|4:15 PM PT5:15 PM MT6:15 PM CT7:15 PM ET19:15 ET23:15 GMT7:15 4:15 PM MST6:15 PM EST6:45 PM VEN3:15 UAE (+1)6:15 PM CT, May 25, 2019
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Attendance: 25,852
Pirates, Bell take aim at Ryu's scoreless streak
Los Angeles Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates
- The Dodgers swept a three-game set with the Pirates in late April, and since 2017 the Dodgers have gone 14-2 against the Pirates. Only one team has been better against any opponent in its own league over that span (A's vs. Tigers, 15-1).
- The Pirates notched season highs in runs (14) and hits (15) yesterday. This was the team's second time scoring at least 10 runs this season -- only three teams have fewer. The Pirates were also one of two teams failing to record 15+ hits in a game prior to yesterday, now leaving only the Indians.
- The Dodgers have gone 12-6 in May, tied with the Cubs for the best record in the NL, and LA's 2.65 team ERA in May leads MLB. The team has scored nine runs in its six losses (1.5 per game) and has scored 74 runs in 12 wins (6.2 per game).
- Josh Bell has 32 hits in May, tied with Jorge Polanco for most in MLB. He has 10 home runs, tied with Alex Bregman for most in MLB. He has 26 RBI in the month, five more than any other player in MLB. The Pirates are 7-0 when he scores multiple runs this season, and five of those games have come in May.
- Max Muncy hit a solo home run yesterday for the Dodgers' lone run, and he leads his team with 14 runs scored this month. In his career against Pittsburgh, Muncy has a .412/.500/.676 slash line with 11 runs scored in nine games.
- Cody Bellinger's batting average dropped below .400 after an 0-for-4 day yesterday -- this was his first game of 2019 going 0-for-4 or worse. The Dodgers are 3-5 when Bellinger goes hitless this season. He already has more strikeouts in May (14) than he had in all of April (13).
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There are two games left in the series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park for the teams' attention-getting sluggers to put on a show.
Los Angeles right fielder Cody Bellinger and Pittsburgh first baseman Josh Bell are perched in the upper stratosphere in several offensive categories in the major leagues, including batting average (Bellinger .389, Bell .337), homers (Bellinger 18, Bell 16) and RBIs (Bell 47, Bellinger 46).
Bellinger homered Friday and Bell smacked a double, but given their penchant for fireworks and difference-making performances this year, that was fairly tame in a 10-2 Los Angeles win.
"I've been seeing (Bell's numbers) through Twitter and Instagram," Bellinger said. "It looks like he's found something in his swing that's been consistent, and he's been confident in it. It's fun to watch. He's got a beautiful swing."
While Pittsburgh might enjoy the Bell-Bellinger watch, it probably behooves the Pirates to worry more about their own pitching. Los Angeles has won 15 of 17 between the teams over the past three seasons by a combined 119-56.
With two starters on the injured list, the Pirates have used an opener three times in the past week, including Friday when Michael Feliz gave up five runs, four on a grand slam by David Freese, in one-third of an inning.
The Pirates have a chance to get back to a little bit of normalcy the remainder of this series, with established members of the rotation starting.
On Saturday, Pittsburgh right-hander Joe Musgrove (3-4, 3.67 ERA) is scheduled to face Los Angeles left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-1, 1.52 ERA).
Musgrove seems to have emerged from a short slump. He gave up a total of 15 runs over 5 2/3 innings in a two-start stretch but since has won two straight starts. At San Diego on Sunday, Musgrove went 6 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) with four strikeouts and one walk in a 6-4 win.
"I felt really good," Musgrove said. "It's probably the best I've felt in terms of pitch-sequencing and execution, mentality. Everything was there."
Musgrove is 0-2 with a 3.09 ERA in two career starts against the Dodgers, including a strong outing April 27 when he gave up three runs (one earned) in 6 2/3 innings but lost 3-1 to ace Clayton Kershaw.
The Pirates won't have to face Kershaw in this series.
Ryu isn't exactly a slouch. He leads the National League in ERA and has 59 strikeouts vs. four walks, a 14.75 ratio, in 59 1/3 innings. Opposing hitters have a .190 average against him.
And there's that 31-inning scoreless streak he brings to PNC Park.
Ryu pitched seven scoreless, five-hit innings Sunday to beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-3 in what was his first road victory of the season.
"He likes pitching at home," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "But if he commands the fastball, he can pitch anywhere, even on the moon.
"He's locked in right now with everything, his entire pitch mix. It's fun to watch a player in a zone like that."
Ryu feels a responsibility to pitch as well in road games as he does at home.
"It's been awhile since I pitched this well on the road," Ryu, through an interpreter, said of the Cincinnati game. "As a starting pitcher, you need to put up a good performance whether you are at home or on the road. My workout routine is the same."
Ryu's career numbers against the Pirates are stellar: 5-0 with a 2.51 ERA in five outings, all quality starts. The Pirates have batted .238 against him.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 25, 2019