Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Magical Dodgers Win their 7th Consecutive, This Time Over Mets Ace Matt Harvey

During the Mets/Dodgers contest tonight, Mets television announcer Keith Hernandez was repeatedly commenting to his New York audience that he had never seen a Dodger crowd that was “so raucous” as tonight’s Los Angeles crowd.  Both Hernandez and  Gary Cohen noted that there is something absolutely magical going on in Los Angeles.  There is little doubt of that as they are now 22-3 since the all star break.

Tonight the Dodger bats got to Mets ace Matt Harvey.  “I’ve never seen so many comfortable rips off of Harvey than tonight.  The Dodgers are simply playing amazing baseball,” added the former Met first baseman during the Dodgers two run rally in the sixth inning of tonight’s action.  The Dodger offense simply weathered through until Harvey’s pitch count got high and he began to tire.  Their patient approach paid off completely as they punched through four runs in the 5th and 6th.

It is simply fun following the game again.  Win after win, clutch hits, solid pitching.  Even when the Dodgers fail to execute in early innings, the confidence is there that they eventually will come through.  There's a confidence and swagger with this group, even though they were depleted by injury again tonight, with Andre Ethier joining Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp on the bench.  Ethier is dealing with a tight left calf muscle, remnants of a HBP he suffered during the last road trip.  It is reported to not be serious and that he was held out for precautionary reasons.  Considering how the Dodgers have been playing, why not hold him out and let him heal?

(photo by Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

Hyun-Jin Ryu with his 12th win tonight is the winningest Dodger pitcher on the staff.  A few weeks ago there was talk that he might weaken as the season progresses, since he is approaching a work load level that exceeds what he pitched in Korea.  Tonight’s performance seems to show that he’s remaining strong.  Ryu retired 9 consecutive hitters going into the 7th inning tonight and 12 of his final 13 hitters faced.  His ERA is now solidly under 3 at 2.91.  He’d probably be a rookie of the year shoe-in any other year, but he may not even be ROY of the Dodgers the way Yasiel Puig is going (who collected another two hits tonight).

Ryu has had 16 consecutive starts of over 100 pitches thrown now and he’s won 7 straight decisions.  He has been a steal of an acquisition and will be a fixture in the Dodger rotation for years to come.  Back in Spring Training there were concerns that Ryu was too out of shape and too weak to be able to hold up to the rigors of a full MLB season.  Those days seem so long ago today as he has turned out to be one of the strongest and most reliable innings eaters on the Dodger starting staff.

The Dodger bullpen went 19 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings before Kenley Jansen allowed a rare run off of him in the ninth inning.  And speaking of the bullpen, the Dodgers will have a difficult decision to make in the next day or two as Brian Wilson went 1 1/3 innings tonight in Albuquerque, allowing just a single, (his first base runner in 4 minor league relief appearances).  With Wilson about to be called up to the majors we all wonder, “who’s the odd man out?”

All signs point to Carlos Marmol, who has pitched well lately.  Otherwise the only real relief pitchers with options left are Chris Withrow and Paco Rodriguez.  Both of them don’t deserve to be optioned to the minors, as they have been lights out.  

A position player could be optioned back to Albuquerque, with Dee Gordon being the prime candidate, but that would leave the Dodgers with only four bench players and boatload of pitchers on the roster with thirteen.

It’s going to be a tough decision, no doubt about it.  If for some reason, Withrow ends up being sent down, it’ll have to be with the understanding to him that it isn’t a demotion, but a temporary reassignment until rosters expand a little over two weeks from now.  The Dodgers have to know that Chris Withrow is more valuable to the team than the erratic Carlos Marmol, but such is the life of a young major leaguer with options.

1 comment:

  1. It is fun to get up in the morning and find another Dodger victory and another hero. I must admit the streak makes me a bit nervous as teams often seem to burn so hot and at playoff time hit a wall.

    I feel a bit more comfortable though realizing the team is playing without Ramirez and Kemp, the defense has shored up, relief pitching is very good, and the hitting heroics are spread around. Plus the starters are doing their part nightly.

    If Withrow is sent down, options or not, look for a seismic report in Nova Scotia. Just make the best baseball move - Withrow or Marmol- not a dumbass move like trading Miguel Sulbaran for Drew Butera.