SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers have been having enough trouble at home plate lately and on Monday night they didn't know what to do around second base either.In a 2-1 loss to the Giants, the Dodgers had the potential tying run thrown out at second in the eighth and ninth
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers have been having enough trouble at home plate lately and on Monday night they didn't know what to do around second base either.
In a 2-1 loss to the Giants, the Dodgers had the potential tying run thrown out at second in the eighth and ninth innings, both times by Giants franchise catcher Buster Posey.
In the eighth, Chris Taylor tried to steal second base (running on his own) with two outs and was gunned down by Posey, taking the bat out of the hands of budding superstar Corey Seager. In the ninth, Justin Turner had just used a secondary lead to advance to second base on a Mark Melancon wild pitch when he took too much of a secondary lead and Posey threw behind the runner to nail him.
Taylor had reached base on a forceout grounder that scored Chase Utley from third and erased Kiké Hernandez, who had followed Utley's leadoff walk with a bloop single. During Alvin Toles' strikeout, reliever Derek Law threw a pair of pickoff throws to first, so a possible steal by Taylor was already on the Giants' radar.
""You gotta always anticipate it," Posey said. "I wasn't sure with Seager at the plate if he would go or not. Obviously, they did, and at the same time I wasn't surprised. I think you have to be ready for it."
In the ninth, Turner had singled and moved into scoring position when Melancon bounced a curve. After Yasmani Grandal struck out and with Gonzalez at the plate, Turner got a little too aggressive.
"Just instinct," said Posey. "He anticipated the ball being put in play and took those one to two stutter steps."
Turner explained his mistake.
"When the ball was in the dirt, I took off and that was a good baseball play," Turner said of the wild pitch. "The other was a very bad one. I got a good secondary [lead], try to score on a hit and took a step toward third when I saw him swing and got caught."
Taylor said he decided he would steal "if I got a high leg kick" from Law.
"I could have had a better jump," he said. "Posey made a good play to get me."
But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts compared the situation to the cardinal sin of getting thrown out trying to steal third base.
"Chris is on his own, and in a situation like that, you want to make sure you're safe with the best player at the plate," Roberts said. "It's a gamble he took and Posey made a great throw."
On his blooper down the left-field line, Hernandez took a wide turn at first as Utley moved to third, but he slammed on the brakes instead of trying to stretch for a double.
"I didn't see him coming out of the box, but it was up in the air a long time," Roberts said. "In retrospect, he might have been able to get to second. It would be a different inning if he gets to second base -- there are a lot of options."
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.