Jul 15

Game 96, 2019

Dodgers at Phillies, 4:05 PM PDT, TV: ESPN, NBCSP, SPNLA

The Dodgers send LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 3.09 ERA) to the mound in Philadelphia to face RHP Zach Eflin (7-8, 3.78 ERA) of the Phillies. This will be Kershaw’s first start since he went seven innings against the Padres ten days ago, giving up two runs and striking out nine. He didn’t figure in the decision, though, as Yimi Garcia gave up a solo 8th-inning HR to Hunter Renfroe and the Dodgers lost 3-2. Kershaw is 2-3 with a 4.01 ERA in his career at Citizens Bank Park. Eflin was doing well until his last three starts, when he went 1-1 with a 9.64 ERA while giving up 15 earned runs in 14 innings. In his three-year career he’s faced the Dodgers four times and is 0-2 with a 9.18 ERA.

ESPN doesn’t offer an “embed” option for its videos, but here’s a link to a clip of the Dodgers’ 12th-inning heroics on Sunday.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1960 Home plate umpire Frank Dascoli stops play for 24 minutes when Willie McCovey hits a pitch into shallow left field that no one can see because of the dense fog. The Giants first baseman’s second inning “invisible triple” doesn’t deter the Dodgers when they go on to win the Candlestick Park contest, 5-3.
  • 2003 At the All-Star Game played in Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field, Angels outfielder Garret Anderson goes 3-for-4, including a two-run homer and a double, helping the American League to beat the NL, 7-6. Pinch-hitting in the eighth inning, Rangers third baseman Hank Blalock hits a go-ahead two-run homer off the usually untouchable reliever of the Dodgers, Eric Gagne.
  • 2004 Eric Gagne surpasses Jeff Shaw for the most career saves in franchise history, collecting his 130th save in a Dodger uniform. The 28 year-old right-handed closer pitches a perfect ninth, striking out the side, in the team’s 5-2 victory over Arizona at Bank One Ballpark.
  • 2017 Cody Bellinger becomes the first Dodger rookie to hit for the cycle when he collects a seventh-inning triple in the team’s 7-1 victory over the Marlins in Miami. The 22-year old freshman goes 4-for-5, driving in three runs en route to his historic accomplishment.

Also: in 1939 National League president Ford Frick orders two-foot screens affixed inside all foul poles after Billy Jurges of the Giants and umpire George Magerkurth spit at each other after a foul ball call down the left field line is disputed at the Polo Grounds. The American League will soon follow the Senior Circuit lead and will also install foul ball screens.

And: in 1994 after being confiscated in the first inning of the Indians-White Sox contest at Comiskey Park, Albert Belle’s bat, suspected of being corked, is placed in umpire Dave Phillips’ locker for further examination. The attempt to take and replace the suspected bat by a bungling burglar, who gains access to the umpire’s room by squirming through the stadium’s overhead crawl space, a thievery Jason Grimsley will confess to five-years later, is immediately uncovered with the discovery of pieces of broken ceiling tile on the floor, and a new name on the “clean” bat which now reads Paul Sorrento.

Lineup when available.


Jun 26

Game 82, 2019

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 12:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, SPNLA

It’ll be the MLB debut for the Dodgers’ RHP Tony Gonsolin, who’s a graduate of St. Mary’s College in Northern California east of Oakland. He’s only been in eight games at the AAA level; he’s 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA. He’ll face the D-Backs’ RHP Taylor Clarke (1-3, 6.48 ERA), who started his big league career with two good starts this season but has gone 0-2 with a 10.00 ERA in his next five. Last Friday he lost to the Giants, giving up six runs in three innings.

Kenley is electioneering:


Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1944 At the Polo Grounds with over 50,000 fans looking on, the New York major league teams face each other in a six inning three-team game (a team played consecutive innings against the other two teams then sat out an inning) to raise money for war bonds. The charity contest, billed as the Tri-Cornered Baseball Game, ends with the final score of Dodgers 5, Yankees 1, Giants 0.

  • 1968 Cardinals right-hander Bob Gibson tosses his fifth consecutive shutout as he blanks the Pirates, 3-0, in the first game of a doubleheader played at Busch Stadium. The future Hall of Famer’s accomplishment is one shy of the major league mark, set earlier in the month by Don Drysdale of the Dodgers.
  • 1999 At Candlestick Park, Todd Hundley’s second homer of the day, a ninth inning three-run shot to deep right field off Giants’ closer Robb Nen, sparks the Dodgers’ 7-6 comeback win. Ellis Burks had put San Francisco ahead in the bottom of the eighth, 6-4, with a three-run homer off Alan Mills.
  • 2011 Three days after Jim Riggleman’s sudden resignation, the Nationals name senior advisor Davey Johnson as the team’s manager for the remainder of the season. The 68 year-old former skipper compiled an 1148-888 (.564) record during his 14 years in the dugout with the Mets, Dodgers, Reds, and Orioles, finishing lower than third place on only three occasions.

Things of no great import that are nonetheless interesting, Number 317: In 1995 Before rejoining the Yankees to make a start in Chicago, Columbus Clipper starter Mariano Rivera pitches a five-inning no-hitter against the International League’s Rochester Red Wings in Ohio’s Cooper Stadium. During his tenure in the minor leagues, Mo, the future major league leader in career saves, is used primarily as a starter, starting 68 games, including seven complete contests, en route to compiling a 27-18 record along with a 2.35 ERA.

I had no clue Rivera had been a starter and that he was that good at it.

Lineup:


Jun 19

Game 75, 2019

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: ESPN, NBCS BA, SPNLA

LHP Drew Pomeranz (2-6, 6.43 ERA) has adjusted his arm slot (whatever that might be) and pitched 10 consecutive innings without surrendering an earned run in his last two starts. LHP Rich Hill (4-1, 2.60 ERA) gave up two HRs to the Cubs in two-plus innings his last time out and then went the next four innings allowing just one hit to get his third straight win in June.

Kershaw had a good night:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1952 Carl Erskine throws a no-hitter against the Cubs in the Dodgers’ 5-0 victory at Ebbets Field. A third inning walk to the opposing pitcher, which accounts for the only runner to reach base, may have been a result of skipper Chuck Dressen telling the 25 year-old right-hander to speed up his pitches due to an impending storm.
  • 1963 At Yankee Stadium, the Mayor’s Trophy Game is revived, with the cellar-dwelling Mets beating the mighty Yanks, 6-2. Prior to leaving for the West Coast, the Dodgers would play the Bronx Bombers in the annual midsummer exhibition contest to raise money for sandlot baseball teams.
  • 1972 At Three Rivers Stadium, Roberto Clemente hits a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to become the Pirates’ all-time RBI leader. The Pittsburgh right fielder’s three ribbies in the 13-3 drubbing of the Dodgers give the future Hall of Famer a total of 1,274 runs batted in for the Bucs.
  • 1973 In different games, the Reds’ Pete Rose and Dodger Willie Davis both collect their 2,000th career hit. The Cincinnati infielder, known as ‘Charlie Hustle’, reaches the milestone with a single against San Francisco in the Reds’ 4-0 victory at Candlestick Park, and the L.A. outfielder, known as ‘3-Dog’, reaches the plateau in front of the home crowd with a two-run home run in the team’s 3-0 victory over Atlanta.
  • 1990 Gary Carter breaks a National League mark when he catches his 1,862nd career game in the Giants’ 4-3 loss to San Diego. The ‘Kid’ surpasses Al Lopez, who had established the record for backstops in 1946 after playing 18 seasons in the Senior Circuit with the Dodgers, Braves, and Pirates.

