By Jon Weisman
Long before the Dodgers allowed a run in the 10th inning Tuesday to lose at Chicago came this instantly celebrated as well as befuddling moment of Cubs fan Keith Hartley reaching out to catch a foul ball while holding — and still feeding — his baby son Isaac.
I was reasonably confident that the Dodgers would get credit for the out, because Hartley had so clearly reached into the field of play, interfering with first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. But the confidence that Hartley had in his ability to catch the ball — and, more to the point, not allow his son to be hurt — is the kind I’ll never experience. Man.
Here’s what Hartley had to say, via Jon Greenberg of ESPN.com:
“Baseball is not a new thing to me,” he said. “I didn’t want it to hit the ledge and hit him, so I wanted to make first contact, I think.”
More importantly, what was going through wife Kari’s head?
“I was a little bit nervous, a little bit scared he was going to drop the baby,” she said. “Fortunately he held on tight to both the ball and Isaac, so we were OK.”
I also wondered about Hartley not getting ejected from the ballpark, but the good-time, no-harm vibe prevailed.
Meanwhile, Dodger team photographer Jon SooHoo was in the right city, camera well and position to catch the catch. He spoke to Mark Newman of MLB.com Blogs Central about how it all happened. Give it a read …
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Before Tuesday, the Cubs hadn’t shut out the Dodgers in an extra-inning game in Chicago for 99 years, nine months and seven days. The last extra-inning shutout by the Cubs against the Dodgers was September 16, 1915, when Hippo Vaughn outdueled Jeff Pfeffer at the West Side Grounds.
By Mark Langill
Today is the 60th anniversary of Sandy Koufax’s Major League debut. The 19-year-old left-hander, whose signing bonus required he immediately join the Dodgers rather than learn his craft in the minor leagues, pitched two innings in relief during the Brooklyn Dodgers’ 8-2 loss against the Braves at Milwaukee’s County Stadium.
Another Dodger Hall of Famer celebrates a very special 60th anniversary today. On June 24, 1955, Jaime Jarrin arrived in the United States from his native Ecuador. When his cargo ship docked in Florida, Jarrin flipped a coin to determine his next location. Heads would be New York; tails would be Los Angeles. The coin came up tails, and Jarrin took a bus to California.
In October 1955, Jarrin was working in a Los Angeles factory while dreaming of a career in radio. One day, he noticed a crowd gathered around a department store window and watching the World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees.
Who could’ve imagined the Dodgers and Jarrin would cross paths just a couple years later in Los Angeles and that decades later, Jarrin and the inconsistent pitcher named Koufax would together be enshrined in Cooperstown.
The Dodgers moved to the West Coast for the 1958 season and signed a broadcasting deal with Spanish language station KWKW. Jarrin, recently hired as the station’s news director while also calling boxing matches every Thursday night at the Olympic Auditorium, was summoned to the office by station manager William Beaton. Jarrin was given a year to learn baseball, and by 1959 he was behind the microphone, calling the action at the Los Angeles Coliseum during the Dodgers’ first championship season in Los Angeles.
“I would say it took me until the end of the first year to feel a little comfortable,” Jarrin said. “I was very nervous in the beginning. Then finally it was in September when I started doing one inning. And that was the start of my love with baseball. In the beginning, I thought I would do it for seven or eight years and go on to do something else. But I’ve loved the game since the first day, and the Dodgers have been great with me.”
By Erin Edwards
Do you know a Dodger fan who is about to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or promotion? Why not honor them in front of upwards of 50,000 people at Dodger Stadium?
You can do just that by displaying your message at Dodger Stadium on the Ribbon Board, located below the left-field Dodger Vision screen.
Ribbon Board messages can be purchased online for a cost of $75. This purchase will delight the recipient, and all proceeds go to the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation for its mission is to aide underserved youth in the greater L. A. area.
Ribbon Board message details:
- The message will appear once during the game, at the end of the fifth inning.
