With plenty of discussion being held involving Los Angeles Dodgers outfielders, Scott Van Slyke’s name often goes unmentioned. Van Slyke isn’t necessarily considered to be in the same company as Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig.
However, that isn’t to suggest Van Slyke doesn’t offer any value. With Kemp on the DL at the start of this season, Van Slyke started in left field as Ethier slid over to center in the team’s first game of 2014 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Van Slyke wound up hitting a two-run home run in the Dodgers’ 3-1 win.
Van Slyke is no stranger to hitting a homer off the Diamondback pitching, with a game in September of 2013 a perfect example. With the game tied in the bottom of the 11th and Mark Ellis on first base, Van Slyke pinch-hit for Chris Withrow, who had just recorded the final out of 1.1 innings of shutout pitching.
Josh Collmenter threw Van Slyke a 1-0 changeup that the left fielder lined over the left field wall for a walk off two-run home run. The homer was an uplifting moment for Van Slyke, who was shuttled back and forth between the Dodgers and their Triple-A affiliate five times in 2013.
The win cut the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the NL West to six games.
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