Archive for the ‘ Hitting ’ Category

Second year in a row, it’s Turner vs. Murphy

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Cary Osborne

Argh! Daniel Murphy! Well, the same is being said on the other end for Dodger opponents in the postseason about Justin Turner.

It’s Turner who has the better slash numbers when the two are matched up against each other over their last two postseason meetings.

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Several sizzled in September for Dodgers

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05 p.m.
Kershaw CCLXIII: Kershawcadia
Howie Kendrick, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
Corey Seager, SS
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Chase Utley, 2B
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

Though the 2016 regular season isn’t officially over, the month of September is, a month in which several Dodger bats delivered.

Joc Pederson led the National League in slugging percentage (.702) last month and finished second in OPS (1.154) and fourth in on-base percentage (.452). Pederson led the Dodgers with seven homers and 15 walks.

Over to Pederson’s left — in right field — were two strong hitters. Josh Reddick rallied from a dismal August to tie for the NL lead in batting average (.400), alongside a .435 OBP and .569 slugging percentage. Reddick was due, to say the least — his batting average on balls in play went from .194 in August to .429 in September.

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How Joc Pederson has evolved as a hitter

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 10.11.12 PM

Red Sox at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Josh Reddick, RF
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Howie Kendrick, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Scott Kazmir, P

By Cary Osborne

Think back to Spring Training.

If you saw Joc Pederson during the first couple of weeks at the plate he looked lost.

He was clearly tinkering with his foot work, searching for timing and doing anything he could to become a better hitter.

Now if you compare what he looks like at the plate this year compared to last (see above), the biggest discernable difference is he starts with his hands closer to his body. He still has the same short step, same explosion with his hips and his finish looks similar.

But whatever he has done — whether it be changing his hand location or something more drastic that’s not clearly visible — it’s working.

Joc Pederson 2016 is a better hitter than Joc Pederson 2015.

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The Dodgers and baseball’s unbreakable streaks

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Harry How/Getty Images

By Cary Osborne

Fifty-six. Fifty-nine. Eighty-four. Twenty-six thirty-two.

They might as well be the winning lottery numbers, because the chances of anyone in baseball surpassing any of those is just as probable.

Those numbers represent four of baseball’s most unbeatable streaks — Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak, Orel Hershiser’s scoreless-innings run, Eric Gagné’s consecutive saves record and Cal Ripken’s consecutive games-played streak.

What did it take to set them? Can they be broken? How can they be broken?

We can answer those questions.

Orel?

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Dodger hitting update: Guys are hitting

28 days

By Jon Weisman

You can almost hear those kids in the back of the Dodger van: “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”

From a batting standpoint, they might be.

Over the past four weeks, the Dodgers have starters at 6 1/2 positions OPSing above .800. Los Angeles is 16-7 (.696) in that time, which is tied with the Giants for the best record in the National League.

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Corey Seager — the surprise home run hitter

FullSizeRender

By Cary Osborne

Of all the incredible numbers that Corey Seager put up before the All-Star Break, there’s one number that surprises him the most.

Seventeen — as in the 17 home runs he hit.

“No I didn’t. I really didn’t. I never expected it,” Seager said on Monday in San Diego, a couple of hours before he would take part in MLB’s annual Home Run Derby. “I’ve always been more of a doubles than home runs guy. I never really had that extra juice to get it out.”

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Roberts will study Puig’s mechanics in his return

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Nationals at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian González, 1B
Howie Kendrick, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Yasmani Grandal,  C
Scott Kazmir, P

By Jon Weisman

Dave Roberts’ patience with Justin Turner has been rewarded. Now comes Yasiel Puig.

Turner, who had three homers and a .642 OPS through June 3 — amid calls for him to be lowered in the lineup — has seven homers and a 1.159 OPS since.

“Mechanically, I thought (Turner) was fine,” Roberts said. “The at-bats were quality. The contact point needed to be different for me, (but) with the adjustments that he made, he’s seeing some results.

Activated from the disabled list today, Puig makes his first start since June 2, and he has something to prove.

“Yasiel,” Roberts said, “mechanically wasn’t right.

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How did Turner turn his season around?

Brewers at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian González, 1B
Trayce Thompson, RF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Kiké Hernández, RF
Mike Bolsinger, P

By Jon Weisman

It’s been two weeks since Dave Roberts offered his diagnosis of what was holding back Justin Turner’s offense.

“When I know Justin is at his best, (it’s) when he’s elevating to the pull side,” Roberts said. “For me, right now there’s too many balls in the air the other way. The contact point’s a little deep, (and) he might be getting underneath the baseball a little bit.

“When you’re not getting hits, it’s kind of a natural move to try to see the ball longer. It’s just a natural move to back the baseball up a little bit … but sometimes it can be a little bit counter-productive.”

In 12 games (11 starts) since that moment, Turner is 15 for 45 with three walks, three doubles and five homers, including the pair he hit Friday before he won the game with a walkoff single in the 10th inning. The 31-year-old is third in the National League in wins above replacement in that time and tied for second in home runs.

As for whether Turner is elevating to the pull side? You be the judge. Here’s his spray chart since June 4 …

Justin Turner 2

 

Dodgers play righty vs. righty card against Chatwood

Atlanta Braves vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Justin Turner, 3B
Corey Seager, SS
Trayce Thompson, RF
Adrian González, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Kiké Hernandez, LF
Scott Van Slyke, RF
A.J. Ellis, C
Mike Bolsinger, P

By Jon Weisman

If you’re wondering why Dave Roberts chose to rest left-handed hitters Chase Utley and Joc Pederson against right-handed Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood, it’s mainly because right-handed batters have had more success against him.

This year, righties have an .788 OPS against Chatwood, while lefties are at .579. The split was even more pronounced in 2014, before Chatwood had the Tommy John surgery that forced him out of action in 2016. Chatwood has returned this year to lead Colorado starters with a 2.99 ERA.

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Hot-hitting Corey Seager puts his best foot backward

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Photos: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Braves at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Kershaw CCLIV: The Kershawsy Chaperone
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian González, 1B
Trayce Thompson, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Howie Kendrick, LF
A.J. Ellis, C
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

Going through virtually all of the photos Jon SooHoo & Co. take of the Dodgers the way I do, you notice certain things about certain players.

With Corey Seager it’s no different.

Something that’s long struck me about Seager is the way he turns his front foot nearly backward in his batting stance. It looks uncomfortable if not torturous, but clearly, it works for the 22-year-old, who now has 16 home runs and an .892 OPS in 82 career games.

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