Apr 17

Game Nine, 2022

Reds at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: BS Ohio, SPNLA

The Dodgers give LHP Andrew Heaney the ball for the second time this season. The Reds counter with RHP Tyler Mahle (1-0, 1.00 ERA). Heaney’s first start was successful: he gave up one unearned run on three hits in 4 1/3 innings of work while striking out five. He trotted out a new pitch he’d never used in a game situation, a sweeping curve with side-to-side movement, and it worked very well. Both he and his manager were pleased with its results. Mahle started on Opening Day and beat the Braves handily, giving up three hits and one run in five innings while striking out seven. He followed that up with a four-inning stint against the Guardians in which he gave up four hits and one run while striking out four.

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1904 By not charging admission but requiring fans to buy a scorecard, the Superbas find a way to play their first Sunday game at home, beating the Beaneaters, 9-1, at Brooklyn’s Washington Park. The strategy attempts to circumvent legislation, known as the Blue Laws, designed to enforce religious edicts, including the observance of Sunday as a day of worship.
  • 1955 In his first major league at-bat, Roberto Clemente singles off Dodger pitcher Johnny Podres. The Pirates’ rookie, who will die in a plane crash attempting to bring relief aid to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua in 1972, will collect precisely 3,000 hits during his 18-year major league career, all with Pittsburgh.
  • 1956 White Sox shortstop Luis Aparicio, Dodger right-hander Don Drysdale, and Reds outfielder Frank Robinson play in their first major league games. The trio’s debut marks the first time three future Hall of Famers have made their initial appearance on the same day.

  • 1988 The Braves beat the Dodgers, 3-1, after breaking the National League record with ten losses to start the season. The team will drop 27 of its first 39 decisions, costing Chuck Tanner his job as the Atlanta manager.
  • 2013 Clayton Kershaw becomes the second-fastest Dodger to strike out 1,000 batters when he throws a second-inning 93-mph fastball past San Diego first baseman’s Yonder Alonso. The 25-year-old southpaw reaches the milestone in 970 career innings, 15.2 more than needed by Hideo Nomo, who established the team mark in 2003.

Lineups:

Apr 15

Game Seven, 2022

Reds at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: Apple TV (7-day free trial). Here are a couple of ways to watch on Apple TV for free on your computer or tablet.

The Reds send RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (0-1, 4.15 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ RHP Tony Gonsolin (0-0, 3.00 ERA). Gutierrez deserved better in his first start of the year. He gave up six hits but just two runs to the Braves, but his team only scored one run over the entire game. Gonsolin threw 62 pitches in three innings in his first start, giving up just one run. Unlike Gutierrez, his team managed to score more runs than he gave up, thus he got no decision.

Dave Roberts expressed some unhappiness with MLB’s recent organizational actions and their effects on player development among Black athletes.

Baseball’s owners cut the draft from 50 rounds to 40 rounds in 2012, then to 20 rounds last year. They also eliminated 43 minor league teams, and with them about 1,000 players.

[snip]

“When you’re talking about undeveloped, raw, talented African American players, that process takes time,” Roberts said. “It always has.

“When the draft is shortened, it just doesn’t give those same guys the opportunities. It also doesn’t give the organizations the opportunity to seek those guys or identify those guys.

“For me, you’re shortening the draft, you’re eliminating farm teams, you’re looking for more turnkey guys. The way the game has been for the last 20 years, those are people not of color.”

