The Dodgers won yesterday’s game against the Braves 7 to 2, but the logistics of how they got that win is the interesting part.
The team finished the game with 29 AB, 2 K, and 15 H. That means for balls-in-play, the Dodgers finished 15-for-27 for a team BABIP of .556 on the night. Furthermore, they had only one extra-base hit, a double by James Loney, so they essentially singled the Braves to death.
You can’t get much more fortunate than that. And it doesn’t even include Chris Capuano managing to give up only one run in his seven innings pitched after allowing nine baserunners through five innings of work.
But wait, the Dodgers only had 29 AB? That can’t be right.
But it is. Only 14 AB resulted in outs, yet they still had to make 24 outs on the night, so how did the Dodgers do it?
A concoction of two sacrifice bunts by Capuano and one by Adam Kennedy, one sacrifice fly by Dee Gordon, one caught stealing a piece by Gordon and Juan Uribe, a TOOTBLAN each by Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, and grounding into two double plays.
When FanGraphs ranked the catching situations of teams around baseball, the Dodgers ended up dead last, primarily due to starter A.J. Ellis.
Well, so far Ellis is showing exactly why Dodgers bloggers disagreed with the rankings.
His batting line currently sits at .250/.412/.400/.812, and he’s seeing a ridiculous 4.87 pitches per plate appearance, which would rank third in the MLB if he qualified (which most catchers don’t). Better yet, he’s throwing out 36% of baserunners, and I have minimal complaints about his blocking of balls, framing of pitches, and handling of the pitching staff.
Granted, none of these statistics have stabilized yet, so there’s ample time for him to crater or tail off, but so far? So good.