Sep 25

Game 156, 2016

If the Dodgers win today they will clinch a playoff spot. They would also clinch if the Giants lose down south in San Diego, but I suspect they’d rather win out themselves.

Rockies at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM, MLBN (out-of-market only), KTLA

They’ll put RHP Brandon McCarthy (2-2, 3.63 ERA) on the hill to face LHP Tyler Anderson (5-6, 3.58 ERA). This has been a year of mixed results for McCarthy; on the one hand he came back from the Tommy John surgery he had in 2015 and had five pretty good starts for the team beginning in July. Then he suffered stiffness in his right hip which caused him to lose control of his fastball and issue walks by the bucketload in his next four starts. He gave up 17 walks in just 11 2/3 innings in that period. The Dodgers hope he’s recovered. He’s taking the place of Rich Hill, who was to start this game but is being given more time off in hopes his blister troubles will go away before the playoffs begin.

Anderson is finishing up an excellent rookie season in which he’s struck out 98 in 108 innings and achieved an ERA+ (park adjusted) of 137, meaning 37 percent better than league average.

Lineup when available.


Sep 24

Game 155, 2016

Rockies at Dodgers, 6:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

This will be Clayton Kershaw’s (11-3, 1.79 ERA) fourth start since his return from the DL. In his previous three he’s gone from two earned runs allowed in three innings to zero in five, and then zero in six. In his last start he threw 88 pitches, so he’s close to fully recovered from his back problem (we all hope). Opposing him will be Chad Bettis (13-7, 4.79 ERA), who is on a roll himself: he’s given up three earned runs or fewer in every start he’s made in the last month.

In case you missed it, here’s Kirk Gibson doing commentary on Vinnie’s call of his 1988 World Series Game One home run.

Lineup when available.


Sep 23

Game 154, 2016

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers continue their playoffs’ 4th-starter auditions with LHP Scott Kazmir (10-6, 4.59 ERA), who’s been on the shelf since August 22 with thoracic spinal inflammation. He’ll face the Rockies’ RHP Jon Gray (10-8, 4.42 ERA), who threw a shutout in his last start, striking out 16 Padres in the process. Kazmir beat the Rockies on July 2, going six scoreless innings and giving up just three hits. Gray has made five starts against the Dodgers and gone 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA, but the losses have both come at Dodger Stadium, where he’ll pitch tonight.

This will be opening night of a weekend celebration of Vin Scully:


The ceremony will also be available live at the Dodgers’ website tonight at 6:30 p.m. PT.

MLB came up with a playlist of 10 of Vinnie’s comedic remarks.

In non-Scully amusements, check out this photo of Josh Reddick with Stan Lee (yes, the Marvel comics maven).

Lineup when available.

Sep 22

Game 153, 2016

Here’s an interesting point about Vinnie’s broadcasting style: Bob Costas pointed this out to Jason Stark, and Stark repeats it here: the production follows him. He doesn’t get directed “Okay, now insert a 10-second blurb about the upcoming homestand or bobblehead day.” Nope, he tells his stories and the guys in the truck just follow along.

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Brett Anderson makes his third start of the year for the Dodgers after first recovering from back surgery and then going on the DL for blisters. He’s 0-2 with a 24.75 ERA in the four innings he’s pitched this season. His opponent will be Tyler Chatwood, who’s 11-9 with a 4.13 ERA this year. He’s given up five home runs in his last four starts and given up at least six runs in three of the four.

Lineup when available.


Howie instead of Turner at 3B has a ripple effect: it puts Toles in LF.

Sep 21

Game 152, 2016

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: ESPN, SPNLA, CS-BA

The Dodgers ask Kenta Maeda (15-9, 3.24 ERA) to make a start on four days rest for the second time in a row. He’s only done that three times all season and is 1-2 when he does. Maeda hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a game since his first start after the All Star break. He’ll face the Giants’ Matt Moore (11-11, 4.06 ERA), who’s 4-1 with a 3.45 ERA in his last five starts for the team. He started off 0-3 after his acquisition from Tampa Bay at the trade deadline and held the Dodgers hitless for 8 2/3 innings until Corey Seager singled in the ninth August 25.

Lineup:


Sep 20

Game 151, 2016

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: ESPN2, SPNLA, CS-BA

The Dodgers ask Rich Hill (12-4, 2.06 ERA) to continue the excellent work he’s done in his first four starts for the team, although he did stumble his last time out when he gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings against the D-Backs. Those were the first four runs he’d given up since he came to the Dodgers, so they can be forgiven. He’ll face Johnny Cueto (16-5, 2.86 ERA), who’s been a horse for the Giants all year long. This will be his fifth start against the Dodgers this season. He gave up six runs to them in April but has given up two runs or fewer in each of the last three times he’s faced them.

Turner on Cueto:

“He only throws three pitches, but with the slide-step and hesitation, it feels like nine or 10 pitches,” said Turner. “He changes the tempo, and it messes with my timing. For me, it’s a fight because of my leg kick. That quick pitch, it makes it hard for me to get the leg kick. I try to anticipate the quick pitch every time and be ready to go. It’s a cat-and-mouse game every time. He’s one of my favorite guys to face.”

Personnel news: Wood activated from DL, Norris DFAed to make room on the 40-man roster.

The Dodgers’ record after 150 games this season is identical to their record after 150 games last season.

Lineup when available.


Sep 19

Game 150, 2016

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSBA

It’s a battle of left-handed aces, with Clayton Kershaw (11-3, 1.81 ERA) making his third start since coming off the DL. He’ll face Madison Bumgarner (14-9, 2.66 ERA), who’s not been ace-like against the Dodgers this season, going 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA in three starts against them.

This may not be all we need to know about the Giants’ bullpen, but it’s significant:

The Giants’ bullpen has matched a franchise record set in 2004 and ’05 with 28 blown saves this season. Santiago Casilla has nine blown saves alone.

Unlikely masher department: Kiké Hernandez is hitting .579 with three home runs in 19 at-bats against Bumgarner.

Lineup:


Sep 18

Game 149, 2016

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

RHP Jose De Leon is the latest rookie pitcher to make a splash with the Dodgers (following Maeda, Stripling, Urias and Stewart), starting off his big league career with a 2-0 record and an ERA of 4.09 with 12 strikeouts. He’ll face LHP Robbie Ray (8-13, 4.55 ERA). Ray is a strikeout pitcher: he’s recorded 202 this season.

This is the last game of the road trip for the Dodgers. They head home after the game to start a seven-game homestand with a three-game set against the Giants beginning Monday.

Lineup:


Goodness gracious. It’s “Let’s give the left-handed hitters a day off today” day. Beyond his right-handed hitting, Puig is 5-for-11 with a homer and two RBIs lifetime against Ray.

Sep 17

Game 148, 2016

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

Rookie RHP Brock Stewart (1-2, 6.55 ERA) gets the start for the Dodgers, replacing the scratched Bud Norris. His opponent will be RHP Shelby Miller (2-11, 7.12 ERA), who hasn’t had a good year since he played for the Cardinals in 2014. They traded him to the Braves before 2015 and the D-Backs gave up several good prospects to get him last off-season. He’s 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA in three starts since being called back up from Triple-A Reno where he’d been sent to work out his troubles. He’s 1-2 with a 7.02 ERA against the Dodgers in six career starts against them.

Lineup when available.


Sep 16

Game 147, 2016

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

RHP Kenta Maeda (14-9, 3.28 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and RHP (and old friend) Zack Greinke (12-6, 4.54 ERA) goes for the D-Backs. It’s hard to believe Greinke’s ERA is nearly three runs higher this year than it was last year when he pitched for the Dodgers. He’s gone against them twice this year with vastly different results. On September 5 he gave up eight runs on five homers to them in just 4 2/3 innings, while on June 13 he gave up only two runs in 7 2/3 innings and got the win. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have won seven of Maeda’s last nine starts. He’s pitching on four days rest for the first time since August 9, which may have an impact on him.

Lineup: