Results tagged ‘ Yasmani Grandal ’
By Jon Weisman
Late in October on Twitter, I asked folks whom they would pick for the most underrated Dodger of 2016.
It was a doubly subjective exercise, integrating not only your own perception of Dodger players but your belief in how others feel as well.
From the dozen or so nominees, I picked out the four with the most mentions and put them in a decidedly unscientific poll, narrowly won by Joe Blanton.
Blanton was a fine choice, but my own vote went to Joc Pederson. In the video above (edited and produced for Dodger Insider by Julian Gooden) I explain why. Enjoy …
It just wasn’t a good at-bat.
Swinging strike on a Jake Arrieta curveball. Another flailing effort on another curveball. Short salvation came in the form of a high fastball. But then Arrieta hit the inside corner with a called strike three to end the second inning.
Yasmani Grandal turned and did the one thing a catcher shouldn’t do. He argued the call with home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom.
It was the equivalent of spilling some coffee on your shirt and having a disagreement with your boss — all before 10 a.m.
Ah, but there were innings left and hours left in the work day. And if we’ve come to know anything about Grandal, it’s that one stain need not ruin his day.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Arrieta got ahead 0 and 2 on Grandal, but the Dodger catcher worked the count to 3-2, also fouling off a couple of Arrieta’s offerings. And on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Grandal dug a fastball from below the strike zone and drove it out 398 feet to left center field for a two-run homer — the biggest hit in the Dodgers’ 6-0 win over the Cubs on Tuesday night in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. (more…)
By Jon Weisman
Pitchers paint on the edge of a cliff. They are artists, tending to a tiny canvas that hovers in mid-air, and they are adventurers who might fall at any moment.
Rich Hill took a minor masterpiece into the sixth inning tonight at Dodger Stadium. After walking two of three batters with some tremulous brush work to start the top of the second, Hill was in his element. Twelve of the next 13 batters he faced became dots on his Seuratian landscape.
In the top of the sixth, the ground beneath Hill’s easel began to quiver. With one out, Kris Bryant singled to left center, for the second hit off the Dodger left-hander. With two out, Anthony Rizzo took the first four pitches, and three fell outside the borders of the strike zone. On deck was Javy Baez, whose electric play helped the Cubs win Game 1 of the National League Championship Series and nearly Game 2 as well.
Hill raised his arm and lofted the next pitch, a 74 mile-per-hour curveball that sidled through the California air with the arc of a rainbow, landing into the glove of Yasmani Grandal for strike two.
Then, at 87 mph, Hill dropped down with a master’s flourish.
Hill pumped his fist, shouted to the heavens and handed his work to the gallery, for 54,269 art-lovers at Dodger Stadium to marvel.
The 36-year-old’s six innings of two-hit shutout ball, his finest performance since he threw seven perfect innings at Miami on September 10, were framed by Grandal, the catcher who also hit a two-run home run off Jake Arrieta in the Dodgers’ 6-0 victory.
Taking a 2-1 lead in the NLCS, the Dodgers are as close to the World Series as they have been in 28 years.
Hill struck out six, giving him 19 in 13 postseason innings (13.2 strikeouts per nine innings) with a 3.46 ERA. With Joe Blanton, Grant Dayton and Kenley Jansen finishing the game, the Dodgers have thrown consecutive postseason shutouts for the first time in franchise history.
By Jon Weisman
Before Saturday’s Game 2 of the National League Division Series was postponed, Yasmani Grandal gave a pretty entertaining press session with reporters.
Here’s how it began:
Q. What is it about Kenley Jansen that makes him not only able to have five-out saves, like what Dave (Roberts) asked him to do last night, but lets him thrive in situations like that?
YASMANI GRANDAL: 98-mile-per-hour cutter.
Q. Anything about his mentality —
YASMANI GRANDAL: No. 98-mile-per-hour cutter.
If it seems as if Grandal was being curt, he actually gave thoughtful and lengthy responses to subsequent questions …
On catching Game 2 starter Rich Hill:
It’s fun to catch Rich just because of … all the angles and how much movement he has got on his fastball and his curveball. It seems like he has got five different curveballs and three different fastballs. So that aspect of a game is pretty fun for me to do it.
