.
Corey Seager and Smith each homered to extend the lead to 4 runs. Even though it wasn’t a save situation, Dave Roberts brought Kenley Jansen into the game for the 9th. Jansen gave up a run, but it was still relatively drama-free as he secured the Dodgers’ 100th win of the year.
The Dodgers will use their final off-day of the season to travel to San Diego for a 3-game series against the Padres. Although they have wrapped everything up in the National League, the Dodgers are desperate for a sweep in order to make a run for the best record in baseball.
The series will begin on Tuesday night at 7:10 pm when Rich Hill and Ronald Bolaños face off. Hill lasted only 2/3 of an inning in his last start when he began to suffer from knee issues. He’s 4-1 with a 2.68 ERA on the year. Bolaños has pitched in 4 MLB games this year and owns an 0-1 record with a 5.79 ERA.