The winner will earn the No. 2 seed in the NL and host the Braves in the NLDS, beginning on Thursday. The loser will go on the road to play the NL Central runner-up (Cubs or Brewers) in Tuesday’s Wild Card Game.
In the second game of an historic day of tiebreakers in the National League, the Rockies send German Márquez (14-10, 3.76 ERA) to the mound at Dodger Stadium. He’ll face the Dodgers’ rookie RHP Walker Buehler (7-5, 2.76 ERA). Márquez has made three starts against the Dodgers this season and won two of them, giving up six runs, all earned, while striking out 22 and walking five. Buehler has faced the Rockies five times this season, going 0-1 in 31 innings, giving up 11 runs, 9 earned, striking out 33 while walking seven.
Because the Dodgers have been in more tie-breaking series than any other team in baseball, they’ve had a lot of activity on the first day of October over the years. On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1944 Dixie Walker, an outfielder on the seventh-place Dodgers, wins the National League batting crown with a .357 batting average, finishing ten points higher than runner-up Stan Musial. In 1947, the ‘People’s Cherce’s younger brother, Harry ‘the Hat’, will also lead the Senior Circuit, hitting .363 in the year when he is traded, after playing ten games for St. Louis, to Philadelphia.
1946 The Dodgers and Cardinals, who both finished the season with a 96-58 record, play the first game of a best-of-three series to determine the National League’s championship, marking the first time in major league history a playoff is needed to send a team to the World Series. St. Louis wins today’s Sportsman’s Park contest, 4-2, and will clinch the pennant in Game 2, beating the Brooklyn at Ebbets Field, 8-4.
1950 On the last day of the season, Pee Wee Reese, ignoring second base ump Frank Dascoli’s directive to slow down when his high outfield fly becomes stuck between the screen and the right field wall, continues sprinting around the bases at full speed, crossing home plate with the tying run in a game the team needs to win to finish tied with Philadelphia for the NL flag. The Dodgers shortstop’s unusual inside-the-park homer, due to an odd ground rule, will be the only run Robin Roberts allows in the Phillies’ pennant clinching 4-1 victory at Ebbets Field.
1950 After they retire today, Burt Shotton of the Dodgers and the A’s Connie Mack will become the last managers to wear street clothes. Although no edict specifically mandates a skipper must wear a uniform, there is now a rule that states that a person not wearing a uniform, except medical personnel, isn’t allowed on the field of play during a game.
1950 In the season finale, Robin Roberts, in the first of his six consecutive 20-win seasons, becomes the first Phillies right-hander to win twenty games for the team since Grover Cleveland Alexander accomplished the feat with a total of 30 victories in 1917. The complete-game, ten-inning 4-1 Ebbets Field victory over the Dodgers hurled by the Whiz Kid from Springfield (IL) clinches Philadelphia’s first NL pennant since 1915.
1951 The Giants’ 3-1 victory over the Dodgers in the first game of the National League playoffs is the first major league contest to be televised coast-to-coast. CBS, who obtained rights to the game, transmits the picture from Ebbets Field, but has to get the signal from ABC, who had made previous arrangements with WOR-TV, the New York station which carried Brooklyn’s regular season games.
1955 After losing the first two contests in the Bronx, the Dodgers even the World Series at a pair of games apiece when they defeat the Yankees at Ebbets Field, 8-5. Brooklyn will make it three victories in a row tomorrow with a 5-3 victory over the Bronx Bombers, but it will take a dramatic Game 7 for the ‘Bums’ to capture their first World Championship.
1961 The Wrigley Field on the West Coast hosts its last professional baseball game when the Angels, who will play at Dodger Stadium next season, are defeated by Cleveland, 8-5, in front of 9,868 fans at the 36 year-old ballpark, which will be torn down in five years to make room for an eventual public playground and senior center. In addition to being the home for the American League expansion team, the venue housed the PCL’s Angels from 1925 through 1957 and served as the location for the 1960 television series Home Run Derby.
1974 At the Astrodome, Mike Marshall establishes the major league mark for the most appearances by a pitcher when he throws two innings in the Dodgers’ 8-5 victory over Houston. With his 106 appearances, the right-handed reliever appears in 65% of the games that his team played this season.
