Hyun-Jin Ryu will get a look at Jose Fernandez‘s 99-mph fastballs tonight. (Associated Press photo)
A Dodgers-Marlins series in mid-August has no plot really, only subplots. The hottest team in baseball against the team with the National League’s worst record? Move along, nothing to see here.
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.
In Miami, the more closely watched rookie matchup will be between Yasiel Puig and Fernandez. The two Cubans have reportedly never faced each other.
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: