Dodgers 5, Cardinals 1: A Nearly Perfect Road Trip

aj_ellis_homers_2013-08-08I keep worrying that Hyun-jin Ryu is going to just blow up at some point, as we wonder about his velocity and teams getting multiple looks at him, and maybe he will. But I also know that we’re into the second week of August, and after seven innings tonight allowing zero earned runs, he’s got an ERA of 2.99 and a FIP that is close enough to backing that up at 3.28. There’s only 22 starters with ERA marks that start with 2; there’s only 25, including him, with a FIP of 3.28 or better. (Sidenote: one of those guys is former Dodger Eric Stults. Baseball just owns sometimes.)

I’m not quite ready to call Ryu an “ace”, because I honestly don’t feel that he is, subjective as that term may be. But I think we can all agree that he’s far exceeded even our wildest expectations at this point, and it may only be due to the fact that Yasiel Puig exists (along with one of the most ridiculous rookie classes in recent history, including Jose Fernandez & Shelby Miller) that prevents Ryu from winning the Rookie of the Year award. Over his last three starts, he’s struck out 22 against a single walk, and over his last 2.98 starts — note: made-up math — he’s struck out 22 against zero walks, since he started off his outing against Cincinnati on July 22 by walking Shin-Soo Choo.

Of course, after all that praise of Ryu, it’s not his picture you see at the top of this post, it’s A.J. Ellis, who crushed a ball off rookie St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez, inexplicably left in by Mike Matheny even though it was clear he was gassed. We’re just shy of the two year anniversary of Ellis’ first career homer, which also came in the fifth inning of a game in St. Louis back in 2011, though off of Jaime Garcia. Ellis’ blast brought in Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier, and while Jerry Hairston had a big pinch hit in the eighth, it was Ellis who put the game away.

Puig, by the way, had three more hits, and while two were of the infield variety, one was of the “I’m going to line a golf drive to left field, yes, left field, and beat it out for a triple” variety, because that’s a thing that you can do now, apparently.

Kenley Jansen was used to finish it out in a non-save situation because… well, I’m not sure, really. Because he hadn’t pitched in any of the first three games of the series, I suppose, but you’d think a four-run lead is why Brandon League or Carlos Marmol exist, with Jansen ready to come if needed. Anyway, he was not scored upon — because: awesome — and finished off a perfect game of sorts, retiring 27 in a row by getting the first two before allowing a single to David Freese.

With Arizona off tonight, the Dodgers pick up a half-game to move to 5.5 games up in the West after winning seven of eight on the swing through Chicago and St. Louis. They return home for what looks to be an incredibly interesting series against Tampa Bay. Chris Capuano, who has been oddly very good lately, faces David Price, who has been incredibly good with no “oddly” attached, tomorrow night. Can’t wait for James Loney to hit three homers, you guys.

491 comments
Dang88
Dang88

I had a dream last night we won the World Series in game 7, Kershaw on the mound complete game shutout, score? 1-0 that's so Dodgers 

Noel D
Noel D

Te Gnats have 'chemistry', too.  Unless it oozed out the locker door over the off season.  I prefer to concentrate on the Dodgers 'talent'

baeksu
baeksu

So, 2014 is Hanley's last year of his contract.  How hard does the team work to get him an extension this off-season?

Dude is a massive talent but is also always hurt.  It'll be interesting to see what they do, IMO.

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

Love that the Dogers have chemstry# now. I wonder where its from.

DodgerBytes
DodgerBytes

Rollins has cleared waivers. How long until we admit Hanley is out for a while and trade for Rollins?

KMT59
KMT59

I'm ready to pass the two AL West teams tonight with a win and their two loses ( I know texas plays the worse team in baseball but you know interstate rivalry)

baeksu
baeksu

@NeDieterich The Giants rightfully sold a lot of their farm off and went for the "win now" world series run.  It paid off.  But they're paying the fiddler now that the farm has gone dry.

I don't fault them for doing it the way they did.  It is fun to watch, though.

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

@baeksu he played 157 games last season and at least 140 from 2006-2010. He has only had 2 seasons of being hurt. I would give him all the monies.

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

@DodgerBytes Rollins is 34, his production is declining, and he's still expensive.  His OPS this year is .660 - about the same as MEllis and Schumaker.  No thanks.

KMT59
KMT59

@Capnsparrow sup...ready to sweep the home stand with that fancy broom you got there

baeksu
baeksu

@Capnsparrow @baeksu Maybe try to keep him at SS until Seager can come up in a couple of years?  I agree he seems like he'll be able to hit for several more years.

I just think with his injury history it'll be interesting to see how long they try to keep him for.

slaps825
slaps825

@BATBOB @baeksu Him moving off of SS as he gets into his 30s is probably a must.  But he seems like he should be able to hit for days.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

@KMT59 @Capnsparrow sweeps are the hardest when you face a club that pitches well like Tampa. They also hit too. Then the mutts who pitch well but thats about it. Come the end of this homestand I'll be gone until the middle of the next homestand! In the wilderness they don't have internet so I'll have to listen to a screechy am radio for updates late at night. Just like the old days before cel phones were invented!

slaps825
slaps825

@baeksu @DodgerBytes @nsxtasy The one thing that worries me about Hanley is that swinging should be no issue, but he hurt his rotator cuff on his throwing shoulder.  I will be interested to see how the throwing comes along.

baeksu
baeksu

@DodgerBytes @nsxtasy I don't think Hanley is out long term.  Sounds like he might even be able to pinch hit this weekend.