Dodgers’ Ryu to make final May start vs. Mets, eyes monthly pitching award

May 29, 2019
In this Associated Press file photo from May 25, 2019, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the bottom of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. (Yonhap)

In this Associated Press file photo from May 25, 2019, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the bottom of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, May 29 (Yonhap) — Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin will make his final start of May this week, with the top monthly pitching award within his grasp.

The South Korean starter will take the mound against the New York Mets at Dodger Stadium at 7:10 p.m. Thursday in Los Angeles.

Ryu has been one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2019. He owns the lowest ERA in the majors at 1.65, and also leads all National League (NL) starters with a 0.83 walks and hits per innings pitched (WHIP). After 10 starts, Ryu is tied for the NL lead with seven wins, joined by Max Fried of the Atlanta Braves and Brandon Woodruff of the Milwaukee Brewers.

No NL pitcher has a lower opponents’ on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) than Ryu’s .559. Ryu also has the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the majors, thanks to 62 strikeouts against only four walks in 65 1/3 innings.

With a 4-0 mark and a major league-best 0.71 ERA so far in May, Ryu is also a front-runner for the NL Pitcher of the Month award.

He tossed a complete game shutout on May 7 against the Braves and also enjoyed a 32-inning scoreless streak this month, broken up in his most recent start against the Pittsburgh Pirates last Saturday.

Four NL starters — Ryu, Fried, Woodruff and Dodger teammate Clayton Kershaw — have won four games this month, and Ryu will have a chance to break the tie this week.

Woodruff, who is 4-0 with a 1.36 ERA in five May starts, and the Braves’ Mike Soroka, who’s second in the majors behind Ryu with a 0.79 ERA this month, may be Ryu’s closest competitors.

Ryu has been excellent at Dodger Stadium this year, with a 5-0 mark and a 1.22 ERA in five starts in LA. He has issued just one free pass in 37 innings at home.

Ryu has yet to face the Mets this year. He owns a 3-1 record in six career starts against the Mets with a 1.66 ERA.

Former Dodger starter Park Chan-ho is the only South Korean to have earned the monthly pitching award. He did so in July 1998, when he went 4-0 in six starts with a 1.05 ERA.

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