Someday, Hanley Ramirez is going to stop hitting. In fact, that’s part of my next ESPN article, going up tomorrow, which discusses how he and Yasiel Puig simply can’t continue the paces they’ve put forward over the last month, because it’s just not possible.
Today is not that day, apparently. Ramirez’ third-inning blast off Stephen Strasburg provided the first two runs the Dodgers would need, and Andre Ethier‘s ninth-inning tiebreaker off Rafael Soriano was the difference in a 3-2 Dodger victory. For Ethier, it was his first homer in more than a month, since going deep off of Ian Kennedy on June 11, and had he waited just a little while longer, we could have said he’d hit just one homer in two months, since his previous homer before that had been on May 20 in Milwaukee. Ethier now has six homers on the year, but after three in April, he’s got one apiece in May, June, & July.
Fortunately for the Dodgers, the pitching was once again effective. Ricky Nolasco wasn’t dominating — he allowed 10 baserunners and struck out only two in 5.1 innings — but he managed to limit the damage, and Jose Dominguez, Paco Rodriguez, Ronald Belisario, & Kenley Jansen cleaned up with 3.2 innings of nearly perfect relief. Don’t look now, but between those four and J.P. Howell, the Dodgers actually have something resembling a decent bullpen. Let’s hope Ned Colletti keeps that in mind before Joc Pederson gets traded for John Axford.
As for Puig, he struck out twice in four plate appearances before being inexplicably double-switched out, but he did at least manage to provide this bit of excitement, courtesy of complex.com:
Bryce Harper was clearly out, though the umpire badly missed the call. Harper eventually scored, though fortunately it didn’t impact the outcome of the game. In the meantime, the Dodgers are just two games behind Arizona as the Diamondbacks are just kicking off a game in San Francisco. Does this mean we have to root for the Giants? I suppose it does, and good lord does that make me feel dirty.