Sep 23

Game 56, 2020

Athletics at Dodgers, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: NBCSCA, SPNLA

LHP Sean Manaea (4-3, 4.50 ERA) goes for the visiting As and LHP Julio Urias (3-0, 3.49 ERA) does the same for the Dodgers. Manaea’s record belies his performance: in his last five starts he’s given up more than one earned run only once, and his team has won six of his last eight starts. Urias has trouble in the first inning of nearly every game he starts (maybe he should pitch it in the bullpen before the actual game starts?), but he usually settles down. In his last start he gave up two runs early and then retired 13 consecutive Rockies in 5 2/3 innings.

Here’s the final out of the Dodgers’ NL West-clinching win yesterday:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1901 The Superbas establish a new franchise record for runs scored in a game when they rout the Reds, 25-6. Brooklyn tallies 11 times in the fifth inning during the League Park contest played in Cincinnati.
  • 1916 Allowing only just one walk during a twin bill with the Cincinnati Reds, Grover Alexander of the Phillies wins both ends of a doubleheader, 7-3 and 4-0,to establish a National League record. The future Hall of Famer will repeat the feat on September 3, 1917 against the Brooklyn Robins at Ebbets Field.
  • 1939 In the first game of a twin bill, Brooklyn’s third baseman Cookie Lavagetto reaches base seven consecutive times as the Dodgers rout the Phillies, 22-4. The 26-run Shibe Park contest takes only two hours and five minutes to complete.
  • 1947 Prior to a game against the Giants in a sold-out Ebbets Field, the Dodgers staged Jackie Robinson Day. The Brooklyn rookie, who endured much grief this season as the game’s first black player in modern times, is moved when his teammates crowd around home plate to take part of the ceremony.
  • 1956 Due to the enforcement of a curfew, the Sunday contest between the Dodgers and Pirates is postponed with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, sending the 44,932 fans, the largest crowd in Forbes Field’s history, home. The game will be completed tomorrow with Brooklyn maintaining their 8-3 advantage over Pittsburgh.
  • 1969 In his last major league at-bat, John Miller homers, making the Dodger the only player in history to have hit a home run in his first and last plate appearance in the major leagues. In 1966, as a Yankee, he went deep in the first of only 61 big league career at-bats in which he would collect only 10 hits, including the two memorable round-trippers to start and end his 32-game career.
  • 1986 Astros rookie starter Jim Deshaies sets a major league record by striking out the first eight batters he faces. The young left-hander will finish with a two-hitter and ten strikeouts, beating the Dodgers, 4-0.
  • 1992 Lead-off hitter Bip Roberts ties the National league record with his 10th consecutive hit, a first-inning single in the Reds’ 3-0 victory over Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine. The Cincinnati left fielder’s streak ends when he grounds out in the fifth inning, facing Dodger starter Pedro Astacio.
  • 2006 With one home game left on the schedule, the Dodgers break their single-season attendance record established in 1982 as the team sells 3,708,723 tickets to its games played in Chavez Ravine. The previous record of 3,608,881 was determined by former National League rules which counted fans by turnstile count.
  • 2009 Trailing 8-0 at Dodger Stadium, the Giants take the lead, scoring nine runs in the top of the seventh inning. Although L.A. will come back twice to tie the score with clutch two-out hits in the eighth and ninth, San Francisco tallies four runs in the top of the tenth frame for the 14-10 victory.

Also, in 1908 Fred Merkle’s failure to touch second after an apparent game-winning hit by Al Bridwell scoring Mike McCormick from third costs the Giants a 2-1 win over the Cubs when the ump calls him out and rules the game a tie. Merkle’s ‘boner’ will eventually cost the Giants the flag.

Lineup when available.

Sep 16

Game 50, 2020

Dodgers at Padres, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: ESPN (out-of-market only), FSSD, SPNLA

RHP Graterol is 0-2 with a 3.06 ERA. LHP Adrian Morejon (2-0, 2.53 ERA) will be one of a squad of bullpen pitchers for the Padres. It’s sort of startling that neither team, in the third game of a crucial series with only ten games left in the season, has a regular starting pitcher going.

