For all the success and subsequent confidence Hyun-Jin Ryu generated through the season’s first three months, and there was plenty of both, Friday night presented a challenge unlike any other.
Mistakes were not to go unpunished at a steamy Coors Field, where balls were carrying through the hot, thin air to a degree that left everyone amazed the previous night. A mislocated fastball or a straight slider or a hanging curveball could lead to a run or two or six. Coors Field in these conditions is a different beast.
Walker Buehler, himself on a roll before pitching in 90-degree heat a mile above sea level, found that out Thursday. And on Friday, Ryu was reminded of it too as the Dodgers’ 12-game winning streak over the Colorado Rockies ended with a zany 13-9 loss.
By the time Edwin Rios struck out for the Dodgers’ 27th out, the teams had combined for 28 hits, five home run and five errors around a 19-minute lightning delay. Through two games of their four-game series, the clubs have scored 48 runs and slugged 12 home runs.
“No pitcher likes coming here,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “but you have to do it.”
Nearly two years after he was shelled for five runs in two innings the last time he pitched at Coors Field, Ryu (9-2) was pummeled and exited before recording an out in the Rockies’ eight-run fifth inning. He surrendered seven runs and nine hits, including three home runs. It was his shortest injury-free outing since August. The seven runs were more than he had given up in his previous 10 starts. His ERA climbed from 1.27 to 1.83, still the best in the majors.