1993 Mike Piazza plates Jose Offerman with a first-inning single to set a new team mark for runs driven in by a rookie with 107. The 24 year-old Dodgers catcher breaks the franchise record for rookie RBIs established by Del Bissonette, a freshman first baseman who played with Brooklyn in 1928.
2009 The Rockies’ 9-2 win over Milwaukee assures the team of a wild card berth in the postseason, and puts the team in position to still win the NL West by sweeping the Dodgers this weekend in L.A. Although the team was 12 games under .500 on June 3, today’s victory, their 91st – a club record – puts Colorado 23 games over .500, another first in the 17 year history of franchise.
There’s a lot at stake in this game. If the Dodgers win and the Rockies lose, the Dodgers win the division title and get a few days off before the start of the NLDS on Thursday. If both teams win, they’ll have to play a tiebreaker on Monday to see who wins the division. The loser of that game plays in the Wild Card game. I think. Ah, I’m right.
Should the Dodgers and Rockies finish tied atop the NL West,a one-game playoff would be held Monday in Los Angeles, with the winner advancing to the NL Division Series and [the] loser playing Tuesday in the single-elimination wild-card game.
Assuming that Andy McCullough’s story remains accurate, the Dodgers will ask their 24-year-old rookie righthander Walker Buehler (7-5, 2.76 ERA) to do what the Dodgers must do to clinch the division — win Game 162 against the bitterest of all rivals. The Giants, wanting nothing more than to spoil the Dodgers’ chances, will send out LHP Andrew Suárez (7-12, 4.22 ERA). Suárez has gone 1-3 in September with a 4.38 ERA and may be getting tired; he threw 155 innings in the minors last year and has thrown 181 1/3 innings with three different teams this year, 158 of them at the big league level.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1923 It’s Zack Wheat Day at Ebbets Field, and the retiring Dodger outfielder collects two hits and is given an automobile. Cy Williams of the Phillies spoils the special day as he ties the score in the seventh inning with his 39th homer and his 40th in the 12th frame gives Philadelphia the victory, 6-4.
1933 At Sportsman’s Park in a 12-2 Cubs rout of the Cardinals, Babe Herman hits for the cycle, becoming the first player in baseball history to do it three times. The Chicago outfielder, playing for the Dodgers, also accomplished the feat on two other occasions in 1931.
1947 Ralph Branca becomes the youngest player to start a World Series opener. At Yankee Stadium, the 21-year and 9 months old right hander and the Dodgers lose to the Bronx Bombers, 5-1.
1951 Knowing the Giants have won their game in Boston, the Dodgers rally from a five-run deficit to beat Philadelphia in 14 innings, 9-8, forcing a three-game playoff for the National League pennant. After Jackie Robinson makes a game-saving catch in the thirteenth to preserve an 8-8 tie, he hits a home run in the next frame that proves to be the difference in Brooklyn’s victory at Shibe Park.
1953 George Shuba, best known as the Montreal Royal teammate who shook Jackie Robinson’s hand after the rookie had homered, becomes the third major leaguer and the first National League player to pinch hit a home run in the World Series when he goes deep off Allie Reynolds in the Dodgers’ 9-5 Game 1 loss at Yankee Stadium. ‘Shotgun’ joins Yogi Berra (1947) and Johnny Mize (1952), who both accomplished the feat playing for the Bronx Bombers.
1956 Don Newcombe, a three-time twenty-game winner, goes the distance to earn his major-league leading 27th victory when the Dodgers beat Pittsburgh at Forbes Field, 8-6, on the last day of the campaign. Newk’s win is the most ever in a season by an African-American pitcher.
1962 On the last day of the season, Gene Oliver’s eighth-inning homer off Johnny Podres proves to be the difference in St. Louis’ 1-0 victory over the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. The loss to the Cardinals forces Los Angeles into a best-of-three-game playoff with the Giants for the National League pennant, a series the team will lose to San Francisco.
1999 The largest regular-season crowd in Candlestick Park history, 61,389 fans, watches the Dodgers beat the home team, 9-4 in the last baseball game to ever be played at the ‘Stick’. Giant greats help mark the occasion with Juan Marichal tossing out the ceremonial first pitch before the game and Willie Mays throwing out the ballpark’s final pitch after the game.
