In his last few starts, it was starting to look like Dodger starter, Hyun-Jin Ryu, was about to lose his stuff. Maybe teams were figuring him out, or being a rookie in the MLB was catching up to him. But he was not coming out with particularly strong outings.
On Saturday against the Reds, Ryu turned it around with seven innings of dominant pitching. He only gave up two hits and one walk for one run, while stacking up nine strikeouts on 109 pitches. He retired 13 straight batters to end his night on the way to his ninth victory.
The only run he allowed came off of a Jay Bruce solo jack, but there is nothing wrong with giving up a homer to Bruce. A lineup like Cincinnati is going to score runs, holding Choo, Votto, Phillips, and Bruce to one run is an achievement in itself.
Through 16 starts this season Ryu had lowered his ERA to 2.83, and was striking out batters a shade over 2.5 times more often than he allowed walks. But in three starts from July 5-22 he gave up 11 earned runs in 17 innings raising his ERA to 3.25, while striking out nine and walking seven.
Needless to say, it was good to see Ryu get back to form against such a strong Cincinnati lineup. The Dodgers scored four runs of support on 10 hits for Ryu, with every starter reaching base at least once.
Yasiel Puig had a big game going 2-3 and generating his own run in the first inning as he got on base via walk. He then reached second on a sacrifice fly to right field (a hustle play that almost never happens), stole third base, and scored on a double from Hanley Ramirez.
The Dodgers were silent until the fifth inning when Skip Schumaker blasted his second home run of the year over the center feild wall with Mark Ellis on base, making the score 3-1. In the seventh inning Schumaker also scored from second base on a two-out single by Adrian Gonzalez.
The bullpen slammed the door shut again, with two innings of scoreless, hitless relief from Ronald Belisario, Paco Rodriguez and Kenley Jansen. Jansen got his 14th save of the season.
The win is the Dodgers 25th in 31 games, and puts them 1.5 games ahead of Arizona in first place of the NL West. It also secures the Dodgers 10th straight series win or tie. Sunday's afternoon game against the Reds will feature Chris Capuano against Tony Cingrani as the Dodgers try to take the series win.