In a sense, too much is being asked of A.J. Ellis and Dee Gordon this year. Neither has held a full-time job in baseball before this year, and yet one is the team’s leadoff hitter and infield anchor, the other is quite possibly expected to deliver the team’s best on-base percentage.
But each player had a whale of a game in tonight’s 6-5 Dodger victory that elevated the team to 3-0. Ellis homered, walked twice and singled in the 11th before scoring a go-ahead run that was driven in by Gordon, who recovered from his slow offensive start in the Dodgers’ first two games to go 3 for 4 with two walks and three steals.
The heroics lifted the Dodgers on a night that they surrendered a 5-0 lead to a five-run Padres fifth inning that featured two singles, a hit batter, a wild pitch and five walks, including four in a row with two out. Chris Capuano, who had been pitching decently to that point, faltered by walking three after a one-out single. Jamey Wright relieved and threw eight straight balls for two more runs, and then Scott Elbert wild-pitched a fourth run in, hit a batter and gave up the game-tying single.
However, Mike MacDougal, Matt Guerrier, Kenley Jansen (pitching two innings), Todd Coffey and closer Javy Guerra held San Diego scoreless on four baserunners over the final six innings, enough time for Ellis and Gordon to deliver once more.
The Dodgers had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Matt Kemp drove in Gordon with a sacrifice fly, boosted it to 4-0 when the Roadrunner crossed the plate on Kemp’s RBI single and Andre Ethier doubled in Mark Ellis and Kemp, and then made it 5-0 on Ellis’ fourth-inning home run.
Early season OPS: A.J. Ellis 1.205, Kemp 1.198, Ethier 1.021, Juan Rivera .955, Gordon .732, Mark Ellis .670, James Loney .111, Juan Uribe .111.
early season stats…..they either make you look great or horrible
Excellent game except for the 5th
if they all get 500+ at bats I expect the early season OPS leader board to be close to the same order at the end of the year. AJ will drop probably between Rivera and Gordon and maybe Loney will rise above Mark Ellis..otherwise i think it’s about right.
And with about 2% of the season in the books – the Dodgers are the best team in baseball.
How long will it take Mattingly to figure out the wrong Ellis is hitting 2nd.
Although I agree, it is tough to fault Mark Ellis right now. He is having productive AB’s and doing the right things in the right situations. He’s also come up with a few big hits. Longterm it is the right move, but the way Mark has approached things the first three games won’t inspire Mattingly to change anything.
The Dodgers were responsible for putting 11 runs on the scoreboard last night. Too bad five of them were for the Padres.
Still, great to see the kids in charge of the comeback. The first four runs were according to script: the 1-2 guys get on and Kemp and Ethier drive them home. But the last two, both scored by AJ, were decidedly non-Navarro-esque.