Dee Gordon started off Monday's game for the Dodgers by striking out to open the first inning, something he did 17 times in his 62 leadoff starts in 2012. But the strikeout was no ordinary at-bat, as the final pitch was the 17th one thrown by Carlos Villanueva of the Cubs.
The pitches thrown took their toll on Villanueva, who walked two hitters and allowed two runs in the first inning, both on a single by Nick Punto. Villanueva faced only five batters before coming out of the game.
Gordon's previous career high for pitches seen in a plate appearance was nine, on June 16, 2012 against Philip Humber of the White Sox. He also had seven plate appearances of eight pitches in his career. Gordon said he didn't remember ever seeing that many pitches in one at-bat, not even at the lower levels or in high school.
"That's a great at-bat Dee has for us. The guy then walks the next two guys," manager Don Mattingly said after the game. "The next time he takes a close 3-2 pitch for ball four. That's the kind of thing you want to see from Dee. You can't go up there walking, but you do have to have control of the strike zone."
Dee Gordon and the 17-pitch at-bat
True Blue L.A. | Feb 25