The Los Angeles Dodgers suffered a third consecutive loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this season, with their latest defeat largely coming at the hands of Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun.
Each slugged a home run and picked up an assist on a brilliant throw to home plate in Anaheim’s 5-4 win at Dodger Stadium. Trout’s blast to the loge level broke a tie in the fifth inning and marked the beginning of Kenta Maeda’s downward spiral.
Calhoun’s leadoff home run against Yimi Garcia in the seventh inning wound up being the difference. But so too was his accurate throw to home plate to nail Cody Bellinger on his attempt to score the tying run, ending the game.
“For me, it’s a good send,” Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel said after the los. “You’ve got to take a chance there and be aggressive.
“Any time you get a guy thrown out at the plate, I’m responsible. That’s how I feel, and I’ll take that one. But, again, situation in the game: two outs, bottom of the ninth, do or die throw, he put it on the money and got Bellinger.”
In the second inning, Ebel waved home Max Muncy from second base on Corey Seager’s single into center field. “I felt that with Trout, one out, Muncy was at second base, he had to go a little bit to his right and he made the perfect throw to the plate to get Muncy,” Ebel explained.
“Calhoun, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and Bellinger on, a hard-hit ball that he had to go to his right and he got his footwork in place and threw a perfect throw. Those two are on me. I know those guys, when they get their footwork together, they’re going to make a good throw. But they had to make a throw on the money, and that’s what they did.”
Ebel, a former player and coach in the Dodgers’ farm system, is back with the organization for his first season since spending the past 14 years with the Angels. He reassumed third base coaching duties in 2018 after four seasons as the club’s bench coach.
Ebel held multiple roles throughout his tenure with the Angels: third base coach for nine seasons (2006-14, 2018), outfield coaching responsibilities in between (2011-15), and in 2017, he additionally assisted Alfredo Griffin in coaching the infield.
So there weren’t any surprises on Ebel’s end when assessing the plays Trout and Calhoun made. “They’ve all got plus arms,” he said.
“Trout has worked really hard. When he first came up, everyone said he was below average to maybe average. He’s worked extremely hard to prove everybody wrong and he’s got a plus arm now with good accuracy.
“Kole has always had a plus, plus arm with good accuracy. When you get your footwork together like they did, they made the throw and got us at the plate.”
While Ebel’s decision-making loomed large (he did successfully have Bellinger tag on a sacrifice fly to shallow left field), Dodgers manager Dave Roberts remained unequivocally supportive of his third-base coach.
“I think they were very good plays. You’ve still got to get a hit against a closer,” Roberts said. “Dino, there’s no one better. It’s easy to look back when a guy does get thrown out, but I trust his instincts.”