Results tagged ‘ Giancarlo Stanton ’

Kershaw’s dominant April comes to sudden halt

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Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

When Miguel Rojas pinch-hit for Miami with one out in the top of the sixth inning tonight against Clayton Kershaw, it seemed little more than a happy reunion.

Kershaw was pitching like he did the night of June 18, 2014, when Rojas’ dazzling defensive play at third base was the one Kershaw needed to preserve his first career no-hitter. If not for a fly-ball triple to left field in the second inning, the Marlins would have been hitless this evening as well.

It would have been some kind of irony had Rojas broken up a Kershaw no-hitter tonight. With that off the table, Rojas did something far worse.

Rojas’ broken-bat double — his first extra-base hit in 62 plate appearances, dating back to September 18 — started a five-run Miami rally that Giancarlo Stanton finished with a 433-foot, three-run home run, in what would become a 6-3 Dodger loss.

Kershaw hadn’t allowed a home run with two men on base in 844 1/3 innings, since June 9, 2012, when none other than Miguel Olivo hit one for the Mariners. (In 1,648 career innings, Kershaw has still never allowed a grand slam.)

Stanton had gone 0 for 2 against Kershaw in the game, looking mismatched on a fourth-inning strikeout, and was 4 for 17 with one homer and three RBI in his career against the lefty. This time, there was no foolin’.

Still, it was stunning. Before Rojas’ double, Kershaw had retired 16 of 17 batters — eight strikeouts, eight infield outs. His season ERA was down to 1.27.  He had already become the first Dodger to average seven innings per April start since Derek Lowe in 2005, and he would go on to whiff 10 in all, setting a Dodger record for starting pitchers in April with a 13.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio (40 strikeouts/three walks).

In fact, for the first five innings, this had been a night to revive the “Kershaw MVP” chants. In addition to his pitching dominance, Kershaw had gone over his head to knock down a first-inning comebacker for an out, and also had two hits — a butcher-block single to left in the second inning, and a booming RBI double (97 mph in exit velocity) in the fourth.

That had given Los Angeles a 3-0 lead, though no doubt the Dodgers regretted not having more. Marlins starter Tom Koehler walked three of the first four batters he faced to start the game and sent two home on wild pitches. But Kershaw would have the Dodgers’ only RBI of the night.

After Rojas’ double, Dee Gordon (who was 0 for 2 and in an 11-for-57 slump) hit a two-strike comebacker off Kershaw’s leg for an infield single. Martin Prado and Christian Yelich followed with RBI singles, setting up the confrontation-turned-conflagration with Stanton.

With Kershaw having allowed five earned runs all year to that moment, those five batters literally doubled his ERA.

Stanton, Marlins top Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Yasiel Puig and Trayce Thompson homered in the fourth inning for the Dodgers, but it was not enough to withstand single runs by the Marlins in the three middle innings, and the Dodgers fell to Miami on Monday in their series opener, 3-2.

The Dodger bullpen pitched 3 2/3 shutout innings, but the difference-maker was Derek Dietrich’s RBI triple in the sixth inning off Ross Stripling, who lost his first MLB decision. Stripling allowed eight hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings, and his ERA is now 3.22.

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The Dodgers who hit ’em the hardest in 2015

By Cary Osborne

Which Dodgers hit the ball the hardest in 2015?

According to baseballsavant.com, the answer is Joc Pederson and Yasmani Grandal.

Pederson’s average exit velocity was 92.00 miles per hour.

On May 5, he hit a lineout off Matt Garza that left his bat at 114 mph, his hardest-hit ball all season.

The above 441-foot home run by Pederson on May 2 was fed by a 94.7 mph fastball by Evan Marshall and went bleacher bound at 111 mph.

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Video: Prepare for liftoff with Joc and Giancarlo

By Cary Osborne

The Dodgers’ arrival in Miami brings a meeting of two of baseball’s biggest liftoff artists — Joc Pederson and Giancarlo Stanton.

