Sorry for the delay Dodger fans, but I’ve got the Bronchitis that my 7 year old infected our house with. So I have to take the easy way out and refer you to some excellent recaps of Saturday’s fun at Petco Park where the Dodgers won 2 games. (Below) I do have 1 bit of analysis after watching the team with Davey Lopes back after being away for most of the week dealing with personal issues. Davey please don’t leave again, you may very well be the most important component of the Dodgers 2011 squad.
In the 2nd game yesterday, Lopes first full game back, Matt Kemp stole 3 bases. Kemp even stole a base where he was picked off, but he juked former Dodger Orlando Hudson with a headfirst slide where he showed him his left arm then pulled it back and snuck his right arm on the base without being tagged. According to Dodger announcer Charley Steiner Lopes stood like a proud father in the first base coaches box with a big smile on his face.
Gwynn who was also the hero of the first game, had 2 steals himself in the 2nd game. If Gwynn can keep getting on base he could provide the Dodgers offense a much needed spark, plus he is tremendous defensively and, as illustrated yesterday, can help the offense with his work on the base paths. In the 8th inning with 1 out Gwynn singled, stole second, went to 3rd on a wild pitch and scored on a Casey Blake single. Classic Davey Lopes, and a vital small ball style way of scoring runs.
The Dodgers now have 9 stolen bases this year, 5 by Kemp alone, and have only been caught once, and that doesn’t really count cause Davey wasn’t in the first base coaches box when Furcal was caught. Had he been Furcal no doubt would have gotten a much better jump and been safe. Last year the Phillies stole 108 bases and were only caught 19 times. That is an %82 success rate, most baseball analysts consider %75 to be a good stolen base percentage for a team.
Looking at the Phillies roster in 2010 you see names like Chase Utley, not exactly a speedster went 13 for 15, Jimmy Rollins who played through many injuries in was 17 for 18, and guys like Ben Francisco a perfect 8 for 8 and Wilson Valdez 7 for 7. Who knows how many times the players mention scored on a 2 out hit cause they took the extra base, but no doubt they did many times. The Phillies led MLB in stolen base percentage for 4 straight years with Lopes coaching first, and we’re talking about a team known more for it’s power than speed.
The Dodgers didn’t steal any bases in the games Lopes missed. He returned to the first base coaches box Friday night and the Dodgers stole 3 bases, on Saturday they added 5 more, both games resulting in wins. Let’s just say that the Davey Lopes factor is in full effect and the Dodgers are second in the NL in stolen bases, hopefully coach Lopes won’t have to miss any more games, and the Dodgers can keep swiping them at a 90 percent clip.
Visit our friends at True Blue LA where Eric Stephen has a full recap of all of yesterday’s action.
Here’s a few highlights:
Jonathan Broxton saved 2 games in 1 day, the first Dodger to do so since Jeff Shaw accomplished the feat against the Cubs in 2000.
Andre Ethier hit his first home run of the season.
Hiroki Kuroda pitched 8 and two thirds scoreless innings, giving the bullpen a much needed day of rest.
Matt Kemp set a career high with 3 stolen bases and also added an outfield assist.
The Dodgers improved to 5-3 1 half game behind the Rockies.