A marathon game that frequently teetered on the edge of bitterly disappointing finally tilted in the Dodgers’ direction after twelve innings, leading to a 5-2 victory. We’ll talk about Hanley Ramirez‘ heroics in a second, but let’s talk about the stuff that is likely to get overlooked first.
Hyun-jin Ryu was great, again. He pitched seven innings, allowed two runs, struck out six batters, and walked one. By at least one measure, he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball:
Hyun-Jin Ryu has the 10th-best FIP (2.79) in baseball (among qualified starters). #Dodgers
— Beyond the Box Score (@BtBScore) August 3, 2014
It’s not the best measurement, since it’s not park or league adjusted and gives Ryu an unfair advantage, but the point is that you should ignore Ryu’s ERA. He’s really, really good. Better than last year.
Matt Kemp‘s offense continues to not be the problem. He only had one hit tonight, but it was his fourth home run in the last five games. His ISO is up to .181, just .017 behind his career levels (in a lower offensive environment than the rest of his career). Other than Kemp, Tsuyoshi Wada and the Cubs bullpen kept the Dodgers quiet for most of the game.
The Dodgers bullpen also did an excellent job. Brandon League, J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen, Brian Wilson (who is sneakily better than he was at the start of the season), and Jamey Wright combined to throw five scoreless innings. It wasn’t pretty at times; League allowed two baserunners and recorded two outs, and Wright struggled with his control at times. Still, they got the job done and the win wouldn’t have happened without them. The game ended just in time, perhaps, with Chris Perez warming up to take Wright’s spot.
Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig apparently are not hurt very badly, since they both pinch hit. Puig singled and was allowed to run the bases on his sore hamstring, but he was promptly picked off. Maybe it saved the Dodgers from themselves.
And, fine, now we get to talk about how the game ended. In the twelfth inning, after Jamey Wright managed to walk the tightrope, Dee Gordon singled and stole his 51st base. Justin Turner walked, then Hanley Ramirez did this:
Surprisingly, it was his first career walkoff home run.
Tonight’s game might have some lasting effects. Drew Butera caught all twelve innings, and tomorrow is a day game. A.J. Ellis likely won’t be available tomorrow, either. There’s a decent chance that we’ll see Tim Federowicz tomorrow afternoon. The bullpen just pitched its second long night in a row, with a frequently laboring Josh Beckett going tomorrow. At least Beckett isn’t the only thing between the Dodgers and being swept by the Cubs.
For now, enjoy the moment and worry about tomorrow’s implications tomorrow. Edwin Jackson and the Cubs will be waiting at 1:10PT.