Dodgers News: Distracted By Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles Lost Anthony Rizzo Fly Ball In Lights
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Toles appeared in each of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 11 games this postseason, making eight starts. Per usual, he was in the lineup for Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, with the Dodgers facing Chicago Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks.

But Toles’ start on Saturday night at Wrigley Field differed from others as he hit leadoff for the first time in his young career. It was yet another remarkable accomplishment for a player who began the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Throughout the year Dodgers manager Dave Roberts lauded Toles for his ability to grasp any challenge thrown in his direction. That appeared to again hold true in Game 6, with the speedy outfielder hitting a leadoff single on the first pitch he saw.

But it was downhill for Toles and the Dodgers after that. With the Cubs already leading, 1-0, a mere two batters into the first inning, disaster struck in the outfield. Anthony Rizzo lifted a routine fly ball to left-center field that Toles appeared to have a beat on.

He dropped it, however, resulting in a two-base error that left runners on second and third with nobody out. Kris Bryant then scored on Ben Zobrist’s sacrifice fly. Toles explained what transpired on the costly play, via Bill Plunkett of OC Register:

“It went up in the lights and it looked like Joc was coming and I couldn’t hear him call it,” Toles said. “So I looked kind of on my peripheral and I looked back in the lights.”

Replay showed Toles also appeared to take his eye off the ball right as it touched his glove. While Clayton Kershaw managed to limit the damage in the first inning to just two runs, stranding Rizzo at third base, he threw 30 pitches in the opening frame.

The Cubs went on to shut out the Dodgers, 5-0, to advance to the World Series. Thus, how much Toles’ error truly factored into the loss can be debated.

But it nonetheless set the Dodgers back in some regard; similar to Adrian Gonzalez getting thrown out at home plate in Game 4, which he said led to lingering frustration throughout the night.