Here are highlights of Tony Gonsolin’s game yesterday:

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1924 Cardinal first baseman Sunny Jim Bottomley goes 6-for-6, including two homers, and bats in a record twelve runs when the team beats the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 17-3. The previous mark of 11 RBIs in one game was established in 1892 by today’s opposing Dodger manager, Wilbert Robinson.
  • 1976 In the 11th inning at Veterans Stadium, Rick Joseph hits a walk-off grand slam in the Phillies’ 8-4 victory over the Dodgers. Two batters are walked intentionally by Ron Perranoski to face the weak hitting Philadelphia pinch hitter, who responds with his first career home run, which will be his only round-tripper this season.
  • 1988 The Reds’ Tom Browning pitches a perfect game against the Dodgers, striking out eight and allowing only eight balls to be hit out of the infield in his 1-0 victory. Over three starts, including the perfect game, he retires 40 consecutive batters – one shy of a major league record.

On September 16, 1993 Dave Winfield got his 3000th hit. In 1996 Paul Molitor did the same. And in 2005 Youppi!, who got his start at Olympic Stadium, is named as the first official mascot of the Montreal Canadiens, becoming the first to ever switch from Major League Baseball to the NHL. The acquisition, reportedly at the cost of six figures, is made possible when the Expos leave the hairy orange arm-waving giant behind in favor of an eagle called “Screech” when they moved to Washington, D.C. to become the Nationals.

Lineup when available.

Sep 14

Game 48, 2020

Dodgers at Padres, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: FSSD, SPNLA

The visiting Dodgers send LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-1, 1.98 ERA) out to the mound at The Murph Petco Park to face RHP Dinelson Lamet (2–1, 2.24 ERA). Kershaw wasn’t at his best in his last start; he surrendered four runs on four hits in five innings against the D-Backs. Lamet is seemingly heavily reliant on his slider; in his last start he threw 66 of them. The opponents’ batting average on those pitches? .099.

MLB features this series, leading with this sentence: “The best team in baseball meets the hottest team in baseball this week.”

Here’s Graterol’s 3K first inning yesterday:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1951 Preacher Roe wins his 20th game of the season when the Dodgers beat the Pirates at Forbes Field, 3-1. The 36 year-old southpaw will finish the season with a 22-3 record.
  • 2002 Chin-Feng Chen becomes the first Taiwan-born player to appear in the major leagues as he walks and scores as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers against the Rockies. The 24 year-old first baseman-outfielder played for the 1990 Taiwan team which won the Little League World Series.
  • 2008 Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, with his eighth-inning thievery in a 7-4 loss to the Braves at Shea Stadium, becomes the first player to have four straight seasons of 50 or more stolen bases playing for a New York area team, which also includes Yankees, Dodgers, and Giants. The accomplishment extends the infielder’s own record, as he is also the only Gotham major leaguer to achieve the feat for three consecutive years.

Also, in 1990 Mariner Ken Griffey and his son, Junior, become the first father and son to hit homers in the same major league game. The back-to-back blasts are given up by Angel hurler Kirk McCaskill.

Lineup:

Sep 13

Game 47, 2020

Astros at Dodgers, 5:00 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

RHP Zack Greinke (3-1, 3.27 ERA) goes for the visiting Astros, while the Dodgers have designated this a bullpen game and haven’t yet named their opening pitcher. Greinke’s been up and down: “After going 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in his first five starts, Greinke is 2-1 with a 5.09 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in his past four starts.”

Finding a bright spot in last night’s game wasn’t easy:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1925 In the first game of a twin bill, Robins’ (Dodgers) starter Dazzy Vance no-hits the Phillies at Ebbets Field, 10-1. The Brooklyn hurler had one-hit the team from the City of Brotherly Love five days earlier.
  • 2005 During the six-run second inning uprising by Colorado, each Dodger outfielder commits an error. The fielding of Ricky Ledee (lf), Jose Cruz Jr. (right field), and Jayson Werth (cf) contributes to the 6-4 loss to the Rockies. (The Dodgers finished 71-91 that year, in fourth place in the division. The Rockies finished last.

Also, in 1902, Johnny Evers, acquired to replace second baseman Bobby Lowe, who broke his ankle, joins shortstop Joe Tinker and first baseman Frank Chance on the Chicago infield, marking the first time the three Cubs’ infielders have played together. The legendary double play trio will be immortalized in Franklin Pierce Adams’ baseball poem, “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon,” better known as “Tinker to Evers to Chance”. (And only one of the three really had any business even being considered for induction into the Hall of Fame, as far as I’m concerned. There were a bunch of romantics or cronies on the Veterans Committee in 1946.)

Lineup when available.

Sep 10

Game 45, 2020

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

RHP Dustin May (1-1, 2.88 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 8.44 ERA) takes the mound for just the second time since coming off the IL, where he’d been since August 9 with a mid-back strain. May seems to have developed a slurve to use when his sinker isn’t doing what he likes, MLB says. Bumgarner gave up two runs on three hits in four innings in his first post-injury start against the Giants.

