Dodgers Report: Erick Aybar

Rapid Reaction: Angels 5, Dodgers 0

August, 4, 2014
8/04/14
9:59
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- There were more than 53,000 fans at Dodger Stadium Monday and many of them booed Mike Trout’s every move. Fans in Anaheim likely will give it to Yasiel Puig pretty good on Wednesday.

In other words, Southern California’s baseball rivalry is doing pretty well, with contending teams and young stars to energize and/or irritate the two fan bases.

Trout’s Los Angeles Angels got off to a better start in this year's regular-season Freeway Series with a 5-0 win at Dodger Stadium on Monday night.

There was just the right hint of tension, too, with Puig and Albert Pujols appearing to exchange some words after the top of the eighth inning. Puig apparently took exception to Pujols tagging up and advancing to second on a fly ball while he looked the other way.

How it happened: The Angels jumped all over Zack Greinke’s pitching and the Dodgers’ shaky defense in the first inning, grabbing a quick 4-0 lead. Angels starter Garrett Richards pretty much took it from there.

The game never felt particularly competitive. The Dodgers managed just five hits, all singles, off Richards, the game’s hardest-throwing starting pitcher, according to Fangraphs data. Greinke was good after the first inning, with the only appreciable mistake a too-hard changeup that Josh Hamilton clobbered over the right-field wall.

Hits: For the Angels, it was Richards (12-4), their best starting pitcher this year, bouncing back from two rough outings with a shutout. He struck out nine batters, but mainly the Dodgers hit ground ball after ground ball. For the Dodgers, the highlight was the major league debut of pitcher Carlos Frias, who pitched two scoreless innings, allowing just Pujols' single and striking out a batter. Frias is in contention to join the Dodgers' rotation if Josh Beckett or Dan Haren continues to struggle or goes down with an injury.

Misses: The Angels, with Erick Aybar at shortstop and Trout in center, have one of the stronger defensive teams. Fielding sometimes is an adventure for the Dodgers. When it is, Hanley Ramirez often is involved. On Monday, he made two errors, one of which was a costly throw that led to an unearned run in the first inning. Meanwhile, Carl Crawford made two unsuccessful attempts at sliding catches in the first inning. The second one, hit by Trout, got past Crawford and rolled all the way to the wall. Trout would have had a triple, but he had to retreat after missing first base. In the eighth, Puig stood there after catching a high fly ball and Pujols was paying attention, sprinting to second.

Stat of the game: The Angels have the best interleague record (92-48) in the majors since 2007, and part of that is their domination of their regional rivals. The Angels are 57-40 against the Dodgers.

Up next: The four-game series continues with the last of two contests starting at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday at Dodgers Stadium. Clayton Kershaw (13-2, 1.71 ERA) goes for the Dodgers, while lefty Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.76) pitches for the Angels.

3 up, 3 down: Angels 8, Dodgers 5

June, 22, 2012
6/22/12
10:54
PM PT


ANAHEIM -- Asked before the game about his team’s struggles with interleague play this year -- the Dodgers entered Friday’s tilt in against the Angels with a 5-7 mark after going 6-9 a year ago -- manager Don Mattingly deflected concern. Toss out the three-game sweep up in Oakland, he said, and it’s really not that bad. (In that spirit, he should toss out the other four losses and then the LAD’s mark would look outstanding!)

After the first of this weekend’s set against the Angels, if form holds Mattingly might have two series to toss out. The opening inning and a half came with promise before, after which the Dodgers were overwhelmed by their hosts, losing 8-5. Mike Trout homered and scored twice for the Angels, who had multiple hit games from Torii Hunter, Kendrys Morales, Alberto Callaspo, and Erick Aybar.

Chad Billingsley, staked to a five-run lead, couldn’t hold on and took the loss, falling to 4-6.

The Good:

Fast start. The Dodgers just finished a series in Oakland in which they scored two runs in three games ... and shock of all shocks lost each one. Friday, it took four batters for them to best that output against Dan Haren. After Dee Gordon bounced out pitcher–to-first leading off the game, Jerry Hairston followed with a line-drive single past Aybar at short, then Andre Ethier laced a single to right. Former Angel Bobby Abreu re-introduced himself to the Orange County crowd with a bomb into the stands in right, so obviously gone from the crack of the bat Hunter barely moved.

The Blue missed a chance to do more damage when after walks to James Loney and Adam Kennedy, A.J. Ellis popped out ending the inning. Still, they’d coaxed 25 pitches out of Haren and the three-run outburst felt like 30 given their struggles of late.

Ethier. He was 1-for-Oakland, and entered the game hitting only .171 in June (12-for-70), but Friday Ethier was rock solid at the plate. Three singles in four at bats, plus a run scored. He also drew a ninth inning walk against Ernesto Frieri, giving the Dodgers a little ray of hope at the end. Defensively, he ended the fifth with a spectacular play against the right-field wall, hauling in a rocket off the bat of Howie Kendrick likely saving two runs and keeping the Dodgers within spitting distance. Juan Rivera also had three hits.

Little things. Despite Tony Gwynn Jr. started the second with a walk, then stole second. Gordon then pulled an 0-2 splitter from Haren to Albert Pujols at first, moving Gwynn to third. Against a pulled-in infield, Hairston went inside-out and shoved a ball past Pujols at first to score Gwynn. If Gordon doesn’t advance Gwynn, Hairston’s ball is likely a putout at first, giving the Dodgers two outs and likely ending the inning before Rivera could drive Hairston home with a single past a diving Callaspo at third. Kennedy made a great play in the first, barehanding a bunt from Trout and getting the ultra-fast Angel at first. In the sixth, Kennedy kicked in with another strong defensive play, blocking third base from Aybar after the Angels shortstop led off with a double and tried to advance on a sacrifice attempt by catcher Bobby Wilson.

The Bad:

Billingsley. Just when you think the wheels on the bus are going round and round again, they come completely off the axels. After a tremendously awful May in which he went 0-3 and opponents hit a robust .328 against him, Billingsley kicked off June allowing only two earned runs in his first 14 innings. But there was slippage in his last start (4 ER in 6 IP June 16 vs. Chicago White Sox), and Friday the Angels batted him around like a piñata. 10 hits over five innings, six runs and a walk. Only Either’s snag on Kendrick kept the damage from being worse.

Slow finish. Five runs is five runs, and by Dodgers standards might be considered an eruption. Still, they all came in the first two innings, after which the Blue couldn’t scratch out another. The final seven innings saw the Dodgers hit into a pair of double plays, including one from the super speedy Gordon. Only twice they advanced a runner as far as second base, one coming in the ninth when Ethier took second on defensive indifference after his ninth inning walk. When indifference becomes an integral part of a team’s attack, things aren’t going well.

Bottoming out. Hairston, Ethier, Abreu, and Rivera pulled their collective weight, but below them the Dodgers had little support, a major reason they couldn’t produce after the second. The 6-9 spots in the lineup combined for three hits in 13 at bats, and only one -- a blooper from Elian Herrera pinch hitting for Loney in the seventh -- came after the third inning. All but five of the Dodgers’ 18 LOB’s came from the combination of players in those spots, and then Gordon at the top of the lineup.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Yasiel Puig
BA HR RBI R
.296 16 69 92
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Gonzalez 27
RBIA. Gonzalez 116
RY. Puig 92
OPSY. Puig .863
WC. Kershaw 21
ERAC. Kershaw 1.77
SOC. Kershaw 239