Braves 3, Dodgers 2: Forget the Loss, Worry About Ryu

You can’t say the Dodgers didn’t have their chances here, you know. They put 15 men on base and brought in only two, both on run-scoring second inning singles off the bats of Carl Crawford and Miguel Rojas — two of five hits they got that inning after Ervin Santana struck out the side in the first. They even managed to get the bases loaded in the ninth inning against the basically unhittable Craig Kimbrel and his gunky hat. But A.J. Ellis hit into a double play in the middle of that second inning, and Matt Kemp hit into another to end the game, and they just couldn’t cash in any other opportunities.

That’s annoying, but it happens. This is a team that’s still comfortably in first place, and you can’t win every game. Not a big deal. But this might be: Hyun-jin Ryu left in the bottom of the sixth with what seemed to be a hamstring issue, but was called a “right gluteus muscle strain.” He’s termed day-to-day — and really, aren’t we all — but Don Mattingly couldn’t say after the game if Ryu would make his next start. For the moment, that’s not a huge problem, because with Roberto Hernandez and Kevin Correia around, technically the team has six starters, even if three of them aren’t actually guys you really want in the rotation. Also, the never-ending stretch of games without a day off is soon coming to an end, because after tomorrow’s matinee to finish off the series in Atlanta, the Dodgers return home for three against the Brewers before enjoying three days off in a span of 11 days. There’s flexibility here.

Let’s hope that it’s used wisely. The last thing this team needs is to make a playoff run not being certain who is starting a Game 3 behind Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Yes, the Dodgers lost tonight. It’s almost entirely irrelevant compared to what the evening could ultimately mean.

About Mike Petriello

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