So the Dodgers went to St. Louis and lost two of three, but at least they were competitive. Despite losing to the Cardinals in the last two postseasons, don’t forget that the Dodgers won the season series both those years, winning four out of seven games in 2013 and 2014. Maybe this year they are going to try losing the season series and defeating them in the postseason.
Grandal is back
When the Dodgers traded for Yasmani Grandal, I was unhappy. I didn’t think the team got enough for Matt Kemp and thought A.J. Ellis would rebound this season on offense. I was wrong. Grandal came off the seven-day disabled list on Saturday and hit a three-run homer in the Dodgers’ 5-1 victory. This season, Grandal is hitting .284 with five homers and 20 RBIs. He also has a .402 on-base percentage and is slugging .477. Ellis is hitting .137 with a .241 OBP and is “slugging” .176. Meanwhile, Kemp’s numbers are .249, .284 and .332.
The worst part of the two losses to St. Louis was the disappearance of the offense, again. The Dodgers were shut out Friday, 3-0 and they got only two hits in Sunday’s 3-1 loss. One of the reasons is they have no team speed whatsoever, so they can’t manufacture runs and have to rely on extra-base hits to score. As a team, the Dodgers have stolen 12 bases and been caught 15 times. You need to be successful at least 75% of the time and the Dodgers are well below 50%. Jimmy Rollins leads the team with five steals but has been caught four times.
Joc Pederson hit his 13th home run of the season in Sunday’s 3-1 loss to the Cardinals. His 13 homers are tied for the second-most hit by a rookie through May 31 in National League history. Pederson is tied with Orlando Cepeda, who hit 13 with the San Francisco Giants in 1958. Who holds the NL record? Answer below.
Reliever Paco Rodriguez went on the 15-day disabled list Sunday because of a sore left elbow. Outfielder Yasiel Puig will probably play a couple of games in the minors this week as he gets closer to returning from a strained left hamstring.
Manager Don Mattingly talked to reporters about why he continues to give Chris Hatcher opportunities despite Hatcher’s inability to pitch well: "We know his stuff is there, we know he's capable. You don't lose faith in him. It's been a little bit of a roller coaster." To his credit, Hatcher hasn’t made excuses, telling truebluela.com, "When you're going out there and letting the team down every time, it's a big knock to your own confidence. You have 24 other guys depending on you. I feel like I'm a pretty hard worker. I try to make corrections, but it's just not working. I'm glad they have confidence in me, but I don't know why." Also, Dustin Nosler of dodgersdigest.com has an interesting look at why Hatcher is struggling.
This week in Dodgers history
June 3, 1989: Houston beats the Dodgers in 22 innings, 5-4, when Rafael Ramirez's single scores Bill Doran to end the contest 7 hours and 14 minutes after it started, the longest game in National League history. The game ends with Eddie Murray playing third base and Fernando Valenzuela playing first base.
June 4, 1964: Sandy Koufax pitches his third no-hitter in three seasons, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0.
June 4, 1990: Ramon Martinez strikes out 18 batters in a 6-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
Albert Pujols hit 16 homers through May 31 with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001.
The Dodgers play three against the Rockies at Colorado, then four more against the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium starting on Thursday. Those will be the final four games against the Cardinals. Until, hopefully, the playoffs.