Dodgers have nearly split the difference on replay challenges in 2014

By Jon Weisman

Tuesday’s 9-5 victory over Arizona was a revelry of replay for the Dodgers, with two overturned calls in Los Angeles’ favor keying a six-run fourth inning.

Technically, the first challenge of the night, on the play at the plate involving Carl Crawford, was initiated by the umpires, but the next one, on Roberto Hernandez’s sacrifice bunt, came from the Dodgers and also went in their favor.

That gave the Dodgers 17 successful challenges in this first year of replay — which almost puts them dead even with the 19 overturned calls that have gone against them in 2014. However, the calls against the Dodgers have come more often in close games. (more…)

Hyun-Jin Ryu progressing toward return from disabled list this weekend

ATLANTA BRAVES VS LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 p.m.
Dee Gordon, 2B
Yasiel Puig, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, RF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Roberto Hernandez, P

By Jon Weisman

Hyun-Jin Ryu, eligible to come off the disabled list Friday, threw a bullpen session today, has a simulated game planned for Wednesday and could pitch as soon as Sunday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported on Twitter.

Right now, the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw set up for Wednesday’s starting assignment, followed by an off day Thursday. Then, after Dan Haren and Zack Greinke pitch the first two games of the upcoming series at San Diego, Ryu could slot in.

If Ryu doesn’t start Sunday, then Roberto Hernandez will.

* * *

The National League West standings since June 7:

 NL West since June 7

Yep, going back 11 weeks, the Dodgers’ opponents on this roadtrip, the Diamondbacks and Padres are tougher opponents than the Giants.

* * *

In other news and notes …

  • With his next stolen base, Dee Gordon will match the total of the 2005 Dodgers (58). That 2005 squad was led in steals by Jayson Werth and Antonio Perez with 11 each, in a year in which Oscar Robles went 0 for 8 and became MLB’s all-time leader in caught stealings without a stolen base.
  • Bryce Harper experimented with Yasiel Puig’s bat. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has the backstory.
  • Daniel Brim of Dodgers Digest analyzed Puig’s home run drought.
  • The Dodgers announced that they have signed two more outfielders on the international amateur market: 24-year-old Yadir Drake out of Matanzas, Cuba (signing scouts: Mike Tosar, Patrick Guerrero, Franklin Taveras) and 16-year-old Federico Giordani from Anzio, Italy (signing scouts: Marco Mazzieri, Bob Engle).
  • Great Lakes outfielder Joey Curletta made the Midwest League’s postseason All-Star team. Curletta has a .336 on-base percentage and .385 slugging percentage this season.
  • The honors continued for Joc Pederson, who was named the 2014 Pacific Coast League Rookie of the Year.
  • Corey Seager, Scott Schebler, Darnell Sweeney and Michael Thomas are among the initial selections from the Dodger organization to play in the Arizona Fall League. Dustin Nosler of Dodgers Digest and Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. discuss the choices.
  • David Davis has a closer look at the Juan Marichal-John Roseboro incident at Deadspin.

Born in Brooklyn, televised baseball turns 75 today

tv cachetToday is the 75th anniversary of the first televised baseball game. Mark Langill wrote about it for the August issue of Dodger Insider magazine. (Click the image to enlarge.)

— Jon Weisman

First TV Game

LADF 5K at Dodger Stadium is coming fast — sign up now

LAD_14 5k Medal Montage

Remember: The first annual Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation 5K Run and Kids Fun Run at Dodger Stadium. is rapidly approaching, on September 21. Signups are moving toward maximum capacity. Find out all the details and register at dodgers.com/5K.

– Jon Weisman

 

Joc Pederson’s other milestone: A 1.000-OPS season

By Jon Weisman

Joc Pederson is being celebrated for becoming the first Pacific Coast League player in 80 years and first Dodger farmhand since Chin-Feng Chen in 1999 to reach 30 homers and 30 steals in the same season. But wait, there’s more.

Pederson, who was named a PCL All-Star today, is close to wrapping up another statistical feat: the 1.000-OPS season.

It’s not as rare as 30-30, though it’s still fairly uncommon. It has happened only 20 times among Dodger Triple-A players since 1988, and only once in that period with a player who came to the plate more than 500 times.

Dodgers with 1.000+ OPS in the PCL, 1988-2014 (minimum 200 PA)
Top AAA

That player was Paul Konerko, who is also the only one on the list to have had a significant Major League career. It is the PCL’s cross to bear that its gaudy offensive statistics hold up like fool’s gold.

And yet, Dodger Rookie of the Year award-winners Eric Karros (.943), Mike Piazza (.969), Raul Mondesi (.758) and Todd Hollandsworth (.822) never made it to 1.000 in the PCL.

Little League team supported by Carl Crawford reached World Series title game

Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West fell short against South Korea in the Little League World Series championship game Sunday, but that doesn’t take away from what the U.S. champions achieved. Above, Carl Crawford talks about his support of the young standouts.

Crawford will have a chance to meet the kids when the Dodgers go to Wrigley Field in mid-September.

— Jon Weisman

Busy pregames at Dodger Stadium: Julius Randle, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Greg Louganis, Rafer Johnson

NEW YORK METS AT LOS ANGELES DODGERS

By Jon Weisman

Lots of cool names were coming through Dodger Stadium over the past few days, along with another big ThinkCure! Weekend, so I wanted to lasso a sample of it all.

