That 2-1 defeat gets hung on Hyun-jin Ryu as a loss, ending what was a fantastic debut season for him, but I’m sure no one’s dwelling on it too much. Ryu went only four innings, which was basically the plan, and was followed by usual starters Ricky Nolasco and Chris Capuano in a game that had Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, and A.J. Ellis all out after just two plate appearances apiece and ended with Drew Butera playing first base. There just wasn’t a lot of urgency in today’s game, nor should there have been.
After weeks of going through the motions, the regular season is finally over, and you don’t need me to tell you that we come to the end of 2013 with just a little bit of a different feeling than we did at the end of an 82-79 2011 or an 86-76 2012. I hardly need to remind you about the Don Mattingly Death Watch or the brawl that broke Zack Greinke‘s collarbone or the fact that Luis Cruz was once expected to be the starting third baseman or the further proof that Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball or the hilarious turnaround of Juan Uribe or the highs and lows of Yasiel Puig or the great-though-injury-plagued season of Hanley Ramirez or the atrocious-though-injury-plagued-season of Matt Kemp or the unbelievable, historic, magical run of winnings that just never, ever, ever seemed like it was going to end and will almost certainly never be repeated.
It’s a season that just could never have been predicted, and sitting here today, I’m still not sure I believe it all happened. But mostly, I’m just grateful to be writing what I never could have imagined I’d be writing back in June: it’s not over yet. On Thursday in Atlanta, Clayton Kershaw will face off against Kris Medlen and the Braves, to be followed by Zack Greinke against Mike Minor and Ryu against Julio Teheran back in Los Angeles.
No matter how much has happened this year, the story of 2013 is not yet written. Starting on Thursday, we’ll learn what we’ll really remember this season for. I can’t wait.