Sunday, August 04, 2013

Dodgers' Road Roll

Following Friday's afternoon game,'s Mark Saxon wrote about how the Dodgers are on a roll on the road:

It didn't matter. Ryu is 10-3 and the Dodgers have come out of nowhere to take control of the NL West. Their lead in the division was four games pending the outcome of Friday's Arizona game in Boston. The Dodgers have gone 29-7 since June 21.

The Dodgers wore down Chicago's best starting pitcher, Travis Wood, in a 41-pitch third inning. Wood, who normally has good control, walked four straight batters as the Dodgers took a 3-1 lead. A.J. Ellis, who sees more pitchers per at-bat than all but two hitters in the National League, fell behind 0-and-2 but still worked a bases-loaded walk.

The Dodgers made increasing their on-base percentage an emphasis in the spring and, lately, they have been among the most patient teams in the league. The Dodgers' .327 on-base percentage was fourth in the NL (after St. Louis, Atlanta and Cincinnati) going into Friday's game.

Ryu hasn't just pitched well this season. He also has hit, a shocking development given that the other part of his career was in Korea, which has the designated hitter. Ryu, who pitches with his left hand and hits right-handed, had a leadoff single in the fourth inning and, after some awkward base running, scored a run on Adrian Gonzalez's bloop hit. That was Ryu's ninth hit, putting him second among Dodgers pitchers behind Zack Greinke, who is batting .400.

So after yesterday's 3-0 victory, the Dodgers have won a franchise-record 13 consecutive road games and continue to roll on the road. Sure, they're playing a team whose manager thinks it makes sense to bat the starting pitcher leading off the bottom of the sixth, down 3-0, only to substitute said pitcher when they take the field in the seventh inning (still down 3-0). When said starting pitcher is batting .100 on the year.

But a streak is a streak. And maybe, just maybe, this roll will continue for a while.