Game Four, 2021

Dodgers at Rockies, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: ATTSportsNetRM, SPNLA

LHP Julio Urias (0-0, 0.00 ERA), last seen closing out Game Six of the World Series, makes his first start of the season. He’ll face LHP Austin Gomber (0-0, 0.00 ERA) who’s doing the same. Urias is just 24 years old, but it seems like he’s been a big part of the Dodgers’ success the last couple of years. Gomber came over to the Rockies from the Cardinals in the Nolan Arenado trade this off-season.

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1968 Due to today’s assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, most of the major league teams will decide to postpone their Opening Day games until the reverend’s funeral takes place in five days. Surprisingly, the Dodgers, at first, are the notable exception, even though the Phillies, their opponents on April 9th, say they will forfeit rather than play on the national day of mourning. [See below]
  • 2016 The Dodgers hand the Padres the worst Opening Day shutout loss since at least 1913, and most likely in the history of the game, blanking the Friars at PetCo Park, 15-0. The contest marked the managerial debut of both skippers with LA’s Dave Roberts and San Diego’s Padres Andy Green both piloting their first major league game.

So what did MLB do to acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder? Initially, not much. It took the Pirates, the most thoroughly integrated team in all of baseball, whose numbers included Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, Maury Wills, Donn Clendenon and Matty Alou, to make a stand and refuse to play on Monday, April 8, Opening Day. The Dodgers’ Walter O’Malley and Buzzie Bavasi were positively tone-deaf.

The last holdouts, the Dodgers, were due to host the Phillies in Los Angeles. Team owner Walter O’Malley, who was the club’s vice president in 1947 when the team signed Jackie Robinson, wanted to go ahead with the game. According to an Associated Press story, O’Malley figured King’s funeral would be over by the time his team took the field on the West Coast.

Dodgers general manager Buzzie Bavasi explained the club’s position to the press: “We are going to follow the schedule,” he said. “We would not play the game if the interment was not completely over. I’m not sure Mr. Giles [Warren Giles, president of the National League] has any jurisdiction in a case like this.”

I rarely agreed with anything Dick Young wrote in those days, but I can concur with this:

Dick Young was equally incredulous at the Dodgers’ strategy. “Teams in the East and Midwest, which would be playing during the funeral hours, should postpone their games,” he wrote, summarizing O’Malley’s and Eckert’s plan. “[But] teams in California, which would be opening an hour after the funeral had concluded, would play. It was as though someone was standing by the side of the bier with a stopwatch and a starter’s gun.”

The Phillies’ GM John Quinn announced they’d forfeit rather than play. O’Malley conferred with Quinn and Giles and finally agreed to postpone the game.

Lineup when available.

Bellinger and Seager sit this one out, replaced by CT3 and McKinstry.

121 thoughts on “Game Four, 2021

  1. So Gomber leaves the game after three innings with as many hits as he has allowed.

  2. In yesterday’s five-out save, Kenley threw just 24 pitches. It was surprising after the walk, though, that the pinch-runner didn’t even try to steal second.

  3. Anybody watching the Angels game? Flukiest play ever just tied the game. Ohtani got the third strike and two bad throws later was knocked to the ground at home by the tying runner. Positively Coors-like.

    • Thanks to your post, I just watched it. Crazy play. I hope that Ohtani was not badly hurt.

    • It was an ESPN blackout here, but I just watched the highlight. Abreu made a clean slide, but the Angles’ three consecutive misplays put Ohtani at risk.

    • It ended up 3-1 for the Snakes. Tatis homered in the 9th for San Diego’s run.

  4. Arizona leads San Diego, 3-0, after eight. Tatis has made another error, his fifth of the season.

    • Fourth series in a row where his pitching has been pivotal in winning the deciding game. Prior to this NLDS, NLCS, WS.

  5. Oh for Pete’s sake. Come on Dodgers! Don’t ruin Julio’s great start please.

  6. When McKinstry hit the inside-the-park homer yesterday, he became the first Dodger to hit an inside-the-parker for his first home run since Duke Snider recorded the first of his 407 home runs in 1948. Snider later homered again in that same game. It was not an inside-the-park affair.

      • WD: In case you aren’t up to speed on the game, the Dodgers got three runs in the first without benefit of a hit: four walks, a wild pitch, an error and a sacrifice fly that turned into a DP.

      • Thank you Scoop! Balmy 17c in Winnipeg today. Listening to the game in the back yard in shorts and t-shirt.

  7. Our four starters so far have been pretty efficient through 6 innings. I wonder how much of that is the rockies hitting approach.

    • He isnt trying to strike everyone out. He is allowing his stuff to let the hitters swing awkwardly and get themselves out.

      • “I became a good pitcher when I stopped trying to make them miss the ball and started trying to make them hit it.” — Sandy Koufax

  8. Gomber, the only one of the five players whom the Rockies got in the Arenado trade to make their roster — the other four were likely destined for the minors — has a debut that won’t make Colorado fans happy: four walks, a wild pitch and an error. When was the last time the Dodgers scored three runs in an inning without a hit?

  9. I am pleased with the three runs, but did the Dodgers not work on base-running savvy in spring training? Blackmon was never going to throw home on that play. Muncy has little speed.

          • I am frustrated that we have had three runners out on the bases in three games and one inning, including the Turner-Bellinger foulup, which I attribute more to the umpires. Once the ball was in the stands, the play was dead.

          • Thanks. In 18 years of umpiring youth baseball and some adult games, I have never had to call a runner out for passing another runner on the basepaths.

          • I discussed the Turner-Belinger baserunning ruling with an old friend of mine who is a longtime umpire on many levels. He agrees with me. I feel the homer made it a deadball. I could be wrong, but I’d like to see something from MLB in explanation. Here is the take by Bill Plaschke, L.A. Times columnist, on the Turner-Belinger baserunning snafu:

            “Nothing was messier than the weirdness that started it all, Cody Bellinger’s third-inning drive over the left-field fence that was ruled . . . a

            “With one out in the scoreless third and Justin Turner on first, Bellinger lofted an opposite-field fly ball that Raimel Tapia seemed to grab as he leaped. But the ball popped out of his glove and fell over the fence for a home run.

            “Except it wasn’t a home run, because Turner thought the ball had been
            caught, so he turned and ran back toward first, and was passed on the
            basepaths by Bellinger. Bellinger was ruled out, the home run was
            downgraded to a single, Turner was allowed to score, and are they being

            “That’s one of the dumbest rules ever. Once the ball leaves the park, shouldn’t the batter be able to trot the home run as he pleases, even if it means passing runners or bumping runners or even stopping to dance with runners? Why not? The ball is gone. The play is dead.

            “Certain other baserunning rules don’t apply to home runs, as
            players can slap hands with base coaches and embrace teammates while running down the third base line. Why is passing a teammate any
            different? How can a legitimate home run not be a home run because of
            something that happened after it was a home run? Makes no sense.

            “ ‘It was just one of those funky plays that I don’t think will happen again this year,’ Roberts said.”

          • I’d prefer to rest my case with Betts (even though he just became the fourth Dodger erased on the bases in this series).

          • Well, as longtime fellow Dodger fans, we can agree to disagree. I don’t think there was any need for a decoy as no throw was going to come home in any event.

          • Sure, my point is that it is a fairly standard play under the circumstances and not a reckless one based upon a lack of savvy in base running.

  10. Trading a third out for a run usually makes sense, probably less so in Coors. In this particular case, they might have walked the next guy to get to Julio.

  11. Quique just got his first RBI for the Sawx, who now trail the Orioles 10-1 in the fourth.