Inconsistent Starters, Hanley Not the Answer as Mets Rout Dodgers

Hanley Ramirez is back off the disabled list, for now, but his return has not sent sparks of elation flying through the rarified air of Dodgers’ Stadium. There are too many question marks still pending with the pitching staff for that. Last night, Zack Greinke started and his performance can only be described as encouraging – he was not sharp, giving up four runs, three earned, in seven innings, but he got the win and did not suffer from any elbow pain at least during the game. How he feels leading up to his anticipated next start will be the big question for him. The evening before, Dan Haren did do everything asked of him, going seven strong innings allowing only one run and three hits, and turning in his third strong performance of his last four. So, going into today’s game to wrap up the three-game series with the Mets, the Dodgers were coming off two better-than-expected starting jobs, and Hanley was to be back at short.

So, what went so terribly wrong?

Well, Kevin Correia and Hanley Ramirez, above all else, though Carlos Frias also was a hearty contributor to the teams 11-3 loss. By the time most fans got their Dodger Dog and settled into their seats, Correia had given up seven runs, and the team for whom those dogs are named was down 7-1. In the midst of all that New York hitting and scoring, and the reason that only five of the seven runs Correia allowed were earned, was a nice, easy bouncer to short that Haney
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non-chalanted and threw out of the reach of Adrian Gonzalez for an error.

Hanely was also oh-for-four at the plate, striking out twice. For reasons that seem inexplicable, to make room for Hanley, the one guy on the roster who really can play a great shortstop, Erisbel Arruebarrena, was sent back down. Hopefully not for long.

We all know why Correia is a members of the Dodgers and why he is in the starting rotation, but why is Frias on the team? After giving up the last three runs the Mets scored this afternoon, his ERA went over six, and now sits at 6.08. He’s been scored upon in five of his seven appearances this season. There has to be someone, somewhere, better than that.

And then there is Yasiel Puig. Puig, who had settled down recently and had managed to

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avoid doing anything newsworthy for awhile, but who saw that streak end in the sixth inning today. With the Dodgers down 7-2 and with Matt Kemp up with Puig on second and Adrian Gonzalez on first, and no outs, Kemp hit a grounder to third, and third baseman Eric Campbell threw to second for one, and on to first for what looked to all the world like a double play, but Puig tried to
score from second, and the throw from first baseman Luis Duda nailed him at the plate, for a triple play.

The Giants pulled defeat from the jaws of victory today, blowing a 6-1 lead and eventually losing to the Nationals, 14-6. so the Dodgers do remain four-and-one-half games ahead in the National League West race. The Dodgers go on the road now to play a couple in Arizona and then three in San Diego, before returning home for a big three game series against the soaring Nationals who have won 12 of their last 13 games and who are now possessors of the best record in the NL.

At least as of now, it looks like it will be Clayton Kershaw, Haren and Greinke starting those three games.

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