Joc, Dodgers lament early miscues
MIAMI -- When Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson misplayed Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler's line drive in the bottom of the second on Saturday, it capped a bad two innings of defense for Los Angeles. In the end, Pederson's error cost the Dodgers in their 3-2 loss at Marlins Park.
"I just dropped it," Pederson said. "I messed up and lost the game for us."
While the Marlins scored their first two runs with the help of an Andre Ethier throwing error and a Clayton Kershaw wild pitch, Pederson had a chance to get Los Angeles out of a second-inning jam.
With a runner on third and two outs, Koehler sent a liner to center, which the rookie Pederson overran before making a jumping attempt and dropping the ball. It allowed Miami to score its third run, which ultimately proved decisive.
"A line drive is the toughest one, because that ball has a tendency to take off a little bit, and that's basically what happened," manager Don Mattingly said. "Joc's right at it and the ball's taking off on him. He just jumped and it hit the end of his glove up high and he just didn't control it."
Added Pederson: "[Koehler] hit it good, but it still needs to be caught. Every time."
But the rookie wasn't alone in committing costly mistakes.
Ethier's first-inning throwing error that scored Miami's first run came when Christian Yelich went from first to third on Adeiny Hechavarria's single to right field. Ethier came up firing, but the ball skipped past third baseman Justin Turner and into the Marlins' dugout. With Kershaw not backing up the errant throw, Yelich was awarded home, while Hechavarria was granted third.
"I was going over there [to back up], and then I stopped because I saw it on the ground," said Kershaw (5-6, 3.20 ERA), who took the loss while allowing three runs (one earned) in seven innings. "I should have just kept going, obviously."
Moments later, Hechavarria scored on Kershaw's wild pitch that bounced in front of the plate and skipped under the body of catcher Yasmani Grandal.
"I thought the ball was right under me," Grandal said. "It hit me exactly where it needed to hit me, and all of a sudden it rolls right under me. ... It's one of those things where it happens once a year."
It was an odd two innings for a Dodgers defense that entered the contest tied with Miami for the fewest errors (29) in the Majors this season.
"You take away the bad throw, you take away the wild pitch and we're up 2-1," Grandal said. "I think we definitely beat ourselves."