Despite a four-game winning streak, winning a match-up between Hyun-Jin Ryu and Stephen Strasburg on the road was always going to be a tough ask. However, the Dodgers seemed game for the most part, but a string of three batters in the sixth for Ross Stripling cost them the game in a 7-1 loss to the Nationals.
Strasburg entered today’s game with a scoreless streak of 34 innings, but the Dodgers ended that at 35 innings after getting on the board in the second, thanks in large part to Michael Taylor‘s defensive curse against the Dodgers continuing. Yasiel Puig started the frame with an infield single, stole second, and eventually advanced to third with two outs. Logan Forsythe then plated him with a “double” to deep center, which actually clanked off Taylor’s glove.
Other than that, Strasburg was as advertised, striking out eight and limiting the Dodgers to three hits and three walks over six innings.
Fortunately, Ryu was generally up to the task of matching Strasburg while he was in the game, going 4.2 scoreless innings, striking out five and giving up just three hits and two walks.
However, on the last three batters he faced, Ryu piled up 26 pitches. That included two consecutive walks, which knocked him out of the game and led to Stripling being called. While Stripling escaped the fifth, he had an absolute disaster of a sixth against the heart of the Nationals order, giving up a walk, single, and homer to start the frame. He then got out of it without further mess, but that doesn’t matter much when the damage was already done.
Walker Buehler entered for the seventh, and then quickly showed why he’s being auditioned for the playoff roster, striking out the first two batters he faced on seven pitches. He then showed why it’s just an audition for now, as he issued a walk and then gave up a double to score a run before getting out of things. Josh Ravin then came on for mop-up duty and got an inning, but not before serving up two dongs for three insurance runs.
Still, the primary issue was the Dodgers got just five hits (one “double”) and four walks on the night, and it’s hard to do any damage like that.
96-53 on the year and 44-30 on the road. Fortunately, the Diamondbacks lost, so the NL West lead is still 9.5 games and the magic number is down to four. However, the Indians won, so the lead for the best record in baseball is down to 3.5 games.
The Dodgers will travel to Philadelphia tomorrow and start the series at 1:05 PM HST/4:05 PM PST/7:05 PM EST. Clayton Kershaw (2.12 ERA/2.98 FIP/2.71 DRA) will square off against Nick Pivetta (6.75 ERA/5.02 FIP/5.91 DRA).