The blockbuster trade between the Dodgers and Red Sox happened one year ago Sunday, and the central figure in the deal played his 162nd game with Los Angeles on Sunday night. Adrian Gonzalez has been a constant for the Dodgers in 2013, and his numbers stack up well against some of the best seasons by L.A. Dodgers first basemen.
In his 162 games as a Dodger, Gonzalez has hit .297/.344/.456 with 38 doubles, 20 home runs, 103 RBI and 72 runs scored. While the .800 OPS might seem pedestrian, in the low offensive environment of Dodger Stadium that's good for a 123 OPS+.
In 2013 Gonzalez has a 125 OPS+, a number only surpassed by Steve Garvey (five times), Eric Karros (twice), Eddie Murray and Wes Parker. Murray's 159 OPS+ in 1990 remains the highest OPS by a Dodgers first baseman since the franchise moved to Los Angeles.
Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times asked several Dodgers who the 2013 team MVP was, and Gonzalez's name came up quite often. A.J. Ellis said this about Gonzalez:
"Offensively, the consistency of Adrian Gonzalez has been unmatched. His ability to drive in runs with runners in scoring position, he's obviously one of the best in baseball in hitting to the situation. Having him in our lineup, penciled in in that three-hole every single game, gives us that consistency that we need."
Gonzalez is hitting .342/.400/.533 with runners in scoring position, including .435 (20-for-46) with runners in scoring position and two outs. Manager Don Mattingly has mentioned Gonzalez, who leads the Dodgers in games, plate appearances, runs, hits, doubles, home runs and RBI, several times recently as his choice for team's MVP.
Gonzalez is 5-for-12 (.417) with a home run and a double against Jake Arrieta, getting the start for the Cubs on Monday night at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers have beaten the Cubs seven straight times, including August sweeps at 2013 in Wrigley Field and in 2012 at Dodger Stadium.
Chicago was 0-18 on the road against the National League West in 2012 before winning their final road game, on Sept. 30 in Arizona. This season the Cubs have done much better, at 7-6 on the road against NL West foes.
Zack Greinke gets the call for the Dodgers on Monday, looking for his fifth straight winning start. Since walking seven Rockies in a start at Coors Field on July 3, Greinke has only walked 13 in his last nine starts, and has allowed 10 total runs during that span.
Gonzalez in his career has hit .303/.387/.560 against the Cubs, with 11 home runs in 48 games.
Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket