Dodgers bounce back with 9th-inning win
June, 29, 2013
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- Don Mattingly smiled when he was asked how the Los Angeles Dodgers would recover from Friday's 16-1 shellacking by the Philadelphia Phillies as he sat in the Dodgers' dugout Saturday afternoon.
"Those are easy ones to get over, honestly," Mattingly said. "You're never in them."
It didn't seem as if the Dodgers had gotten over it early in Saturday's 4-3 win over the Phillies as Chase Utley hit the first of his two solo home runs to right field in the first three innings.
But then Hanley Ramirez happened ... and happened, and happened again.
Ramirez scored the winning run on A.J. Ellis' single to right field as the Dodgers claimed their second walk-off win of the season and recovered from one of their most demoralizing losses with one of their more dramatic victories.
Ramirez was the star of the game, going 3-for-4 and extending his hitting streak to 11 games.
Ramirez not only extended his hitting streak in the first inning but did so by sending a three-run home run into center field farther than many at Dodger Stadium could remember. According to the ESPN Statistics HitTracker Team, the ball sailed 441 feet, and it drew comparisons to Jose Canseco's center-field bomb during Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
The home run gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead and reclaimed much of the momentum they had lost over the previous 24 hours when the Phillies snapped their six-game winning streak.
As amazing as Yasiel Puig has been, Ramirez is a major reason the Dodgers had won six games in a row and might start a new winning streak now. He is batting .500 (20-for-40) during his 11-game hitting streak with five home runs and three doubles. He leads the National League in batting average, hits and RBIs since June 19 while ranking third in slugging percentage.
During "Puig-mania," this was the kind of production the Dodgers were looking for from other players, and now they're getting it. After Ramirez's double, the combination of Puig and Ramirez were batting .411 (67-for-163) this season.
The problem with the Dodgers is they still leave too many men on base, as was the case in the fourth inning, when they had the bases loaded and no outs but finished the inning with no runs. This has been more of a trend than an aberration this season, as the Dodgers are last in the majors in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage with the bases loaded.
Pitching, however, wasn't an issue for the Dodgers on Saturday with Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound. The lefty pitched seven innings, allowing two runs and striking out six. Ryu has made seven consecutive quality starts and hasn't allowed more than three runs in nine games. Out of 16 starts this season, 13 of them have been quality. In a season as unpredictable as this for the Dodgers, Ryu has been one of the team's constants.