No pictures (of my own) from the Stadium this time, but I did want to scribe up some quick thoughts from a wonderful evening last night, when the Dodgers beat the Rockies 6-2.
- Hyun-Jin Ryu was dealing. There's something about his unusual, stunted delivery, coupled with his wide variance in pitch speed, which must make it difficult for pitchers to figure out how to hit him. It reminded me a lot of seeing an early Hideo Nomo on the mound, especially given the throngs of Korean fans who came out to support their countryman (there are a LOT of Ryu 99 jerseys in the crowd). If he can pitch at this level, it will be a pleasant surprise as well as a needed tonic for this team.
- Welcome back, Hanley Ramirez. His soaring fly ball to left in the bottom of the third inning was majestic, not only because he had grounded to first on his first AB of the evening, but because of how high it sailed as well before becoming a solo home run. As Vin put it, "A bobblehead home run from Hanley Ramirez!" To get Ramirez' first start of 2013 on his own bobblehead night, and then to knock that shot, cross the plate, and do the "I See You" hand gesture... wow. Man, adding that power bat to the lineup makes a big difference. Defensively, we'll have to see how Ramirez holds up--there was a defensive play he made in which his dish to second was a little shaky--but getting his bat is a big win.
- I am aware that they do the "Chopstick Challenge" (sponsored by a Japanese restaurant that I won't name) at games even when Ryu doesn't start. So it may not be just an Asian-targeted between-innings interstitial. Basically, it's a timed game in which a random contestant tries to move squishy baseballs from one bin to another, using only chopsticks), playing against a pre-taped video of a Dodger player doing the same act. That said, there's something about the overall theming of the "Chopstick Challenge" which is borderline offensive. The Dodger player against whom the contestant plays is often bowing like a karate student to a sensei; the font and bamboo graphic background used; it's just a little discomforting. I don't think we'd ever see a player-versus-Dodger "Torah Trial" or a "Relleno Rivalry" or any other ethnic or cultural group called out, so I'm not sure why a "chopstick challenge" makes sense. I think they need to reconsider this between-innings competition, and go back to a trivia question or guess-the-attendance or dot racing or something else.
- Psy was there. He's at 14:59 of his fifteen minutes, but it was still funny to see him ham it up for the crowd between innings. He even did the "I See You" gesture. What a gentleman.
- Scoring two runs in each of the first three innings? You don't see that from this Dodger team, even if Jorge De La Rosa is 0-8 against the Dodgers lifetime. I think they said that de la Rosa started 14 games against the Dodgers and the Rockies have lost every single one. Sounds like Matt Cain.
- Luis Cruz came in to PH to lead off the bottom of the eighth. He lined out to right field. Cruz is now batting .089. Please stop this madness.
- And, of course, I got my Hanley Ramirez bobblehead. Super-cool.