ryu_bats_2014-03-30

Padres 3, Dodgers 1: At Least Ryu Was Great

ryu_bats_2014-03-30

Hey, Hyun-jin Ryu: I think this is going to work out just fine.

And really, when this game got started, I wasn’t sure this was going to be Ryu’s night. Missing badly outside to righty hitters, Ryu allowed three of the first four Padres to reach, walking Everth Cabrera and Jedd Gyorko around a Chase Headley strikeout and Chris Denorfia single. He survived by inducing a Yonder Alonso 1-2-3 double play, but then allowed the first two hitters of the second to reach, and it seemed like this might be a long evening.

But then: nothing. Ryu got the next three in a row to escape the second, then sailed through the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings — setting down 16 in a row, including the first batter of the seventh — and even when the streak was snapped by Tommy Medica‘s walk, Will Venable‘s double play immediately ended the the threat. In seven innings, Ryu struck out seven; in 12 innings this year, he’s struck out 12 and allowed not a single run. This is, as I saw someone joke on Twitter, potentially the greatest March in baseball history.

Oh, I know the Dodgers lost. Don’t think we won’t get to that. We will. But before we start talking about the eighth inning, I wanted to at least focus on how good Ryu was in front of a record-setting Petco Park crowd, because over the course of the long season, his production is worth way more than the one game that was dropped today.

Obviously, there’s more to the story than that, because then Brian Wilson had to immediately blow it by allowing Seth Smith to destroy a baseball on Wilson’s third pitch of the 8th inning. But it’s okay: it got worse, when Wilson walked Yasmani Grandal, then couldn’t handle a Cabrera bunt, then allowed Grandal to steal the first base of his professional career — and while that’s partially on Juan Uribe, I like to think that the Dodgers just couldn’t see Grandal in his camouflage uniform — and then Denorfia drove in two with a single. After Adrian Gonzalez booted a ball of his own, off the bat of Headley, that was it for Wilson, having retired zero batters. Chris Perez entered to get Jedd Gyorko, and Paco Rodriguez, thankfully, struck out Alonso and Medica to get out of it.

Kenley Jansen, as far as I know, never warmed.

I’d like, if we could, to not kill Don Mattingly for lifting Ryu after 88 pitches, which I’m already seeing some of on Twitter. Remember that 48 hours ago, we didn’t even know if Ryu was pitching this game, thanks to that toe injury. Remember that it’s March 30. Remember that he’s starting three of the first six games. Remember that Clayton Kershaw is on the DL. If there was ever a time not to push your starter, this was it.

Wilson gets hung with the L, which I mention only because it was absolutely deserved, but of course, I’d be remiss to not mention the disappearance of the Dodger offense, which is another way of saying “Andrew Cashner is really, really good.” Only Carl Crawford (who drove in Dee Gordon for the only run in the fifth), A.J. Ellis (two), and Juan Uribe had hits; only Yasiel Puig, Ellis, and Gordon walked, and yes, that does mean that Ellis reached three times.

But what that means is that the top five — Crawford, Puig, Hanley Ramirez, Gonzalez, and Andre Ethier — combined to go 1-19 with a walk. Crawford struck out three times. Gordon couldn’t get the job done with two on in the second. Ryu’s fifth-inning bunt attempt with two on ended with Ellis thrown out at third. Ramirez grounded out to end the fifth with the bases loaded. There was a whole Gordon/Ryu buntastrophe in the seventh that may or may not have been Mattingly’s fault.

It doesn’t really seem like it because this was the first game most of us watched — I know I didn’t really give the Australia games the usual amount of attention — but the Dodgers still have two wins in their first three games. While the fact that they’re off tomorrow (Zack Greinke and Ian Kennedy resume the series on Tuesday) might not sit well after tonight’s loss, I’m frankly looking forward to the idea of 12 solid hours of televised baseball without needing to worry about the score.


Mike

About

Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.


157 comments
Catfishin
Catfishin

Joel Sherman is hella derpderp

Sangro Azul
Sangro Azul

So just a quick thought/question about last nights walking dead season finale.... why did rick freak out about that watch? Was it glen's and even so... didn't get that. And would they gave been thrown into that train car regardless of the outburst, or was that their "punishment"??? And is that why the rest if the gtiuo us in that train car too? Are they being punished too? And what's up with that room full of candles???

steelmohawk
steelmohawk

The first headline I saw this morning was Saxon's "the dodgers' bullpen was  supposed to be one of the best in the league"  Closed that window and came here to read something that I knew was going to be well thought out.   Thanks Mike.

KMT59
KMT59

Damn now I have to wait almost two days to get this taste of "De feet" out of my mouth

Night All

mawp
mawp

Karl Ravech made a great point today in the postgame wrap - he said that the dodgers lost because Puig once again threw the ball over the head of the cutoff man, and because there were a few missed bunting opportunitys, and i quote, "so..."

KMT59
KMT59

@Mike Petriello  I can't believe I didn't get a mention as a highlight for the game ^_^

Ker$haw$Dodger$
Ker$haw$Dodger$

Great point on Andrew Cashner tonight Mike....Consistently 94-95 with movement on both sides of the plate, great slider..Tough loss

dappler218
dappler218

Question: Why the hell was Brian Wilson designated our set-up man after pitching less than 15 innings last season?

Catfishin
Catfishin

Would have been nice to win tonight. Sigh.

MScottEiland
MScottEiland

Inevitable postgame narrative among the usual idiots:  "Is the controversy over Puig hurting the team's performance?"

DodgersFan
DodgersFan

@Dustin Nosler i want him to make his debut while he is 17, because then would his parents have to sign a permission slip letting him travel with the team?

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Hello DodgersDigest baseball blog commenter.

Lobo
Lobo

@Sangro Azul I don't give a shit about this show, but SPOILERS I guess

Chavez Ravine Fiend
Chavez Ravine Fiend

@dappler218  Wilson will be fine for the rest of the year, doesn't make this loss any tougher to swallow but remember its one game. we have 159 left

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

@Catfishin  Would have been nice to hook up with Kate Hudson but oh well you can't win em all

steelmohawk
steelmohawk

@Catfishin and what team is the dark pink that people are following in the rocky mountain states?

steelmohawk
steelmohawk

also, one pitcher's bad night means the entire pen is terrible

dappler218
dappler218

He's the "2nd best closer?" He didn't record a single out.