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Mondesi Exploits Lobbing Effort

September 08, 1997|STEVE SPRINGER

Since the arrival of Eric Young and and Otis Nixon, the Dodgers have stolen bases in bunches by studying the pitcher's moves and the catcher's throws.

But Sunday, they found yet another weakness in the enemy. They stole a base off the third baseman.

Only it wasn't officially a stolen base.

It occurred in the eighth inning with Eric Karros on second base and Raul Mondesi at bat. Karros stole third on what proved to be ball four. Florida catcher Charles Johnson whipped the ball down to third baseman Bobby Bonilla too late to get the sliding Karros.

As Mondesi reached first, he noticed Bonilla was lobbing the ball back to Marlin pitcher Robb Nen.

So Mondesi took off and cruised into second, much to the chagrin of the Marlins.

"I have never done that before," Mondesi said. "But whatever they give me, I will take. I saw them throw the ball slow back to the pitcher, so I go."

In the Dodger dugout, Young and Nixon, two master baserunners themselves, watched in admiration.

"Is that a stolen base?" Young asked.

"What else could it be," Nixon replied.

How about a fielder's choice?

Because the ball had not yet gotten back to the pitcher, it could not be labeled a stolen base.

But don't try convincing Mondesi of that.


In reaching base 11 consecutive times, Zeile came within three of the National League record, which is owned by a Dodger.

Pedro Guerrero reached base 14 consecutive times in 1985.

The major-league record of 16 in a row was set by Ted Williams with the Boston Red Sox in 1957.

The major-league high this season was 13, achieved by Bill Spiers of the Houston Astros.

Zeile achieved his mark by going seven for seven with four walks, one of those intentional. He had two homers and drove in six during the streak.


Add Zeile: With 26 home runs and 80 RBIs, Zeile is the first Dodger third baseman to reach those numbers since Guerrero did it in 1983 when he hit 32 homers and had 103 RBIs.


Dodger outfielder Karim Garcia was a pregame visitor to the clubhouse before the game.

Garcia, who underwent surgery in July for a torn ligament in his left shoulder, has been told by doctors not to attempt to throw a baseball for two to three months.

Garcia hopes to play winter ball in Mexico and be at full strength at least by spring training.

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