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1909 On Opening Day, the Superbas are no-hit by the Giants’ Red Ames for 9.1 innings. The Polo Grounds contest will go thirteen innings before Brooklyn defeats the 26 year-old right-hander, 3-0.
  • 1930 On Opening Day, Phillies’ southpaw Les Sweetland throws a three-hitter at Ebbets Field. The 28 year-old southpaw doubles and scores the lone run in the eighth inning of his 1-0 complete-game victory over Brooklyn.
  • 1933 In his major league debut, Tigers rookie Lynwood “Schoolboy” Rowe tosses a six-hitter, blanking the White Sox, 3-0. During his 15-year career, playing also with the Dodgers and Phillies, Rowe will compile a 158-101 record, posting an ERA of 3.87.
  • 1947 A year before President Truman desegregated the military, Jackie Robinson debuts for the Dodgers, becoming the first black player to participate in a major league game this century. In front of 25,623 Ebbets Field fans, the 28 year-old first baseman is hitless in three at-bats, but scores a run in the 5-3 Opening Day victory over the Braves.
  • 1958 On Opening Day, the transplanted New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers play the first major league game on the West Coast. The California contest sees Ruben Gomez blanking Los Angeles and Don Drysdale at San Francisco’s Seals Stadium, 8-0.
  • 1959 Cardinal right-hander Bob Gibson makes his major league debut at LA Memorial Coliseum, tossing the final two innings in a 5-0 loss to the Dodgers. The 23 year-old rookie becomes the first future Hall of Fame hurler to give up a home run to the first batter he faces in the major leagues when third baseman Jim Baxes takes him deep in the seventh inning.
  • 2004 Major league baseball begins the tradition of Jackie Robinson Day, an annual celebration commemorating the day the color line was broken in 1947. At big league venues across the country ceremonies are being held to honor the ground-breaking historic event, including baseball commissioner Bud Selig and Jackie’s widow Rachel Robinson attending the festivities at Shea Stadium.
  • 2005 The Dodgers, to commemorate the 58th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game in the big leagues, wear replicas of the old road uniforms worn by the 1947 team which played in Brooklyn. Right-hander Derek Lowe throws a three-hitter, blanking the Padres in San Diego, 4-0.
  • 2007 In honor of the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut, Ken Griffey, Jr. wears the Dodger Hall of Fame infielder’s retired uniform #42 after getting permission from Commissioner Bud Selig, who gives all major leaguers the option to wear the number individually. In 2009, all uniformed personnel will start wearing #42 every year on April 15th, the date designated annually as Jackie Robinson Day.
  • 2007 To honor Jackie Robinson, some players on each team, including Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter and Braves’ outfielder Andruw Jones, wear the Dodger immortal’s uniform No. 42 on the 60th anniversary of his historic breaking the color barrier in baseball. In the Cardinals and Brewers contest at Busch Stadium, every player and coach on both teams dons Jackie’s revered number.

Lineups when available.

Nov 02

World Series Game Six, 2021

Braves at Astros, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: Fox

LHP Max Fried (Postseason 1-2, 5.40 ERA) tries to nail the series victory down for the Braves. Standing in his way is RHP Luis Garcia (Postseason 1-2, 7.62 ERA) of the Astros.

From MLB:

Fried had a shaky outing in Game 2, giving up five runs in the game’s first two innings. But much of the damage against him came on ground-ball singles through the holes, and he settled in as the game evolved. Garcia allowed one run on three hits with four walks and six strikeouts in only 3 2/3 innings in Game 3 on Friday.

On this date in baseball history Chase Utley homered twice in Game Five of the 2009 World Series, staving off elimination by the Yankees for one more day. The Cubs beat the Indians 8-7 in ten innings in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series to win their first title in 108 years.

Lineups when available.

Braves:

Astros:

Oct 31

World Series Game Five, 2021

Astros at Braves, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: Fox

LHP Framber Valdez (Postseason 1-1, 6.35 ERA) tries to halt the Braves’ march to the title, while LHP Tucker Davidson (0-0, 3.60 ERA) opens for the Braves. Valdez won Game Five of the ALCS, giving up just one run over eight innings to the Red Sox. Davidson was not initially on the World Series roster but replaced Charlie Morton, who broke his leg in Game One.

On this date in baseball history Derek Jeter hit a game-winning HR in the 10th inning of Game Four of the 2001 World Series, earning himself the nickname “Mr. November.” In Game Three of the 2009 World Series a fly ball off Alex Rodriguez’s bat became the subject of the first use of instant replay in a Series, and in 2010 the battery of Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey were the first rookies to start a World Series game since Spec Shea and Yogi Berra in 1947.

Lineups when available.

Astros:

Braves:

Oct 30

World Series Game Four, 2021

Astros at Braves, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: Fox

RHP Zack Greinke (Postseason 0-0, 7.71 ERA) pitches for the Astros and LHP Dylan Lee (Postseason 0-0, 3.38 ERA) pitches for the Braves.

Today in baseball history President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch at the 2001 World Series, the Red Sox won the 2013 World Series and the Nationals won the 2019 World Series.

Lineups when available.

Astros:

Braves:

Oct 29

World Series Game Three, 2021

Astros at Braves, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The Astros send RHP Luis Garcia (Postseason 1-1, 9.64 ERA) to the mound and the Braves counter with RHP Ian Anderson (Postseason 1-0, 2.25 ERA).

