DENVER — First baseman Adrian Gonzalez was scratched from the Dodgers’ lineup when his sore back continued to bother him during pregame activities Saturday. Yasmani Grandal, originally scheduled to catch Brett Anderson, will play first base instead. A.J. Ellis is the new Dodgers’ catcher.
Gonzalez has been battling the injury intermittently this season. Friday, he was unable to get a ground ball by Justin Morneau that skirted between his legs into right field.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly believes that Gonzalez will be able to recover given enough time off, and Gonzalez will not be in Sunday’s lineup either.
“Every time we’ve rested it, it’s gotten better every time,” Mattingly said.
Here’s more from the manager on the lineup switch:
If the Dodgers do clinch the National League West title this weekend, it could afford Gonzalez many more days off down the stretch.
“Depends on how he feels,” Mattingly said. “I don’t think ‘shutdown’ is a good word. We want to get rid of it, though.”
Winning pitcher Chris Hatcher hugs Adrian Gonzalez after Gonzalez’s bases-loaded single in the 14th inning lifted the Dodgers to a 5-4 win. (Associated Press photo)
Home runs by Adrian Gonzalez (watch) and Andre Ethier (watch) put the Dodgers ahead 4-3 in the sixth inning, but a possible missed balk call sent the game into extras tied 4-4. The Dodgers won 5-4 in the 14th inning on a bases-loaded single by Gonzalez. Winning pitcher Chris Hatcher called it “probably our biggest win of the season.”
The box score is here. The photo gallery is here.
The Dodgers lead the National League West by 4 ½ games. It’s their biggest lead since July 12 and not far from their season-high of 5 ½ games. Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw are lined up to start their next two.
Kiké Hernandez landed on the 15-day disabled list prior to the game. Afterward he said he was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain that felt better compared to the previous day. He’s optimistic he can be activated once his time is up on Sept. 15.
CINCINNATI — Adrian Gonzalez left the Dodgers’ game against the Cincinnati Reds with a right knee contusion. He was replaced in the bottom of the fifth inning by Scott Van Slyke and is day-to-day, according to the team.
Gonzalez appeared to foul a pitch off his knee in the third inning against Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani.
Gonzalez leads the Dodgers with 24 home runs and 74 RBIs this season. He was 0-for-2 in the game when he was removed and is batting .247 in the month of August.
Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Turner and Enrique Hernandez pose for a fake “selfie” after Gonzalez’s three-run home run in the fifth inning of the Dodgers’ 5-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)
Justin Turner reminded the Dodgers what they’d been missing during his time on the disabled list Friday, delivering the go-ahead RBI in a four-run, two-out rally in Friday’s win over the Reds. The box score is here. The photo gallery is here.
NEW YORK — The news here should probably be that Don Mattingly hasn’t told Yasiel Puig that he will or will not be traded, but then that’s not really saying much. (Others have written about the possibility of Puig being traded recently.)
That isn’t necessarily a manager’s job, though; the manager typically only delivers the news once there’s news to be delivered.
Mattingly knew this in 2009, when he was the Dodgers’ hitting coach and first baseman James Loney was the subject of trade rumors. The Dodgers’ reported targets at the time were San Diego Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and pitcher Heath Bell. The Dodgers had just begun a series in Atlanta on July 31, 2009 when Mattingly decided to have some fun at Loney’s expense in the middle of the game.
“I got (Loney) off the field because there was a bunch of speculation about him,” Mattingly said. “It wasn’t going to happen. They were like reporting it. I got him off the field and told him Joe (Torre, the Dodgers’ manager) wanted to talk to him. I said, ‘you might want to take your bats with you.’ He got in there. Joe was like, ‘Donnie’s messing with you.’
The Dodgers ended up trading Loney for Adrian Gonzalez three years later.