I don’t know about other people, but you know, at times it’s a little bit challenging. … You don’t know what his curveball is going to do when he drops down. You don’t know what his curveball is going to do when he’s throwing it over the top.
At times it is a little challenging just to catch the ball to try and help him out behind home plate, and to make sure that I help him out doing what I’m capable of doing behind home plate. Like the stats said, framing is one of the top things in the league right now. … My challenge, basically, each and every day, is making sure that I’m prepared to help him. If I’m able to get a couple strikes here and there, then that’s always a good thing.
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.
By Cary Osborne
That sound off the bat of Yasmani Grandal — so distinctive of him that you could close your eyes and know what’s happening — happened twice on Thursday at Dodger Stadium. Once in the second inning, and again in the seventh inning.
Grandal, one of the most forceful hitters in the game, hit a solo home run in the second inning. Then he hit a grand slam in the seventh with the Dodgers down by a run. The second explosion off his bat, his 27th homer of the year, put the Dodgers ahead for good in a 7-4 win over Colorado. The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the National League West is now down to four. (more…)
By Cary Osborne
As MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reported on Friday night, Kenley Jansen is dealing with some discomfort in his right wrist. Dave Roberts told reporters before Saturday’s game in Arizona that Jansen has a mild stiff wrist and added that he’s not concerned.
Good thing because Jansen has been utterly dominant since June 14 when he struck out the side for the first time this season.
In his last 41 games, Jansen has struck out 69 of the 141 batters he has faced (48.9 percent) and walked only five in 39 1/3 innings. He is averaging 15.8 strikeouts per nine innings in that span.
While the focus was on Clayton Kershaw’s reunion with a big-league pitcher’s mound tonight, Miami’s Jose Fernandez quietly stole the show.
The 24-year-old — who trails only Kershaw among MLB starting pitchers in ERA since 1920 — struck out 14 Dodgers, the most by any single pitcher against Los Angeles in 14 years, in a 4-1 Marlins victory.
With Miami’s bullpen producing three more strikeouts, the Dodger offense set a team record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game with 17. The previous mark of 16 was reached seven times, most recently in 2014.
In distance, they measured 2,025 feet. On the Richter scale, they might as well have been a 10.
Zack Greinke, the darling of Dodger Stadium for three seasons, was punished in his former home like a Rock’Em Sock’Em Robot.
Five home runs off Greinke — a career-high, including four in the fifth inning — shook Chavez Ravine and sent the Dodgers to a 10-2 victory over Arizona tonight.
With San Francisco shut out in Colorado today, Los Angeles leads the National League West by a season-high four games.
The Dodgers’ five leaders in home runs each took Greinke deep — Adrián González (17) with a man on base in the fourth inning, followed by Joc Pederson (20), Corey Seager (24, with two aboard), Justin Turner (25) and feature creature Yasmani Grandal (24).
By Jon Weisman
Sunday brought another homer for the catcher who leads Major League catchers in homers, Yasmani Grandal.
Grandal has actually surpassed Justin Turner in adjusted OPS (126 OPS+) and trails only Corey Seager on the Dodgers. His impressive year still seems to be operating under the radar, but we did make him the cover story in a recent Dodger Insider magazine.
“Whoever tells you that they say, ‘I’m going to hit a home run here,’ and they’re thinking about it and they hit it, not too many guys can do that,” Grandal said. “If you think about it, it’s probably not going to happen. My main point throughout the whole season is being able to hit the ball hard, and wherever it goes, it goes.
Beginning this year, the Dodgers merged their previously separate Playbill and Dodger Insider magazines into one publication (at least 80 pages per issue) with a new edition available each homestand plus one in October, 13 issues total. It is distributed at auto gates (one per vehicle) and via Fan Services for those who use alternate transportation. Dodger Insider magazine includes news, features, analysis, photos, games, stadium information and more. Fans who still wish to subscribe can do so at dodgers.com/magazine.