Dodgers Surprise With Team Effort and Win Over Padres

It took a solid team effort, but the best team money can buy was able to defeat the San Diego Padres today, salvaging one game of a three game series against a team that now trails them by 12 games in the National League West and that hasn’t seen .500 in four years. The Dodgers overcame the awful lineup constructed by the empty uniform non-manager Don Mattingly, and fueled by the return from the disabled list of starter Hyun-Jin Ryu and third baseman Juan Uribe, overpowered San Diego, 7-1, scoring more than twice as many runs in nine innings today than they had over the 22 innings of the two extra-inning losses of Friday and Saturday.

Yasiel Puig, who I still say should never have been batting leadoff, began the Dodgers' attack in the first inning with a hit that should not have been, barely landing between two confused Padres, and going for a gift double. He scored the a couple of batters later, to give the Dodgers a short-lived first-inning lead. That was Puig's only hit of the game, and his average fell further, to .298 for the season. Uribe had two hits and two RBI in his return, and the Dodgers' offensive MVP, Adrian Gonzalez collected four hits.
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But, despite the team’s 12 hit attack,it was the the pitching from Ryu and rookie Pedro Baez who shut down the Padres on four hits, allowing only a first inning run. Ryu went a strong seven innings, coming within a single out of trying his season’s longest stint. He allowed only the four hits and single run, but the most important stat was the fact that he walked not a single batter, while striking out seven and showing that the time off for his butt strain had little effect on control or stamina

Shop Target.comBaez pitched the final two innings, and very quietly he has been just short of spectacular. For the season now, Baez has made 11 appearances and thrown 14-2/3 innings, with an ERA of 1.84. But, that included one early season appearance in which he allowed two runs in a single inning. Since then, however, in one July appearance and nine in August,
he’s pitched 13-2/3 innings giving up a single run, and only seven hits. He’s looking more and more like the guy who can take over that extremely important eighth inning set-up role, paving the way for Kenley Jansen.

The game was pretty important, as the Giants have suddenly gotten hot, winning today 15-5 over Milwaukee for their sixth straight win. A Dodgers’ loss would have brought SanFrancisco within one-and-one-half games of the Dodgers. The Giants offense has awoken, but it is still their pitching that is leading the way – in their just-completed seven game home stand, the team ERA was 1.07. The Giants’ Madison Bumgarner and the Reds Johnny Cueto each won their 16th game today, tying them with Clayton Kershaw for the major league lead.

The Dodgers start September off with a three game series against the Nationals, who boast the National League’s best record. LA will once again rest their fate in the hands of Roberto “Fausto Carmona” Hernandez in the opener tomorrow. While with the Phillies, Fausto beat the Nationals twice this season, and allowed then nary an earned run in either game. A win, and the Dodgers would then pass Washington and once again possess the best record in the NL.

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