If there are no fans allowed into the stadium anyway, I guess it doesn’t matter where the World Series and Championship Series games are held, although rewarding Texas Rangers ownership for extorting a new taxpayer-funded ball park sticks in my craw, although the team seems to have absorbed more than half the cost.

How is Charlie Steiner broadcasting the Dodgers’ games from home? Like this.

RHP Joe Kelly off IL and up, RHP Walker Buehler back on IL. Kelly’s five-game suspension begins tonight.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1992 Cardinals vice chairman Fred Kuhlman tells reporters that a “security check” had revealed serious issues involving the two out-of-state investors, Vince Piazza and Vincent N. Tirendi, part of the six-man group trying to buy the Giants and move the franchise to Florida. The candid reply to the press will cost baseball more than $6 million to settle a suit that includes a letter of apology from acting Commissioner Bud Selig to Vince Piazza, whose son Mike started his major league career with the Dodgers nine days before his father’s rejection by the MLB owners.
  • 1974 Lou Brock ties and then breaks Maury Wills’s 12 year-old single season stolen base record with his 104th and 105th swipes. The Cardinal left fielder’s thievery against the Phillies doesn’t help when the Redbirds drop the Busch Stadium contest, 8-2.

Lineup when available.

No Twitter explanation of Mookie’s appearance at 2B, but maybe Joe and Orel or Rick and Charlie will know.

Update: He’s starting at second just to gain some game-level experience.

Betts, traditionally the starting right fielder, came up as a middle infielder but has played the outfield throughout his major league career. Thursday’s game, the finale of a three-game road series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, will mark Betts’ first start at second base since he played 14 games there with the Boston Red Sox in 2014. Betts also moved to second base from right field early in a game on Aug. 3, 2018.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Betts takes ground balls in the infield on a daily basis. A couple of weeks ago, the two talked about the unforeseen circumstances in a short playoff series that might prompt Roberts to pinch hit one of his outfielders in the early innings and might force Betts to play second base. Betts embraced the idea.

Sep 06

Game 42, 2020

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet-RM, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

RHP Ryan Castellani (1-2, 4.81 ERA) takes the hill for the visiting Rockies and LHP Julio Urias (3-0, 3.27 ERA) does the same for the Dodgers. In Castellani’s last start he got roughed up for five runs in two innings, but he made a relief appearance later in the week and he performed well. Urias went six innings against the D-Backs in his last start, giving up just four hits and one run, striking out five and walking none.

Yesterday’s game ended in disappointment, but Tony Gonsolin struck out eight:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1924 In a game that features a total of only six hits, the Brooklyn Robins beat Boston, 1-0, behind the strong two-hit performance of right-hander Bill Doak. The Braves Field victory is the team’s 15th consecutive win, establishing the longest winning streak in franchise history.
  • 1953 With Giants manager Leo Durocher yelling “stick it in his ear”, Ruben Gomez hits Carl Furillo, the National League’s leading hitter, on the wrist with a pitch. After taking first base, the Dodgers right fielder bolts into the opposing dugout to choke ‘Leo the Lip’, but in the melee, the knuckle on his little finger is fractured, putting an end to his season.
  • 1981 Fernando Valenzuela ties the National League’s rookie record for shutouts, blanking St. Louis, 5-0, for his seventh whitewash of the season. The Dodger lefty shares the mark with Irv Young (1905 Beaneaters), Grover Alexander (1911 Phillies), and Jerry Koosman (1968 Mets).
  • 1985 In a matchup of aces that lives up to its advanced billing, Dwight Gooden and Fernando Valenzuela hook up in one of the best pitchers’ duels in recent memory. New York beats Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine, 2-0, thanks to Darryl Strawberry’s two-run double on a day that the 20 year-old Mets right-hander strikes out 10 batters, throwing nine shutout innings, while the Dodgers southpaw pitches 11 innings without allowing a run.
  • 1996 Brett Butler returns to the Dodger lineup four months after having surgery for throat cancer. The 39 year-old center fielder scores the decisive run in the team’s 3-2 victory over the Bucs.

Also on this date in big league history, in 1995 Cal Ripken breaks Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game record, playing in his 2,131st straight game. When the game becomes official in the middle of the fifth inning, the new ‘Iron Man’ takes a victory lap around Camden Yards during the 22-minute standing ovation from the sellout crowd, including President Bill Clinton.

Lineup when available.

Aug 29

Game 35, 2020

Dodgers at Rangers, 4:05 PM PDT, TV: FSSW, MLBN free game-of-the-day, SPNLA

The Dodgers send RHP Ross Stripling (3-1, 5.46 ERA) to the mound against the Rangers’ RHP Lance Lynn (4-0, 1.59 ERA). Stripling’s first start was excellent (7 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 7 Ks) and he’s been getting progressively worse ever since. In his last start he went just four innings and gave up two runs on six hits. He leads the majors in HRs allowed with 10 in 29 2/3 innings. Lynn has had a great start and is being mentioned as a trade possibility given the woes his Rangers are having. He’s made seven starts against the Dodgers in his career and gone 3-1 with a 3.69 ERA.

Here’s Mitch White’s MLB debut yesterday:

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1939 Wheaties sponsors the first telecast of a baseball game when their ads are aired during the Ebbets Field contest between the Reds and the Dodgers. The commercial broadcast is available only in New York City, where an estimated 500 people own television sets.
  • 1948 Jackie Robinson hits for the backward cycle when he homers in the first inning, triples in the fourth, doubles in the sixth, and completes the rare event with a single in the eighth. In addition to his ten total bases, the Dodger second baseman drives in two runs, scores three times, and steals a base, helping Brooklyn beat the Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park, 12-7.
  • 1951 With his second home run of the game, the sixth time he has accomplished the feat this year, Gil Hodges hits his 36th round-tripper to establish a new franchise record for homers in a season. The Dodger first baseman’s seventh-inning three-run blast in the team’s 13-1 rout of Cincinnati at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field surpasses the mark of 35 set by Babe Herman in 1930.
  • 1989 Giving up just three singles, recently acquired Mets southpaw Frank Viola outduels Orel Hershiser and beats the Dodgers, 1-0. The classic contest between two aces marked the first time in baseball history that the reigning winners of the Cy Young Award have faced one another in the regular season.

Cultural history note: On this date in 1966: On a typically cool night, the Beatles play their final concert at Candlestick Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants. The “Fab Four’s” performance on a five-foot stage, which is located just behind second base surrounded by a six-foot high wire fence, is less than stellar due the ballpark’s inadequate lighting, poor acoustics, and the group’s growing disdain of doing live shows.

Lineup:

Aug 28

Game 34, 2020

Dodgers at Rangers, 5:05 PM PDT, TV: FSSW, SPNLA

RHP Dustin May (1-1, 2.79 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers against the Rangers’ LHP Mike Minor (0-5, 6.75 ERA). May has been effective but he’s throwing a lot of pitches, which has kept him from getting as deep in games as desired. He had only one strikeout in his last five-inning outing and he’s got only 20 in the 29 innings he’s thrown in six starts this season. His opponent has thrown the same number of innings in the same number of starts, but he’s given up 23 runs (22 earned) to May’s 9.

Mookie Betts narrates a message for Jackie Robinson Day:

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1945 A moment in American history takes place in Brooklyn as Branch Rickey meets with Jackie Robinson to share his plans to integrate the major leagues. During the three hour meeting, the Dodgers’ president will shout racial epithets to ‘test’ the 26 year-old ballplayer’s mettle to withstand the abuse which will come with being the first player to cross the color line this century.
  • 1951 The Giants’ 16-game winning streak comes to end when Howie Pollet six-hits the team in the Pirates’ 2-0 victory at the Polo Grounds. The consecutive victories enable Leo Durocher and his club to narrow the Dodgers’ lead from 13.5 to six games.
  • 1967 Giants hurler Gaylord Perry begins the longest consecutive inning scoreless streak in franchise history when he shuts out the Dodgers at Candlestick Park, 7-0. The right-hander will not give up another run over a span of 40 innings, a feat the son of a tenant farmer from North Carolina will repeat three seasons later.
  • 1977 Steve Garvey collects five extra-base hits in one game when he bashes three doubles and two homers, including a grand slam, in the Dodgers’ 11-0 rout over St. Louis at Chavez Ravine. The LA first baseman becomes just the fourth major leaguer to accomplish the feat, joining Lou Boudreau (1946 Indians – HR, four 2B), Joe Adcock (1954 Braves – four HR, 2B), and Willie Stargell (1970 Pirates – two HR, three 2B).
  • 2003 Eric Gagne earns his 44th straight save in the Dodgers’ 6-3 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Los Angeles reliever’s effort establishes a new major league record, surpassing Tom Gordon, who had saved 43 in a row to begin a season with the Red Sox in 1998.
  • 2008 In the 11-2 victory over the Dodgers, Cristian Guzman becomes the second player in Nationals history to hit for the cycle, joining Brad Wilkerson, who accomplished the feat in 2005, the team’s first year in Washington, D.C. The 30 year-old shortstop completes his cycle with an eighth inning triple.
  • 2015 “Vin will be back for one more year (at least). God bless us, everyone” – JIMMY KIMMEL’s cue card message to the crowd.

    Team executive Magic Johnson, appearing on the Dodger Stadium video board, introduces Jimmy Kimmel to report “big, breaking news.” The ABC late-night television host, who waves to the fans without saying a word, displays a succession of cue cards, informing the Chavez Ravine crowd the 87 year-old Vin Scully will be returning to broadcast Dodgers games in 2016 for his 67th season.

Lineup when available.

Aug 09

Game 16, 2020

Giants at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: MLBN (out-of-market only), NBCS-BA, SPNLA

RHP Kevin Gausman (0-1, 5.27 ERA) goes for the visitors and RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 5.19 ERA) takes the hill for the Dodgers. Gausman gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings in his last start. Buehler hasn’t yet hit his stride this year, and one symptom is the four HRs he’s given up in his 8 2/3 innings of work; last year he averaged 1 HR every nine innings.

Mookie Betts, water boy? Yep. When he went to high school in Nashville his mother wouldn’t allow him to play football, so he volunteered to be an assistant to the coaches, helping out with water, equipment, etc.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1975 At Shea Stadium, Davey Lopes steals his 32nd consecutive base without being caught, breaking Max Carey’s 1922 record in the Dodgers’ 2-0 victory over New York. The Dodger second baseman’s mark will be broken by Vince Coleman in 1989.
  • 1976 John Candelaria becomes the first Pirate since 1907 to throw a no-hitter in Pittsburgh. Nick Maddox threw the first and only Buc home no-hitter until the ‘Candyman’ beat the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium. (There was never a no-hitter pitched in the 61-year history of spacious Forbes Field.)
  • 2001 Mike Hampton ties the National League record for pitchers with his seventh homer when he goes deep off Felix Heredia in the Rockies’ 14-5 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Colorado southpaw equals the mark established by Dodger hurlers Don Drysdale (1958, 1965) and Don Newcombe (1955), and two shy of the major league standard set by Wes Ferrell, playing for the Indians in 1931.
  • 2013 The Dodgers rally for four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, overcoming a six-run, seventh-inning deficit, for their fifth walk-off victory of the season. The team’s 7-6 victory over Tampa Bay is their 11th consecutive win in a one-run games, a span in which they have defeated ten different clubs.

Also on this date, in 2013 Dan Haren becomes the thirteenth pitcher in history to record a victory over all 30 major league franchises when he hurls seven solid innings in the Nationals’ 9-2 win over Philadelphia. The 32 year-old right-hander joins Al Leiter, Randy Johnson, Barry Zito, A.J. Burnett, Kevin Brown, Terry Mulholland, Curt Schilling, Woody Williams, Jamie Moyer, Javier Vazquez, Vicente Padilla, and Derek Lowe in accomplishing the feat.

Lineup:

Jul 25

Game 3, 2020

Giants at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: Fox

As of Friday evening the Giants are using that TBD guy off the mound again, while the Dodgers ask LHP Alex Wood to beat them for the third straight game. Wood spent last year ostensibly with Cincinnati but mostly on the injured list. He signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers in the off-season, presumably in hopes he can recover his previous form (career 53-43, 3.40 ERA) and leverage it to a new contract for 2021.

Here are Muncy’s two HRs from Friday night:

This date in Dodgers history:

  • 1962 At Sportsman’s Park, Stan Musial surpasses Giants’ legend Mel Ott as the National League’s all-time RBI leader. ‘Stan the Man’s’ two-run home run off Don Drysdale in a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers gives the Cardinals’ right fielder 1,862 career runs batted in with the Redbirds. (Ed. — He’s now eighth on the all-time list, behind Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Cap Anson, Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds and Lou Gehrig)

Non-Dodgers history which amuses me as a lapsed guitarist: 2010 The Baseball Hall of Fame honors John Fogerty for his classic rock song “Centerfield”. At the induction ceremonies, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer performs his 1985 hit and then donates his baseball bat shaped-guitar to the Cooperstown museum.

Here’s John and his kids playing the song at Dodger Stadium earlier this year:

Lineup when available.