The Dodgers are 7 ½ games ahead of Arizona in the National League West. The Marlins are 6 ½ games behind (ahead of?) the Astros for baseball’s worst record and the first pick in next year’s draft. Wins and losses are probably only news if the Dodgers lose today — it will be their first back-to-back losses since June 20 and 21. So there’s that.
There’s something else, actually. Subplots galore.
Tonight’s starting pitching matchup pits a pair of rookies, Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu and 20-year-old marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez, who have carved opposing paths to the distinction of National League’s best rookie pitcher. (Julio Teheran, Shelby Miller and Jim Henderson probably have something to say about this.) The Palm Beach Post notes that at 139 ⅔ innings, Fernandez is approaching his limit of roughly 170 innings before being shut down.
Ryu is starting his 24th game of the season today, and is scheduled to make eight more starts after this one, not including playoffs. His career high is 30 starts, which he compiled six years ago as a 20-year-old in Korea. Ryu would have to pitch another 63 innings to reach his previous career high; assuming he averages seven innings per start, he’ll get there. Direct comparisons are difficult to draw, since Ryu typically threw fewer pitches per inning in the KBO, so it will be interesting to see how the Dodgers handle him in September.
We’re also looking forward to seeing Nate Eovaldi again on Wednesday. More on him in a couple days.
A few more bullet points for a Monday morning:
• Happy 35th birthday, Chris Capuano.
• What do the Dodgers need to do to make this season matter?
• From FoxSports.com: Puig is a legitimate National League MVP candidate, and he ought to be benched for a day.
• Andre Ethier once said of the children he visits at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, “they inspire me.” This isn’t about Ethier — it’s about the Arizona Diamondbacks and their biggest 6-year-old fan — but just watch this video and you’ll get it.
• Something about Kenna’s voice on the track “Amy” reminds me of George Harrison: