Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Gonzalez leads the Majors in hits (23), home runs (five), doubles (eight) and RBIs (14) as he’s jumped out of the gates swinging the hottest bat in all of baseball.

While Gonzalez added to his hit and RBI totals in Saturday’s win over the Colorado Rockies, he was stopped dead in his tracks on what appeared to be his ninth double of the season. With the bases loaded in the fifth inning, Gonzalez drove a ball to the left-center field gap that scored two runs.

However, Yasiel Puig, who was on first base, only advanced 90 feet despite the ball dropping past a diving Corey Dickerson and bouncing off the wall. Gonzalez made a wide turn only to see he was quickly gaining ground on Puig and was forced to retreat to first base.

When asked if it would serve as learning experience for Puig, Gonzalez first joked that he could’ve passed his younger and unequivocally faster teammate before explaining Puig understood his mistake.

“We showed him on video. He should’ve been close to second base and if he [Dickerson] caught it, just make your way back to first and if he drops then he [Puig] can walk to third,” Gonzalez said. “He understood. At first he thought he was farther over than he really was. When we showed him on video that’s when he realized he should’ve been farther out there.”

At 32 years old the veteran first baseman isn’t considered one of the more fleet-footed players on the roster. However, that isn’t to suggest Gonzalez can’t step on the gas when necessary. Particularly after an offseason training program that included boxing and resulted in Gonzalez appearing more svelte than in year’s past.

On Friday Gonzalez aggressively went first to third base on a single hit to left field and flashed a wry smile toward the Dodgers dugout after popping up from his slide. As he continues to tear the cover off the ball, Puig returned to the lineup after missing the last three games with tightness in his left hamstring.

Puig had an occasional limp but otherwise got through the game without issue — his inadvertently taking a double away from Gonzalez not withstanding.

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About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

2 Responses

  1. Jackson Ebner

    Its early and the sample is small, but the early returns reflect the genius of the front office in re-making the team. On the pitching end, they lead the NL in strike outs, but are on the bottom of the league in walks. That is actually a fairly unusual combination, since pitchers who pitch to contact tend to walk less hitters, and get outs earlier in counts, while strike out pitchers need to throw more pitches. Since anything other than a strike out or walk is subject to a lot of luck factors [400 foot or line drive outs, blooper and bleeder hits], by minimizing walks and maximizing strike outs, you minimize the luck factors, which in the long run, will maximize success. On the hitting side, they lead the NL in team OPS, and only the high altitude Rockies are even within 100 points. In combination, those are dominating stats, and they’ve played teams that were either hot [rockies], or supposed to be pretty good [padres, mariners]. Very promising start for the D’s.

    Reply
    • Blue

      It’s been exciting to see them do well. I definitely think the front offices plans are coming together. The chemistry looks good and I’m loving watching the veterans play and teach the young guys.

      Reply

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