Talk about a blue streak.
Gonzalez has homered 20 times in his career at the hitter-friendly home of the
The first time the Dodgers were there last season, Gonzalez homered in all three games.
Gonzalez's first victim in that series was
"He's as locked in as you could possibly be," McCarthy said. "Everything's squared up and he's on time. It's a nightmare for any pitcher to face."
The major league leader in runs batted in last season, Gonzalez is known for these kinds of runs.
The games at Chase Field last April were part of a four-game stretch in which he homered in every game. Later that month, he homered in three consecutive games.
"I'm a streaky hitter," Gonzalez said. "When I'm feeling good, I hit like this — well, maybe not like this, but close."
Mattingly said he didn't become home-run conscious and doesn't believe Gonzalez is, either.
"It's more like, 'Ride the wave,' not 'Hit the homer,'" Mattingly said.
For his part, Gonzalez said he doesn't consider himself a home-run hitter, but rather a line-drive hitter who occasionally clears the outfield wall.
Gonzalez's teammates marvel at his ability to contextualize his at-bats and plan for them accordingly.
It's probably no coincidence that all five of Gonzalez's home runs came with the bases empty.
Gonzalez homered in each of his first three at-bats Wednesday, and that presented him with an opportunity in the sixth inning to become the 17th player in history to hit four home runs in a single game. He was urged on by the fans at Dodger Stadium, who roared as he stepped into the batter's box.
But the timing wasn't right. McCarthy had allowed the
"I definitely wasn't thinking of hitting another one against a lefty," Gonzalez said. "I was trying to stay on the ball and hit something hard up the middle. I told myself, 'Don't try to do too much.'"
The result was a run-scoring single to center field. The Dodgers' bullpen, which melted down the previous night, now had a three-run cushion.
"There's so much discipline in his at-bats," McCarthy said. "He knows exactly where the barrel is on every swing. It's very hard to fool him."
Particularly when he is thrown only fastballs, which is what the Padres elected to do.
His home run Tuesday night came on a first-pitch fastball by
Gonzalez's performance was critical in helping the Dodgers win two of three games against the Padres, as his teammates batted a combined .207 in the series.
"You look at a home run hitter, you look at guys who hit a lot of home runs and strike out a lot and don't really do anything else," Mattingly said. "Adrian can really hit. He knows what he's doing up there. He's just that guy who understands what he's doing, a guy a lot of our guys can learn from."
Dodgers make trade
Days after the
Webb is no Kimbrel. The 29-year-old was recently removed from the Orioles' 40-man roster, even though he was guaranteed $2.75 million this year. Webb pitched in 51 major league games last season and posted a 3.83 earned-run average.
In exchange for Webb, minor league catcher Brian Ward and the 74th overall pick in the upcoming draft, the Dodgers sent the Orioles minor leaguers Chris O'Brien and Ben Rowen.
Brett Anderson (1-3, 2.91 ERA in 2014) will face the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chase Anderson (9-7, 4.01) at Chase Field at 6:30 p.m. On the air: TV: SportsNet LA. Radio: 570, 1020.