DODGERS (45-21) AT ANGELS (31-35)
10:07 p.m. ET; FS-W, SNLA, MLB.TV
Hyun-Jin Ryu is taking the National League by storm this season.
But he’s always done that in the Freeway Series.
The Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander, who was ranked as the leading candidate for the NL’s Cy Young Award in a poll by MLB.com last week, is 9-1 with a 1.35 ERA this season.
He’s been even better against the interleague rival Los Angeles Angels, going 2-0 with a 0.83 ERA in three career starts against them. He’ll get another chance when he starts the opener of the teams’ two-game series Monday night in Anaheim, Calif.
The Dodgers are coming off a 1-0 road victory against host San Francisco Giants that gave them wins in the final two games of a three-game weekend series. Max Muncy homered in the first inning, and Walker Buehler pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing five hits and one walk with nine strikeouts.
In his last start Wednesday at Arizona, Ryu pitched seven shutout innings and allowed just three hits in a 9-0 victory over the Diamondbacks.
“Baseball is never easy, but I’m executing my game plan and things are working out for me,” Ryu said, according to MLB.com. “There’s always a challenge, especially when commanding my pitches. I’m trying to make sure that I throw each and every pitch in a very competitive fashion.”
Ryu is 7-0 with a 0.75 ERA since his lone loss and has given up just runs in just one of his past 51 2/3 innings — a two-run inning May 25 in Pittsburgh. That interrupted a stretch of 32 consecutive scoreless innings, and he’s gone 18 2/3 scoreless since.
“He’s just in complete control,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s front and back, it’s all quadrants, it’s changing speeds and mixing up the sequence.”
The Dodgers are 6-2 this month and have won 13 of their past 16 games.
“We are a good team, and we’re just playing baseball,” Los Angeles right fielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger said. “That’s all it is. We are just playing good baseball.”
On Saturday, the Giants tried to work around Bellinger, who is batting .355 with 20 home runs and 54 RBIs, walking him intentionally three times. But Corey Seager, batting behind him, had four hits and four RBIs in a 7-2 Dodgers victory to nullify the strategy.
“I think they probably won’t do that tomorrow,” Bellinger said. “That probably was the game plan today, but Seager made them pay. It was only a matter of time.”
Seager said he didn’t take offense to the move.
“With what (Bellinger’s) been doing, it’s called for,” Seager told MLB.com. “It’s a baseball move. It puts some guys on base for you and locks you back in. I’m just looking for the big part of the field.”
Bellinger went 0-for-4 on Sunday to wind up 0-for-9 in the series. Seager went 1-for-3 in the finale at San Francisco.
Rookie right-hander Griffin Canning (2-2, 3.52 ERA) is scheduled to start Monday for the Angels, who have lost six of their past 10 games. Canning struck out a career-high eight batters his last time out but took a 4-2 loss to the Oakland A’s on Tuesday, yielding four runs in six innings.
“Overall, he’s been pretty consistent about giving us a chance to win the game,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “Not every outing is going to be hitless through three and scoreless through five. But he does a good job of limiting damage and getting swings and misses.”
The Angels took a 9-3 defeat to the visiting Seattle Mariners on Sunday, giving up six home runs to fall for the second time in the three-game series.
–Field Level Media