The Los Angeles Dodgers have one of the top pitching duos in baseball. However, the Dodgers weren't put on the doorstep of history on May 25 and 26 from Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. It was Josh Beckett who gave Los Angeles its first no-hitter in 18 years on May 25, before Hyun-Jin Ryu came within six outs of topping him against the Cincinnati Reds on May 26.
Although the Dodgers won by 4-3, the final score doesn't reflect Ryu's dominance, as he retired the first 21 Reds in order. With six more outs, not only would Ryu have a perfect game, he and Beckett would become the first teammates to throw no-hitters in back to back games. Instead, Todd Frazier broke the perfection and got the first hit against the Dodgers in days on a leadoff eighth inning double.
Technically, Ryu hurt his own cause in the seventh inning, when he scored one of the Dodgers' three runs in the long seventh to give them a 4-0 lead. Yet Los Angeles would need every one of those runs, as Frazier was the first of three Cincinnati players to get hits off of Ryu in the eighth before he was taken out. The Reds cut the lead down to 4-3 before the Dodgers finally shut them down again to salvage the win.
Ryu not only fell short of the no-hitter and perfect game, his streak of outs was two less than Beckett's 23 straight outs over the Philadelphia Phillies. The only way Ryu could top that was to be perfect, as manager Don Mattingly claimed he joked about before the game, yet it was no laughing matter before long.
The Dodgers saw Ryu improve to 5-2, despite being the fourth man in their starting rotation. Los Angeles already has a former World Series MVP in Beckett, a multiple Cy Young winner in Kershaw and a current Cy Young frontrunner in Greinke. With all that power on the mound and with Yasiel Puig taking more leaps forward, it's a wonder the Dodgers are only 28-24 after these two big performances.
Nevertheless, Los Angeles trails a San Francisco Giants team with the best record in baseball -- and with two World Series rings since 2010. Beckett, Ryu, Kershaw and Greinke can throw all the no-hitters they want in late May, but they still need some gas to reach late October.