- In approximately six to eight weeks, you will receive a 5×7 color photo of the message.
- Two lines of text each limited to 34 characters.
- Purchase online at dodgers.com/ribbonboard.
Dodger dog: $5.50, Ribbon Board message: $75. Seeing your name in lights: priceless.
By Jon Weisman
The Dodgers have said that Cuban infielder Hector Olivera is in the equivalent of Spring Training as he plays his minor-league games this month. Now, they have the Spring Training injury to back that up.
Olivera has been placed on the Triple-A seven-day disabled list by Oklahoma City with a left hamstring strain, and Don Mattingly told reporters that Olivera would be going to Camelback Ranch for rehab.
The 30-year-old has a .387 on-base percentage and .581 slugging percentage in 31 plate appearances for Oklahoma City. He is 12 for 31 with a double, triple and home run. He has also been a man of action, striking out only three times and walking none.
By Jon Weisman
I’m going to discuss the Dodger offense from a different direction than I typically do.
The 2015 Dodgers lead the National League in walks, home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, adjusted OPS and weighted runs created.
Despite this — and understandably, I’ll concede, given how inconsistent it has been for the past month — many have criticized the Dodger offense as incapable of generating runs in the pressure cooker of October.
Among other things, Los Angeles is the worst basestealing team around, and it gets less value from its baserunning than any NL team, according to Fangraphs. A hit-and-run dynamo, the Dodgers are not.
In contrast, you don’t get very far chatting about the World Champion San Francisco Giants without hearing praise for how their ability to manufacture runs carried them to the top.
So what I wanted to look at was how the rival Giants won the 2014 World Series, against a Kansas City Royals team that was also lauded for making things happen through smart, aggressive play on its way to the American League pennant. I’ve broken down every single run of last year’s Fall Classic — seven games, 57 runs — to see how important manufacturing runs was.
The Giants won’t get extra credit for drawing a walk or bashing extra-base hits. Rather, my question today is this: Where did bunting, stolen bases, productive outs and taking the extra base on a hit play a role? (The Royals’ performance in these areas will also be noted — after all, they were within 90 feet of sending Game 7 into extra innings.)
What I found was rather diverse — games where manufacturing runs was key, games where it was irrelevant and games in between. And then there was the small matter of Madison Bumgarner having the postseason of the century.
By Cary Osborne
With 10 days until the polls close, the gap for ground to make up has widened for Dodger first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder Joc Pederson in the latest National League All-Star Balloting update.
But as the video above shows, Pederson, at least, knows something about making up ground.
Pederson is in sixth place and 2,537,886 votes behind the third and final starting spot. Pederson was in 11th place two weeks ago and eighth place last week. The rookie center fielder now ranks second among all NL outfielders in Wins Above Replacement at 3.6.
Gonzalez is still in second place for first basemen, but is 2,307,482 votes behind Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt.
Yasmani Grandal remains in shouting distance at No. 5 among catchers, and Yasiel Puig dropped one spot from last week to No. 14.
You can read more about the selection process here. Vote up to 35 times until the July 2 deadline.
Here’s a direct link to the ballot.
Dodger Stadium is more than a major league ballpark, it’s a destination. It is the third oldest ballpark currently used in Major League Baseball and stands out as one of the most unique and picturesque settings in all of sports.
And, you can be a permanent part of the iconic stadium. The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation’s “Community Wall of Fame” offers fans a special souvenir that will last a lifetime. Be immortalized in Dodger Stadium, recognize your love for the Dodgers, and ensure the Dodgers dedicated community efforts continue to touch as many individuals as possible.
For a relatively nominal donation, fans can have their names and/or a message inscribed on a baseball enshrined within the Community Wall of Fame showcase.
