kershaw_2014-all-star

Dodgers at the All-Star Game: Puig Struggles, Pitchers Shine, Gordon Struts

Between all of the Derek Jeter hype, the purposefully bad pitches, and the completely inexcusable lack of a tribute to Tony Gwynn, there were some Dodgers in the All-Star Game tonight. Yasiel Puig, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Dee Gordon – four of the players who will be most responsible for trying to push the team back into the playoffs – played at Target Field. The pitching was outstanding, Gordon had a great moment, but it wasn’t all bright for the Dodgers.

Yasiel Puig concluded a difficult week, his struggles continuing from last night. With Andrew McCutchen on base in front of him, he struck out against a Felix Hernandez change-up in the first inning. He wasn’t the first batter to do that, and he certainly will not be the last. (On the subject of Felix – and this is not Dodger-related – go watch this GIF of his fastball and change over and over again. See why Puig struck out on that pitch now?). In the third inning, Yu Darvish got him looking with a borderline slider. He struck out again in the fifth against a Max Scherzer slider, his third strikeout of the night. Puig only had one real defensive change; a Mike Trout triple which flew over his head. It was a make-able play with a better route, but it’s hard to blame Puig for being a bit shy of the wall in an exhibition game.

There’s also this:

PuigASGPromoImage

Thanks for that, FOX. Puig told Bill Shaikin that he “Came [to Minnesota] to have fun,” so it’s hard to criticize his performance very much.

Fortunately, the other Dodgers performed better. After Adam Wainwright gave up three runs in first inning, Clayton Kershaw entered the game to face the bottom of the American League order in the second. The highlight was this swinging strikeout by Josh Donaldson:


GIF Link

He induced two soft outs to third base off the bats of Adam Jones and Salvador Perez to complete a scoreless inning. Kershaw has made four all-star appearances and has not allowed a run.

Zack Greinke pitched the fourth inning and did even better than Kershaw. Jose Bautista grounded out to third base, then Greinke did this to back-to-back Orioles:


GIF Link

The Orioles are in first place, so this is theoretically a potential World Series Preivew. The batter in the GIF is Nelson Cruz, who is currently second in the majors with 28 home runs. Greinke struck out Adam Jones on a nearly identical pitch to end the inning.

Chase Utley started the game at second base for the National League, but after a two-out single against Chris Sale in the fourth inning, All-Star Dee Gordon (that has a ring to it) was brought in to pinch run. Sale is left-handed and does a really good job controlling the running game (batters have only made four stolen base attempts against him this year and are two-for-four), and Gordon couldn’t quite get a read on him. However, Jonathan Lucroy hit a ball to the gap in right-center and Dee was off to the races:


GIF link

He was clearly excited to score, which was a fun moment. Gordon went to ground to second in his only plate appearance, and was only out because of an outstanding play by Jose Altuve.

Gordon returned the favor with this play off the bat of Michael Brantley, with the assist from Freddie Freamon:


GIF link

Even though the National League lost, and therefore the Dodgers could lose a game at home in the World Series, it was fun to see some of the people we root for every day on the big stage. Typing out the names in this post, both Dodger and non-Dodger, still highlights the fun parts of the game after sorting through the layers of nonsense. It’s pretty silly that the game decides home field advantage, but overall, Puig had the right idea. The Dodgers looked like they had fun, nobody got hurt (or, at least, no Dodgers), and they’ll get a couple days of rest before the short flight to St Louis. Overall, it’s hard to view it as anything other than a success for the Dodger players.


About

Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area and remains a Dodger fan despite currently residing in Salem, MA. As an engineer, he’s fascinated by the math and science behind the game of baseball, which probably explains a lot. He started “Blog To The Score” in late 2013 to dig deeper into the numbers behind the Dodgers. In its brief lifespan, it gained attention from local and national media. You can find him spending too much time in the comments section or on Twitter.


360 comments
TellMyWifeISaidHello
TellMyWifeISaidHello

Beltre, Soria, and Leonys Martin for Joc and Reed


Ethier and lots of money to Seattle for minor league pitcher

Dang88
Dang88

Trade Perez for an open roster spot

Dang88
Dang88

Zach Lee for Michael Bourn what say ye

efb
efb

im sooooo exited for the 10am post

Uncultured Bastard
Uncultured Bastard

ESPN radio - Jay Morh...  "Derek Jeter is the classiest guy in baseball.  He has never had a DUI, never slapped-around a girlfriend..."

Tough grader, eh, jay?

P_F_P
P_F_P

@TellMyWifeISaidHello Not sure about that first one unless you want to make either Uribe or Hanley super-utility guys, which seems weird. Second one is a great idea though I think Mike pointed out that Seattle's OF is already pretty lefty-heavy.

P_F_P
P_F_P

@Dang88 I don't want to trade Zach Lee anymore.

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Definitely need more outfielders

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Sure why not

ABSmileBunch
ABSmileBunch

@Dustin Nosler I love the part where he was complaining about not being allowed to say a-hole on air...lucky for him that people can't say that on air.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

@Dustin Nosler put Erin Andrews in the same room with this punk and he will piss down his leg harder than Wainwright was last night

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Gonna have to agree to disagree on this one.

most valuable 0.2 fWAR
most valuable 0.2 fWAR

and no, I don't mean the comment section. the articles. you know, the stuff with words above.

P_F_P
P_F_P

@DBrim Putting Joc AND Van Slyke in the Tampa trade package, getting Price and Desmond Jennings in return. #RealCenterFielder

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Along with all sorts of weird AAAA guys

most valuable 0.2 fWAR
most valuable 0.2 fWAR

drank I'm hella stressed at work. all these people trying to die n shit n shit and I'm over tryin to stop it