Also of note: In 2003 during a College World Series contest against Stanford, a pitch strikes Cal State Fullerton shortstop Justin Turner on the left side of his face as he attempts to bunt. Adding insult to injury, the future Mets and Dodgers infielder also suffers a broken ankle on the play when he unsuccessfully tries to avoid getting hit by the 87-mph fastball thrown by Matt Manship.

Lineup when available.


Jun 17

Game 73, 2019

Giants at Dodgers, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: ESPN, NBCS BA, SPNLA

RHP Tyler Beede (0-2, 8.06 ERA) will pitch for the Giants tonight, facing RHP Kenta Maeda (7-3, 3.89 ERA) of the Dodgers. Beede’s first outing of the season was awful — 7 ER in 2 1/3 innings — and he’s been trying to bring his ERA down ever since. He had three reasonably good outings in May but he’s regressed in June, giving up 9 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings. Maeda’s last start was a tale of two pitchers — he gave up five runs on 36 pitches in the first inning and then retired the next 13 hitters he faced. That wasn’t enough; he took the loss.

Here’s Verdugo’s game-saving catch yesterday:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1915 Cubs right-hander reliever George Washington Zabel, called into the game with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, throws 18 and 1/3 innings of the Cubs’ 4-3 victory over the Robins at Chicago’s West Side Park. ‘Zip’, establishing the major league record for the longest relief stint in one game, beats Brooklyn starter Jeff Pfeffer, who tosses a 19-inning complete-game. (Pfeffer won 113 games for Brooklyn and lost only 80 in a nine-year career with the Robins.)
  • 1956 Joe Adcock’s ninth-inning home run off Brooklyn right-hander Ed Roebuck, his second round-tripper of the game, proves to be the game winner in the Braves’ 5-4 victory over the Dodgers. The blast to left field, which clears an 83-foot wall at the 350-foot mark, is believed to the only homer ever to land on the roof at Ebbets Field.
  • 1956 Fred Haney, named yesterday to replace Charlie Grimm, wins two games in his managerial debut with the Braves when the team sweeps a doubleheader against the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 5-4 and 3-1, starting a streak of 11 consecutive victories. The club’s former coach will compile a 341-231 (.596) record, guiding Milwaukee to two pennants and a world championship during his four seasons at the helm.
  • 1976 At Shea Stadium, Dave Kingman hits a walk-off homer to give the Mets a 1-0 victory over the Dodgers. Sky King’s game-ending blast comes off Charlie Hough in the 14th inning.
  • 1992 Dodger farmhand Mike Piazza, believing he was low balled in his contract negotiations, takes exception to the team giving a reported bonus of $500,000 to top draft pick Ryan Luzinski, a 220-pound catcher from Holy Cross High in Delran, New Jersey who will never play in a major league game. Next season, Piazza will be selected as the National League’s Rookie of the Year, and will hit .331 in seven seasons for LA.

One more item from the history books: on this date in 1962 Met Marv Throneberry’s apparent first inning triple becomes an out on an appeal play for missing second base in an 8-7 loss to San Francisco at the Polo Grounds. When New York manager Casey Stengel questions the call, he is told by the umpire, according to legend, “Don’t bother arguing Casey, he missed first base, too.”

Lineup when available.


Jun 11

Game 68, 2019

Dodgers at Angels, 7:07 PM PDT, TV: FS-W, SPNLA

RHP Kenta Maeda (7-2, 3.48 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and Félix Peña (3-1, 4.53 ERA) pitches for the Angels. In his last start Maeda was pulled after five innings of two-hit, one walk and seven strikeout ball and wasn’t happy to be taken out after just 70 pitches. Peña had his worst outing of the year in his last “start” (the Angels are using the “opener” concept with him), giving up seven runs in just 1 2/3 innings.

First reports of NL All-Star votes:


This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1957 The Dodgers’ Roy Campanella surpasses former Cub and Giant backstop Gabby Hayes to establish a new National League mark when he hits his 237th career round-tripper as a catcher. Campy’s historic home run comes off Ray Crone in the seventh inning of Brooklyn’s 7-2 loss to the Braves at Ebbets Field.
  • 1972 LA outfielders Manny Mota and Willie Davis both hit inside-the-park homers down the foul lines at Dodger Stadium off Bucs’ starter Bruce Kison. Roberto Clemente’s seventh inning home run over the fence proves to be the difference in Pittsburgh’s 7-5 victory, their 21st win the last 26 games.

Also, in 1938 In the first of two consecutive no-hitters he will hurl, Johnny Vander Meer keeps the Boston Bees hitless in Cincinnati’s 3-0 victory at Crosley Field. The Reds’ southpaw, in the first night game played in Brooklyn, continues his no-no mojo four days later by beating the Dodgers, 6-0, without giving up a hit in the Ebbets Field contest.

Lineup when available.


Jun 07

Game 64, 2019

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 PM PDT, TV: NBC Bay Area, SPNLA

LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-0, 3.20 ERA) goes to the mound for the Dodgers against the Giants’ LHP Drew Pomeranz (1-6, 8.08 ERA). Kershaw has gone at least six innings in each of his nine starts this season and the Dodgers have won all nine. He’s 22-10 in his career against the Giants with a 1.70 ERA. Pomeranz is having the worst season of his nine-year career; he’s given up 35 earned runs in 39 innings. He faced the Dodgers twice in April and got a no-decision and a loss.

MLB’s Richard Justice has a column titled “7 trades that make perfect sense,” and one of them is:

6. Brad Hand to the Dodgers

You’re probably looking at the Dodgers and thinking, “Do they really need anything?” Sure, they do. Every team needs something, and around the Trade Deadline, an impact acquisition can energize the clubhouse. Hand is about as close to unhittable as any reliever in the game (1.05 ERA), and would combine with Kenley Jansen to make the Dodgers’ bullpen the NL’s best. Along with Bauer, a shrewd Hand trade can really help the Indians rebuild their system.

Potential trade pieces: This one won’t be simple. Yes, the Dodgers have a deep system. Yes, Hand potentially is signed through 2021 at a reasonable rate. But Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is extremely protective of his best young prospects. Outfielders DJ Peters (L.A.’s No. 10 prospect) and Jeren Kendall (No. 15) would make some sense. So would any of three Dodgers catching prospects, possibly Diego Cartaya (No. 9).

I gotta say, I like anything that shores up the bullpen, which currently has a 4.63 ERA, 11th in the National League. Their strikeout rate ranks 14th.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1954 Dodger catcher Roy Campanella steals home in the top of the 12th inning in a 7-5 victory over St. Louis at Sportsman’s Park. Campy had added an insurance run with an eighth inning round-tripper, but the Redbirds scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score.
  • 1957 Howard University awards honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and recently retired Dodgers infielder Jackie Robinson. In the coming years, the former baseball great and the Baptist minister will often appear together at Civil Rights rallies, fundraising events, and demonstrations.

    Jackie Robinson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • 1982 Joining Lou Gehrig, Everett Scott, Billy Williams, and Joe Sewell, Dodger infielder Steve Garvey becomes only the fifth player in major league history to play in 1,000 consecutive games. The first baseman, establishing a National League record, will appear in 1207 consecutive games, before the streak ends next season when he breaks his thumb in a collision at home plate, playing for the Padres.

Lineup when available.


Jun 02

Game 60, 2019

Phillies at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: NBCSP, SPNLA

RHP Nick Pivetta (3-1, 7.71 ERA) goes for the Phillies while LHP Rich Hill (1-1, 2.73 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. Pivetta’s first two seasons in the bigs (with Philadelphia) were losing ones: he’s got an 18-25 career W-L record. He’s given up 20 earned runs in 23 1/3 innings so far this season and opponents are hitting a whopping .343 against him. Hill, on the other hand, has pitched 33 innings this year and given up just 10 earned runs while allowing opponents to hit .242 against him.