Today in baseball history was mostly filled with managerial and executive moves, as it wasn’t until 2001 that the World Series was extended this late in the year. In 2008 the Phillies won their second championship by beating the Rays in the continuation of a rain-suspended game, and in 2014 Madison Bumgarner pitched five scoreless relief innings in Game Seven and his Giants beat the Royals in Kansas City.

Lineups when available.

Astros:

Braves:

Oct 27

World Series Game Two, 2021

Braves at Astros, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: Fox

LHP Max Fried (Postseason 1-1, 3.78 ERA) takes the hill for the Braves and RHP José Urquidy (Postseason 0-1, 27.00 ERA) goes for the Astros.

Today in baseball history the Royals won Game Seven and thus the World Series in 1985, the Mets beat the Red Sox to do the same in 1986, in 1991 Jack Morris made his (ultimately successful) bid for the Hall of Fame by throwing a 10-inning 1-0 shutout in Game Seven which the Twins won on a walkoff single in the bottom of the tenth, and in their 42nd season the Angels finally won a World Series in 2002.

Lineups when available.

Braves:

Astros:

Oct 25

World Series Game One, 2021

Braves at Astros, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The Braves send out righthander Charlie Morton (Postseason 0-1, 3.77 ERA), who’s got World Series experience with the Astros (2017) and the Rays (2020). He’ll face the Astros’ lefthander Framber Valdez (Postseason 1-0, 4.20 ERA). He had the longest outing of any starter this postseason on any team: eight innings of three-hit ball against the Red Sox in Game Five of the ALCS. This will be his first World Series.

I’m no fan of the Braves and their loathsome “tomahawk chop” and chant, but my disdain for the Houston Astros can be measured in metric tons, so I guess I’m very mildly rooting for the Atlanta team.

Addendum: Here’s what a guy at Deadspin says about these teams after making suggestions to improve the playoff system:

In the meantime, enjoy the baseball being played by two very good teams who were not the best in baseball this year but earned their way to the World Series. There’s no good rooting option — it’s the cheaters (yes, we’re still for Dusty Baker getting a ring) against the racists (yes, Freddie Freeman seems like a real good dude, and Tyler Matzek is a fantastic story, and so is Eddie Rosario, and not everyone who roots for that team is a racist, but seriously, we’ve been hearing the Chop for 30 years despite it being called out for what it is FROM THE JUMP — oh, and they had anti-vaxxer Travis Tritt sing the national anthem on Saturday) — but the games should be good.

Lineups when available.

Braves:

Astros:

Oct 23

NLCS Game Six, 2021

Dodgers at Braves, 5:07 PM PDT, TV: TBS

Max Scherzer reports his arm is still tired, so the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (postseason 0-1, 3.77 ERA) has stepped up to volunteer to start this elimination game. He’ll be on short rest: he started Game Three on Oct. 19. He’ll face the Braves’ RHP Ian Anderson (postseason 1-0, 2.25 ERA). Anderson has had his full complement of rest days: he last pitched in Game Two on Oct 17.

Today in baseball history Branch Rickey announced the signing of Jackie Robinson and Johnny Wright in 1947, Joe Carter hit a walk-off home run in Game Six of the 1993 World Series to give Toronto its second consecutive title and the Giants won their 21st pennant as Juan Uribe homered in the 8th inning of Game Six of the NLCS in 2010.

Lineups when available.

Dodgers:

Braves:

Oct 22

ALCS Game Six, 2021

Red Sox at Astros, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: FS1

The visiting Red Sox need to win today to stay alive. They’ll give the ball to RHP Nathan Eovaldi (postseason 2-1, 5.51 ERA) and ask him to keep the Astros down. The Astros ask RHP Luis Garcia (postseason 0-1, 24.55 ERA) to end the Series right now.

Today in baseball history John Updike published his ode to Ted Williams as “The Kid” played his final game at Fenway Park in 1960, in 1975 the Reds beat the Red Sox in a World Series filled with reversals, home runs, and foul balls waved fair, Albert Pujols homered three times in Game Three of the 2011 World Series, and in 2016 the Cubs beat the Dodgers in Game Six of the NLCS to win their first pennant in 71 years.

Lineups:

Red Sox:

Astros: