Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Top things to know: D-backs at Dodgers
By Will Cohen, ESPN Stats & Info
Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesThe Los Angeles Dodgers look for the three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second game of this week’s "Wednesday Night Baseball" doubleheader (10 ET on ESPN/WatchESPN). Here are four storylines the broadcast crew will talk about.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is the seventh Asian-born pitcher to debut for the Dodgers.
1. The Dodgers have lost just 12 games since the All-Star break. The 1954 Indians had the fewest losses of any team after the break with 16.
This is a bit misleading though, as the All-Star break came relatively late in the season this year.
However, the Dodgers still have a shot at the best overall win percentage after the break. To do that, they’d need to finish at least 15-3 to break the 1954 Indians' mark.
2. The Diamondbacks have been one of the most exciting teams in baseball this season, having played in a number of dramatic games. Tuesday night they missed out on an opportunity to win their 17th extra-inning game, which would have been the most by an NL team since the 1999 Braves.
In addition, Arizona’s .620 win percentage in one-run games this season trails only the Yankees (.625 win percentage).
3. L.A.'s starting pitcher tonight, Hyun-Jin Ryu, has been much more effective at home (7-2, 2.07 ERA) than on the road (6-3, 4.05 ERA) this season.
Ryu's most effective pitch to righties has been his changeup, which he's made them swing and miss on one-third of the times he's thrown it.
In addition, right-handed batters have chased his changeup out of the zone more often than any of his other pitches.
4. Strong starting pitching powered the Diamondbacks in the early part of the season. Arizona was six games over .500 through May, but the production of its starters dropped off in a major way beginning in June.
Through May, Arizona was 30-24 and the starting five posted a 3.74 ERA. Since then, the Diamondbacks are 42-48 and the starters have posted a 4.35 ERA, 27th in the majors over that span.
Other Notable Notes
• Yasiel Puig is hitting a major league-high .567 on the first pitch of an at-bat.
• Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .426 in 14 games against the Diamondbacks this season, including an active 13-game hitting streak against them.
• Paul Goldschmidt, who’s second in the NL with 31 home runs, is batting .257 over a season-high 19-game homerless drought.