May 27

Game 49, 2016

Dodgers at Mets, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers’ 19-year-old rookie Julio Urias makes his first MLB start against the Mets’ Jacob deGrom (3-1, 3.07 ERA), who’s hit a bad patch: he’s 0-1 with a 4.63 ERA over his last four starts.

This will be Chase Utley’s first appearance in NYC since he slid into the Mets’ then-shortstop Ruben Tejada during the playoffs last year, a collision which resulted in a broken leg for the infielder. Tejada has since moved on to the Cardinals, but the Mets fans are still there and are expected to be loud in their displeasure toward the Dodgers’ second-baseman.

For those on the road or away from the West Coast, this will be “an MLB Network Showcase game, [which] can be seen free on MLB.TV and will feature MLB Plus — MLB.com’s data-driven online broadcast that uses Statcast™ and other analytical and broadcast elements to deliver an in-depth discussion about both the action on the field and the big picture.”

Here’s Vinnie reciting the “People Will Come” soliloquy from “Field of Dreams.”

Lineup when available.

May 26

Dawn of the Urias era?

It’s probably premature to suggest that, just as it was when Kershaw came up eight years ago. Nonetheless, Julio Urias will pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the New York Mets in New York City on Friday, May 27, 2016. He’ll be the youngest pitcher to start for the Dodgers since one Fernando Valenzuela in September of 1980. Here are the five most recent starters to debut at a younger age:

  • Felix Hernandez, SEA, 8/4/2005
  • Todd Van Poppel, OAK, 9/11/1991
  • Wilson Alvarez, CHW, 7/24/89
  • Dwight Gooden, NYM, 4/7/84
  • Britt Burns, CWS, 8/5/75

Three of those guys had pretty good careers (Burns had a hip injury which shortened his, and Van Poppel couldn’t make his fastball move much).

I can imagine how excited the youngster and his family are. Kiké Hernandez is amused in a funny way, of course:


Urias has gone 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA over 41 innings for the AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers, striking out 44 while walking 8, a 5.5 K/BB ratio.

Making your first major league start in New York City is being thrown into the deep end of the pool, but the Dodgers must be confident in the youngster. I wonder why they didn’t bring Stripling back up to replace Alex Wood, whose triceps soreness is the cause of this shift in the first place.

May 25

Game 48, 2016

Reds at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-O

Scott Kazmir (3-3, 5.23 ERA) will try to get his form back after a rough game his last time out. In that one he walked seven Padres, gave up three hits including a two-run single to the opposing pitcher and somehow avoided taking the loss when the Dodgers scored six runs only to lose on a Justin Melvin Upton walk-off home run.

His opponent will be right-hander Dan Straily (2-1, 2.85 ERA), who threw six innings of one-run ball against the Mariners on Friday but got no decision for his hard work.

This is the last game in a stretch of 20 consecutive ones for the Dodgers. They head for New York and Chicago for six games beginning Friday.

Lineup:


May 24

Game 47, 2016

Before we get to the game details, have a look at a new book featuring a whole bunch of Dodgers from the 1960s teams: “The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

Leahy places these men’s lives within the political and social maelstrom that was the era when the conformity of the 1950s gave way to demands for equality and rights. Increasingly frustrated over a lack of real bargaining power and an iron-fisted management who occasionally meddled in their personal affairs, many players shared an uneasy relationship with the team’s front office.

Since that was the period in which I became a fan, I’m looking forward to reading this.

Now, on to today’s game.

Reds at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CIN TV

The Dodgers sent Stripling down to AAA after his three-inning relief stint on Sunday in order to bring another starter back up, and it’ll be Mike Bolsinger, (0-1, 6.23 ERA). He’ll pitch against Daniel Wright, who’s making his MLB debut after a nine-inning complete game win at AAA Louisville May 16.

This is hard to believe, considering how hard-fought those Dodgers-Reds games were in the 1970s and 1980s, but over the last decade the Dodgers have a 45-23 record against the Reds, their best winning percentage against any team in the National League.

Lineup when available.


May 23

Game 46, 2016

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

Clayton Kershaw (6-1, 1.67 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and Brandon Finnegan (1-2, 4.44 ERA) goes for the Reds.

The Reds can be excused if they feel overmatched: in his last six starts Kershaw’s had at least 10 strikeouts and one walk or fewer. The left-handed Finnegan has struggled in his last three starts, not getting past the sixth inning in any of them while posting a 5.52 ERA over 14 2/3 innings.


Tsao has been placed on the 15-day DL with a right triceps strain retroactive to 5/23. Bolsinger and Avilan have been recalled from Oklahoma City.

Lineup when available.


Fourteen years ago today Shawn Green hit four home runs, went 6-for-6 and amassed 19 total bases against the Brewers:

May 22

Game 45, 2016

Dodgers at Padres, 1:40PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (3-3, 2.87 ERA) started his career in American baseball like a house on fire, posting a 0.31 ERA in his first four starts. In his next four starts he gave up 14 earned runs to bring his ERA and W-L record down to earth. He’ll face the Padres’ Colin Rea (3-2, 4.37 ERA), who has had trouble getting past the fifth inning this season, doing so in only three of his eight starts so far.

Lineup:


May 21

Game 44, 2016

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

Starting for the Dodgers today is lefty Alex Wood (1-3, 4.17 ERA), who has been pretty successful recently: in his last four starts he’s gone 24 1/3 innings, striking out 30 and posting a 2.59 ERA. The Padres send out righthander Cesar Vargas, who’s 0-2 with a 3.55 ERA and may be pitching to stay in the big leagues, as Andrew Cashner will come off the DL this week and the Padres will have to make room for him.

Adrian Gonzalez is expected to return to the Dodgers’ starting lineup tonight after several days off with back tightness. Matt Kemp has made trouble for Wood in the past, going 5-for-9 with a home run and double against him.

Lineup when available.


May 20

Game 43, 2016

Dodgers at Padres, 7:40PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

Scott Kazmir (3-3, 4.89 ERA) hopes to continue the pitching which got him within an out of a complete game win last time out. He’ll face Christian Friedrich (0-1, 1.50 ERA), who made his Padres debut last week, going six innings and throwing 116 pitches while walking six. He’s a callup from AAA El Paso to replace Andrew Cashner and his balky hamstring.

Dodger manager Dave Roberts says Adrian Gonzalez won’t start but will be able to pinch-hit tonight and get back in the starting lineup tomorrow.

Danger, Will Robinson! Matt Kemp is hitting .317/.371/.463 in 89 plate appearances against the Dodgers.

Lineup:


Pederson sits tonight, presumably because Friedrich is left-handed.

May 19

Game 42, 2016

Dodgers at Angels, 7:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-W

Ross Stripling (1-2, 4.26 ERA) goes for the Dodgers against Jhoulys Chacin (1-2, 4.81) of the Angels. Chacin spent six years with the Rockies before the Angels acquired him from the Braves on May 11. He’s thrown 110 2/3 innings against the Dodgers in his career, and several of them have hit him pretty hard. Adrian Gonzalez is the only one with more than 10 ABs against him, though, so small sample sizes must be considered.

Lineup when available.


May 18

Game 41, 2016

Dodgers at Angels, 7:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-W

The Dodgers’ Mike Bolsinger makes his season debut tonight. He’d been sidelined with a strained oblique muscle since Spring Training and has made two starts for AAA Oklahoma City, with no decisions and a 2.25 ERA. The Dodgers say they’ll have him on a pitch count of about 80. His Angels’ counterpart will be Nick Tropeano (1-2, 3.68 ERA). Tropeano’s a puzzle: he’s allowed fewer than two runs in five of his seven starts but hasn’t gotten past 5 2/3 innings in any of them.

Lineup when available.