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She is way gone: Raising the roof at Dodger Stadium

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By Mark Langill

There is a fascination with tape-measure home runs at Dodger Stadium – the third-oldest ballpark in the Major Leagues – because of the rarity of a baseball clearing the pavilion roof.

During the Dodgers’ tenure in Brooklyn, it was common for baseballs to fly out of Ebbets Field, located in the middle of a neighborhood that grew after the ballpark was built in 1913. When the Dodgers played on a makeshift baseball field at the Los Angeles Coliseum from 1958-61, the only famous home runs were the opposite-field drives by Wally Moon, dubbed “Moon Shots,” which landed over the 40-foot high fence in left field just 250 feet away from home plate.

“You don’t see that every night,” Miami Marlins broadcaster Tommy Hutton exclaimed Tuesday night as Giancarlo Stanton rounded the bases following his 475.8-foot home run over the left field roof in the first inning. “Frank Howard … Willie Stargell … Mark McGwire … that’s about it.”

Hutton, a 1964 graduate of nearby South Pasadena High School, knows his Dodger Stadium history. He attended Dodger games as a kid and his father later became a stadium usher during Tommy’s 12-year Major League career with the Dodgers, Phillies, Expos and Blue Jays. Watch the replay of Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series home run, and the venerable George Hutton stands in the background at his post, behind the wire fencing of the old Dugout Level.

Howard hit the first “mammoth” home run at Dodger Stadium during the 1963 World Series. Howard’s blast in Game 4 off left-hander Whitey Ford was the only home run to land on the Loge Level in the first 40 years of the stadium from 1962-2001.

StargellStargell, who hit 475 home runs during his Hall of Fame career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, is the only player to twice clear the roof at Dodger Stadium. Stargell’s home run off Alan Foster on August 6, 1969 traveled 506 feet and six inches, according to Dodger vice president Arthur “Red” Patterson, who started the tape-measure trend while working with the Yankees and Mickey Mantle in the early 1950s. Stargell’s home run off Andy Messersmith on May 8, 1973 traveled an estimated 470 feet.

Dodger coach McGwire cleared the Left Field Pavilion as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals on May 22, 1999. McGwire’s hit off right-hander Jamie Arnold traveled 483 feet.

The only Dodger to hit a home run on the roof was Mike Piazza on September 21, 1997. Piazza’s third-inning home run off Colorado’s Frank Castillo was hard to see because of the Sunday evening twilight, the only clue was patrons in the back row of the pavilion standing and turning their backs to home plate. The ball landed on the roof and skipped under the video board and rolled into the parking lot. Because the ball was hit during sunset, it took a television replay to confirm that Piazza indeed had joined the select company of Stargell.

Photos: Signs outside the pavilion areas at Dodger Stadium commemorate the “over the roof” home runs by Willie Stargell (1969 and 1973), Mike Piazza (1997) and Mark McGwire (1999).

Yasiel Puig wasn’t DiMaggio in 2014, but he was one of the NL’s best

Photo: Jon SooHoo/ ©Los Angeles

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Cary Osborne

Because Yasiel Puig’s Major League career took off in 2013 with  Joe DiMaggio-like force, the expectations from many were that his 2014 — his first full big league season — would bring even gaudier numbers.

The final results — the 16 home runs and the .296 batting average most notably — might not have seemed worthy of the legend Puig has been expected to author.

However, let’s reflect for a little bit on just how tremendous the 23-year-old was in 2014 (and let’s spare the postseason banter).

Puig was actually tied for the fourth-best outfielder in the National League according to Wins Above Replacement at 5.1, and was the No. 3 NL outfielder offensively according to FanGraphs.

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Louisville Slugger will announce its Silver Slugger Award winners on Thursday, and Puig is certainly a top candidate for the prize.

Here’s something particularly interesting from baseball data website Brooksbaseball on Puig:

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