It was an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel in Dodger Stadium tonight with Stephen Strasburg and Los Angeles Dodgers’ left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu piling up Ks in the second of three for the Washington Nationals in Chavez Ravine.
Ryu tossed seven scoreless, striking out eight on 89 total pitches, and Strasburg struck out 10 on 107, but gave up two solo shots, one each by Joc Pederson, in the second, and pinch hitter Enrique Hernandez, in the seventh, in what ended up a 4-0 win for the Dodgers.
Strasburg in LA: In his last start before tonight’s, Stephen Strasburg gave up four hits and four earned runs over six innings against the Colorado Rockies, leaving the Nationals’ ‘09 No. 1 overall pick with a 3.08 ERA, a 3.94 FIP, six walks (2.05 BB/9), 26 Ks (8.89 K/9), and a .204/.257/.361 line against in 26 1⁄3 innings pitched over four starts.
Strasburg retired the side in order in a quick, 10-pitch first, but Dodgers’ center fielder Joc Pederson got hold of a 1-0 fastball and hit it out to center for a one-out solo homer in the home-half of the second, putting LA up 1-0 early in the second of three in Chavez Ravine.
Birthday bash. #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/F5B1ja7xnP— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 22, 2018
Strasburg was up to just 31 pitches after three, and 39 pitches after four with the one run allowed, and he stranded two in a 23-pitch fifth that left him 62 total on the night.
Stephen Strasburg, Legendary 91 mph Changeup.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 22, 2018
When people ask what my favorite current pitch is, this is the answer. pic.twitter.com/bQuvZoYF5t
Chris Taylor lined a 95 mph 1-1 fastball to left field for a leadoff single in the Dodgers’ sixth, and took second on a wild pitch in the next at bat, before Corey Seager walked to put two on with no one out, and a hit-by-pitch on Yasmani Grandal loaded the bases up in front of Cody Bellinger, who chased a 1-2 change out of the zone for the first out of the frame.
Joc Pederson stepped in next, and got to a 3-1 count, but went down swinging through a 97 mph fastball for out No. 2. Matt Kemp fell behind 0-2 quickly, got to 1-2, then K’d swinging at 98 mph heat. Great escape. Still 1-0 LA.
Strasburg came back out for the seventh inning at 90 pitches total after his 28-pitch sixth, and struck out his fourth and fifth-straight batters before giving up a pinch hit solo shot to left on a 1-1 fastball to Enrique Hernandez, 2-0 Dodgers.
Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 Ks, 2 HRs, 107 P, 73 S, 3/4 GO/FO.
Nationals vs LHPs: Going into tonight’s game, the Nats, as a team, had a .206/.312/.300 line vs left-handers early this season, good for 14th/8th/15th across the line among NL teams.
LA’s left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu took the mound in Dodger Stadium with a 2.87 ERA, 2.89 FIP, six walks (3.45 BB/9), 19 Ks (10.91 K/9), and a .164/.258/.345 line against in 15 2⁄3 IP early in 2018.
Ryu tossed three scoreless on 50 pitches to start the game working around a walk to Bryce Harper in the first, and a single by Matt Wieters in the second, and he escaped a two-out bases-loaded jam in the third, leaving the bases loaded after giving up a one-out single by Trea Turner and back-to-back, two-out walks to Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman.
The Dodgers’ lefty was up to 10-straight set down after he retired the Nationals in order in a 10-pitch sixth, completing six scoreless with eight Ks on 84 pitches.
Mercy. #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/LKFrfqF1cR— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 22, 2018
Ryu came back out for the seventh, and retired the side in order in a quick, five-pitch frame that left him at 89 pitches total after seven scoreless, with 13-straight set down to end his outing.
Hyun-Jin Ryu’s Line: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 Ks, 89 P, 58 S, 8/3 GO/FO.
Turn It On: Going into tonight’s game, Trea Turner had reached base in 16 of 20 games played this season, and he’d hit safely in three of his last four, leaving him 7-for-18 (.389) with three doubles, one RBI, two stolen bases and four runs scored four games into the Nationals’ nine-game road trip.
“When he gets on it creates havoc,” Davey Martinez told reporters before tonight’s game, “and him taking his walks, him getting big hits now for us, laying down a beautiful bunt yesterday, he’s playing the game, and it’s good to see, and like I said, when he’s on base, it motivates everybody else.”
Turner grounded out the first time up, and singled with one down in the Nationals’ third, but was stranded two outs later as the Nats left the bases loaded.
A pop to second left him 1 for 3 vs Hyun-Jin Ryu, and he ended the night 1 for 4.
Harper vs the Dodgers: Bryce Harper started the night leading the majors with eight home runs and 25 walks on the season, and leading the NL with a 1.150 OPS. He was tied for first in runs, with 20 runs and was second in RBIs (19), and SLG (.683), and third in OBP (.467).
Harper took his 26th walk of the season with no one on and two out in the top of the first, and his 27th the second time up, putting two on with two out in front of Ryan Zimmerman, who worked the count full and walked to load the bases.
Moises Sierra stepped in next, and grounded out to short to end the threat.
Harper lined out to short in the sixth, leaving him 0 for 1 with two walks on the night. He got one last at bat against Kenley Jansen in the ninth, and popped out to second.
BULLPEN ACTION: Tony Cingrani took the mound for the Dodgers in the eighth, and set the 14th, 15th, and 16th-straight Nationals down in a quick, 12-pitch, 1-2-3 frame. Still 2-0 LA.
Carlos Torres, who was called up yesterday when the Nationals DFA’d A.J. Cole, made his debut with the Nats in the Dodgers’ eighth, giving up a one-out, two-run home run on an 0-2 cutter to Cody Bellinger, who celebrated his bobblehead day with a blast, 4-0.
Kenley Jansen got the ninth and retired two straight, but the streak of 18-straight Nats’ set down ended with a two-out walk to Matt Adams. Matt Wieters stepped in next with one on and two out, and fell behind 0-2 quickly before striking out to end it. Ballgame.
Final Score: 4-0 Dodgers
Nationals now 10-11