Some people were doubting the Hyun-jin Ryu signing before the season began. They said the Dodgers were overpaying for a pitcher we had never seen play overseas. To those I say, calm down. The Dodger’s scouting and development department knows what they are doing. So just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Ryu made the excellent Dodger scouting and development department proud tonight by pitching six solid frames, and allowing three runs, and whiffing nine Snakes. He also amazed everyone by collecting three hits in three at-bats in front of his family and friends in the stands. Ryu’s 3 for 3 was the first three hit game by a Dodger pitcher since Randy Wolf did it back in 2009 for the Boys in Blue. Our pitchers can hit!
Meanwhile the rest of the Dodger lineup was finally re-united with home plate, and ohhhh, it felt soooo good. The Dodgers first chased Arizona starter Ian Kennedy from the game in the sixth inning when they scored three times. The Dodgers scored one run in the fourth, two in the fifth, and then three times in the sixth. They pounded out seven runs on fourteen hits. Gonzalez went 3 for 4 with a home run, an RBI double and two RBI. Skip Schumaker had an RBI double and scored twice. Crawford collected two more hits, and scored two runs. Kemp went 1 for 5 with a two-run single. Andre Ethier contributed with two hits of his own, and Ramon Hernandez picked up his first hit and RBI as a Dodger. let’s also not forget the couple of great catches Crawford made in left field.
The bullpen being tired and overworked, allowed the Snakes to get back in the game. Ronald Belisario, Kenley Jansen, and Brandon League allowed two runs, and inherited runners to score, but were able to close out the game. League picks up his fourth save, and Ryu his second win in Blue. All in all, a good game. Let’s get to the highlights below!….
Top of the first-The Dodgers go down in order in the top of the first against Ian Kennedy. Carl Crawford flies out to center, Skip Schumaker grounds out, and Matt Kemp flies out to end the inning. Hyun-jin Ryu sets the Snakes down in order in the bottom of the first. A.J. Pollack is called out on strikes. Gerardo Parra grounds out, and Martin Prado flies out.
In the top of the second, the Dodgers threaten, but as usual don’t score. Adrian Gonzalez singles, and Andre Ethier walks, but New Dodger Ramon Hernandez, proves he is a true Dodger by hitting into a 5-4-3 double play. With a runner at third and two outs, Luis Cruz whiffs, and the Dodgers leave another runner in scoring position. Ryu pitches around a Paul Goldscmidt single in the bottom half of the second, before retiring the side. That included whiffing Josh Wilson for the third out.
The offensive ineptitude only continues for the Dodgers in the top of the third. It’s really hard to watch sometimes. Thank god later in the game, they would break out. Ryu collects a one-out double himself, and advances to third on Crawford’s line drive single to right. That’s RyuThen as if on cue, Schumaker lines out to right, and Kemp flies out to center. The Dodgers don’t score again. Ryu opens up the bottom of the third frame, by whiffing Cliff Pennington, and Kennedy. Pollack doubles into the gap, and nearly is thrown out between second and third. Ryu gets out of the inning by whiffing Parra on a nasty breaking ball.
The Dodgers take a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Gonzalez blasts a booming solo home run to right field to get the Dodgers on the board. That’s Gonzo’s second home run of the season. After Dre whiffs, Hernandez works a walk, but that’s really all the Dodgers will get in this inning.
Crawford makes a nice running catch on Martin Prado’s long drive in the bottom of the fourth. Goldschmidt clobbers a ball to deep center that bounces off the tall wall, but below the yellow line. Arizona requests an instant replay, claiming the ball went above the line, which would make it a home run. The umpires review the play, and rule it a ground rule double. The ball hit below the line. Ryu misses on a full count and walks Montero. Alfredo Martin’s deep fly to left is caught by Crawford for out number 2. Ryu then whiffs Josh Wilson to get out of the jam and preserve the Dodgers slim one run lead.
