Los Angeles Dodgers' starter Ryu Hyun-jin has finished the 2019 season with the lowest ERA in the majors.
The South Korean left-hander tossed seven shutout innings in the Dodgers' 2-0 win over the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Saturday (local time), lowering his major league-best ERA from 2.41 to 2.32.
Ryu was lifted for pinch hitter Jedd Gyorko to begin the top of the eighth, with the Dodgers leading 2-0. The bullpen made the score stand, and Ryu finished the year at 14-5 to tie his season high for victories. He struck out seven and walked none.
Ryu entered this game 0.02 point ahead of Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets for the major league lead in ERA. DeGrom had thrown seven shutout innings in his final regular season start Wednesday, putting pressure on Ryu to stay in front in his own season finale.
And Ryu was his vintage self against the Giants. He sat down the first 10 batters he faced while striking out five, four via his signature changeup.
The Giants finally got to Ryu with back-to-back singles with one out in the fourth, but Ryu worked out of the jam with two straight flyouts.
Ryu gave up consecutive two-out singles in the fifth, but a groundout off the bat of Donovan Solano ended that threat.
He retired the side in order in the sixth inning on 12 pitches.
Jaylin Davis reached with a two-out, infield single in the seventh, but Ryu struck out Joey Rickard for the second time in the game to punctuate another impressive outing.
Ryu held the Giants to five singles, and six of the seven San Francisco batters who struck out against Ryu went down swinging on changeups.
This was Ryu's second scoreless start in his final three outings of the regular season. After a dismal stretch from mid August to early September, Ryu finished the year having allowed just three runs in his last 21 innings, with 21 strikeouts against no walks.
Ryu, who hit his first major league home run last Sunday, knocked in the Dodgers' first run of the game with a sharp single in the top fifth on Saturday. Max Muncy's solo home run provided insurance in the top of the sixth, and that was more than enough offensive support for Ryu.
Ryu and the Dodgers will host the National League Division Series against the wild card winner starting on Oct. 3. (Yonhap)