A bright spot shines through the Dodgers' despair
We interrupt this daily barrage of the Dodgers’ injury report, ownership meltdown and general you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me team performance, with something truly different -- good news!
That’s right, boys and girls, there was something positive to take away from the Dodgers’ dismal 8-3 loss to the White Sox on Sunday, other than dodging tornadoes and safely getting out of Chicago.
Yep, the would-be rookie wunderkind had his best weekend. Patience with a player who started last season in Class A might be paying off.
Ever since I started to wonder if all those balls he was hitting to right might be reason to think he’s just not quite ready for prime time, he came through a Chicago weekend where suddenly he was pulling everything.
On his 100th plate appearance Sands collected his first home run, sending a ball into the White Sox bullpen on Saturday. Then on Sunday he had his first four-hit day.
That brought an average that had hovered below .200 for most of the season to .241. Oh, and all four hits Sunday were driven to left.
This is, as announcer Steve Lyons pointed out afterward, hopefully a sign the game is slowing down for Sands. It’s not that his previous hits to right were nerve-inducing bloopers -- they weren’t, he was driving the ball -- it’s just that he seemed to have trouble pulling major-league pitching. Which for a young power hitter could become a concern.
Of course, there is also the theory that Sands’ ability to go to all fields happens to coincide with Manager Don Mattingly statement last week that he would now mostly go to a platoon in left, using Jay Gibbons against right-handers.
With bodies in short supply and needing a designated hitter, both started against right-hander Edwin Jackson on Sunday.
Gibbons is looking better too (three hits in his nine at-bats), but if Sands can continue to deliver he figures to get most of the action. He’s the future, which for the Dodgers these days could use some positive vibes.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Jerry Sands hits a double during the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. Credit: Rob Grabowski / US Presswire