Dodgers Report: Billy Hamilton

Rapid Reaction: Reds 5, Dodgers 0

June, 11, 2014
CINCINNATI -- The Los Angeles Dodgers went down fighting, or at least arguing.

Trying for their first four-game winning streak of the season, the Dodgers got into all sorts of disputes with plate umpire Seth Buckminster during a 5-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. In the end, they proved defenseless against both the umpire, who ejected Matt Kemp in the second inning, and pitcher Johnny Cueto, who struck out 12 Dodgers in six innings.

The Dodgers rallied, loading the bases in the seventh inning, but pinch hitter Hanley Ramirez -- held out of the starting lineup because of a sore right shoulder -- hit into an inning-ending double play against ex-Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton.

How it happened: Cueto, who has a deceptive delivery during which he turns his back on hitters, has been as dominant as any pitcher in the National League this season, and he was at his best Wednesday. He struck out five batters in a row in the fourth and fifth inning. Hyun-Jin Ryu seemed frustrated with Buckminster at times and had a blowup third inning that gave the Dodgers little chance of winning against Cueto.

Hits: Despite playing in a hitter-friendly home ballpark, the Reds came into the game ranked 29th in the majors in runs scored. But they got a glimpse of the kind of offense they envisioned in the third inning. Speedster Billy Hamilton drew a two-out walk and stole second base. After Ryu walked Todd Frazier, Joey Votto, in his second game since coming off the disabled list, hit a two-run double to left field and Brandon Phillips blooped an RBI single to right.

Misses: On this trip alone, Yasiel Puig has taken video of his first experience with snow (in the Colorado mountains), met race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and filmed a TV segment at the Cincinnati zoo. Sleep doesn't seem to be high on Puig's agenda. Who knows if his frenetic pace will slow him down, but he has cooled off a bit at the plate, at long last. Puig struck out three times and is 4-for-19 on this trip.

Stat of the game: Puig's streak of reaching base came to an end. Though it included one game in which he reached only on an error, he had been a baserunner in 40 consecutive games before failing to reach Wednesday night.

Up next: The Dodgers go for the series win at a very early hour, 9:35 a.m. PT, Thursday. Zack Greinke (8-2, 2.62 ERA), who has the best road winning percentage in the National League since 2013, pitches for the Dodgers while Cincinnati counters with Alfredo Simon (8-3, 3.15).

Top stats to know: Dodgers at Reds

September, 8, 2013
AP Photo/Jeff RobersonClayton Kershaw has many different ways to get hitters out.

The Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers meet with the Reds trying for a series sweep on "Sunday Night Baseball" at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN). Here’s a look at five statistical storylines our broadcast crew will surely be talking about.

1. Despite a three-game losing streak, the Dodgers are 36-11 since the All-Star break. If they can maintain that pace, it would be the fourth-best second-half winning percentage by a team since the All-Star Game began in 1933. After a 30-42 start, the Dodgers are 53-16 in their past 69 games. Their starting pitchers entered Sunday with a 3.09 ERA, best in the majors. The Reds rank second with a 3.37 ERA.

2. Clayton Kershaw enters Sunday night with a 1.89 ERA, which would be the lowest by an NL lefty since Sandy Koufax’s 1.73 in 1966.

Kershaw could be only the fifth pitcher to lead his league in ERA in three straight seasons (the first since Greg Maddux from 1993 to 1995) and only the third to lead the majors in three straight seasons (joining Maddux and Hall of Famer Lefty Grove, 1929 to 1931).

Kershaw is the only pitcher in the majors with at least 60 strikeouts on three different pitch types (69 slider, 68 curveball, 63 fastball).

Kershaw is coming off his worst start of the season. In his first start of September, he allowed more earned runs (five) than he did in five starts in August combined (four).

3. Reds starter Homer Bailey is 5-0 with a 2.42 ERA in his past seven starts. Bailey enters this start with back-to-back outings of seven innings pitched and no earned runs allowed. The last Reds pitcher with three straight such outings was Jim Maloney in 1968.

4. The Kershaw-Joey Votto matchup should be a good one. Lefties are hitting an NL-low .159 against Kershaw this season. Votto is 5-for-20 against Kershaw with 11 strikeouts, his most against any pitcher. He’s also one of four left-handed hitters to hit a pair of homers against Kershsaw. (The others are Adam Dunn, Carlos Gonzalez and Brad Hawpe.)

5. Each team has a rookie doing something notable from a historical perspective. Yasiel Puig is currently hitting .347. Over the past 80 years, the only players 22 or younger to finish a season with a batting average higher than that (minimum 300 plate appearances) are Ted Williams, Alex Rodriguez and Stan Musial.

Meanwhile, the Reds now have a unique offensive weapon in Billy Hamilton, who stole 75 bases in the minor leagues this season. The Elias Sports Bureau reports that Hamilton, who has not yet come to the plate in a major league game, is the first player in the modern era (since 1900) to record a stolen base in each of his first four major league games.



Clayton Kershaw
21 1.77 239 198
BAY. Puig .296
HRA. Gonzalez 27
RBIA. Gonzalez 116
RY. Puig 92
OPSY. Puig .863
ERAC. Kershaw 1.77
SOC. Kershaw 239