Giant killer LHP Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 2.53 ERA) goes for his tenth win. He hasn’t had a single-digit win season since 2009. He’s 6-1 with a 2.36 ERA over his last 12 starts, and he’s 22-10 against the Giants overall, 13-4 with a 1.20 ERA at their ball park. He’ll face rookie RHP Dereck Rodríguez (6-4, 2.50 ERA), who made his first big league start in May and has had a good first year. He needs to work on his control; he’s got a 2.67 K/BB ratio.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1951 Don Newcombe becomes the first black pitcher to win twenty games in a season. In a must-win for the Dodgers, the right-hander bests Robin Roberts, also a 20-game-winner, when he blanks the Phillies at Shibe Park, 5-0.
1959 At the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the Dodgers capture the NL flag with a dramatic 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Braves, taking the first two games of the three-game playoff necessitated by the teams being tied on the last day of the season. The deciding run comes in the bottom of the 12th inning, after the first two batters make outs, when Gil Hodges walks and scores on singles by Joe Pignatano and Carl Furillo.
1976 Tommy Lasorda is named to succeed Walter Alston as Dodger manager. ‘Smokey’ compiled a 2040-1613 record (.558), during his 23-year tenure with the club, winning seven pennants, and four world championships.
1979 Manny Mota sets a major league record with his 146th career pinch hit, a single to right field, in LA’s 6-2 victory over Chicago at Dodger Stadium. The Dominican Republic native surpasses the all-time record set by Smoky Burgess, who collected his last hit as a pinch-hitter in 1967.
2000 Gary Sheffield ties the Dodgers’ franchise single-season home run record when he goes deep off Woody Williams in the team’s 3-0 victory over San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium. The left fielder, with his career best 43rd round tripper, now shares the team mark with Duke Snider, who established the record in 1956 when he played for Brooklyn.
I imagine MLB hoped that the Giants and Dodgers would be fighting it out for the NL West title when they scheduled this series. They got it half-right. The Dodgers need to win all three games and hope the Nationals can take two of three from the Rockies if they hope to win the division. Otherwise it’s a cat’s cradle of possibilities with wild card games, tiebreakers to get into wild card games, and who knows what else.
Tonight the Dodgers ask LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-3, 2.00 ERA) to keep them in the game until they can either get to LHP Madison Bumgarner (6-6, 3.20 ERA) or knock him out. Both of these pitchers have spent lengthy amounts of time on the disabled list this season, and Ryu has done better since his return than has Bumgarner. Ryu has given up no more than three unearned runs in any of his fourteen starts this year including eight since his recovery. Bumgarner has a 1-1 record with a 5.48 ERA for the month of September.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1924 Rogers Hornsby finishes the season with a .424 batting average to lead the National League. The Cardinal second baseman easily outdistances Zack Wheat, who finishes second in the race, batting .375 for the Dodgers.
1952 On the last day of the season at Ebbets Field, the Braves’ 77 years of representing Boston is extended by three innings when Eddie Mathews’ ninth-inning, two-out double ties the game. The contest is called due to darkness and ends in the 12th inning in a 5-5 tie with the Dodgers.
1955 In the bottom of the second inning, Elston Howard, in his first World Series at-bat, knots the score at 2-2 when he homers off Dodgers’ right-hander Don Newcombe. The round-tripper to deep left field at Yankee Stadium marks the first time a black batter has hit a home run off a black pitcher in the history of the Fall Classic.
1959 The Braves, who ended the National League regular season in a first-place tie with the Dodgers, lose Game 1 of the three-game series, 3-2, in front of a sparse crowd of 18,297 at County Stadium. Milwaukee will lose tomorrow’s game in L.A., spoiling their chance for a three-peat as NL Champs.
1966 At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Larry Jaster throws a four-hitter, blanking Don Sutton and the Dodgers, 2-0. It’s the southpaw’s fifth shutout against LA this season, equaling a post-1900 major league mark held by the Senators’ Tom Hughes (against the Indians in 1905) and Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Phillies (against the Reds in 1916).
1988 In his last start of the regular season, Dodger Orel Hershiser tosses 10 shutout frames to extend his streak to 59, breaking Don Drysdale’s record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings.
1997 With his 40th home run, catcher Mike Piazza sets a single season Los Angeles Dodger record. Duke Snider holds the franchise record, slugging 43 round-trippers for Brooklyn in 1956.
2003 At Turner Field in Atlanta, Jose Reyes becomes the second Mets player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in one game. Lee Mazzilli was the first when he went yard twice against the Dodgers in LA on September 3, 1978.
2006 At Coors Field in Colorado, James Loney collects four hits, including two homers, and drives in nine runs in the Dodgers’ 19-11 victory over the Rockies. The rookie first baseman, who had one homer and eight runs batted in in 93 previous at-bats with the team, ties the franchise RBI mark set by Gil Hodges in his 1950 four-homer game for Brooklyn and breaks the Los Angeles club mark held by Ron Cey.
The Dodgers send RHP Ross Stripling (8-5, 2.84 ERA) to the hill in Phoenix to meet RHP Zack Greinke (14-11, 3.21 ERA) of the D-Backs. Stripling has had a tough second half of the season, going on the disabled list and going no further than 3 1/3 innings in each of the three starts he’s made since coming off. Greinke’s W-L record is unusually poor for him and he’s lost his last two starts, even though in his last one he went 7 1/3 innings against the Rockies and gave up just three runs on four hits.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1908 Cubs right-hander Ed Reulbach pitches two shutouts in the same day, whitewashing the Brooklyn Superbas in the opener 5-0 on a five-hitter and 3-0 on three hits in the nightcap. The entire Washington Park doubleheader takes less than three hours to complete.
1954 Willie Mays, with three hits in the season finale, wins the batting title, finishing the campaign with a .345 average. The ‘Say Hey Kid’ goes third to first in batting average with his performance passing teammate Don Mueller (.342) and Dodger center fielder Duke Snider (341).
1975 Burt Hooton sets a Dodger record for starting pitchers by winning his twelfth consecutive game. The 25 year-old right-hander, who was traded to LA in May for Eddie Solomon and Geoff Zahn, accomplishes the feat by beating J.R. Richard and the Astros at Dodger Stadium, 3-2.
1981 Nolan Ryan becomes the first pitcher to throw five no-hitters when the Astros defeat the Dodgers at the Astrodome, 5-0. The Ryan Express, who will finish his 27-year major league career with a record seven no-hitters, previously has thrown hitless gems against the Royals (1973), Tigers (1973), Twins (1974), and Orioles (1975).
1997 Dodger catcher Mike Piazza, in a 10-4 win over the Rockies, hits the longest home run in the history of Coors Field. The 28 year-old backstop’s sixth-inning blast travels 496 feet and hits the left-center field billboard between the scoreboard and the Rockpile.
The Dodgers send RHP Walker Buehler (7-5, 2.74 ERA) to the hill to face RHP Matt Koch (5-5, 4.26 ERA) in Game Two of a crucial series. In Buehler’s last start he went six innings and struck out 12 while giving up just three hits and two unearned runs in a game won by the Dodgers on a seventh-inning pinch-hit home run by Yasiel Puig. Koch is taking the place of Clay Buchholz, who’s out for the year with a strained flexor tendon. Koch’s last start was on September 13. He lasted just three innings, giving up eight hits and four runs and taking the loss.
This day in Dodgers’ history:
1941 Combined with a Cardinal defeat, the Dodgers win their first pennant in 21 years when they beat Boston at Braves Field, 6-0. Whitlow Wyatt throws a five-hitter and Pete Reiser hits a homer in the winning cause.
1956 Dodger right-hander Sal Maglie no-hits the Phillies at Ebbets Field, 5-0. The ‘Barber’s’ gem helps second-place Brooklyn to keep pace in the pennant race with Milwaukee and Cincinnati.
1962 After appearing in 60 games over a two-year span, Dodger reliever Ed Roebuck suffers his first loss. The LA right-hander gives up a 10th inning home run to Houston’s Al Spangler, breaking the 2-2 deadlock at Chavez Ravine.
1974 In the first-of-its-kind operation, Dr. Frank Jobe transplants a tendon from Tommy John’s right wrist to the Dodger pitcher’s left elbow. The revolutionary ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, which will become a standard surgical procedure better known as Tommy John surgery, enables the southpaw to win an additional 164 games, more than half of his career total of 288 victories.
1996 Giants slugger Barry Bonds draws an intentional walk which gives him the National League record with 149 bases-on-balls in a season. The free pass is issued in the seventh inning by LA’s Mark Guthrie with two outs and a runner on third base in the team’s 7-5 loss at Dodger Stadium.
