It’s about dam time! Last night Adrian Gonzalez rediscovered his power stroke. He hit two solo home runs in the Dodger’s 5-3 win over the Reds at Cincinnati. The win gave the Dodgers their first series win in almost a month and kept them alive in the NL Wild Card Race. The Dodgers are three games back of the Cardinals with nine to play. If they’re going to make a last minute run, they’re going to need a productive Gonzalez. Gonzalez also made a couple of great defensive plays at first base. Including saving another errant Gordon throw on the final out of the game in the bottom of the ninth.
Has Gonzalez finally turned a corner? According to an article from Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Gonzalez has tried a new hitting approach with his hands. Apparently it worked. Hernandez quotes him as saying he had tried some kind of tweak with his hands in batting practice, and it felt good, and carried over into the game against the Reds on Sunday Night. Remember, Gonzalez hadn’t homered since his first at-bat with the Dodgers on August 25. Gonzalez had hit 15 home runs with Boston before being traded to the Dodgers.
Today is when I really started feeling my hands,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve been doing a tweak every day, but today I finally felt something that worked and felt good.”
Baseball is a game of adjustments. Has Gonzo found an adjustment that works? Remember Gonzalez is a former four time all-star. He’s always been a great hitter, which is why his recent struggles with the Dodgers have been so frustrating and unexplainable. People often have asked, if he’s comfortable yet, or has adapted to his new surroundings playing in a new city. Of course I have been quite hard on him of late. I had recently called his performance with the Dodgers pathetic. But his recent performance on Sunday Night Baseball shows exactly what he is capable of. Gonzalez is a career .293 hitter and has smacked 213 career home runs.
Before the Sunday night game Gonzalez was only hitting .245 with a .303 OBP and only one home run with the Dodgers. He has now hit five home runs off of opposing Sunday night starter Homer Bailey in 15 at-bats. His first home run in the top of the second inning he deposited well into the seats in straightaway right field. The second solo shot came in the top of the seventh. With the score tied at 1-1, Gonzalez blasted a Bailey pitch to the opposite field. The ball landing just over the wall in left center field. This was Gonzalez’s first multi-homer game in about a year.
Has Gonzalez made the correct adjustment? The big story will be on Tuesday night, when the Dodgers begin a three game series in San Diego against the Padres. The former home of Adrian Gonzalez. The big first baseman played for the Padres from 2006-2010. Gonzalez also still lives in San Diego. Can Gonzalez prove you can go home again? Gonzalez is hitting ,267 in his career at Petco Park, with a solid .367 OBP, and an OPS of .808. He has hit 57 home runs and driven in 201 runs in spacious Petco Park. Gonzalez is also 2 for 7 with a home run against tomorrow night’s opposing starter Edinson Volquez.
It’s possible that it could take a while for Gonzalez to adjust from going from hitting at Fenway Park, and banging doubles off of the green monster to mashing balls out of Dodger Stadium. He is going to have to improve on his .227 batting average at Dodger Stadium. I just want to let Gonzalez know that we support him.
The best part of the article came at the end when Gonzalez made a joke about Shane Victorino. I have said before that I haven’t liked his stiff as a board personality. But this shows that Gonzo does have a sense of humor. I like seeing this. According to Hernandez, Gonzalez made a joke about Victorino, and then smiled.
“I don’t have Victorino pop anymore”
Making fun of Rat Boy is always a good way to start to win over us and other Dodger fans. Of course hitting more home runs would also help. Here’s hoping we see more of that Gonzo Blue smile for many more years to come.