Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Dodgers Top 50: The best plays of the second half

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

At the halfway point of the 2014 season, we gave you the Dodgers’ top 40 plays of the first 81 games. Without further ado, as part of our drumbeat of excitement heading into the postseason, here are the Dodgers’ top plays of the second half — with a bonus 10 to deliver a nice 50.

Yeah, you’re gonna want to be here a while …

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June 29 vs. St. Louis: Adrian Gonzalez teaches the Cardinals a lesson about the shift.

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June 30 vs. Cleveland: Clint Robinson’s first Major League hit is a seventh-inning RBI single that breaks a 0-0 tie and ultimately pushes the Dodgers into first place in the National League West.

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July 1 vs. Cleveland: Yasiel Puig legs out a double on a grounder off the glove of Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.

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July 2 vs. Cleveland: Defensive whiz Miguel Rojas leaps to his right to snare Michael Brantley’s liner.

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July 8 at Detroit: Before things went haywire against the Tigers, Dee Gordon made this diving stop and glove flip, starting an inning-ending double play.

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July 12 vs. San Diego: Ah, yes, there’s nothing quite like a walkoff sacrifice fly for a 1-0 victory, as A.J. Ellis showed us.

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July 20 at St. Louis: Still a left fielder at the time, Matt Kemp went all out for this sixth-inning catch.

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In the ninth, Gonzalez hits the go-ahead single that enabled the Dodgers to take away a Sunday Night Baseball victory over the Cardinals.

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July 23 at Pittsburgh: Rojas rolls again, diving and throwing for the out.

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July 25 at San Francisco: Leading 1-0 at the outset of a huge series against the Giants, Zack Greinke strikes out his fourth batter of the third inning.

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An inning later, Juan Uribe shows off an example of his resplendent glovework.

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In the sixth inning, Yasiel Puig became the first Dodger since 1901 with three triples in a game.

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July 26 at San Francisco: Considering the performance and the stakes, this might have been the final out of Clayton Kershaw’s finest pitching performance of the 2014 regular season — outside of his no-hitter, of course — a three-hit shutout of the Giants (game score 87):

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July 27 at San Francisco: Boosting the Dodgers to the Sweep of San Francisco, Dee Gordon delayed then dashed on this daffy derring-do display.

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July 30 vs. Atlanta: Uribe does this stop-and-spin so many times it almost becomes routine, but really, all deserve to be highlighted. This will stand in for the rest.

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Matt Kemp’s walkoff single kicked off a homestand of heroics for the Dodgers.

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July 31 vs. Atlanta: A Dee daily double

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August 1 vs. Chicago: Puig boldness, punctuated by a wily maneuver at home, pays off.

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August 2 vs. Chicago: Hanley Ramirez provides the walkoff blast for the Dodgers in the 12th.

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August 3 vs. Chicago: Ramirez’s over-the-shoulder catch inspires this Vin Scully line: “Boy, did you ever have a glass on a wet tray?

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August 5 vs. Angels: Andre Ethier’s tricky grounder brings home Uribe for the Dodgers’ third walkoff win of their eight-game homestand.

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August 6 at Angels: As you’ll see, this was not Hank Conger’s night, at least as far as Gordon and Puig were concerned.

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August 7 at Angels: Puig goes to the center-field wall in Anaheim to make a leaping catch.

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August 8 at Milwaukee: On his way to a super season, Justin Turner robs Aramis Ramirez of a hit.

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August 10 at Milwaukee: This might have been the day that MVP talk about Clayton Kershaw got serious, after his diving catch on a pop bunt to start a double play.

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August 12 at Atlanta: Dodger newcomer Darwin Barney showed off the glove that made him so desirable, helping preserve a slim seventh-inning lead over the Braves.

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August 14 at Atlanta: A whole week had gone by since Puig had made a leaping catch, so he rectified that.

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August 19 vs. San Diego: Posted for the sheer beauty of his quick release, Erisbel Arruebarrena nabs Alexi Amarista’s grounder and fires to first.

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August 21 vs. San Diego: It was the hit of a lifetime for Turner, whose two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth rallied the Dodgers from a 1-0 deficit and kept them from wasting another amazing outing by Kershaw.

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August 23 vs. New York: Gordon shows his hoops hops to avoid an incoming baserunner, before Gonzalez strrrrrrretches to complete the double play.

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August 30 at San Diego: Turner falls into the stands and out of view, but not without the ball.

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Cameron Maybin is in scoring position, but not for long, thanks to Drew Butera and Ramirez.

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And J.P. Howell gets into the fielding act.

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August 31 at San Diego: Kemp with the “slide of hand.”

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September 3 vs. Washington: Turner’s magic Summer of Swat continued with this tiebreaking two-run blast against the Nationals.

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September 7 vs. Arizona: Off lefty Oliver Perez, Gonzalez hits his second three-run homer in as many innings, putting the game out of reach while reaching 100 RBI on the season.

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September 13 at San Francisco: Kemp thwarts the first and last look the Giants had in this game by throwing out Angel Pagan at home.

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Zack Greinke put the exclamation point on an overwhelming night for the Dodgers with a two-run home run in the sixth.

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September 16 at Colorado: Another Dee Gordon double-turn-your-header.

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September 17 at Colorado: Not sure Gonzalez made a finer defensive play all year than on this backhanded play down the first-base line.

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September 20 at Chicago: His catch in New York in May was unreal, but Puig nearly matched it with this incredible snag, before firing to second base for a double play and then falling backward.

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September 22 vs. San Francisco: Puig saved the game (temporarily) with this jawdropping throw home to nail Brandon Belt in the 11th.

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September 23 vs. San Francisco: Scott Van Slyke goes down the line to rob the Giants’ Juan Perez and help preserve a Dodger lead in a game both teams desperately wanted.

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Late in the game, Barney slides on the grass, then quickly dries off his hand before throwing out Joe Panik.

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* * *

September 24 vs. San Francisco: On a magical night, Kershaw dazzles with a behind-the-back snag — before lining his first career triple to tie the game.

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The Giants keep running on Puig, and Puig keeps throwing them out. To be fair, it was crazy that he made this play.

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With a Barney flourish, the play that capped the regular season — the final out of the 9-1 victory that clinched the NL West for the 2014 Dodgers.

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Hyun-Jin Ryu throws 45 pitches in simulated game


Hyun-Jin Ryu cleared to start NLDS Game 3


  1. Wow. This was great. I’m bookmarking this page as a keepsake of the season.

  2. There are two I would add to this.

    Gordon stealing 2nd while the pitcher was holding the ball.
    Gordon getting a double on an infield hit.

    • Jon Weisman

      The second one of those is in my first-half highlights (see the link at the top of this post).

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