The Los Angeles Dodgers have been pretty good so far this season in clutch situations, as their team batting average with runners in scoring position is .285, which ranks third in the National League.
One of the main reasons for that is the veteran offseason additions the team made, second baseman Howie Kendrick in particular. Kendrick is batting .360 with runners in scoring position this season, and is a career .295 hitter with runners in scoring position.
That came into play in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks as Kendrick drove in all three runs. The 31-year-old isn’t a prototypical cleanup hitter, but that is where he has been most of the season, and it has worked out well as he has 27 RBIs on the season. After Tuesday’s game Kendrick said that where he bats in the order does not matter to him. “It doesn’t matter where I hit, I feel comfortable. Over the years I kind of just figured out who I was as a hitter and I don’t think I change my approach for where I’m hitting at. I just try to keep the same approach and just be who I am,” Kendrick said.
His second hit of the night came on a two-run single with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh inning with the game tied 1-1. The Diamondbacks elected to intentionally walk Adrian Gonzalez in front of Kendrick, and he made them pay for it. Kendrick said, “You want to get the job done. Any guy in this locker room, like I said, they want to get the job done in that situation. We rely on everybody on the field, whether its Adrian, whether its me, Jimmy, it could be anybody, Guerrero, every guy wants to be in that spot and try to get the job done.”
Having veterans like Kendrick could fair well for the Dodgers in the playoffs, as they have struggled a bit with runners in scoring position the past two postseasons.
Juan Uribe On Being Traded To Braves