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Dodgers' Tony Gwynn Jr. keeps his focus on the field

July 2, 2011 | 10:00 am


There's naturally lots of talk about whether the Dodgers players are distracted by the team's bankruptcy and all of the Dodgers' other problems off the field.

So let's take note of at least one instance in which a Dodgers player, in this case Tony Gwynn Jr., remained completely dialed in to the matters at hand on the diamond.

In the seventh inning of their game against the Angels on Friday night at Angel Stadium, the speedy Dee Gordon was at third base, Gwynn at first after a walk (one of three of the night) and Casey Blake was batting.

Gwynn then tried to steal second base but, as the throw arrived at second base, Gwynn paused between the bases and found himself in a rundown.

An ill-timed running mistake? Not to Gwynn, who realized that if he got caught in a rundown, Gordon was fleet enough to steal home. Which Gwynn did, giving the Dodgers their final run in a 5-0 victory.

Adding insult to injury, the umpires ruled that Angels second baseman Maicer Izturis missed the tag on Gwynn in the rundown and Gwynn ended up safe at second base.

"Dee has extraordinary speed," Gwynn said after the game. "When I took off for second, I knew I didn't get a good jump, and I knew that if I could stop in time and get in a rundown, I knew with Dee's speed he had a pretty good shot of getting in there [at home]."

So the scenario was pre-planned? "Originally it wasn't, I was trying to get the bag," Gwynn said. "But if you can't get there, especially when somebody like [Gordon] running, you try to get in a rundown. You're trying to get as many runs as we can."

It was all part of a banner night for Gwynn, who also had three hits and reached base safely a career high six times, and for the Dodgers (37-46) as they muddle through amid their ownership crisis.

And Gordon? He might have to return to the minor leagues on Sunday when veteran shortstop Rafael Furcal returns to the club after an injury.

But as long as Gordon still was in the Dodgers lineup, Gwynn never lost track of the advantages of Gordon's talents -- no matter what's happening in Bankruptcy Court.


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Photos: Dodgers vs. Angels

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: Angels second baseman Maicer Izturis (13) misses the tag on the Dodgers' Tony Gwynn Jr. in a rundown Friday night at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Credit Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire