By the time he was done throwing eight scoreless innings on the mound, losing a no-hitter with one out in the eighth inning, Los Angeles Dodgers’ starter Hyun-Jin Ryu was up to 24-straight scoreless innings on the mound, going back two starts.
Ryu was five outs away from the latest no-hitter in Dodgers’ franchise history, the first since Clayton Kershaw threw one in 2014, (outside of a combined no-hitter by four pitchers last season), when Gerardo Parra doubled to left-center in Dodger Stadium for the Washington Nationals’ first and only hit of the series finale in LA.
The Dodgers went on to a 6-0 win, earning a split of their four-game set with the struggling Nationals, who finished up a three-city, 10-game road trip 3-7, with a 9-13 record on the road this year, and a 16-24 record overall.
“[Ryu] was good. He used both sides of the plate, kept us off-balance. I know he’s thrown a lot of consecutive shutout innings, but he was good. He was around the plate, we couldn’t really get nothing going,” Davey Martinez told reporters after the loss.
“[Ryu has] been elite, his biggest issue was his injuries, but when he’s healthy he’s good.”
Were Nationals’ hitters pressing as the Dodgers’ starter kept piling up outs?
“You go up there and you try to pretty much stay up the middle,” Martinez said of the approach against a pitcher on a roll like Ryu was.
“You’ve got to grind at bats,” he added.
“For a while there his pitch count started getting up, but when he’s on like that and he can throw strikes to both sides of the plate and keep us off-balance, he pitched well.”
“The game plan was on point,” Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts said when asked about Ryu’s performance. “Has been on point. I can’t say enough about Hyun-Jin.”
“To watch him work as a technician, it was masterful, it really was, and there are some really good hitters over there, but everything he wanted to do with a hitter, you kind of script how you attack a hitter and keep them off-balance, and miss bats in the strike zone, he did it. I think it was nine punch, one walk, he doesn’t walk many guys obviously, and also just kind of he wasn’t stressed at all, so for me to have him go back out there for the eighth inning was a pretty easy decision.”
Parra, whose grand slam on Saturday lifted the Nationals to a win in the third game of the series, got hold of a 1-1 fastball up in the zone from Ryu that he sent out the other way for the double that ended the lefty’s no-hit bid.
“He had a good at bat earlier in the game, he smoked a ball to second, and then he just got a ball up, out over the plate, and hit a good ball to left-center field,” Martinez said of the hit that ended the Nationals’ futility after 7 1⁄3 innings.
Was it a relief to avoid becoming a part of Dodgers’ franchise history?
“I don’t know if you call it a relief but, yeah, at least we got a hit and we were down 2-0 at that point, so it was a ballgame,” Martinez said.