Paco Rodriguez #75 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Miami Marlins during the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 10, 2013 in Los Angeles.
If there was ever a way to snap a losing streak, I think that was it.
The 7-1 victory over the Marlins was full of highlights, making it hard to choose one that stands out. Was it more exciting to see Andre Ethier get four hits on the night, or is the fact that every Dodger starter, besides the pitcher, Ryu, produced at least one hit more satisfying?
Is Skip Schumaker’s four RBIs or Juan Uribe reaching base three times more surprising? And there is no way you can make me choose between Dee Gordon’s solo home run, or Carl Crawford’s spectacular diving catch.
Do yourself a favor and check out some video highlights from the game if you did not watch it live, it was very uplifting to see this team play some real baseball finally.
Tonight, Dodger fans are abuzz over all these highlights, but the two story lines that come out of the game that matter most are Hyun-jin Ryu’s 6.2 innings and Matt Kemp’s 10-game hitting streak.
For being a player that nobody had heard of before last offseason, Hyun-jin Ryu has been an outstanding addition to the Dodgers rotation. The 26-year-old rookie has delivered six or more innings pitched in each of his eight career starts, a feat that has not been accomplished since Don Sutton’s rookie season in 1966.
Consistency has been hard to come by in the Dodgers rotation and the bullpen has got to appreciate the down time it gets from Ryu’s six innings per start, which is only matched by staff ace, Clayton Kershaw.
Ryu has not proven to be a dominant pitcher by any means as he gives up a hit almost every inning, but he does find a way out of innings, managing to keep his earned runs low. What might stand out as his greatest asset thus far is his control.
Going into Saturday, Ryu was averaging four strikeouts per walk, and had games with nine, eight, and 12 strikeouts. The South Korean could prove to be one of the more successful signings of the 2012 offseason.
Another ongoing development that could, hopefully, be a sign of good things to come is Matt Kemp’s 10-game hitting streak. The superstar has been oft-maligned this season by fans and the media for his lack of production, but he has quietly strung together hits in ten consecutive games.
I do not want to put too much emphasis on the streak, and am approaching it with cautious optimism because in the ten games he has only managed 12 hits with just as many strikeouts.
Kemp may not be racking up the hits, but hopefully he is getting a feel for his swing. Some of his recent outs have been on well-hit balls, and although they do not count for anything it is encouraging to see him make solid contact. His batting average has only bumped up thirteen points during the streak to .269.
The Dodgers send Chris Capuano to the mound tomorrow as they look to take the three-game series from Miami.
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