A.J. Ellis smiles as he jogs to the dugout after hitting a two-run home run off Cincinnati Reds pitcher David Holmberg in the fourth inning of the Dodgers’ 7-4 win Wednesday. (Associated Press photo)
CINCINNATI — When the Dodgers play the Cincinnati Reds they tend to play like they did early this season; beyond that, their bullpen seemed to be evolving in a 7-4 win Wednesday. The box score is here.
Prior to the game, Chase Utley took ground balls at third base.
CINCINNATI — Chase Utley might not play third base anytime soon for the Dodgers. Fact is, he doesn’t know if or when that will happen at all.
But if every journey begins with a single step, Utley is maybe a couple steps closer to playing third base than he was when he joined the Dodgers a week ago. Third base coach Ron Roenicke hit ground balls to Utley at third base, with bench coach Tim Wallach watching closely and Don Mattingly receiving the ball at first base, for less than 10 minutes before Wednesday’s game.
“It went fine,” Utley affirmed. “That’s my first time taking ground balls over there in probably a few years. It was short and sweet. Just talked with Wallach a little bit about his ideas on playing the position. Made a few throws. We’ll continue to make progress.”
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has struggled at the plate since he was struck by a foul ball in his left shoulder. (Associated Press photo)
CINCINNATI — The scary part about Yasmani Grandal
‘s left shoulder injury is twofold.
For one thing, it isn’t going away. The first time he missed a game back on Aug. 13, Grandal characterized the problem as a mere bruise. He only missed the one game and was back on the field the next day. But clearly, Grandal still wasn’t right at the plate. He collected one hit, a single, in his next 16 plate appearances, driving his slugging percentage to .471, the lowest it’s been since June.
The other problem, the really scary one, is that it isn’t just a shoulder injury anymore.
“It went down to the ribs, the back of my neck,” he said. “It started at the traps, went to the neck, back, left rib, right rib. The past couple days it’s gotten better.”