Like plenty other players on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ roster this season, there have been several instances where Yasmani Grandal makes solid contact, only for an out to be recorded. Grandal’s .206 BABIP is further evidence luck has hardly been on his side thus far.
The 27-year-old catcher found reprieve during the eighth inning Tuesday night, with his three-run home run proving to be the difference in the Dodgers’ 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals. It was another well-struck ball, but one that was elevated and carried out to straightaway center for a line-drive homer.
“I’ve been hitting the ball pretty hard the last couple of weeks. I feel like this whole month I’ve been hitting the ball well, I just haven’t been able to get it in the air,” Grandal said after the win.
“This game is about inches and angles. When I look up and I hit a ball hard and it’s straight at somebody and it’s over 100 mph, for me that’s what I’m trying to do. Just hit the ball hard. So far I feel like I’ve been doing a pretty good job at that. Obviously they’re going to start falling at some point.”
He showed some emotion while rounding the bases, which much like hits have been for him this season, was a rarity. However, that wasn’t indicative of Grandal feeling any sort of relief, nor was it a release of frustration.
“I don’t let it show a ton of times, but I obviously play with a lot of anger. An anger that’s basically pointed to the other team,” he said. “When I’m calling pitches, making plays or at the plate, I do have a lot of anger inside. I just try to keep it as mellow as I can. I feel like it was more a release of that anger and the happiness of putting us up in the game.”
Grandal added his focus this season has been on elevating the ball for line-drive hits in effort to avoid hitting grounders, because of his average speed. That’s been easier said than done in light of nagging forearm soreness and an ankle injury, though Grandal believes he’s turned the corner.
“Definitely after the series in San Francisco I feel like my forearm and legs were good,” he said. “Obviously I had the foul ball off the ankle that had been bothering me for a while. So yeah, I feel pretty good.”
Assuming Grandal is on the verge of putting some of his troubles behind him, he’ll join the likes of Howie Kendrick and Justin Turner as those who have shaken off a slow start this season.