PITTSBURGH -- As it turns out, Adrian Gonzalez's extra day off this weekend was requested by the player himself.
Gonzalez was always expected to be out of the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup Monday against Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano, but after an 0-for-4 night Saturday, he went to manager Dave Roberts with an idea.
"I was going to give him one day and he came in the other night and said, 'Maybe two days might be better for me mentally,'" Roberts said. "It's rare for him so for him to come in, and it's never easy to ask for an extra day, he's a guy that wants to be out there every single day, but to help the club moving forward it might be good for him to take two days."
Roberts obliged, keeping Gonzalez out of the lineup Sunday night, although Gonzalez did pinch hit in the seventh inning. He grounded out to shortstop.
Gonzalez has played at least 156 of the season's 162 games in each of the last 10 years, yet he has already been absent from four of the Dodgers' 77 games this year, and Monday could prove to be his fifth missed game if he doesn't see action as a pinch hitter.
"It's always hard to sit, I'd rather be out there, but it's better for the team because me pressing is not better for the team," Gonzalez said.
The veteran is batting .262 with a .371 slugging percentage this season, far below his career average of .289 and .492. He is batting just .173 with a .212 slugging percentage over his last 14 games, a stretch that actually includes a three-hit game on June 18 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Gonzalez is expected to be the Dodgers' starting first baseman Tuesday when the team opens a three-game series at Milwaukee.