Yasiel Puig signs autographs for fans. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Van Slyke 7
With all the buzz surrounding gifted rookie Yasiel Puig, we tend to forget that there is another impressive Dodger rookie shaping his inaugural season wonderfully. Hyun-jin Ryu’s composure and dedication have really impressed me along with his dominant pitching style. He’s the perfect accompaniment to Clayton Kershaw. Although Zack Greinke pitched masterfully in Thursday’s win against the Braves, Ryu’s consistency this year could really slot him as the Dodgers #2 starter at times.
May 6, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Paul Maholm (28) pitches during the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
Ryu’s foot was bruised, and he had to miss one scheduled start. The injury happened during a masterful outing against the Angels where the southpaw pitched a two-hit complete game shut-out. He fanned 7 batters while walking none over the 9 innings. Ryu has collected 67 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings pitched this far. Last time he faced Atlanta back on May 17th, Ryu allowed 2 runs off 5 hits while walking 5 and striking out 5 in 5 innings. Ryu is second-best rookie in the league in strikeouts. Shelby Miller, in first, has 81 strikeouts.
The Braves will send Paul Maholm, also a lefty, to the mound in game two. The last time we saw Maholm was back on May 17th when he picked up a win after allowing 2 runs on 8 hits to the Dodgers. He also had a solid start against the Nationals his last time out to the mound, and he only allowed 2 runs on 5 hits over 6 innings for the win. In his career against the Dodgers, the lefty is 2-5 with a 4.72 ERA. We may see a start from Jerry Hairston Jr., since Jerry has hit Maholm well in the past and has three homeruns against him.
Hyun-jin Ryu and Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers two sensational international rookies, will take the field for the first time at Dodger Stadium together. Last night’s epic grand slam by Yasiel Puig will be one of those baseball moments which you remember forever. Vin Scully’s call was glorious, and he allowed the exhilarated crowd to have a moment to celebrate. On 6/6, no. 66 slammed the highlight of the season with his bat. Yasiel Puig should never be wasted in the minor leagues. His natural strength and talent is a rare find. Even though he may be unpolished and wild at times, his abilities should be showcased for the world to see on the big stage as a DODGER.
Yasiel is now hitting .438, and he’s 7-for-16 with three homeruns and nine RBIs. He has yet to show us his running abilities, and I’m looking forward to his first MLB steal. You can’t steal bases when you’re hitting homeruns!
Skip Schumaker has quietly been collecting hits, and he has extended his hitting streak to 13 games. He now is batting .263.
The game will air on Prime Ticket at 7:10 p.m. Look for additional 2013 MLB Draft coverage and Yasiel Puig updates here on Lasorda’s Lair.