M. Ellis 2B
A.J. Ellis C
The final game of the 2013 regular season is upon us, Dodger fans. We’ve survived another rollercoaster of a season and this one was as emotional as any other in recent memory. They started the season off so very bad, and then they began what is one of the best stretches of baseball played that I have ever witnessed. Then they leapfrogged the entire division, and there they sat in first place for the remainder of the year. September would be essentially a “throw away” month, and by clinching first the Dodgers would have to play many meaningless games down the stretch. The Dodgers are now close to jumping into the do or die zone, but are they healthy and hot enough to bring the Blue Magic to the NLDS and beyond?
Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier both have bad ankles. Hanley Ramirez has a nerve in his back that acts up. Carl Crawford‘s entire body could go out at anytime… can the Dodgers play through the pain and push through to the Fall Classic? I really think it could go either way. The Dodgers could go on an incredible run or they could fall flat. Most likely the Dodgers will start the NLDS on Thursday in Atlanta. That means they will have to contend with the annoying Tomahawk Chop for the first two games until they return to Dodger Stadium on what could be the clinching third game on Sunday. The Braves and Cardinals are both formidable foes, but the Dodgers have played well on the road this year. When they were swept in Atlanta earlier in the season it was an entirely different ball club.
Hyun-jin Ryu, the projected third starter in the NLDS, will make his final regular season
start on Sunday at Dodger Stadium for game 162. The Dodgers signed Ryu to a 6 -year $36 million deal this past offseason, and the signing was one of the most successful international signings by the Dodgers in recent memory besides Yasiel Puig of course. The Korean left-hander has fit in just fine in the Majors despite the naysayers who questioned whether he could translate his success he had in Korea to the Major League level. He sure did. Ryu will be making his 30th start of the season, and he has pitched 188 innings thus far. Ryu is 1-0 against the Rockies this year with a 3.00 ERA in 1 game. CarGo hit a homerun against him earlier in the season, but he is hurt. Another pleasant surprise about Ryu is that he can hit decently. He is batting .211 on the season with 12 hits including 3 doubles, a triple, and 5 RBIs.
Jeff Francis, the born again Rockie, will be making his 12th start of the season. In his career, he is 2-2 with a 3.26 ERA in 10 starts at Dodger Stadium. Overall he is 6-5 with a 3.53 ERA against the Dodgers. The 32-year old from Canada, hasn’t started a game since June. He’s been working in relief for the Rockies, and during his last appearance he allowed 3 hits in 1 2/3 innings against Arizona. The Dodgers only faced him once this season on September 2nd in Colorado where he pitched 2 innings of relief and struck out 4 Dodgers.
Todd Helton will most likely be making his final start of his career on Sunday. Helton has been a long-time nuisance for the Dodgers, but it’s pretty historic to watch his final game.
Tune into Prime Ticket at 1:10 p.m. to listen to Vin Scully’s final broadcast for the season before he heads to radio for the playoffs.
Thank you for reading and being on this wild ride of a season with us! We really appreciate your support, and we love sharing our love of the Dodgers with other fans. Scott will be bringing you the final postgame recap today.
Are you ready for Dodger baseball in October? Go Blue!