The Dodgers increase their lead in the top of the fifth. Ryu singles, for his second hit of the night. Amazing! Crawford grounds into a check-swing force play. The Dbacks erase Ryu at second base, but Crawford is safe at first. Schumaker then doubles into the gap to score Crawford, and the Dodgers lead 2-0.
Before Kemp whiffs at a low and away pitch, there is a wild pitch which advances Schumaker to third. After the Kemp whiff, Arizona intentionally walks Gonzalez, which brings up Ethier. Dre slaps a base hit to right, to score Schumaker, giving the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Arizona finally scores. Pennington singles, and moves to second on a wild pitch. Kennedy sacrifices the runner to third. Pennington then scores on a Pollack grounder, and the Dodgers now lead 3-1. Parra then smacks a long drive to deep left, Crawford makes a great running leaping catch at the warning track, to rob Parra of a certain extra base-hit, and get the Dodgers out of the inning.
Kennedy falls apart in the top of the sixth. With two outs, Ryu singles for his third hit of the night! This is the first time since 2009 that a Dodger pitcher has had three hits in a ball game. (Randy Wolf). Crawford doubles down the right field line. Ryu stops at third, and the Dodgers are in business. After a coaching visit to the mound, Kennedy walks Schumaker to load the bases. Kemp singles in two, and the Dodgers lead 5-1. Arizona hooks Kennedy and brings in right hander Matt Reynolds. Gonzalez greets him with a base-hit, which plates another run, the Dodgers lead 6-1. Kennedy allows six runs on ten hits, through 5.2 innings. He whiffed four and walked four.
Ryu breezes through the bottom of the sixth. Prado and Goldschmidt are both called out on strikes, and Montero grounds out.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, and Josh Collmenter on the mound for Arizona, Ryu comes up to the plate looking for his fourth hit of the night. unfortunately, Sellers who had singled in the previous at-bat, is picked off first base by Collmenter. Tootblan.
Ryu unfortunately tires out by the seventh inning, having made over 100 pitches. Marte and Wilson both single, and the Dodgers make a double-switch. Belisario replaces Ryu, and Juan Uribe in for Cruz at third. Ryu turned in a great performance though. He goes six innings plus, allows one run on six hits, walked just one, and whiffed nine Snakes. Belisario comes in and whiffs Pennington, who proceeds to tantrum and break his bat over the plate in frustration. The home plate umpire than tosses him from the game. After that little amusing tantrum, Eric Hinske’s pinch-hit single, and a base hit from Eric Chavez plate two more runs, and the Snakes rally for two, to close the lead to 6-3. However, Belisario gets Parra to ground into a perfect double play, and the Dodgers are out of it.
Move to the bottom of the eighth. Kenley Jansen is called in to pitch. Martin Prado slams a one-out solo home run to left field, and the lead is down to 6-4. More bullpen problems. After Goldschmidt grounds out, Montero singles, and then Aaron Hill who had been battling a hand injury, comes off the bench, and doubles off the wall in left, to score Montero. The Dodger lead is now 6-5. Jansen does get out of the inning, by whiffing Marte and Cody Ross.
Heath Bell replaces Tony Sipp to pitch the top of the ninth for the Snakes. Consecutive doubles from Ethier and Hernandez plate the Dodgers an insurance run. For Hernandez, it was his first hit as a Dodger. Welcome to the Dodgers Hernandez! Bell escapes further damage by whiffing Mark Ellis, and Sellers, to end the inning.
Move to the bottom of the ninth. Brandon League comes in to close up shop. Wil Nieves hits a soft line out to Sellers for the first out. Eric Chavez’s little tapper in front of the mound is handled by League for the second out. Although Gonzo had to stretch to get the high throw. Parra grounds out to end the game. Dodgers win 7-5!
Tomorrow afternoon’s rubber game will feature a battle between two struggling pitchers. Right hander Josh Beckett will take the mound for the Dodgers, while the Snakes will counter with Trevor Cahill. Catch the game, and our Dodger coverage tomorrow at 1:10 P.M. In the meantime enjoy your Saturday night, because the Dodgers won! Now get to celebratin’! Go Blue!