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By Jon Weisman
Hyun-Jin Ryu struck out a season-high 10 in six innings today in the Dodgers’ 1-0 victory over San Diego at Dodger Stadium, an appropriate way for the Dodgers to finish a first half filled with strikeouts by their starting pitchers.
This was the 14th time in 97 starts this season that Dodger pitchers have struck out at least nine batters in a game. For comparison, Dodger pitchers struck out nine or more in a game 17 times in the entire 2013 regular season. Their high in a season this century is 20 games in 2010.
Ryu, coming off the roughest outing of his career Tuesday in Detroit and one in which many with the Dodgers felt he was squeezed at home plate, dominated the Padres today, walking none and allowing only two hits, leading to this remarkable tweet.
Hyun-jin Ryu at the All-Star break: 2013: 18 GS, 107 H, 42 R, 40 ER, 93 K 2014: 18 GS, 108 H, 43 R, 40 ER, 93 K
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) July 13, 2014
Pitching on a hot Sunday afternoon, Ryu was removed after 92 pitches.
That the Dodgers scored only once for the second game in a row, on an RBI single by Yasiel Puig following Dee Gordon’s single and steal of second in the sixth, became charming instead of horrifying when Kenley Jansen escaped a first-and-third jam in the ninth by striking out Dodger torturer Seth Smith.
Los Angeles enters the All-Star Break with 21 consecutive scoreless innings and the best record in a very tight top half of the National League.