Los Angeles Dodgers’ starter Hyun-Jin Ryu held the Washington Nationals to a run on eight hits in 6 2⁄3 innings pitched on Friday night in the series opener in the nation’s capital, and the Dodgers’ bullpen gave up two hits, two walks, and a run in 2 1⁄3 innings of work in what ended up a 4-2 win.
“We faced a guy that has a 1.70 ERA, and we hit some balls off him pretty good,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez said of the effort against Ryu (who finished the game on Friday at 1.74 on the season, the lowest ERA among qualified starters in the majors).
Martinez knew it wouldn’t be any easier in the second game of the series, with LA throwing another tough left-hander at the Nats.
“We’ve got another tough task tomorrow,” the manager said after the series opener, “they’ve got [Clayton] Kershaw pitching, so we’ve got to attack him the same way.”
Martinez’s squad jumped on Kershaw early in Saturday’s game, scoring two runs in the first before the three-time Cy Young award-winner settled in. He ended up going six innings on the day, giving up just one hit after the first, striking out nine of the 24 batters he faced in a 9-3 win.
“He’s really good,” Martinez said of the veteran Dodgers’ starter.
“He made his pitches when he had to. We jumped on him early and then he was very effective using both sides of the plate, and when he gets like that it’s tough. He’s tough.”
It doesn’t get any easier in the series finale, with Walker Buehler toeing the rubber for the Dodgers as they go for a sweep of the three-game set.
Buehler takes a 10-start unbeaten streak into the outing, over which he’s put up a 2.79 ERA, seven walks, 85 Ks, and a .215/.235/.381 line against in 67 2⁄3 IP.
He threw seven scoreless in LA when he faced the Nationals in May. Will the Nats be able to avoid a sweep and a fourth straight loss overall?