2008 The Diamondbacks, defending division champions, lose to St. Louis, 12-3, allowing the Dodgers to clinch the NL West. Los Angeles first-year skipper Joe Torre’s 13-year postseason streak continues, unlike the Yankees, his former team.
On ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball RHP Ross Stripling (8-3, 2.61 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and RHP Adam Wainwright (1-3, 4.70 ERA) goes for the Cardinals. Stripling’s three losses this season have come on the road despite a 2.86 ERA in his 18 appearances away from Dodger Stadium. He’s 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA against the Cardinals in his short career. This is Wainwright’s fifth start of the year. He made three in April and injured his elbow, tried to come back in May but wasn’t ready, and has made one start in September. Six days ago he started against the Pirates, went five innings, gave up seven hits and four earned runs but avoided the loss. Because of this lost season, he’s thinking about retirement.
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.
LHP Rich Hill (8-5, 3.88 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and RHP John Gant (7-5, 3.16 ERA) goes for the Redbirds. Hill is 2-0 for September but has a horrific ERA of 6.55 for the month. He’s gone 11 innings and given up eight earned runs in his two starts. Nine of Gant’s last ten appearances have been starts, and he’s not allowed more than two runs in any of his last seven. This will be his first career start against the Dodgers; he’s made two relief appearances against them and given up one run in 2 2/3 innings.
The Dodgers win on Friday was followed shortly thereafter by wins by the Class AA Tulsa Drillers and the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in their respective league championship games.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1946 In Brooklyn, a giant swarm of gnats engulfs Ebbets Field at the end of the fifth inning of the second game of a doubleheader. Due to the bothersome insects and the impending darkness, the game is called, resulting in a 2-0 victory for the Dodgers over the Cubs.
1950 At Ebbets Field, Cardinal starter Cloyd Boyer hurts his arm while warming up and is replaced by Red Munger. The reliever goes the distance, beating the Dodgers, 6-2, getting credit for a complete game, but not for a game started.
1978 Don Sutton, in front of 47,188 fans at Dodger Stadium, throws a six-hitter to beat Atlanta, 5-0. Los Angeles, with tonight’s attendance, becomes the major league first team in history to draw three million fans at home.
1995 Ozzie Smith takes part in the 1,554th twin killing of his career to set a new big league record for double plays. The Cardinals’ shortstop’s wizardry isn’t enough to prevent the Redbirds’ 7-6 loss to the Dodgers at Busch Stadium.
The visiting Dodgers send RHP Walker Buehler (6-5, 3.09 ERA) to the hill to face RHP Jack Flaherty (8-6, 2.92 ERA) of the Cards. Buehler lost his last start, giving up four runs in six innings to the Rockies. He went seven innings and gave up just three hits to St. Louis back on August 22 in a game the Dodgers lost thanks to the surrender of two ninth-inning home runs by the bullpen. The starter for the Cardinals in that game was this same Flaherty, who went six innings and gave up just one hit, a home run by Joc Pederson. He had five quality starts in August but hasn’t gotten out of the sixth inning in either of his September starts.
“Two reasons: No. 1 is that he’s done it before and he’s really flourished in that role, and we expect him to throw leverage innings and dominate. That’s probably the main reason. And we’re going to go with five starters.”
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.
LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-5, 2.42 ERA) goes for the Dodgers at Busch Stadium this evening against the home teams’ LHP Austin Gomber (5-0, 2.93 ERA). Kershaw has given up no more than two earned runs in a game since July 15 and hasn’t lost since April 25 (okay, that sounds better than his record indicates; he was on the DL for nearly two months). Gomber made his MLB debut in June of this season; the Cardinals have won eight of his nine starts, including one against the Dodgers on August 20. That was Kenley Jansen’s first game back from his heart-related stint on the DL, the one in which he gave up two home runs in the ninth inning.
Houston Mitchell of the LA Times has a cold-eyed look at the Dodgers, their 2018 record and its splits, and its players WAR relative to prior seasons. For example:
They are 12-4 against San Diego and 4-0 against Texas, meaning they are 63-63 against everyone else.
There’s an “Ask Ross Porter” segment to Mitchell’s column, and I found this interesting:
Bill Russell, who played in a Los Angeles Dodger record 2,181 games, has been an MLB umpire supervisor since 2002 and sees all Angels and Dodgers home games. Bill tells me the umpiring is as good today as when he played.
Read the rest.
On this day 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 San Diego, 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 first place Padres.