Videos follow. For more highlights from Sunday, visit LA Photog Blog.


(more…)

Dodgers double up on triple plays in 2014

By Jon Weisman

The good news for Dodger fans: The last time the franchise hit into two triple plays in the same season, it was 1955.

The bad news is that it’s a rough way for this year’s team to connect with the franchise’s first World Series winner.

Today against the Mets, the Dodgers were down, 7-1, in the bottom of the sixth inning but had the makings of a rally. With none out, Dee Gordon singled, Yasiel Puig walked and Adrian Gonzalez singled to score a run and bring up Matt Kemp, who had doubled in their previous run in the first inning.

But Kemp hit a hard grounder to Mets third baseman Eric Campbell, who threw to second baseman Daniel Murphy to begin a tailor-made 5-4-3 double play … that became a 5-4-3-2 triple play when Puig kept running around third and was easily thrown out at home, Lucas Duda to Travis d’Arnaud.

Puig had previously made the final out of a triple play by the Indians on July 1.

Back in 1955, the Dodgers had actually hit into two triple plays in a two-week stretch, and they were by no slouches: May 28 by Jackie Robinson and June 12 by Roy Campanella.

Brooklyn actually hit into three triple plays in 1925, so the 2014 Dodgers might be wise to quit now.

The Dodgers were reeling earlier from a triptych of home runs allowed by starting pitcher Kevin Correia in the first three innings to put the Dodgers in their six-run hole. Then, Carlos Frias was perfect in three innings of relief before surrendering three runs in the seventh, leaving the Dodgers down, 10-2.

Update: The first time the Dodgers hit into a triple play this year, they lost that game, 10-3. They almost repeated that unlikely score today, before Duda’s second homer of the game stamped the contest with an 11-3 label. Duda had a career-high five RBI.

Gonzalez finished 3 for 3 with two doubles, making him 5 for 6 in his past two games with three extra-base hits. Andre Ethier and Gordon each had two hits, the latter adding his 12th triple of the season.

Hello, Hanley

NEW YORK METS AT LOS ANGELES DODGERS

 

For photo highlights from Saturday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Mets at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Dee Gordon, 2B
Yasiel Puig, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, RF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Kevin Correia, P

By Jon Weisman

Yep, it’s consecutive days of players getting healthier.

The Dodgers follow Zack Greinke’s return to the mound in Saturday’s 7-4 victory over the Mets with Hanley Ramirez’s departure from the disabled list to the starting lineup today. Erisbel Arruebarrena has been optioned to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

When he has played, Ramirez has been a consistent hitter for some time now. Since going 4 for 4 with two home runs on May 31, Ramirez has had a .415 on-base percentage and .474 slugging percentage (.889 OPS) in 183 plate appearances.

Ramirez is the No. 2 offensive shortstop in baseball this season behind injured Troy Tulowitzki of Colorado, according to Fangraphs.

For his part, Greinke gave a positive report to Dodger manager Don Mattingly this morning. He told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com he would tell the Dodgers if he were worried about his physical condition — but at this point he wasn’t.

“Weird circumstances gave me extra time, but I’ve been pretty good,” he said. “Between starts it hasn’t bothered me. I felt great again today. I hope that’s how it stays.

“You’re not going to believe me, but it really hasn’t bothered me when the game’s on the line. It didn’t affect any of my pitches. It really isn’t a big issue.”

He said he’d be honest with manager Don Mattingly if he didn’t feel physically able to help the team or if he thought he was putting himself at risk of serious injury.

“I have no desire to go out there and give up 10 runs or hurt myself more,” he said.

Arruebarrena figures to return to the Dodgers when rosters expand September 1. Miguel Rojas’ greater experience at third base was a main reason he was retained on the roster in the short term over Arruebarrena.

A Fourth Cy for Sandy?

By Mark Langill

Clayton Kershaw has a chance at his third Cy Young Award in four years, which technically would match the feat of Hall of Fame left-hander Sandy Koufax, who won his awards in 1963, 1965 and 1966. But in Koufax’s day, there was only one Cy Young Award for both leagues. The award began in 1956 and was separated by leagues in 1967, the year after Koufax’s retirement.

In 1964, Los Angeles Angels right-hander Dean Chance won the award with a 20-9 record and 1.65 ERA. Chance received 17 of the 20 votes to finish ahead of the Chicago Cubs’ Larry Jackson (2 votes) and Koufax (1 vote).

So in a potential election among 20 voters, would Koufax have won the 1964 National League Cy Young Award over Jackson?

Jackson: 24-11, 3.14 ERA, 40 games, 38 starts, 19 complete games, three shutouts, 297.2 innings, 148 strikeouts, 58 walks.

Koufax: 19-5, 1.74 ERA, 29 games, 28 starts, 15 complete games, seven shutouts, 223 innings, 223 strikeouts, 53 walks.

Jackson led the league in victories; Koufax was first in ERA, strikeouts and shutouts. Neither pitched for a contender: the 1964 Dodgers (80-82) finished in a sixth-place tie among the 10 National League teams, 13 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs placed eighth at 76-86.

Koufax’s season had ended with a 13-strikeout shutout of St. Louis on August 16 with an arm problem.

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