M Ellis 2B
AJ Ellis C
Ryu P #whiff
Everything is going in the favor of the Dodgers right now. The Blue stars seem to be aligned just right. Even when a game seems to be going the direction of the opposing squad, this amazing Dodger team doesn’t take no for an answer. Last night’s win, the sixth consecutive victory for the Boys in Blue, saw the Mets fluster around for three costly defensive mistakes. Then a bad call by home plate umpire ultimately swayed the game in the Dodgers favor as Nick Punto then went on to smash his second homerun of the year. You know when Nick Punto is hitting bombs things are going quite well. The Mets fans seemed to be quite perturbed about the blown call by the home plate umpire, but the Dodgers have been on the other end of many bad calls this season as well. Perhaps it all balances out in the end?
Balance. Even though the Dodgers have the third most errors in the league with 86, their excellent pitching and improved
offense has overcome their defensive shortcomings. Last night Nick Punto’s decent shortstop work gave Dodgers a reprieve after Dee Gordon‘s trifecta of errors in the series finale versus the Rays on Sunday. The Dodgers are third in the N.L. in team ERA (3.33), and they are second in the league in batting average (.269). The other league contenders in those categories are the Braves and Pirates who have great pitching and the Cardinals who lead the NL in hitting. The Dodgers will need to start thinking about potential playoff matchups between them and these tough teams.
The Mets are not going to give up easily in this series. Even though they are 16 1/2 back of Atlanta in their division and seemingly out of the race already, they still have some great players to contend with. Matt Harvey, this year’s All-Star Game starter and potential Cy Young Award possibility, will be starting game two for the Metropolitans. Harvey is second to Clayton Kershaw in the N.L. with a 2.09 ERA, and he is first with 178 strikeouts which is 4 more than Kersh. He’s held opposing hitters to a .190 batting average, and he also just edges out Kershaw in WHIP (0.86). The Dodgers will have their work cut out for them tonight against the fantastic right-hander. Harvey is coming off a four-hit complete game shutout versus the Rockies in his last start. He fanned 6 batters and walked none in the impressive outing. The 24-year old has only pitched 7 innings (1 start) against the Dodgers in his young career. Matt Kemp hit a homerun against Harvey back on April 24th at Citi Field. This will be Harvey’s first start at Dodger Stadium a.k.a. The Magic Castle.
The Dodgers will counter with Hyun-jin Ryu who can arguably be called their second ace behind Kershaw. While Zack Greinke has been inconsistent this season (although very good at times), Ryu has been pitching reliably well this entire season. The Korean superstar has quite the fan following, and rightfully so. Ryu has a Zen-like determination which helps him wiggle out of jams when he gets into trouble. Ryu should be considered for Rookie of the Year, and the left-hander truly is the Dodgers #2 guy behind Kershaw in this his first Major League season. Ryu will be vying for his fifth consecutive win tonight, and last time out he pitched 7 scoreless innings against the Cardinals in St. Louis. The impressive outing saw only 5 hits against him, and he struck out 7 while walking none. Ryu has one start against the Mets, and he has a 1.29 ERA with 8 Ks against them in 7 innings. Ryu has been excellent at home, and he is 5-1 with a 1.83 ERA in 10 starts at Chavez Ravine.
The game should be a pitcher’s duel, but anytime I say that there is like 15 runs and the starters are not involved in the decision so we shall see. The Dodgers will be going for another series win tonight, and they have not lost a series since June in Pittsburgh which is mind-boggling.
The Dodgers are still winning despite not having Hanley Ramirez or Matt Kemp in the lineup. Kemp is still limping, and the severe ankle strain has sidelined him now in his third DL stint of the season. It is unclear when he will return. Hanley Ramirez has still felt some discomfort in his shoulder, but he is available to pinch-hit and the comedic shortstop should be returning to play sometime soon. Can the Dodgers install a Hanley Cam in the dugout already?
The game will be televised on KCAL at 7:10 p.m. which unfortunately for me means it will be blacked out thanks to Time Warner Cable and CBS. This epic run is magical, but can the Dodgers maintain this enchantment? It’s sure delightful, isn’t it. Have I mentioned that the Giants are in last place?
You can see the Dodgers in person over the final months of the season by visiting Go Tickets. They have Dodgers tickets available for all games, including this series against the Mets and when they return home August 23rd to face the Boston Red Sox.