Hyun-Jin Ryu flirted with a no-hitter, firing 7.1 hitless innings before Gerardo Parra doubled to break up the no-no. In total, Ryu pitched 8 shutout innings, allowing just the one hit and striking out nine. Corey Seager blew the game open in the 8th, hitting a Grand Slam and all but sealing the Dodgers’ 6-0 win over the Nationals.
Ryu has been dominant at home all year and he continued that trend on Sunday afternoon. With his mom watching in the stands on Mothers’ Day, Ryu pitched once of his most dominant games of the year. He allowed just one hit and one walk, while striking out 9.
“He didn’t throw very many fastballs,” said former Dodger Brian Dozier. “He relied on his cutter and his changeup. The only time I saw a fastball was with two strikes, and I think he just got people off balanced. Had people start sitting on the offspeed pitches, sitting on it, and he kept nibbling away and then blew it by them on the inside corner on a fastball. He did a really good job.”
When Parra recorded the Nationals’ first hit, Ryu had thrown 105 pitches. Had he kept the no-hitter going, Dave Roberts would have probably been obligated to allow Ryu to pitch the 9th. Because of this, I think this hit was actually a blessing in disguise. While we didn’t get to see a no-hitter, Ryu wasn’t stretched out and forced to throw 120+ pitches. So while we didn’t see history, we did see Ryu’s health being looked after.
The Dodgers received anther blessing in the 8th inning, although this one didn’t come in a disguise. The Dodgers were clinging to a 2-0 lead throughout the game until Seager busted it open with a Grand Slam.
Seager has struggled this year, slashing just .225/.325/.341 entering the game on Sunday. But Seager also had 138 at bats entering the year, which means that he should be getting close to being ready after his two surgeries last year. And he showed signs of that when he saw a fastball over the middle on Sunday afternoon.
Your Typical 9-3 Putout
Every no-hitter or near no-hitter has at least one play to keep it alive. And this one came in the 6th inning with Stephen Strasburg batting. Strasburg hit what should have been a single to right field, but Cody Bellinger charged the ball, picked it up on one hop, and fired to first, beating Strasburg by a fraction of an inch.
The Dodgers get an off-day on Monday before the San Diego Padres come to town. Chris Paddack and Clayton Kershaw will face off in game one on Tuesday night. Kershaw is 2-0 with a 3.31 ERA this year and Paddack is 3-1 with a 1.55 ERA. The series begins at 7:10 on Tuesday night.