Dodgers revert to normal lineup against Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez.

The Dodgers’ lineup reverted to a normal look Monday, one day after a Sunday Crew (Mark Ellis batted leadoff and Nick Punto second, while Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis got the day off) put only four runners in scoring position against Cole Hamels and lost 3-2. It was the Dodgers’ first loss in their last 11 games.

One reason for Don Mattingly not to pull anything goofy today is that rookie right-hander Jose Fernandez, the Marlins’ scheduled starter, has been an equal-opportunity inducer of misery. Lefties are hitting him at a .192 clip; righties, .182. In Marlins Park, batters are slugging — slugging — .227 against him this year. The 45 batters who have been lucky enough to take Fernandez to a 3-1 count this season have two hits.

Two.

Good luck with that to the following individuals:

Carl Crawford LF
Yasiel Puig RF
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Hanley Ramirez SS
Andre Ethier CF
A.J. Ellis C
Juan Uribe 3B
Mark Ellis 2B
Hyun-Jin Ryu P

Here is the Marlins’ lineup:

Christian Yelich LF
Donovan Solano 2B
Giancarlo Stanton RF
Logan Morrison 1B
Ed Lucas 3B
Adeiny Hechavarria SS
Jake Marisnick CF
Jeff Mathis C
Jose Fernandez P

(H/t to FanGraphs for those mind-boggling stats)

Daily Distractions: Marlins-Dodgers matchup presents a few juicy subplots.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

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:
Continue reading

Daily Distractions: This is a strike now; Gangnam Style, Jamie Moyer comeback?

Here’s the set-up: Two outs, two strikes, bottom of the ninth inning. Joe Nathan is pitching for the Texas Rangers with a 5-4 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. Nathan is stuck on 299 career saves. Home-plate umpire Marty Foster has a dinner bet riding on Nathan picking up number 300 tonight and his reservations are for 20 minutes after the final pitch.

OK, we made that last part up … or did we? Here’s where the pitch was relative to the strike zone (h/t MSimonESPN):

Joe Nathan strike

And here’s what the pitch looked like in real life:

Joe Nathan strike

Wait, watch that clip again.

 

Foster’s call reeked so foul of dinner-reservation theories, he second-guessed himself.

“I saw the pitch and, of course I don’t have the chance to do it again, but if I did, I wouldn’t call that pitch a strike,” Foster told a pool reporter after the game. “Joe [Maddon, the Rays' manager] was not violent. Joe was very professional. He was frustrated and I understand. He acted probably the best he can under that situation.”

Nathan didn’t disagree.

“It’s pretty safe to say we got fortunate, but I’ve seen plenty of them go the other way,” Nathan noted diplomatically. “I threw the pitch where I wanted to. He just didn’t offer at it like I wanted him to. Did I draw it up this way for my 300th? No, but I’ll take it.”

Not only did Maddon tweet about it, he still hasn’t deleted the tweet a day later.

Protect the outside corner as you peruse these links:

Continue reading

Daily Distractions: Possible beer shortage, new rules for MLB and WBC.

One Dodger fan has begun a crusade to get his beer.

The fan, Thomas Nagano, claims that he was charged for 24 ounces of beer but received less than that at Dodger Stadium when he attended a game this season. The video, which had about 500 views on YouTube when I checked it out this morning, explains the mix-up fairly clearly:

Nagano has already taken up his case with the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs. An isolated incident, or a sudsy scam on a seismic scale? Feel free to add your comment below.

On to the links …

Continue reading