The Dodger’s confidence must be soaring after their thrilling 1-0 win over Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals. If the club can beat Wainwright, then they can beat anyone.
Glossed over during all the heroics last night was how fantastic Josh Beckett was again. He’s been wonderful this year, and he matched Wainwright pitch for pitch. There were many heroes last night. Not just Beckett. There was Justin Turner’s pinch-hit RBI single to give the Dodgers the only run of the game in the bottom of the eighth. There was Matt Kemp’s great throw to nail Allen Craig at the plate in the top of the seventh. There was Brian Wilson’s scoreless eighth, and Dee Gordon and Miguel Rojas both making spectacular defensive plays.
Dodgers Lineup vs. St. LouisGordon 2B Puig RF Gonzalez 1B Kemp LF Van Slyke CF Uribe 3B Ellis C Rojas SS Ryu P
Carlos Martinez-1-3 vs. Hyun-jin Ryu-9-3
The Dodger defense has been outstanding in the month of June. They’ve only made six errors this month. Things are definitely trending in the right direction, and I couldn’t be happier. Even with Hanley Ramirez out with a sore shoulder, the Dodgers have been playing a lot better than they were at the beginning of the month. The club picked up another game on the slumping Giants, as they were beat by the Reds at At&t Park last night. The Dodgers are now just two games behind first place. What a refreshing change of pace.
But if you know Baseball you’ll be able to figure out why the Giants are losing, and it has nothing to do with “regression” or “coming down to earth”, or any of the advanced stats. No, the Giants are losing because they lost one of their best players. Their losing streak has directly coincided with the loss of their center fielder and lead-off bat Angel Pagan. Remember the Giants lost him for most of 2013 when he tore his hamstring. This time it’s his back that’s bothering him, and the Giants have placed him on the disabled list. There is no doubt in my mind that the Giants absolutely can’t win without him. He’s a very vital piece of their offense. He’s their lead-off bat, center fielder, and he makes that offense go.
It’s no coincidence that their recent plummet into the toilet has happened to come around the same time they lose Pagan. So the Dodgers must take advantage and strike right now while the iron is hot. Don’t look back, just take this division and run. Don’t let the Giants get back up.
So tonight the Dodgers will look to keep the good times rolling in game two against the Cardinals. The Red Birds will send flame throwing right hander Carlos Martinez to the mound in search of his second win of 2014. Martinez has been a reliever, but the Cardinals have moved him into the rotation for now because of the multitude of injuries to their starting rotation. Jamie Garcia, Joe Kelly, NLCS enemy Michael Wacha, and Shelby Miller are all injured. Although Miller is expected to start on Sunday.
This is Martinez’s third start of the season. In his last start he went just five innings against Philadelphia, but got the win. Martinez is 1-3 with a 4.33 ERA in 32 games. He’s whiffed 36 and walked 19 in a little over 43 innings. Martinez is well-known for his blazing fastball. He hasn’t faced the Dodgers much over the years. He is 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA in two games against the Dodgers. Martinez is 1-2 with a 4.75 ERA on the road.
The Dodgers are batting .160 ( 4 for 25) off of Martinez. Nobody has done much of anything against the young 22-year old flamethrower. Although A.J. Ellis has hit a home run.
|Scott Van Slyke||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000||.000||.000|
The Dodgers will counter with left hander Hun-jin Ryu. In Ryu’s last start he threw six frames of one-run ball to beat the Padres by a score of 2-1. This time around he’ll be going for his tenth win of the season, and he’ll be facing a more dangerous lineup. Ryu hasn’t faced the Cardinals much, but he has done well in the couple of times he has. The Cards have never been able to figure him out.
Ryu has faced the Cardinals just once in the regular season. Last year he beat them by allowing just an unearned run across seven frames, and whiffing seven. And also don’t forget that Ryu shutout the Cardinals in game three of the NLCS last year. So if you combine the regular season and the NLCS, Ryu is 2-0 with an ERA of 0.00 against the Cardinals.
Ryu is 9-3 this year with a 3.06 ERA in 14 starts. Ryu has limited the Cardinals to a .161 (5 for 31) average against. The Cards have just five singles against Ryu. They do not have an extra base hit, nor do they have a walk. That means Ryu has held the Cards to a .323 OPS against.
You can catch the game tonight at 7:10 PM, and we’ll be sure to give you our take on how it went down. It’s first place or bust, Dodger fans! I hope the good times keep rolling. We deserve some fun.
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