Two out of three ain’t bad. Remember that when you think of Kevin Correia. He gave the Dodgers two wins in three starts, and that sure was critical for a starting Dodgers rotation that had gone from the best in baseball to injury-prone with a debacle of a back end.Don’t judge Correia solely by Sunday’s start. That was ugly. He allowed seven runs ‑ five earned ‑ and three home runs in a three-inning clunker as the Mets avoided a sweep with an 11-3 win at Dodger Stadium, although the Dodgers maintained their 4 1/2-game lead over San Francisco. Leading the Dodgers to two victories in his two previous starts was beneficial in so many ways. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Correia’s likely headed to the bullpen, which was the Dodgers plan for him all along when he arrived via trade with Minnesota two weeks ago. He was mired in a season-long struggle there, and a change of scenery to a playoff-bound team helped. Hyun-Jin Ryu is scheduled to come off the disabled list (right hip strain) Friday so that spot won’t be open again, unless something hampers Ryu’s return. The Dodgers also have two off days this week ‑ Monday and Thursday ‑ due to those two games in Australia. Judge Correia and Roberto Hernandez by what they’ve done for the Dodgers, which is provide some relief for a starting rotation that nearly had to put out a “help wanted” sign for starting pitchers.Hernandez was acquired from Philadelphia on Aug. 8, and he’s 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA with the Dodgers.The Dodgers were desperate for starters with Paul Maholm and Josh Beckett down with injuries, and Hernandez and Correia weren’t perfect, but they sure delivered. And, some of the heat can be taken off Clayton Kershaw, who’s having an MVP season but can’t be expected to win every start. Two of the players making waves in August were players the Dodgers landed in trades after they cleared waivers in August. Imagine. “Kevin wasn’t the guy we talked about starting,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s pitched well for us, come in and won a couple games. Roberto has thrown well and kept us in games for the most part. Danny (Haren) has won three out of the four. At this point, we’re in single-game mode. You go out and try to win a game that day. We’ll try to line up our guys the best we can. We won’t worry about shoring anything up other than going out and being ready to play.”Correia said it would take a while to push Sunday’s loss out of his mind, but he should remember the service he provided. He helped bandage together a cobbled rotation. Before Sunday’s game, Mattingly said: “Him and Roberto both have been good for us. It’s been a little tough stretch with Zack (Greinke) and Hyun-Jin and to be able to have two guys that have experience in the big leagues and aren’t really overwhelmed, that’s been really nice for us. Two good pickups. We wouldn’t be talking about it in the same breath if they haven’t pitched well.”Catcher A.J. Ellis knows exactly what Hernandez and Correia have done for the Dodgers. That’s not lost on him.“Getting Hyun-Jin back will slot everyone back to what we had planned,” Ellis said. “Those guys are professionals who battle and know how to compete. It makes it tough and puts a lot of pressure on the first two guys, Clayton and Zack, to go out and win their games for sure and hope you can battle and scrap with the other three.“You’ve seen what Danny (Haren) has done, turning the season around the last 3-4 outings. He looks like he’s on a good trajectory. Kevin and Roberto are professional guys who have been around a long time and know how to get a lot of outs.”Correia didn’t pitch well Sunday, as evidenced by three home runs (by Travis d’Arnaud, Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada) that put the Dodgers in a big deficit. Correia was bothered, of course, and perhaps carried more stress on his shoulders knowing this might be his final start before moving to the bullpen. If his contribution was giving the Dodgers two wins in desperate times, that’s something. “This one is going to bother me for a while because the situation I’m in,” Correia said. “I wanted to win the game. This hurts more than I can remember in quite a while. I’ve been doing this long enough that these outings are inevitable. You just hope they’re the 11th or 12th outing, not the third outing with a new team.” But two out of three ain’t bad. It was just what the Dodgers needed.
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