If the saying pitching wins championships holds true, the Los Angeles Dodgers figure to stand a good chance of winning the World Series. Top to bottom, the Dodgers arguably have one of the deepest rotations in baseball.
Collectively, the Dodgers’ starters have the best ERA in MLB at 3.11 and the team enters the All-Star break with the best record in the National League. Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw draw most of the attention with their 11-5 and 11-2 records, respectively, and it’s certainly warranted.
However, the Dodgers also have a quality No. 3 starter in Hyun-Jin Ry, who is 10-5 with a 3.44 ERA this season. Manager Don Mattingly has stated the Dodgers will go as far as their pitching will carry them and Kershaw also touched on the strength of the rotation, via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Every time you get to the ballpark, you have a good feeling you have a chance to win the game,” Kershaw said. “It’s fun to be a part of.”
A.J. Ellis also commented on the deep starting rotation and touted Ryu as a potential ace on another staff:
“He’d probably be a lot of teams’ first starter,” catcher A.J. Ellis said.
Mattingly discussed the positive impact the starters’ effectiveness has had on the bullpen:
The bullpen has settled in because our starters are able to go longer,” Mattingly said. “The length has been better as we’ve come along.”
Behind their starting pitching, the Dodgers won a pair of 1-0 games prior to the All-Star Break. Paul Maholm filled in for Josh Beckett Saturday and threw six shutout innings.
Ryu then took the mound Sunday for his first start since allowing seven runs in 2.1 innings to the Detroit Tigers and struck out 10 also in six shutout innings. While Ryu may not have joined Dee Gordon, Greinke, Kershaw or Puig at this year’s All-Star Game, he’s been key to the Dodgers’ success.
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