The Dodgers began their defense of first place in the National League West today, and pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu began his defense of remaining in the starting rotation after a stint in the Dodgers’ bullpen last week.
Everything chugged along efficiently for the first half of the game. Ryu was sharp. His pitches were crisp and dotted the strike zone. His velocity was good as well, touching the low 90’s at times. He only gave up one run through five.
The trouble for the Dodgers was the Cards pitcher, Carlos Martinez, who was equally efficient. He did a good job of keeping the Dodgers guessing and off the base paths. They had two men on with no out in the first inning, but couldn’t score, and never really amounted another threat until the sixth.
In the top of the sixth the Dodgers managed to tie the game on a walk, a single, and a low pitch that Adrian Gonzalez scooped from a few inches off the ground to deep CF for a sac fly.
Ryu kept up the good work in the bottom half of the sixth, needing only six pitches to dispose of the Cardinals.
Kíke Hernandez hit a two out double in the seventh. Unfortunately, that meant the end of Ryu’s night, as the skipper pulled him for pinch-hitter, Austin Barnes. Unfortunately, Martinez made mincemeat out of the kid, disposing of Barnes and the Dodgers threat quickly.
Ross Stripling pitched the 7th, gave up a single, but got a DP to shut things down. He DID NOT shut down Dexter Fowler in the eighth. Stripling gave up a monster home run to give the Cards a 2-1 lead.
The Dodgers didn’t quite roll over in the ninth. Adrian Gonzalez led off with a base hit. Then the Cardinals closer, Seung-Hwan Oh slammed the door shut and secured the win for St. Louis.
The Dodgers’ offense only scored one run today, but it wasn’t particularly because they were lousy. Today we have to credit to a very good pitching job from the Cardinals’ staff. Martinez was lights out, and Oh was just as good. Today good pitching beat good hitting.
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Good Job: Kíke spotted Yasiel Puig in RF today. He did not embarrass, and played pretty well in the field.
WOW stat: Kenley Jansen has only 8 saves through the first 53 games of the season. This is partly because the Dodgers have won so many games with plenty of runs to spare.
Hit Me: Adrian Gonzalez is running an eight game hitting streak.
Hyun-Jin Ryu went 6 innings with 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk and 4 Ks.