Los Angeles Dodgers' starter Ryu Hyun-jin has wrapped up an outstanding May in style, picking up his eighth win of the season with a gem against the New York Mets at home.
Ryu tossed 7 2/3 shutout innings in the Dodgers' 2-0 victory at Dodger Stadium on Thursday (local time). Ryu held the Mets to just four hits, while striking out seven and walking one.
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, of South Korea, throws during the first inning of the team`s baseball game against the New York Mets on Thursday, May 30, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP-Yonhap)
Ryu improved to 8-1 with a major league-best 1.48 ERA. The left-hander remains the only qualified starter in baseball with a sub-2.00 ERA this year and also leads the National League (NL) in wins.
With his fourth scoreless start of the season, Ryu has further bolstered his case for the NL Pitcher of the Month award. He went 5-0 with a 0.59 ERA in six starts this month, with both the win total and the ERA being best in the NL. Ryu held opponents to only three earned runs in 45 2/3 innings, and struck out 36 while walking three in that span.
Former Dodger starter Park Chan-ho is the only South Korean to have earned the monthly pitching award. He did so in July 1998, when he went 4-0 in six starts with a 1.05 ERA.
Ryu was in control from start to finish. He retired the first four batters, before walking Todd Frazier and allowing a single to Carlos Gomez in the second inning. He got out of the mini-jam with a pop out and a strikeout, and then sat down the next eight straight batters until Tomas Nido's two-out single in the fifth inning.
Only one runner even reached second base against Ryu through the first six innings. Cleanup Pete Alonso led off the seventh inning with a double, but he was stranded there as Ryu got two groundouts and a flyout to escape the inning unscathed.
He threw 100 pitches through seven, and came back out for the eighth. With a man at first and two outs, Ryu handed the reins over to closer Kenley Jansen, and walked off the mound to a standing ovation from the Dodger faithfuls.
He finished with 106 pitches, 70 of them for strikes.
This was the seventh out of 11 starts this year that Ryu has thrown at least seven innings, and fourth time he's gone over the century mark in pitch count.
Ryu improved to 6-0 at Dodger Stadium this year with a 1.01 ERA. (Yonhap)