Here’s young Mr. Smith’s walk-off HR from Saturday night:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1995 Hideo Nomo, limiting the Mets to one run on two hits in 8+ innings of work, picks up his first major league win, a 2-1 decision at Dodger Stadium. L.A. signed the 26 year-old former Japanese All-Star in the off-season.

In another game of note, in 2010 after retiring 26 consecutive Cleveland batters, Tigers starter Armando Galarraga appears to have hurled the season’s third perfect game when the throw from the first baseman to the pitcher, covering the bag, clearly beats the batter-runner for the final out. Umpire Jim Joyce emphatically calls Jason Donald safe. After seeing the replay, the first base arbiter tearfully admits his error, apologizing to the 28 year-old Venezuelan pitcher for his blown call.

Can that really have been nine years ago?

Lineup when available.


May 28

Game 55, 2019

Mets at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SNY, SPNLA

It’ll be LHP Steven Matz (3-3, 3.63 ERA) for the Mets and LHP Rich Hill (1-1, 2.67 ERA) for the Dodgers. Matz had a horrific outing against the Phillies in which he gave up eight runs. Take that away and he’s been the Mets’ most consistent pitcher. He’s 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA over his last five starts. In Hill’s last two starts he’s given up one run and struck out 17 over 12 innings.

Here are Bellinger’s highlights from yesterday’s game:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1957 Walter O’Malley and Horace Stoneham are given permission by the National League to negotiate deals with cities on the West Coast, with the proviso that the future location of their respective clubs, the Dodgers and the Giants, be known by October 1. The Brooklyn and New York owners both deny there is any significance to the unanimous vote other than being given an opportunity to explore all the available options for their possible relocation of their clubs.
  • 1969 The day after he becomes a father, Randy Hundley hits a grand slam and a double, driving in five runs in Chicago’s 9-8 victory over San Francisco at Candlestick Park. The eight-pound, four-ounce baby boy named Todd will follow in his dad’s footsteps, becoming a major league catcher, receiving for the Mets, Dodgers, and the Cubs.
  • 1989 With runners on second and third, no outs, and the Mets and Dodgers tied at 3-3 in the 12th inning, home plate umpire Bob Davidson calls a balk against Roger McDowell which scores the winning run in the Chavez Ravine contest. Dave Anderson is waved home when the New York reliever fails to pause and make a discernible stop.
  • 2001 In an 11-inning slugfest with Colorado, LA catcher Paul Lo Duca goes 6-for-6 in the team’s 11-10 victory at Dodger Stadium. The backstop’s five singles and a three-run homer tie a National League record for hits in an extra-inning game.
  • 2011 The game between Los Angeles and Florida continues as fans in a section of the upper deck seats at Dodger Stadium are evacuated due to a small fire in a nearby storage area. With plumes of smoke visible coming from the top level of the ballpark on the first base side, the crowd is informed by the public address announcer that it will not be necessary to evacuate the entire stadium.

Here are a whole mess of links to stories about Bill Buckner, many of which try to go beyond the events of 1986. Looking at the play-by-play, that game shouldn’t have gotten to the point it did. Schiraldi got two quick outs with the Sox ahead 5-3 and couldn’t get the third, allowing a pinch-hit single by Gary Carter, another single by Kevin Mitchell, and still another by Ray Knight. Then, with the Sox still leading 5-4, Stanley came in and wild-pitched Mitchell in to tie the game. It was at that point that Mookie Wilson hit the ground ball Buckner muffed.

Lineup when available.


