Dodgers Report: Michael Cuddyer

Top things to know: Dodgers at D'Backs

September, 18, 2013
9/18/13
3:53
PM PT

Jake Roth/USA TODAY SportsDon Mattingly has the Dodgers on the verge of a 3rd division title in the last 6 years.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks play the third game of a four-game series in Phoenix tonight (10 ET on ESPN/WatchESPN). Arizona needs only one win in the next two days to win the season series for the third straight year.

Here are a few storylines you might hear about during the broadcast.

1. The Dodgers magic number to clinch first place in the NL West is two, meaning they can clinch with a win tonight.

This would be LA’s third division title in the last six years. However, in each of the last two instances (2008, 2009) the Dodgers were eliminated in the NLCS by the Philadelphia Phillies.

2. The Dodgers have overcome a number of injuries this season. In fact, they’ve used the DL 25 times, more than any other team in the Senior Circuit.

Matt Kemp made his first start off the DL Tuesday night and posted his first four-hit, three-RBI game since Sept. 26, 2012. This was also the fifth such game of his career (four have come against NL West opponents).

3. Paul Goldschmidt has belted five home runs and 18 RBIs off Dodgers pitching this season. His RBIs are tied with Colorado's Michael Cuddyer and San Francisco's Hunter Pence for the most among all players against Los Angeles this season.

In addition, Goldschmidt is riding a seven-game hitting streak that has seen him hit .566 (15-for-27) with nine RBIs.

4. The Diamondbacks have won their share of dramatic games this season. Arizona has 16 extra-inning wins, most by an NL team since the 1999 Atlanta Braves (17) and their 13 walk-off wins are a club record.

Misc. Notes
• Yasiel Puig is hitting .554 on the first pitch of an at-bat this season, the highest average in the majors (minimum 50 plate appearances).

• Arizona’s Didi Gregorius has had a solid rookie season. Among NL rookies, only Yasiel Puig (.401 to .328) has posted a higher OBP (minimum 300 at-bats).

• Opponents are hitting .071 (4-for-56) with runners in scoring position this season against Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen.

Yasiel Puig exits, but Dodgers keep winning

September, 2, 2013
9/02/13
4:48
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers continued their roll, but the man most often credited for starting it left the game with an injury.

Yasiel Puig was lifted after he hurt his right knee sliding into third base in the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ 10-8 win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday at Coors Field. He briefly stayed in the game and scored a run, but was replaced by Skip Schumaker when the Dodgers went out to play the field.

The Dodgers described the injury as a mild strain and Puig's status is viewed as day to day. He has tended to return quickly from minor injuries this season.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers won again and they now lead the Arizona Diamondbacks by 12½ games, their largest division lead since September of 1977.

Their magic number for clinching the National League West is now just 14. The race has now become for the best record in the NL and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They trail the Atlanta Braves by two games for that spot.

The Dodgers won despite allowing 18 hits largely thanks to double plays. Ronald Belisario got a big one from Michael Cuddyer to keep the tying run from scoring in the eighth inning.

Meanwhile, as Matt Kemp continues to languish in his minor league rehab assignment, Andre Ethier is cementing his case for a starting center-field job regardless of Kemp’s health. Ethier launched a two-run home run off reliever Jeff Manship in the sixth inning, finally giving the Dodgers a quasi-comfortable lead in a typical Coors Field event.

Clayton Kershaw had pitched well at Coors Field this season, but like a lot of pitchers, it has never been his favorite place to work. He came into Monday’s start with a 4.98 ERA pitching at mile-high elevation.

That number got a bit worse after one of the shakiest starts of Kershaw’s career. He gave up 11 hits in five innings and allowed five runs. When the Dodgers rallied to take a 5-3 lead in the fifth inning, Kershaw gave the lead right back and it could have been worse if not for some loud outs in the inning. Nolan Arenado had an RBI double and Jordan Pacheco singled home Arenado.

The 11 hits were the most Kershaw had ever allowed.

The Rockies took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but the Dodgers had action in their half of the inning. Puig interfered with second baseman DJ LeMahieu while trying to field an Adrian Gonzalez grounder and that cost the Dodgers a run. The next inning, LeMahieu leaped to snare a Puig liner that started an inning-ending double play.

 

3 up, 3 down: Dodgers 7, Rockies 3

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
10:07
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- Veteran left-hander Chris Capuano, arguably the Los Angeles Dodgers' best starting pitcher so far this year, continued his impressive early-season run with seven outstanding innings as the Dodgers rolled to a 7-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies before 35,591 on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

Capuano gave up a run on four hits and struck out three without a walk, manager Don Mattingly lifting him to begin the eighth because Capuano had thrown 103 pitches.
Capuano ran his record to 5-0 and shaved his ERA to 2.06. The Dodgers (21-11) extended their lead in the National League West to six games over the second-place San Francisco Giants.

The Good

Web gems. Juan Uribe made nice defensive plays in each of the first two innings, including a sliding stop of a hard grounder by Marco Scutaro to begin the game and a lunging play to his left to get a force at second on Ramon Hernandez in the second. That one would have been an inning-ending double play, but Todd Helton slid hard into second, forcing Mark Ellis to make an off-line relay to first.

Long time coming. Ellis finally hit his first home run of the season, a shot into the left field bullpen off Jamie Moyer in the first inning, snapping a string of 35 consecutive games for Ellis, dating to last season, without one. Ellis hit six homers in 286 plate appearances for the Rockies last year after they acquired him in a mid-season trade with Oakland, but didn't hit one for the Dodgers until his 124th plate appearance of the season. As if that weren't enough, later in the game, Uribe hit his first homer since last June 20.

Warming up. Andre Ethier had a huge game for the dodgers, including a double and run scored in the fourth, an RBI single in the fifth and a solo homer to straightaway center in the seventh. Ethier is now hitting .364 (12-for-33) in May, with four doubles, two homers eight runs scored and eight RBI.

The Bad

Pass the Geritol. His 50th birthday might be looming in the fall, but Moyer completely dominated the Dodgers in the early going. He retired 11 of the first 12 batters, the exception being Ellis' home run, with five strikeouts and three infield popups. The string finally was broken when Ethier lined a two-out double of the base of the wall in right-center with two outs in the fourth.

Overmatched. Dee Gordon continued to struggle in the leadoff spot, those struggles possibly having now reached their nadir. Although Gordon did have an eight-game hitting streak earlier this month, he now has gone 0-for-10 with four strikeouts in the two games since that streak, including taking a called third strike from Rockies reliever Carlos Torres to end the sixth inning with runners on second and third.

All good things must end. Capuano continued to dominate in a way no one could have envisioned before the season, but he did give up a solo homer to Michael Cuddyer with two outs in the seventh, snapping a personal string of 24 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings. Capuano had pitched a combined 13 2/3 shutout innings, allowing six hits, over his previous two starts. He still hasn't allowed more than one run in a start since April 18 and hasn't allowed more than two runs in a start since April 7, his first start of the season.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Yasiel Puig
BA HR RBI R
.301 13 59 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Gonzalez 18
RBIA. Gonzalez 90
RD. Gordon 73
OPSY. Puig .882
WC. Kershaw 16
ERAC. Kershaw 1.73
SOC. Kershaw 194