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Road Hanley Ramirez Has Been Difference Maker For Dodgers

Hanley Ramirez has been fantastic so far for the Dodgers, especially on the road.
Hanley Ramirez has been fantastic so far for the Dodgers, especially on the road.

We are 21 games into the Hanley Ramirez experience, and it's fair to say that so far it has been a smashing success for the Dodgers.

Ramirez is hitting .317/.387/.476 since joining the team, though given the small sample size that could fluctuate wildly. After all, Ramirez was hitting .245/.344/.377 in 14 games with the Dodgers before starting this road trip, which finds its way to Atlanta Friday night for a weekend series against the Braves.

But Ramirez has been outstanding on the road trip, with five multi-hit efforts in seven games. He is hitting .448/.469/.655 with three doubles, a home run, and 10 RBI during the trip. That has only continued a great run for Ramirez wearing the road grays.

As a Dodger, Ramirez is hitting .400/.446/.640 in 12 road games, with two home runs, 11 runs scored, and 17 runs batted in. He has at least one hit in 11 of his 12 road games, and he reached base via walk in his one road game without a hit. Ramirez has scored a run in all but two road games as a Dodger, and he has driven in a run in nine of his 12 games away from home.

Ramirez has driven in runs at a faster rate than even Luis Cruz, with 23 RBI in 21 games since joining Los Angeles. Ramirez is hitting a whopping .480 (12-for-25) with three doubles and five walks with runners in scoring position. The entire National League, on average, has driven home a runner from third with less than two outs 49.6% of the time this season. Ramirez with the Dodgers has brought home that run nine of 10 times.

But Ramirez is just 2-for-21 (.095) against Atlanta this season, with one RBI and one run in six games, so maybe they have his number. Or maybe Hanley the Dodger isn't the same as Hanley the Marlin.

Tonight's Starting Pitching Matchup

Chris Capuano is coming off his best start of the season, as he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Sunday in Miami. After eight scoreless innings and 10 strikeouts against the Marlins, and after allowing two runs in 15 innings in his last two starts, Capuano looks for more success against the Braves.

Capuano struck out a career-high 13 in a shutout against the Braves on August 26, 2011, and he allowed one run in seven innings in a win over Atlanta at Dodger Stadium earlier this season, on April 23. He has allowed three runs in 21 innings in his three starts since returning from surgery, and in his career is 5-2 against the Braves with a 2.36 ERA in nine starts.

Tommy Hanson has had an odd run in four starts since the All-Star break. After allowing 14 total runs in his two starts after the break, Hanson has allowed just two runs in 10 innings since, though in one of those starts he walked a career-high seven.

Hanson is fifth in the National League in run support, as the Braves have averaged 5.4 runs per 27 outs in his starts. Atlanta has won each of Hanson's last five starts despite his 6.49 ERA, scoring 40 total runs during that span.

Game Time: 4:35 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday