Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Dee Gordon (Page 2 of 8)

Rotation rolls on, Dodgers roll home after 6-4 win completes 6-3 trip

Back endBy Jon Weisman

With Roberto Hernandez scattering three hits and four walks over his six innings in the Dodgers’ 6-4 victory at Atlanta today — admittedly needing 118 pitches, second-most for a Dodger this year behind only Josh Beckett in his no-hitter — the Dodgers’ No. 4, 5 and 6 starters continued their roadtrip dominance, lowering their ERA to 2.01 with 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

Seemingly toying with the Braves offensively, the Dodgers took a 5-1 lead into the eighth inning. Dee Gordon (3 for 4 with a walk, two bunt singles and two steals) scored the first of his four runs while coffee was still being sipped in Los Angeles, and Drew Butera added a big blow with a two-run homer in the second inning. Los Angeles had 58 baserunners in the four-game series in Atlanta, including at least 10 hits in each game.

Yasiel Puig was picked off again and thrown out at home but had three hits, a hit by pitch and the defensive play of the game.

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The Dodgers had to hang on after Brian Wilson gave up hits to the first three batters in the bottom of the eighth, all of whom scored. Kenley Jansen allowed one inherited runner to score before striking out Evan Gattis to end the eighth inning. Adrian Gonzalez drove in his second run of the game in the ninth for some welcome insurance. Jansen then completed the save in the ninth, despite allowing a single and a double, finishing with four strikeouts.

Los Angeles finished off a 6-3 trip against the Angels, Brewers and Atlanta, and the pitching staff had a 2.65 ERA. The Dodgers are 16-10 (.615) since the All-Star Break, 15-8 (.652) against teams with winning records.

Another chapter in Dee Gordon’s feats of feet


In the top of the fifth inning tonight at San Francisco, Dee Gordon …

… struck out but reached first base on a wild pitch without a throw.

… ran on a 3-2 pitch and cruised into second base on a Yasiel Puig walk.

… sped to third base on a Jake Peavy wild pitch.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS AT SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS… beat the throw home from first base after Adrian Gonzalez was thrown out at first on a strike three in the dirt.

Four bases, one base at a time, no hits, one walk.

Lots of other stuff happened, in a game the Dodgers led 4-3 going into the eighth inning, but in a year of mindblowing Dee Gordon moments, this deserves to be called out.

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Triple the joy: Puig, Dodgers make three-bag history, with innings to spare

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By Jon Weisman

It took only two batters for the Dodgers to get their first triple of the night in San Francisco. Most games, that would be more than you’d expect.

Puig 3bFor Yasiel Puig and his teammates, it was only the beginning of many happy handshakes with third-base coach Lorenzo Bundy.

The Dodgers hit five triples in the first six innings at AT&T Park — three by Puig himself — shocking and knocking out Tim Lincecum on their way to a 7-0 lead with three innings to go.

The incredible night began with Puig’s first-inning triple, which nearly became a home run after an official review studied whether fan interference had prevented it from going out of the park. Puig later scored on an Adrian Gonzalez single to take a 1-0 lead.

The game was a pitchers’ duel through the fourth, with Lincecum matching Dodger starter Zack Greinke by striking out six batters on 67 pitches. (Greinke, in an event I’m embarrassed to make parenthetical, had a four-strikeout fourth third inning.) Puig had the Dodgers’ only other hit, a third-inning double.

Then, after A.J. Ellis popped out to start the top of the fifth, things got wild.

Greinke singled, and then Dee Gordon blasted one to the gap in right-center. Greinke, running with better wheels than Josh Beckett did the last time Gordon had an extra-base hit with a pitcher on base, scored easily, and Gordon cruised into third. It was Gordon’s 10th triple of the year, making him the first Dodger to hit double digits on triples since Kenny Lofton had 12 in 2006.

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Then Puig followed with his second triple of the game, making him the first Los Angeles Dodger ever to have two triples and a double in a game. No Dodger had done this since Sandy Amoros in 1956.

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If Puig’s triple in the first had been ruled a home run, he’d have had four innings left with only a single needed for a cycle.

Another RBI single by Gonzalez — who now leads the National League in RBI with 67 — scored Puig to make it 4-0, and an ensuing single by Hanley Ramirez ended Lincecum’s night on the mound …

… if not in the box score. Because after Carl Crawford lined out to first, Matt Kemp got in on the act, tripling to right center to score Gonzalez and Ramirez.

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Psychologically, the Dodgers avenged the three triples they allowed in the second inning of Clayton Kershaw’s nadir start on May 17.

Are we done yet? Not quite, because after Gordon beat out a grounder to third for a hit and stole second, Puig, unbelievably, hit his triple trifecta, his third of the game and the Dodgers’ fifth. Puig’s three triples are the most by a Dodger in 113 years, since Jimmy Sheckard of Brooklyn in 1901.

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The five triples are the most by the Dodgers in a game since the team record was set on July 7, 1921 — against the Giants — if they don’t hit any more tonight. And Puig’s 11 total bases are also the most by a Dodger in a game without a home run ever — if he doesn’t hit a home run before the night’s over. He’s the 50th Dodger since 1901 with at least 11 total bases in a game.

No Major League player has had more than three triples in a game since before 1901. The Major League record for a team is the eight by Pittsburgh at St. Louis on May 30, 1925. No Los Angeles Dodger team had ever had more than three triples in a game.

Players with at least three triples and a double in an MLB game (since 1914) Les Bell (1926), Herm Winningham (1990), Yasiel Puig (2014).

With 31 triples now in 2014, the Dodgers already had their most as a team for a full season since 2009. Gordon’s 10 triples and Puig’s eight this year give the Dodgers a shot at having a pair of 10-triplers for the first time since Maury Wills and Willie Davis in 1962.

Dee Gordon wins Heart and Hustle Award

By Jon Weisman

Dee Gordon was named the Dodgers’ 2014 Heart and Hustle Award winner by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.

The award is designed to honor active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the game. It’s the only award in Major League Baseball that is voted on by former players.

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Dodger All-Stars: Puig, Gordon, Kershaw, Greinke

Fangraphs WAR: 3.3, fourth in NL at his position

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Fangraphs WAR: 2.7, first in NL at his position

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Kershaw 062914js273Clayton Kershaw, P
Fangraphs WAR: 2.7, first in NL at his position

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Fangraphs WAR: 2.0, 12th in NL at his position

— Jon Weisman

Dodgers closing in on Brewers for NL best record — and other notes

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Dodgers at Rockies, 1:10 p.m.
Yasiel Puig, RF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Andre Ethier, CF
A.J. Ellis, C
Miguel Rojas, 2B
Dan Haren, P

By Jon Weisman

Heading into today’s game, the 50-39 Dodgers are two games (.024) behind Milwaukee for the best record in the National League, their closest point since they were 12-7 on April 20.

Atlanta, winner of eight straight, is a half-game behind the Dodgers.

Let’s do this pregame notebook-style …

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ESPN’s All-Star picks heavy on Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Reflecting the strength of their 2014 seasons and independent of fan bias, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig were unanimous choices for the National League All-Star rosters among five national baseball writers.

Puig was chosen as the starting outfielder by Jim Bowden and Jayson Stark, the starting designated hitter by Jerry Crasnick and David Schoenfield and a reserve outfielder by Buster Olney.

Kershaw was recommended as the NL’s starting pitcher by Olney and Schoenfeld, while the other three included him on the NL staff alongside Greinke. Josh Beckett was also an NL All-Star choice by Crasnick and Olney.

Four of the five chose Dee Gordon as a reserve second baseman, with only Crasnick omitting him. In addition, Bowden and Schoenfield had Hanley Ramirez as a backup shortstop.

Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of had Puig, Kershaw and Gordon, but not Greinke, Beckett or Ramirez.

As for the fan voting, it ends tonight at 8:59 p.m., with Puig looking to get a final push to ensure a spot in the NL starting lineup.

Dee Gordon’s stolen-base lead tenuous, but All-Star candidacy robust

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By Jon Weisman

Dee Gordon’s lead in the Major League stolen base race, which was 14 when June began, is down to only four. And yet, his case for making the National League All-Star team as a reserve has perhaps never been stronger.

Thanks in no small part to becoming the first player since Ray Chapman in 1917 to have four consecutive multisteal games, Houston’s Jose Altuve has nearly flagged down Flash Jr., who has one steal since June 21. And Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton has made up nearly as much ground.

SB race

Jon SooHoo/© Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC 2014

Jon SooHoo/© Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC 2014

The Irony Committee notes that this has been happening while Gordon has had a rock-solid month at the plate, with a .316 batting average, .371 on-base percentage (including eight walks) and .495 slugging percentage. However, after success in 34 of his first 37 steal attempts this year, Gordon has only been safe in six of his past 11.

Altuve, who was an NL second baseman less than two years ago before the Astros moved to the American League, has hit a scorching .424/.455/.511 in June, with Reds outfielder Hamilton at .330/.351/.509.

Nevertheless, Gordon has moved up to second place in Wins Above Replacement among NL second basemen, according to Fangraphs, trailing only position voting leader Chase Utley of Philadelphia. Gordon is rated the No. 1 offensive second baseman in the league and No. 1 at baserunner, and league average on defense (frequent spectacular plays notwithstanding).

The Mets’ Daniel Murphy and Brewers’ Scooter Gennett, neither of whom have any more of an All-Star pedigree than Gordon, are ranked third and fourth at second base by Fangraphs behind Gordon.

In short, by continuing to hone all aspects of his game, Gordon has become every bit the legitimate candidate to join the NL team in Minnesota in two weeks.

(Sort of) Avenging Kershaw’s Waterloo: Dodgers score six in 45-pitch second inning

By Jon Weisman

It doesn’t take away the sting of Clayton Kershaw’s 48-pitch third inning in the final game of the 2013 National League Championship Series in St. Louis, but as an example of “what goes around, comes around,” we’ll take it.

The Dodgers forced Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn to suffer through a 45-pitch second inning today at Dodger Stadium, scoring a season-high six runs to take a 7-0 lead. Lynn was left to endure the entire inning, ostensibly because of the depth problems impacting the St. Louis pitching staff, but then did not return for the third.

Unfortunately, the Dodgers did not come through their robust inning unscathed, either. Justin Turner and Hanley Ramirez each reached base in the second inning, but neither made it to the third.

Turner had to jog into second base on his double because of an apparent hamstring injury and left for pinch-runner Miguel Rojas, while Ramirez, in his first game since Monday while battling irritation in the acromioclavicular joint of his right shoulder, walked and scored in the second (after hitting an infield single in the first) but left the game after a conversation in the dugout with Don Mattingly and Stan Conte.

Not even third-base coach Lorenzo Bundy was 100 percent once the inning was over. Ken Gurnick of tweeted that Bundy was limping to the coaching box “after getting treatment on a sore right calf.”

The Dodgers led 7-1 heading into the fifth inning behind Zack Greinke, who has had tremendous success in 4:15 p.m. starts at Dodger Stadium. On July 13, 2013, Greinke pitched a two-hit, 2:17 shutout against Colorado in which only one ball reached the outfield, a single by Todd Helton. It wasn’t until Matt Carpenter hit a two-out, third-inning solo home run that Greinke allowed any kind of fly ball to the outfield, and not until Yasiel Puig caught the final out of the fourth that a Dodger outfielder made a putout in either of Greinke’s 4:15 p.m. Dodger Stadium starts. It took 43 batters for that to happen.

Greinke struck out the side in the first inning and had six strikeouts through four innings, with no walks.

Los Angeles reached base 14 times in the first four innings, on two walks, seven singles and five doubles — including two two-baggers for Dee Gordon, who in his past 11 1/2 games was 19 for 42 (.452) with seven walks (.510 OB), two doubles and three triples (.619 slugging).

A.J. Ellis doubled and singled in his first two trips to raise his 2014 OBP to an even .400. Ellis had a .475 OBP since coming off the disabled list the first time May 21.

All three Dodger outfielders — Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig — each reached base twice in the first four innings.

Update: Greinke ended up going seven innings, walking none and striking out 10 while allowing four hits and just the solo homer. It was the second time this year Greinke had a game of zero walks and at least 10 strikeouts, and the 18th time for a Dodger pitcher this century.

The outing also helped Dodger starting pitchers achieve the longest streak (32 games) in NL history since at least 1914 of walking two or fewer batters. Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Dan Haren, Josh Beckett and Hyun-Jin Ryu combined to go at least six innings in 26 of those 32 games and at least five innings in 31 of 32.

Cardinals lefty Nick Greenwood shut out the Dodgers from the third through the sixth, raising the question of whether he should have come in during the second inning.  But the Dodgers plated two more runs in the bottom of the eighth, with Gordon getting his third hit and Clint Robinson scoring his first Major League run.

October 18, 2013 : Cardinals 9, Dodgers 0

June 28, 2014: Dodgers 9, Cardinals 1

Dodgers Top 40: The best plays of the first half

By Jon Weisman

How exciting a 2014 has it been for the Dodgers? I started out planning to pick out the top 10 plays of the first half of the season, then (after realizing that Dee Gordon could practically fill that quota by himself) saw that list balloon to 40.

So here, in all their glory (and in an unplanned tribute to Casey Kasem), are the biggest thrills of the first 81 games. Thanks to for the videos, as well as pieces of text here and there.

Now, prepare to lose yourself …

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March 30 at San Diego: Hyun-Jin Ryu fields a sharp comebacker and throws to home to start a double play and escape a bases-loaded jam in the first.
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Nearly no-hit, Dodgers show grit

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By Jon Weisman

There was great defense and timely hitting and shutdown pitching (oh, was there shutdown pitching). There were contributions from superstars and reserves and guys fresh off the disabled list and guys who have struggled to find consistency. There was  a jacked-up crowd urging their team on against the National League All-Star team’s most likely starting pitcher, doing nothing less than threatening to throw the sport’s latest no-hitter.

And in a taut two hours and 32 minutes, the Dodgers came through with a 1-0 victory over St. Louis, their first 1-0 victory of 2014, their second-shortest nine-inning game and easily one of the best edge-of-your seat games of the season.

So little scoring, so many moments …

  • Dee Gordon walks, and then St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright sets down the next 15 batters.
  • Josh Beckett gives up a first-inning and third-inning hit, but otherwise matches Wainwright zero for zero.
  • Miguel Rojas, after making slick plays at shortstop all night, breaks up Wainwright’s no-hitter with a line single to left to start the bottom of the sixth.
  • In the seventh, Gordon ranges far to his right, adjusts to a last minute bounce off the bag to field a seventh-inning grounder, and throws Yadier Molina out at first.

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  • One batter later, after Allen Craig has doubled, John Jay singles to left and Matt Kemp shows what his arm can do in left field, nailing Craig at home. An exultant Beckett completes his seventh shutout inning of the night, lowering his 2014 ERA to a remarkable 2.11.
  • Brian Wilson pitches his most authoritative inning of the season, retiring the Cardinals in the eighth on 14 pitches, 12 for strikes.
  • Juan Uribe, in his first game in more than five weeks and looking rusty through two strikeouts, singles to start the bottom of the eighth.
  • Rojas, again. After a Drew Butera sacrifice, an infield single by the shortstop puts runners at the corner.
  • Justin Turner, sent to the bench by Uribe’s return, steps up as a pinch-hitter and lines an RBI single to left. Turner is now 6 for 15 (.400) as a pinch-hitter.
  • Matt Adams hits a bloop single in the ninth off Kenley Jansen, but pinch-runner Peter Bourjos is tagged out at second by an alert Rojas on a steal attempt.
  • Needing only seven pitches to finish his work, Jansen ends things on a Jhonny Peralta fly to center.

As much as you see Rojas’ name in these highlights, that’s how much of a presence off the bench he has become in only 20 days as a Dodger. What a treat to see someone seize the opportunity and challenge in front of him. No, he’s no big bat, but he’s doing everything you could ask.

So the Dodgers, who were 1-33 when tied or trailing after seven innings before Wednesday, have won two games in two nights that were tied in the eighth. And from the “Oh, I almost forgot to tell you” department: San Francisco lost to Cincinnati, 3-1. At the halfway point of the 2014 season, the Dodgers are within two games of first place in the NL West.

Dee Gordon, through the air

Sometimes I wonder how Dee Gordon will survive a full season with his body intact.

— Jon Weisman

Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC 2014

Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC 2014

Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC 2014

Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC 2014

Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC 2014

Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC 2014

Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC 2014

Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC 2014

Photos taken June 20, 2014. As always, check out Jon SooHoo’s work at the LA Photog Blog.

Video: Dee Gordon’s 13.9-second merry-go-round

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By Jon Weisman

The Dodgervision production team gave us Dee Gordon’s time around the bases on this third-inning jaunt: 13.9 seconds, or faster than any Major Leaguer has been clocked this decade by Tater Trot Tracker.

That alone would have made it a happy night for Gordon, but he added three singles and two runs tonight against Colorado for the Dodgers. It was the third time in his career Gordon has had at least four hits, along with one game in 2011 and his five-hit game earlier this year. And he had that all done by the sixth inning.

Gordon, who entered play tonight with a season-low .321 on-base percentage, quickly bumped that up to .333 after walking in his fifth at-bat of the evening.

Ryu rues the walks

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Dodgers at Reds, 9:35 a.m.
Dee Gordon, 2B
Justin Turner, 3B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, LF
Andre Ethier, CF
Tim Federowicz, C
Miguel Rojas, SS
Zack Greinke, P

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers have reduced their early season problem of bases-empty walks, but it came back to bite them Wednesday in their 5-0 loss to Cincinnati — with two out and an 0-2 count no less.

In the bottom of the third inning in a scoreless game, Hyun-Jin Ryu had that advantage on the Reds and Billy Hamilton, but six pitches later, Hamilton had a free pass to first base. In his speedy case, that’s as good as an escort to second base, though after Hamilton stole second, Ryu had Todd Frazier down 1-2 and walked him as well.

Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips made Ryu pay with a double and a single, putting the Dodgers down 3-0.

Ryu has walked eight batters with the bases empty in 171 plate appearances. That ratio is fourth-best among Dodger starting pitchers, ahead of Josh Beckett. Two of the pitchers ahead of him, Zack Greinke and Dan Haren, have allowed more home runs with the bases empty than walks.

The Dodger lefty had benefited from a terrific defensive play the previous inning by Dee Gordon. One out after Phillips and Jay Bruce singled, Gordon ranged deep behind second to make an over-the-shoulder catch and doubled Phillips off second base. (Just earlier, Phillips had remained at second base out of overt respect for Yasiel Puig’s throwing arm.)

Puig strong in latest NL All-Star ballot tally

OF 6-9-14IF 6-9-14By Jon Weisman

Yasiel Puig has widened his lead among outfielders in the latest National League All-Star balloting update.

Puig is now more than 200,000 votes ahead of second-palce Giancarlo Stanton and nearly 300,000 ahead of the next two outfielders, Carlos Gomez and Andrew McCutchen. Only Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowtizki has more NL votes than Puig.

The 23-year-old right fielder was out of the money when the initial tallies came in, but then surged to first place by about 50,000 votes last week.

Fans looking to see Puig start the game shouldn’t become complacent, however, as the voting can shift dramatically week to week.

Meanwhile, Adrian Gonzalez remains in first place among first basemen despite a 1-for-26 start to June, but Paul Goldschmidt is coming on. The Arizona slugger, who a week ago was in fourth place and more than 150,000 votes behind Gonzalez, has eliminated about a third of that deficit.

Dee Gordon, Juan Uribe and Hanley Ramirez all rank the same as last week. Gordon has increased his margin over Brandon Phillips of Cincinnati, but the Pirates’ Neil Walker reduced his gap from 165,000 votes to 121,000.

Two weeks ago, David Wright and Uribe were nearly even in third and fourth place among third basemen. But while Uribe has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, Wright has zoomed to the lead.

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