Friday, June 15, 2012
Big swings; some good, some bad
By Dan Braunstein
We take a look back at the Dodgers’ week from June 8-14, with many thanks to Baseball-Reference, ESPN Stats & Information, and the Elias Sports Bureau.
DODGERS NO-HIT BY SIX MARINERS
Six Mariners pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter Friday night against the Dodgers. It was the first time the Dodgers had been no-hit since the Braves’ Kent Mercker did it in 1994. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s also the first time that the team with MLB’s best record (at least 50 games into the season) had been no-hit since Nolan Ryan did it to the Athletics on June 11, 1990. It was the third no-hitter in Mariners history; the Dodgers have 20, most of any team all time.
ZERO HITS, THEN 14 HITS
The Dodgers rebounded Saturday to beat the Mariners, collecting 14 hits the day after the no-hitter. Elias points out that the Dodgers’ 14 hits were the most by a team the game after being no-hit since 1998, when the Twins had 15 hits against the Tigers one day after the Yankees’ David Wells threw a perfect game against them.
PERFECT ON SATURDAY
The Dodgers’ win improved them to 10-0 on Saturdays, keeping them as the only team undefeated this season on any particular day of the week. It’s the Dodgers’ longest single-season winning streak on any day since the 1985 team won its final 14 games on Tuesdays.
KERSHAW’S FASTBALL AT ITS BEST
Clayton Kershaw struck out a season-high 12 hitters in Saturday’s win. Five of the strikeouts were with his fastball, his most in the last two seasons. His fastball averaged 94.2 MPH, his highest this season and second highest in the last two seasons.
With his fastball working so well, Kershaw’s curveball was also effective. Mariners hitters struck out four times against Kershaw’s curveball and didn’t put any of his curveballs in play.
MAKING THEIR STEALS COUNT
In Saturday’s game, the Dodgers stole four bases, and all four baserunners ended up scoring in the inning. A league-leading 24 Dodgers base stealers have come around to score after their steals, even though the Dodgers do not rank in the top 10 in stolen bases.
ETHIER HITS DODGERS' FIRST GRAND SLAM OF 2012
Sunday’s win over the Mariners featured a six-run second inning that was capped by an Andre Ethier grand slam, the Dodgers’ first grand slam of the season. Ethier has four grand slams since the start of 2010, tied for the third most in the league. It was the latest date for the Dodgers’ first grand slam of the season since 2004, when Paul Lo Duca hit the team’s first on July 11. The Dodgers went on to hit a franchise-record 10 grand slams that year.
BILLINGSLEY PUTS DODGERS IN HOLE AGAIN
The Dodgers trailed 1-0 entering the second inning of Sunday’s game after Chad Billingsley allowed a first-inning home run. The Elias Sports Bureau reports that it was the 11th time in Billingsley's 13 starts this season that he allowed the first run of a game, the most such starts for any major-league pitcher.
LOSING BY ONLY A RUN
The Dodgers are 8-4 in their last 12 games, with all four losses coming by one run. The Dodgers hadn’t had four straight losses come by one run since April 2003.
KENNEDY AND GWYNN ARE LUCKY CHARMS
Adam Kennedy started two games on the week, both at second base, and the Dodgers won each game. LA is 18-4 this season when Kennedy starts, including 6-0 when he starts at second base. When Kennedy drives in a run, as he did Sunday, the Dodgers are 8-0. The team is 12-0 when Tony Gwynn drives in a run; all 17 of his RBI have come in Dodger victories.
COMING UP BIG LATE
Tuesday the Dodgers overcame a 2-1 deficit after seven innings by scoring four in the eighth for a 5-2 win over the Angels. The win improved the Dodgers to 2-18 on the season when trailing after seven innings. With two outs, Andre Ethier tied the game with a single before Juan Rivera won it with a three-run homer. It was the first time since Sept. 8, 2009, that the Dodgers had consecutive game-tying and go-ahead hits with two outs in the eighth inning or later.
FIRST TO 40
With their win Tuesday night, the Dodgers became the first major league team to 40 wins this season. According to Elias, it's the sixth time since the team moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958 that the Dodgers were the first major league team to 40 wins. They also did it in 1965, 1974, 1977, 1983 and 2009.
The Dodgers allowed three runs or fewer in each of their six games on the week and have a streak of seven such games dating back to the final game of the sweep against the Phillies. It’s the Dodgers’ longest such streak of the season and the longest active streak in the league.
NO SUCCESS AGAINST THE WHITE SOX
Over the weekend, the Dodgers will host the White Sox, a team against whom LA has not fared well since the Dodgers beat them in the 1959 World Series. Since interleague play began in 1997, the Dodgers have a worse record against the White Sox (4-11, .267 win percentage) than against any other American League team. Interleague play hasn’t been especially kind to the Dodgers on the whole, as they have a winning record against just four of the 14 AL teams: the Rangers, Tigers, Indians and Orioles.