May 27

Game 54, 2019

Mets at Dodgers, 5:10 PM PDT, TV: ESPN (out-of-market only), SNY, SPNLA

A battle of aces! The Mets send RHP Jacob DeGrom (3-5, 3.75 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (4-0, 3.33 ERA). DeGrom has made five starts in May and has a 2.81 ERA to show for them. He was 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers last season. Kershaw made his fifth quality start of the season last time out, and he’s got a 19-game unbeaten streak going dating back to last year. He’s 10-0 with nine no-decisions in that time, the longest active streak in the major leagues.

SI says Bellinger is making batting average relevant again. Making the case that 1941 was a long time ago and a lifetime away in baseball eras,

When Williams hit .406, the average major league game had 7.1 strikeouts. Now there are 17.5 strikeouts every game. Today the average reliever–not your All-Star closer, just your garden-variety reliever–strikes out batters at the same rate Sandy Koufax did (9.3 per nine innings). Of course, the average reliever also throws 94 mph with a wicked slider and every team is stocked with them.

R.I.P., Bill Buckner. The Dodgers traded him to the Cubs for Rick Monday in 1977, and you’d have to say the Cubs got the better of the deal. However, Garvey was entrenched at 1B and the newly-acquired Dusty Baker was signed to play left field. Buckner was coming off a serious ankle injury, the Dodgers didn’t think he could play center and they wanted more power at that position than they thought Buckner could provide. Monday promptly had the worst year of his career and after one more year as a starter he spent four years as a reserve with the Dodgers, retiring in 1984. Buckner went on to have 10 more productive years including a batting title in 1980.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1904 Giants’ infielder Dennis McGann steals five bases to establish a major league record. The 32 year-old Kentucky native’s thievery helps New York beat Brooklyn at the Polo Grounds, 3-1.

Also! In 2017

“We are honored to pay tribute to the 25th anniversary of Homer at the Bat.The Simpsons has left an impressive imprint on our culture as the longest-running American sitcom, and ‘Homer at the Bat’ remains as popular today as when the episode aired in 1992. ” – Hall of Fame President JEFF IDELSON, commenting about the Cooperstown celebration of the animated series.

The Baseball Hall of Fame inducts fictional cartoon character Homer Simpson as part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Simpsons episode ‘Homer at the Bat.’ As part of the ceremony, a roundtable discussion of the much-beloved episode includes comments by real Hall of-Famers Wade Boggs and Ozzie Smith, who played themselves on the animated show, as well as executive producers Al Jean and Mike Reiss, director Jim Reardon, executive story editor Jeff Martin and casting director Bonnie Pietila.

Lineup when available.


May 26

Game 53, 2019

Dodgers vs. Pirates, 10:35 AM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet-PIT, SPNLA

The Dodgers activate RHP Kenta Maeda (5-2, 3.51 ERA) from the IL where he’s been since May 15 with a left adductor occlusion AKA strained left thigh. He’ll face the Pirates’ RHP Chris Archer (1-4, 5.55 ERA), who’s gone 8 2/3 innings in his two starts since coming off the IL and been pretty unsuccessful. He’s given up 11 runs (nine earned) on 10 hits and six walks over that stretch.

Ryu missed a home run by about a foot in Saturday’s game:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2015 Clayton Kershaw pitched seven innings of four-hit ball and the Dodgers scored six runs in the fourth inning on doubles by Howie Kendrick, Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis and went on to beat the Atlanta Braves 8-0.

Also, a very famous game took place on this date in 1959: Pirates’ hurler Harvey Haddix pitches 12 perfect innings but loses 1-0 to the Braves in the 13th inning. The heart-breaking winning run scores on a Don Hoak error, a sacrifice, a walk, and a two-bagger by Joe Adcock. To add insult to injury,

In 1991, the Committee for Statistical Accuracy in Baseball announced that a no-hitter would be redefined as “a game in which a pitcher or pitchers complete a game of nine innings or more without allowing a hit,” meaning Haddix’s gem no longer qualified. When he was made aware that one of the greatest games ever pitched no longer had a place in the record books, his response was simple: “It’s OK. I know what I did.”

Lineup when available.