Time is winding down on the 2013 season, but the Los Angeles Dodgers are the perfect example of how quickly a team can change it’s position in the standings with an extended hot streak.
The Dodgers beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 last night behind Hyun-jin Ryu, who struck out nine over seven innings while allowing one run on just two hits and a walk. Ryu’s impressive rookie season has been overshadowed by Yasiel Puig mania, but the lefty has been solid, posting a 9-3 record to go with a 3.14 ERA.
The game was broadcast live in South Korea, and Ryu faced countryman Shin-Soo Choo three times, walking him in the first before retiring him on a ground out in the third and striking Choo out in the sixth. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reported the game was watched by approximately 18.5 million households in South Korea.
On June 27, the Dodgers were six games under .500 and in last place in the National League West. Last night’s win put them seven games over .500 and 1.5 games up on the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the division.
Around the League
On the other end of the spectrum, the Philadelphia Phillies lost their seventh-straight game, falling to the Detroit Tigers 10-0, and the San Francisco Giants lost 1-0 to the Chicago Cubs. San Francisco is now 17-32 since the start of June and nine games back of the Dodgers. There were four 1-0 games last night and seven shutouts all together.
In one of the few games that did have some offense, the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-3, but the best swings of the game were David Ortiz destroying the dugout bullpen phone. Big Papi was upset with umpire Tim Timmons, and after he was ejected even tossed his elbow armor in his direction. Here’s what Ortiz told reporters after the game:
“I got 17 years in the league and I don’t think I deserve to be disrespected like that. You want to get respect from the players, you respect the players. That was horrible. Both of the pitches, not one. The funny thing is he wanted to act like it was the right call. I don’t play that. I hit. You’re not going to take my at-bats away.”
We here at Call to the Pen do not condone violence against bullpen phones. I mean, let’s just say Ortiz makes this a fashionable way to freak out? All the sudden there are no functioning phones in any major league dugouts and managers have to start texting their bullpen coaches. What then? As much as I’d like to see Jim Leyland try to figure out how to use a smartphone, I don’t think Txt to the Pen would have quite the same ring to it as a blog name.
Two of baseball’s brightest pitching prospects face-off as Jose Fernandez and the Miami Marlins host Gerrit Cole and the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1 p.m. ET. Before the start of the season, Baseball America ranked Fernandez fifth and Cole seventh on its 2013 Top 100 Prospects List. Both have lived up to the hype.
Fernandez, who impressed at the All-Star Game, is 6-5 with a 2.74 ERA. Despite never pitching above Single-A prior to this year, the 20-year-old broke camp with the Marlins and has never looked back. Opponents are hitting just .196 off Fernandez, which is the fifth-best mark in baseball behind only Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, Madison Bumgarner and Matt Harvey.
Cole, the No. 1 pick of the 2011 Draft, is 5-3 with a 3.51 ERA. The 22-year-old has limited the opposition to three runs or less in each of his eight starts this season. Cole’s 5.4 SO/9 doesn’t jump off the page, but he has averaged an impressive 1.8 BB/9.