In the second of three games against the Atlanta Braves, Ross Stripling took to the mound for the Dodgers, looking to avenge the 8-1 shellacking Atlanta laid upon them in the opening game of the series. Julio Teheran went to the bump for Atlanta, and Chase Utley ensured the game would a doozy.
Yasmani Grandal stroked a two-out double to center.
The Dodgers left him there.
Corey Seager misplayed a roller and it glanced off his glove into the outfield.
Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra made excuses for Seager, blaming his error on a shoddy field, but it appeared to me Seager played it lazy and didn’t get into proper position to make the play. The result was he didn’t bend far enough, fast enough.
Although the runner was eventually erased, A.J. Pierzynski later knocked in a two-out run for Atlanta.
4th inning Atlanta 1-0
With bases loaded, Daniel Castro ripped (yet another!) two-out single to score two runs and knock Stripling out of the game. Of note: Over the past four games, 17 runs have been scored against the Dodgers with two out.
Adam Liberatore came in with men on first and second and two out.
Strike out! Job done.
5th inning. Atlanta 3-0
Howie Kendrick smacked a one-out triple.
Joc Pederson skillfully eyed a ball right onto his bat and rapped a clean single to bring Kendrick home.
J.P. Howell on the mound for the Dodgers.
Chase Utley got A.J. Pierzynski out at first with an underhanded, glove toss of the ball to Adrian Gonzalez. The beauty of the play came in the fact Utley made this accurate glove toss from about 2/3 of the way to second base.
FINALLY Howell got his job done and turned in a 1,2,3 inning.
6th inning Atlanta 3-1
Justin Turner hit a one-out single, sending Teheran to the showers, and lefty Eric O’Flaherty was brought in to face Adrian Gonzalez.
They shoulda left Teheran in, because the Butter and Eggs Man rocketed a two-run blast to center field. The LADR Home Run Tracker estimated it at 425 feet. Tie game!
Howell and Chris Hatcher combined to shut down Atlanta.
7th inning Dodgers 3 Atlanta 3
Enrique Hernandez, who entered the game in a double switch with Hatcher, worked a one-out walk.
Kiké stole second by a hair. It went to replay, but the safe call was upheld.
A passed ball sent him to third.
Seager flied out to left.
Nada. The bullpen at this point had combined to retire 10 batters in a row.
Nobody scored in the next two innings (Atta boy, Dodgers bullpen!) so we went to
Chase Utley with a sharp lead off single!
On the first pitch to Seager, Utley stole second!
Justin Turner up. He hit a towering fly ball to left center which Mallex Smith dove for, but couldn’t reach. The ball glanced off his mitt, and Utley scored from second.
Intentional walk to A-Gon.
Yasiel Puig came up with bases loaded and nobody out. The Wild Horse was overeager and fell to a three pitch strike out.
Yasmani Grandal stroked a single! Everyone moved up 90 feet, and one more Dodgers run scored.
Dodgers up 5-3
There was a busted squeeze play and JT ran into an out coming too far off of third.
Charlie Culberson then flied out to end the inning. Puig’s quick strike out and JT getting picked off at third were silly outs that really cost the Dodgers a bigger inning.
Kenley Jansen came in with orders to shut the door on Atlanta’s 3, 4 and 5 hitters.
6-3 on the shift.
Dodgers won 5-3
Hero of the game: Chase Utley with six defensive assists, and sparking the big 10th inning with a single and a stolen base.
Honorable mention: The Bullpen. From the 4th inning on, six different pitchers combined to keep Atlanta from scoring again and kept the boys in the game. Jansen dominated in the tenth.
Stripling only went 3 and 2/3 innings, with 6 hits, 3 runs, 2 ER, 2 walks and 4 Ks. ERA 2.65
Home runs: Adrian Gonzalez
Doubles: Grandal and Turner
Tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. PST the teams go at it in the rubber match.
5 thoughts on “Utley Defense,Gonzalez Offense and Bullpen Grit Lead to Dodgers Win”
That Turner double was a gift from the Braves but a win is a win. The bullpen has been pretty great outside of the first Giants series.
Still don’t know what happened on that squeeze. Mess up by Culberson or Turner?
Yeah, even replays didn’t show clearly what went on with that play.
But as you said Tom, a win’s a win! 🙂
As I just said on the other thread, you don’t safety squeeze with a force out at home. I think Culberson missed the sign. He should know better. Orel and Nomar talked about it. I think it was good idea gone bad. It might take this group a few months to re-learn how to play with solid fundamentals. It wasn’t really done under Mattingly.
That said, if Seager is going to stay at short, he needs to work a little harder at being in a good fielding position on every play. He looks great right up until he gets lazy. Same with Turner. Move your feet, bend your knees and use both hands.
I was going to post something about it being a weird call with the bases loaded, but decided to cut my post short. I was also confused why Culberson didn’t bunt with a man on first with no outs in the 9th. The only reason I can think of is that they trust him more to hit the ball to the right side and move a runner than to hit the ball deep enough to score a runner from third. Or maybe I am over-analyzing.
In my opinion Seager looks like a 6’4″ guy trying to play shortstop. It doesn’t look pretty all the time when you are that big. The more I watch him the more I start agreeing with the scouts that say he is a 3rd baseman. Hopefully he proves me wrong though.
I think you’re right on both counts Tom.
Culberson is down to .222, so having him bunt in either of those situations is the right plan. Turner had it right, Culberson must have missed the sign. And having him hit away with runners at first and second was very risky.
And I think Seager should be learning third base now. He could be great over there. I still want Gold Glove play out of all my up the middle defenders and that ain’t him at short.