The Dodgers look for their eighth win in nine games on Saturday and will turn to Hyun-jin Ryu on the mound. It continues a trend for the team, leaning to the left this season.
Ryu's start will be the 59th start by a left-handed pitcher on the Dodgers this season, tied for fourth most by southpaws in the franchise through 103 games since 1916.
This year will almost certainly be the 10th year since 1916 the Dodgers have had half their games started by left-handed pitchers. Clayton Kershaw has made 22 starts, Chris Capuano 12, Ted Lilly five, and Saturday will be the 20th start for Ryu.
The good news for Ryu is that the Dodgers have won each of his last five starts, thanks in part to 7.6 runs per game of run support during that span, including 31 runs in the last three games. The bad news is Ryu has just 17 strikeouts to go with 14 walks in 30⅔ innings in those five starts, and opposing batters have hit .292/.363/.442 against him.
But whether struggling or not, Ryu has pitched deep into games. He is averaging 6.42 innings per start and has lasted at least six innings in 17 of 19 starts. Since 1916, the only two pitchers to begin their Dodgers career with more than Ryu's 19 straight games lasting at least five innings are Andy Messersmith (43 straight, 1973-74) and Andy Ashby (28 in 2001-02).
Saturday marks Ryu's first home start since June 29. He is 4-1 with a 1.90 ERA in nine home starts this season, with 49 strikeouts and 17 strikeouts in 61⅔ innings.
The Reds are 19-17 against left-handed starting pitchers this season, and are hitting .254/.331/.401 against southpaws. Cincinnati's .732 OPS against lefties is second in the National League to the Dodgers, who are hitting .266/.326/.409 against southpaws.
Cincinnati sends Bronson Arroyo to the mound. His 314 starts since the beginning of 2004 are the most in MLB, just ahead of Mark Buehrle (313) and CC Sabathia (309). Arroyo is 5-4 with a 3.67 in 15 career games, including 14 starts, against the Dodgers, though he has been even better the last three seasons.
From 2010-2012, Arroyo is 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA in five starts against the Dodgers.
Former NL Central rival Skip Schumaker has the most action against Arroyo with 53 plate appearances, and is hitting .375/.415/.417 against the right-hander. Andre Ethier is 10-for-34 (.294) with three doubles, a home run and three walks against Arroyo, and Hanley Ramirez is 7-for-21 (.333) with two doubles and a home run. On the flip side, Adrian Gonzalez is 4-for-29 (.138) and Carl Crawford is 5-for-23 (.217) against Arroyo.
Time: 6:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket