Dodgers Report: Ivan De Jesus

3 up, 3 down: Dodgers 7, White Sox 6

June, 15, 2012
6/15/12
10:45
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- James Loney, who had entered the game defensively just an inning earlier, scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday night to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 7-6 victory over the Chicago White Sox before 40,432 at Dodger Stadium.

The pitch was thrown by White Sox reliever Matt Thornton just as Elian Herrera broke for second base. Herrera had gone 2-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs, the last two of them on a tying double in the sixth that completed the Dodgers' comeback from a four-run deficit. But in his final at-bat, with runners on second and third and one out in the eighth, Herrera had hit what appeared to be an inning-ending doubleplay grounder to short, only to have the Dodgers' Dee Gordon break it up when he took out White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham with a perfect slide.

That was the final act for Gordon on what had been a mostly good evening for the Dodgers shortstop and leadoff man. Although he committed a fourth-inning error that allowed an unearned run to score, Gordon also reached back three times in five plate appearances, including two walks, and scored the Dodgers' first run.

Kenley Jansen, who had given up the winning run in the ninth inning twice in the Dodgers' previous series against the Los Angeles Angels, then finished off the White Sox in the ninth for his 11th save.

The Dodgers (41-24) maintained their four-game lead over the second-place San Francisco Giants in the National League West.

The good

Coming right back. After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first, the Dodgers responded immediately, Gordon working a leadoff walk -- imagine that -- from Chris Sale and scoring all the way from first when Herrera followed with a double up the gap in left-center, cutting the White Sox's lead in half. Alas, the Dodgers couldn't come all the way back. Herrera was stranded on third, and he wouldn't have gotten that far if not for A.J. Pierzynski's passed ball.

Coming back eventually. After falling behind by four runs, the Dodgers rallied for five in the sixth to take a shortlived, 6-5 lead. The big blows were a run-scoring double by Juan Uribe, a pinch-hit RBI single by Ivan De Jesus and a two-run, game-tying double by Herrera, his second RBI double of the game. It all started, though, when Sale, despite pitching with a four-run lead, issued a leadoff walk to Jerry Hairston.

Making lemonade. Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw kept the Dodgers withing rallying distance and actually was in position to win his second start in a row before Ronald Belisario gave up a game-tying homer to Alexei Ramirez in the eighth. This despite the fact Kershaw was mostly ineffective, again, by his standards. He gave up five runs and eight hits over six innings, although he did strike out seven and walk only two. After going 4-1 with a 1.90 ERA through his first nine starts this season, Kershaw is 2-2 with a 4.73 ERA over his past five starts while he has battled plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

The bad

One-sided relationship. The White Sox's Adam Dunn took Kershaw deep, a two-run blast, with one out in the top of the first inning. It was Dunn's fourth career homer, and his eighth hit, in 12 at-bats against Kershaw.

Walks will haunt. With two outs, nobody on and an 0-2 count on Dunn in the third, Kershaw threw four consecutive balls. Dunn then moved up when Kershaw threw a wild pitch. Dunn then scored on a base hit by Paul Konerko, as the White Sox pushed their lead back to two.

Ill-advised throws will haunt, too. With a man on second, again with the aid of a Kershaw wild pitch, and nobody out in the fourth, Orlando Hudson hit a slow roller toward short. Gordon charged it and then bobbled it momentarily, giving him no chance at getting Hudson at first. But Gordon threw it anyway, and it bounced past first baseman Juan Rivera, allowing Ramirez to come all the way home and give the White Sox a 4-1 lead.

Home is where the wins are

May, 25, 2012
5/25/12
8:24
AM PT


Here is a statistical look at the Dodgers, focusing on games from May 18 to May 23. Baseball-Reference.com continues to be an invaluable resource.

HOME, SWEEP HOME

The Dodgers’ sweep of the Cardinals over the weekend was their fifth of the year, all at home. Last season, the Dodgers had four series sweeps all season. The Dodgers are now 19-4 at home, and their ERA at Dodger Stadium is nearly two full runs lower than it is on the road.

Clayton Kershaw’s shutout in the middle game of the series improved the Dodgers to 7-0 on Saturdays and lowered his career ERA at Dodger Stadium to 2.39. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the best home ERA among any active pitcher with at least 50 starts.

The sweep of the Cardinals was the Dodgers’ second straight sweep against St. Louis, dating back to last season. It’s the first time the Dodgers have swept consecutive series against the Cardinals since 1976.

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Gordon ignites Dodgers offense

March, 20, 2012
3/20/12
5:34
PM PT


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dee Gordon has speed. Dangerous speed. Exciting speed. Electrifying speed.

We saw it in the first inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' Cactus League game on Tuesday, a 7-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers before 6,348 at Camelback Ranch, when Gordon got one into the wind and was rounding second base by the time it came down at the base of the center-field wall, and when he contemplated for just a moment trying to come all the way around before he put on the brakes just past third base and scampered back with a leadoff triple.

But the other thing we are learning this spring -- or maybe we already knew and just needed a refresher course -- is that with Gordon, the Dodgers' shortstop and leadoff hitter who is entering his first full season in the majors, it isn't just about the speed because he is a pretty exciting offensive player, as well.

Gordon went 3-for-4 with a single, a double that would have been a single for just about any other player in the league and the aforementioned, first-inning triple, scoring twice in the process, to raise his spring average in a single afternoon from .250 to .313 (10-for-32). More importantl for a leadoff hitter, his on-base percentage ballooned to .405.

So maybe it's not just about stolen bases and infield singles after all.

"I have been trying to tell you guys that," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told the media after the game. "This guy can hit. There are areas where he still needs to get better, and (opposing pitchers) will try to do things as the season goes on that he will have to adjust to, but I just feel like this guy is going to be a good hitter."

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Cactus League: Royals 8, Dodgers 5

March, 15, 2012
3/15/12
5:32
PM PT


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon showed what speed can do in the bottom of the first inning of Thursday's Cactus League game, an 8-5 loss to the Kansas City Royals before 5,766 at Camelback Ranch.

After drawing a leadoff walk from Royals left-hander Danny Duffy, Gordon got to first base and surveyed the scene. With Duffy standing on the mound holding the ball in his glove while preparing to pitch to the next batter, Gordon took off for second. He wound up sliding in unchallenged with a stolen base of the unconventional variety.

"The pitcher had the ball, and he was looking down," said Gordon, who estimates he had pulled off that play eight times in his minor league career. "The shortstop was walking with his back toward the bag and the second baseman was walking back (to his position). So I just took off. It's just an instinctive thing. I always look to see where everybody's at when I get on first base."

A couple of minutes later, having advanced to third on a sharp single to left by Jerry Hairston, Gordon danced off the bag just a bit as Duffy went into his stretch and prepared to pitch to Matt Kemp. Duffy's front leg appeared to twitch in response to Gordon's movement, and second-base umpire Ted Barrett immediately called a balk, allowing Gordon to trot home.

"You saw some nice instincts right there," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We always talk about how he knows how to use his speed. It sounds kind of silly, but you just have to know how fast you are. With Dee, it's so fast that it just changes the game, because it's hard to prepare for that."

*****

Ivan De Jesus had three singles in three plate appearances, raising his spring average from a ghastly .176 to a solid .300 in a single afternoon, but it doesn't matter much anyway. Once one of the organization's top prospects and the top pick the Dodgers signed out of that infamous 2005 draft in which they couldn't sign first-rounder Luke Hochevar, De Jesus probably is running out of time if he hasn't already.

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Dodgers 6, White Sox 4: Van Slyke speaks loudly

March, 5, 2012
3/05/12
4:19
PM PT

A lot has to happen before Scott Van Slyke has a chance of making the Dodgers' Opening Day roster. But that doesn't mean Van Slyke, suddenly one of the organization's top prospects, can't make a good impression on the front office and the coaching staff during his first big league camp before he heads back to the minor league side of the complex sometime in the next two or three weeks.

Van Slyke was impressive in Monday's 6-4 Cactus League win over the Chicago White Sox, slamming a two-run homer to the top level of the left-field terrace at Camelback Ranch. The shot came off White Sox right-hander Nestor Molina.

It capped a five-run outburst by the Dodgers, for whom Van Slyke, Tony Gwynn (single), Justin Sellers (double) and Ivan De Jesus (triple) combined to hit for the cycle in that sixth inning. All the members of that quartet are sons of former major league players.

Van Slyke is likely headed to Triple-A Albuquerque after erupting for 45 doubles, 20 homers and 92 RBI to go with a .348 average and .427 on-base percentage last summer at Double-A Chattanooga. Imagine what a guy with that type of power could do at high-altitude Albuquerque in the high-octane Pacific Coast League.

For now, though, all Van Slyke can do is hope to get noticed -- and remembered by general manager Ned Colletti and manager Don Mattingly.

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SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Clayton Kershaw
WINS ERA SO IP
21 1.77 239 198
OTHER LEADERS
BAY. Puig .296
HRA. Gonzalez 27
RBIA. Gonzalez 116
RY. Puig 92
OPSY. Puig .863
ERAC. Kershaw 1.77
SOC. Kershaw 239