Updated July. 29, 2014 03:41
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin killed two birds with one stone at an away game. He garnered his 12th win (five losses) and led his team in maintaining the top spot in the Western district of the National League. At the individual level, he has garnered his second three consecutive wins of this season, including victory in a game against San Diego in the first half of the season.
In a game against LAs main rival San Francisco on Monday at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Ryu had a quality start by allowing six hits, one walk, seven strikeouts, and three points during six innings, leading his teams 4-3 victory. However, his ERA increased from 3.39 to 3.44. As Adam Wainwright of St Louis had his 13th win on the day to become the lone top contender in multiple wins, Ryu had to be satisfied with tying for second in multiple wins.
It is the first time in two years that the Dodgers secured three consecutive wins at AT&T Park in San Francisco since July 28-30 in 2012. The Dodgers, which has the best starting troika pitchers in the Major League, achieved the rare record of its ace pitchers Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, and Ryu Hyun-jin gaining wins in succession, becoming pitchers with 12 consecutive wins in three consecutive games. The Dodgers widened its gap versus San Francisco to 1.5 games. Jake Peavy, San Franciscos starter who faced off Ryu, lived up to his reputation as killer of the Dodgers through third inning by allowing no runs through the third inning by banking on his signature pitching slider, but ended up beginning a loser due to outfielder error and wild pitching. Peavy also displayed overall pitching performance similar to Ryus by allowing six hits, four runs (three runs due to errors) during six innings.
In the Major League, a pitcher like Ryu is called competitor. If a pitcher allows three runs for six innings, he cannot be construed as having displayed pitching living up to expectations. However, Ryu hanged on the mound to enable his team to win the game. This is the most important part of the story. Ryu, who started amid mental burden after Greinke and Kershaw became winning pitchers, allowed a run each in the third and fourth innings, but did not allow mass runs, laying the foundation for his team to come from behind.
The Dodgers was able to enter its home ground with five wins and four losses even after recording two wins and four losses in the nine consecutive away games due mainly to Ryus performance. Ryu enabled his team to win the first of the three consecutive games against Pittsburgh, and the final game against its main rival San Francisco.
John Kruk, a baseball commentator of ESPN with 10-year career in the Major League who made the list of the All Stars three times, spoke highly of Ryus control of pitching with fast and slow pitches, saying His recent change of grip in pitching slides is helping him to achieve good performance.In fact, after he changed grip in pitching slides, the speed of his slides increased, giving right-handed batters hard time setting the timing of their batting. He pitched slides measuring 142 km per hour on the day.
Meanwhile, Ryu will start his 20th game of this season at a game against the Chicago Cubs on August 2, as his teammate Dan Haren was ousted from starting rotation due to poor performance with ERA of 9 point level in recent five games.