04.19.19 Dodgers 5 MIL 3
The Remarkably Improbable, Kike Hernandez
Dodgers have won 6 straight games after losing 5 straight and before that, winning 6 straight. The team appears to be streaking, but the apparency as to why is more transparent than enigmatic. The combination of quality starting pitching and high leverage hitting have proven to be the causation behind each streak, and the injuries sustained over the season’s beginning tells a large part as to the disparity.
It also helps that the Brewers are streaking in the opposite direction, losing 3 straight with Friday night’s loss.
Last night’s game was summed up in one hit that will likely never happen again. That is, Brewers relief savant, Josh Hader (0-1, 3.27, 5 saves, .4 WAR), worked into a jam. The Dodgers loaded the bases with 2 outs and Kike Hernandez was in the hole 0-2. Hader, throwing 37 pitches, had yet to have a ball hit in play. Hitters throughout Hader’s career with an 0-2 count carried a hitter’s line of .049/ .049/ .062/ .111, BAbip of .200, and a tOPS of -56 through 153 ABs in this very situation. Hernandez took a fastball middle up and drove it over the left-center wall for a 3 run home run, the deciding factor in the game.
The Dodgers will look to take the momentum of this win into Saturday’s game against a Brewer bullpen. With no reported starter, Milwaukee is most likely setting up a bullpen game. Now this works into their favor, since the Brewers love matchups. Brewer relief pitchers are ranked 3rd in the National League regarding recorded outs per game (3.5), pitches per game (20), runs allowed per game (5.19) and holds (13). So their relief corp is most vulnerable when used collectively as opposed to on a matchup basis.
The Dodgers will give Hyun Jin Ruy (2-0, 3.27) the ball. Ryu is coming off a stint on the injured list and looks to start strong. There is a strong correlation between Ryu’s success when he gets through the first two innings. BAbip in these innings is .319. While his S)/W ratio is higher than in other innings, batters have managed more baserunners (hits and walks equal 263), and thus more runs (93), than totals in other innings.
The two hitters most notable with success versus Ryu are Ryan Braun (7 PA,.400/ .571/ 1.200/ 1.771) and Christian Yelich (11 PA, /.364/ .364/ .818/ 1.182). 6 Brewer hitters have an OPS equal or over 1.000. So the probability of a difficult first two innings seems high. If Ryu makes it through these rough innings, he will most likely only get stronger, pitching into the 6th.
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Who should the Dodgers count on for the win Saturday? Who’s going to win the sausage race? (Que Viva Chorizo Siempre!)