Not only will your contribution support the wide-reaching efforts of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, but your name will also forever be etched into the hallowed hallways of Dodger Stadium, leaving a tangible recognition of your devotion to the team for the rest of time. With this special purchase, visiting Dodger fans will not only see champion level baseball, World Series trophies, breathtaking views from the top of the park, Dodger Alumni and celebrities, they will also see your name on the Community Wall of Fame.
Less than 90 red- and gold-level balls remain, and it is expected those will sell out by the end of the 2015 season.
Surprise a friend with a unique gift. Memorialize a loved one with a special memento. Or simply treat yourself to the souvenir that enthusiastically reflects your passion for the Los Angeles Dodgers. For more information, visit dodgers.com/walloffame or call 877-333-5559.
By Jon Weisman
In 41 2/3 innings over the past month, Clayton Kershaw has allowed one earned run that wasn’t the result of a home run.
- May 26 vs. Atlanta: seven innings, no runs
- June 1 at Colorado: seven innings, two runs (two-run homer by Nolan Arenado)
- June 6 vs. St. Louis: eight innings, no runs
- June 12 at San Diego: 6 2/3 innings, one run (solo homer by Clint Barmes)
- June 17 vs. Texas: six innings, four runs (two-run homer by Joey Gallo, fielder’s choice RBI by Rougned Odor, unearned run on RBI single by Odor)
- June 22 at Chicago: seven innings, three runs (two-run homer by Kris Bryant, solo homer by Matt Sczur)
Over those six starts, Kershaw has given up 23 hits, walked nine and struck out 58.
For the year, Kershaw has pitched exactly 100 innings and allowed 11 homers, or 0.99 per nine innings, which is a career-high rate alongside his career-high 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings. Kershaw lives to challenge hitters, and really the only problem for him for the past month is that for all of five times in the past 30 days, hitters have met the challenge with a hearty handshake.
Kershaw called his June 17 loss to Texas his most frustrating, but he might have found a topper in tonight’s 4-2 defeat at Wrigley Field, where Kershaw was sure he had Bryant struck out on an 0-2, two-out, 94 mph fastball in the third inning (right), only for it to be ruled a ball.
The next pitch was a 73 mph curve that didn’t give Kershaw the break he needed, literally or figuratively, and Bryant jumped on it for the first of his two home runs.
Kershaw then stewed while the lights at Wrigley Field went wonky in the sixth inning, which finally passed without the Cubs scoring, only for Chicago to tally what became the difference-making run in the seventh on Sczur’s home run.
On a night that Chicago turned three double plays against the Dodgers while also picking Yasiel Puig — the only runner in scoring position either team had — from second base, yeah, I’d say that had to be vexing.
Update: Ken Gurnick of MLB.com has more, including quotes from Kershaw.
From non-roster player … to valuable bench piece … to starting third baseman … to All-Star?
Each step of Justin Turner’s journey in the past 18 months has seemed improbable, but his showstopping offensive performance as a Dodger has turned the most unlikely step of all into potential reality.
By Jon Weisman
Sidelined since April 26 by a shoulder ailment, Joel Peralta has been reinstated to the active roster by the Dodgers.
Peralta still carries a 0.00 ERA as a Dodger, having gone 5 2/3 shutout innings in April across seven games, allowing five baserunners while striking out four.
Los Angeles actually plans to make two roster additions today, and is optioning both Daniel Coulombe and Matt West back to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
West ate three innings for the Dodgers this weekend against the Giants, allowing no runs on three baserunners while striking out two. Coulombe, who has now completed four separate stints with the Dodgers this season, also pitched three innings vs. San Francisco, allowing three runs on five baserunners with three strikeouts.
Update: Though travel delays prevented him from arriving for pregame activities, the Dodgers have recalled lefty pitcher Ian Thomas from Oklahoma City.
Thomas has a 5.30 ERA in 18 2/3 innings with 14 strikeouts for Oklahoma City, including his most recent outing of six innings with one run allowed on June 17. Thomas allowed four runs in three innings during his lone Dodger appearance this year, June 2 at Colorado.