The Giants have stolen 53 bases this season as a team. Dee Gordon, the Dodgers’ leadoff hitter tonight, has 59 by himself. After losing 9-0 last night, look for the Dodgers to be aggressive on the base paths with Tim Hudson on the mound.
Out of 16 attempts, runners have stolen successfully 14 times on Hudson and Buster Posey. The pair allowed three Tigers to steal in Sunday’s loss.
The Dodgers have a few speed threats in today’s lineup other than Gordon. Carl Crawford has 22 stolen bases in 28 attempts and Hanley Ramirez is 14-for-19. Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig have eight steals each, and although neither outfielder boasts a high percentage (62% for Kemp, 53% for Puig), Hudson will need to pay close attention since he’s currently seen as vulnerable in this area.
Bruce Bochy didn’t sound particularly concerned, though.
“Huddy, he’s got a quick move over there. He’s got a slide-step, so he’s got the ability to hold runners,” Bochy said. “I know recently, it was more in Detroit where they’ve had some success. He’s aware of that. But he’s got the move and the slide-step, I think, to stop that from happening without changing anything.”
A look at Hudson’s career numbers shows enormous fluctuations in this area. In 2010, 11 out of 22 potential base stealers were caught (50%). Only five of 21 (24%) were thrown out in 2011, and in 2012 only two times did Hudson surrender a stolen base in seven tries (71% caught). That rate dropped to 13% over each of the last two years: 1-of-8 were caught stealing against Hudson in 2013.
Hudson’s career mark is 31%. Posey is at 32% for his career. This stuff all evens out as the sample sizes get larger, but tonight’s game is all anyone is worried about right now.
Brandon Belt is still in a good mood and Bochy said he’ll face live pitching in Arizona, either against some of the young arms currently with the team or at their minor league camp. He expects Belt to be activated sometime next week. As for Michael Morse, Bochy hopes he can take batting practice on Monday or Tuesday.
Don Mattingly said Hyun-Jin Ryu is scheduled to get an MRI on his shoulder on Monday in Los Angeles. He’s “doubtful” to make his next start, and said Carlos Frias would probably get the call at Coors Field due to his ability to keep the ball down in the zone.
While walking through the field club concourse, I was asked to leave AT&T Park briefly with a few other people. An alarm sounded, lights flashed and a recorded voice said “a fire emergency has been reported in the building.” I wondered how a fire could do much damage in a building mostly constructed of concrete, steel and brick. About a minute after I walked out of the park, they let us back in. False alarm.
The last question of Bruce Bochy’s press conference was a doozy:
“Bruce, do you see this as a tight race all the way to the end between these teams in the division and/or the Wild Card?”
Bochy was his usual courteous self. “Well, I think you have to. How many games are left, 16*, and one game apart. I would think so …”
That’s when I turned off my recorder. I can only imagine how Jim Harbaugh would’ve answered that question.
*15 games left for both teams.