Davey Lopes, right, was the Dodgers’ first base coach from 2011-15. (Michael Owen Baker/Staff photographer)
became the first member of the Dodgers’ 2015 coaching staff to defect on Thursday. He’ll be the Washington Nationals’ first base coach under new manager Dusty Baker
, ending his (latest) stint with the Dodgers that began in 2011.
Lopes, 70, brought a unique voice to the coaching staff. He was the oldest uniformed coach in baseball last season and was an instrumental baserunning mentor when the Dodgers had speed to spare. His prized pupil was Dee Gordon, who stole an MLB-leading 64 bases (in 83 attempts, a 77 percent success rate) in his final season as a Dodger in 2014. In 2015 with the Marlins, Gordon stole 58 bases in 78 attempts, a 74 percent success rate.
The Dodgers did not have speed to spare last season. Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig, maybe their two fastest baserunners, spent much of the season on the disabled list. Puig’s explosiveness was sapped by multiple hamstring injuries. Acquiring Chase Utley and Jose Peraza helped, but the Dodgers still finished the regular season with 59 steals as a team — one more than Gordon — and a paltry 63 percent success rate.
The Nationals only stole 57 bases last year, so Lopes will have his work cut out for him again. He was the first base coach in Washington in 2006 under Frank Robinson.
Lopes played for the Dodgers from the time he was drafted in 1968 until 1981.
Some more notes from the morning:
Bud Black and Don Mattingly might be managing in the same division again when the 2016 season starts. Just don’t expect either the Washington Nationals or Miami Marlins to make this official before the World Series is over.
Black will become the Nationals’ next manager, according to the Washington Post, while Mattingly and the Marlins have reached agreement on a four-year deal.
Meanwhile, the Padres are reportedly set to hire Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Andy Green to be their manager.
Mattingly reportedly interviewed for the Marlins’ job on Monday, though he had been linked to the job in reports since early September. At the time, the Dodgers were in the middle of a critical series against the San Francisco Giants, and there wasn’t much Mattingly could say.
“I’m not worried about anything as far as that goes,” he said. “I’m happy here. I feel like I’m a Dodger.”
That changed last Thursday, when Mattingly and the Dodgers mutually agreed to forego the final year of his contract. It is unknown how much of Mattingly’s 2016 salary, if any, will be paid by the Dodgers.
Once the three hires are announced, the Dodgers will be the only MLB team without a manager.
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw lost a perfect game in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Washington Nationals when Michael Taylor hit a line drive off the center field fence for a double.
Kershaw retired 16 straight batters to begin the game.
In eight major league seasons Kershaw has thrown one no-hitter, last June against the Colorado Rockies.
In the second inning, Kershaw struck out the side to reach 200 strikeouts for the season. Only Sandy Koufax (6) and Don Drysdale (6) have as many seasons with 200-plus strikeouts in franchise history, while Koufax (1961-66) and Tom Seaver (9, 1968-76) are the only pitchers in modern National League history (since 1900) to previously accomplish the feat in six or more consecutive seasons.
Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig drove in all five runs in the Dodgers’ 5-0 win over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Staff photographer)
The Dodgers’ 5-0 win over the Washington Nationals was their 16th shutout of the season (tops in MLB) and it conjured up some forgotten memories for Yasiel Puig. The box score is here.
All 15 home teams won Tuesday, so the ending to the Dodgers’ 4-game losing streak shouldn’t have been a surprise at all.
Prior to the game, the Dodgers placed Joel Peralta on the 15-day disabled list — a surprise considering Peralta’s optimism just four days ago.
Postscript: Bryce Harper (who did not play Tuesday) told reporters that he injured his left knee diving to catch a fly ball hit by Scott Van Slyke in the eighth inning of Monday’s game; Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams had said earlier in the day that the injury occurred in the third inning when Harper tried to catch (and missed) a line drive off Jose Peraza‘s bat.
The Dodgers shuffled their beleaguered bullpen Tuesday, placing right-hander Joel Peralta on the 15-day disabled list with a right neck sprain. He talked about the injury prior to tonight’s game against the Washington Nationals: