Hyun-Jin Ryu Overtakes Don Drysdale For Lowest ERA By Dodgers Pitcher Through 14 Starts
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu against the Chicago Cubs
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed his first unearned run(s) of the season and ultimately didn’t factor into the decision of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ comeback win, yet still made history against the Chicago Cubs.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ryu’s 1.26 ERA is the lowest by a Dodgers pitcher through the first 14 starts of a season since the stat became official in 1912. Ryu’s ERA currently leads the Majors, which is a title he’s held for much of the 2019 season.

He broke the record that was held by Don Drysdale, who sported a 1.31 ERA after 14 starts during the 1968 season. Sandy Koufax (1.40 ERA in 1966), Larry Cheney (1.51 ERA, 1916) and Don Sutton (1.55 ERA, 1972) are also in the top five among Dodgers pitchers.

Ryu allowed seven hits and finished with eight strikeouts over his seven innings of work. It marked an eighth time he completed that many in his past 10 outings.

After earning National League Pitcher of the Month honors by going 5-0 with a 0.59 ERA and holding opponents to a .177/.191/.222 batting line during six starts in May, he’s continued to build on that dominance.

Batters have seen some improvement, hitting .227/.234/.293, but Ryu has still gone 1-0 in three starts and allowed just one earned run across 20 innings pitched (0.45 ERA). Overall this season, he’s 9-1 with a 1.26 ERA, 2.53 FIP and 0.82 WHIP.

In addition to ERA, the 32-year-old leads the Majors in ERA+ (336), walks per nine innings (0.5) and strikeout to walk ratio (17.00). That is on pace to shatter Phil Hughes’ MLB record of 11.6, set during the 2014 season.

What’s been nothing short of a stellar first half has Ryu on track to earn a first career All-Star Game selection. With Dodgers manager Dave Roberts leading the National League All-Stars a second consecutive year, Ryu figures to be a shoo-in to start at Progressive Field.

Though, he’s maintained that possibility is not yet on his mind. There will need to be some adjustments by the Dodgers as Ryu is scheduled to start the final Sunday before the All-Star break. That would make him ineligible to pitch in the Midsummer Classic.