Behind a historic offensive showing, the Los Angeles Dodgers soundly defeated the San Francisco Giants Saturday to tie the series and set the stage for a rubber match showdown.
The win also helped take some of the sting off news Hyun-Jin Ryu would return to Los Angeles Monday for an MRI on his irritated throwing shoulder. The Dodgers aren’t yet sure of Ryu’s prognosis, but he isn’t expected to take the mound for his next scheduled start Wednesday.
While potentially losing the left-hander this late in the season would be a blow to a pitching rotation that’s relied so heavily on the top three starters, it could also help galvanize the team. Prior to Saturday’s big win, manager Don Mattingly compared the Dodgers’ situation to what the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim recently endured, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
I kind of look at what the Angels went through when [ace Garrett] Richards went down,” Mattingly said. “Everybody said the world was coming to an end. They’ve been on fire ever since.”
Since losing Garrett Richards to a season-ending injury, all the Angels have done is go 18-5, including a four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics on their way to holding the best record in baseball. If Saturday was the start of something similar for the Dodgers, they figure to be in good position moving forward.
After concluding the series with the Giants, their road trip will take them to Colorado and Chicago for series with teams in the basement of their respective NL divisions before returning home to face the Giants.
Aside from the obvious benefits, clinching the NL West would also be advantageous for the Dodgers as Ryu could take roughly 20 days to recover and be ready for Game 3 of the NLDS.
Twenty days certainly isn’t a timetable that’s been established, but it’s the amount of time Ryu missed earlier in the year with shoulder inflammation — the injury he said his most recent one feels similar to.
Saturday was a good start for the Dodgers, who now have 14 games remaining in the regular season to build on it.
Dodgers Dugout Bubble Parties Are Here To Stay