Sunday, July 1, 2012
3 up, 3 down: Dodgers 8, Mets 3
By Ramona Shelburne
LOS ANGELES -- This wasn't the Dodgers prettiest win of the year. This wasn't even a win they'll want to remember. But after seven consecutive losses, including shutouts in five of their last six games, a win's a win and the Dodgers will gladly take their 8-3 victory over the New York Mets on Sunday night.
Mirroring his season and progression as a young player, shortstop Dee Gordon showed both why the Dodgers have to think seriously about sending him back to the minor leagues with another two throwing errors -- bringing his major-league leading total to 17 -- and why the Dodgers might not be able to bring themselves to do it after his brilliant offensive game.
Gordon had two hits, tied a career high with three stolen bases, scored a run and generally wreaked havoc on a suspect Mets defense Sunday night as the Dodgers got off what was turning into a historically wretched funk.
Three Mets errors helped grease the wheels a bit, but considering the Dodgers had gone scoreless in five of their previous six games, eight runs amounts to an offensive explosion.
Dee Gordon the leadoff batter. Gordon responded to his two third-inning errors with a sharp single to right field in the bottom of the inning and generally couldn't be stopped after that. His three stolen bases tied a career high.
Starting pitching. Clayton Kershaw picked up his sixth win of the year with another solid, almost spectacular performance. The reigning Cy Young award winner gave up three runs (one earned) on five hits and struck out nine in seven innings.
Middle of the lineup. Seldom-used Adam Kennedy went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Juan Rivera went 1-for-3, scored two runs and had an RBI double in the first inning, while James Loney even broke out of an 0-for-28 skid with an RBI double in the seventh.
Dee Gordon the shortstop. The Dodgers have committed 56 errors this season. With two more errors Sunday night, Dee Gordon has made 17 of them. Let that sink in a bit. It's natural for a shortstop to lead the team in errors; they generally get the most balls and are involved in some of the toughest plays. But it's still a staggering number (most in the majors) and it's definitely something the Dodgers need to deal with going forward.
Abreu struggling. Bobby Abreu is now in an 0-for-15 slide after going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts on Sunday. Abreu had been among the Dodgers most consistent hitters since being acquired at the beginning of May, so it's not surprising that Dodgers manager Don Mattingly penciled him into the No. 3 hole. But the Dodgers need more out of Abreu, who hit just .200 in June.
People who like defense. Gordon essentially gave the Mets two runs in the top of the third with his two throwing errors. But the Mets gave them right back with some ugly defense of their own.