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Another Luis Gonzalez baserunning blunder hurts Giants in loss to Dodgers

González costs Giants with another blunder in loss to Dodgers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

For the second time in two weeks, a baserunning mistake by outfielder Luis González ended up hurting a struggling Giants offense.

In the Giants’ 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night at Oracle Park, the latest baserunning error by González ended what was the best scoring opportunity San Francisco had through seven innings against lefty Julio Urías.

Gonzalez’s recent mishap comes less than 10 days after he was both doubled-up and picked off on the bases in a shutout loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 25, which resulted in a private postgame meeting with manager Gabe Kapler.

On Wednesday, with the Giants trailing 3-0 and the bases loaded with just one out, González, the runner at second, took off at the crack of the bat, only to be doubled up by All-Star right fielder Mookie Betts.

“As soon as the crack of the bat happened, I was kind of thinking four all the way, I thought Mookie had no chance of catching that fly ball and it ended up staying up in the air a lot longer than I thought,” González told reporters postgame. “By the time I decided to go back it was a little late.”

In speaking to reporters after the game, Kapler stressed the importance of understanding the game scenarios and when to take an aggressive approach on the bases.

“It’s very similar to when he got picked off the other day,” Kapler said. “Essentially, we really want Luis to understand the game state and the value of his out on the bases relative to the score. He’s the second run, not the third run, so he doesn’t particularly have to be aggressive there. What we want our baserunners to do is run the game scenario through their brains right before they take their lead.

“So what that will do for Luis, it will help him back off some of his aggressiveness — which he don’t want him to lose — but being aggressive at the right times is critically important and in that case, it’s totally fine . Ball goes up in the air, he can go base-to-base. Most important thing is his out because we want to get ourselves as many chances as possible to drive the runs in with a base hit.”

Wednesday night’s blunder resulted in the second meeting with Kapler in less than two weeks, this time, a chat in the dugout, where the Giants manager stressed a similar message.

“He’s just saying you gotta know the situation of the game right there, like it’s OK to go base-to-base and not be so aggressive and try and get to home there,” Gonzalez explained. “Because that was my ultimate goal, to try and score on that play and kind of went with my instincts and ran with it. Just gotta learn from it and evaluate the play as it’s going on rather than going with my instincts so hard.”

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González consistently has been one of the Giants’ better offensive players this season and his speed and aggressiveness on the bases is a key weapon in a lineup that looks to get things going sooner rather than later.

From here on out, the Giants are hoping that the rookie is able to better balance his aggressiveness with a more cautious approach on the bases.

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