May 18

Game 47, 2019

Dodgers at Reds, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: FS-O, SPNLA

RHP Walker Buehler (4-0, 4.15 ERA) is on the bump for the Dodgers and RHP Tyler Mahle (0-5, 3.97 ERA) pitches for the Reds. Buehler has improved in virtually every start after a shortened spring training. His last time out he went seven scoreless innings and gave up just four hits to the Nats, only to see the bullpen give up five runs in the 8th and lose the game. Mahle has pitched well at times but appears to be a victim of the dreaded “one bad inning” disease.

The Reds’ Eugenio Suarez had a little fun after chasing a pop foul to the stands yesterday:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1929 In the doubleheader played at Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl, the teams combine to score a record fifty runs when the Dodgers outlast the Phillies, 20-16, before dropping the nightcap to the home team 8-6. In the opener, Brooklyn’s Johnny Frederick crosses the plate five times, giving him the major league mark of scoring eight runs in two consecutive games.
  • 1931 Dodgers’ outfielder Babe Herman hits for the cycle for the first of two times this season. In 1933, as a member of the Cubs, he will again hit for the cycle, making him and Bob Meusel the only major leaguers to have accomplished the feat three times since 1900.
  • 1942 Night games in New York are banned for the duration of WW II, leaving fans in the dark about the status of the All-Star Game scheduled to be played at the Polo Grounds on the evening of Monday, July 6. The prohibition of nighttime tilts, announced by NYC Police Commissioner Lewis J. Valentine, will change the starting times for 28 contests involving the Dodgers and Giants. (The first night game at Yankee Stadium will be played in 1946.)
  • 1998 With a 6-3 victory over the Orioles, the Devil Rays become only the second expansion team in major league history to sweep an away four-game series. The 1993 Colorado Rockies, who did it against the Dodgers, is the other team to accomplish this feat.

Another historical note: In 2004 At the age of 40, southpaw Randy Johnson becomes the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game when the Diamondbacks beat the Braves, 2-0. The ‘Big Unit’ joins Cy Young, Jim Bunning, Hideo Nomo, and Nolan Ryan as the only hurlers to throw no-hitters in both leagues and creates the longest time span between no-no’s, having first accomplished the feat against the Tigers in June of 1990.

Lineup:


May 17

Game 46, 2019

Dodgers at Reds, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: FS-O, SPNLA

LHP Rich Hill (0-1, 4.20 ERA) was pushed back from the Padres’ series in order to face the lefty-dominant Reds for this reason: lefties are hitting .445 OPS against him while righties are at 1.069 OPS. The Reds give the ball to RHP Anthony DeSclafani (2-1, 4.17 ERA), whose first two outings in May were strong but whose last start was short (4 innings) and unpleasant (eight hits, four runs).

The Dodgers’ management and catchers seem to be frustrated by Kenley Jansen’s insistence on throwing a cutter which isn’t as effective as it once was while his slider has been very effective indeed.

Jansen, 31, has already surrendered as many runs this season as he did in 2017, when he used his signature cutter 85 percent of the time to great success. He is using it just as often in 2019, but the pitch is no longer as dominant.

[snip]

This season, hitters have slugged better than .500 against it, more than two hundred points greater than in 2017. Yet after Tuesday’s save, he had thrown the cutter roughly 300 times this season, and he had thrown the slider only 22 times. Hitters had swung at it 13 times and missed it six times. They had not registered a hit against it.

[snip]

“Kenley obviously knows what he wants to do,” Roberts said. “He can be stubborn at times. He can be convicted at times. We’ve gotta work things out, as far as what we’re trying to do to get Kenley and the catchers on the same page.”

That page, Roberts allowed, covers how best to attack hitters.

“I think that, right now, he can do some different things,” Roberts said.

Which team’s uniforms are the best? MLB polled 85 players and got a tie at the top: the Dodgers and Yankees each received 10 votes.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 At Forbes Field, Hank Greenberg asks Jackie Robinson if the Dodger infielder was hurt in a collision with him at first base earlier in the game and then tells the embattled Brooklyn rookie, “Stick in there. You’re doing fine. Keep your chin up.” Jackie will remark to the writers a few days later that his “diamond hero” is Hank Greenberg, knowing that the Pirates’ first baseman, who due to the bigotry endured as a Jew, can appreciate his difficulty of facing racial injustice every day as the first black player in the major leagues this century.
  • 1978 Pinch-hitting for Davey Lopes in the Los Angeles 10-1 rout of the Pirates, Lee Lacy goes deep in the bottom of the eighth inning off Will McEnaney at Dodger Stadium. The utility player becomes the first player in major league history to homer in three consecutive at-bats as a pinch hitter.
  • 1992 Using only 21 dates, the Blue Jays reach the one-million mark in attendance sooner than any team in major league history. The 1991 Blue Jays and the 1981 Dodgers shared the previous record.

Lineup when available.


May 15

Game 45, 2019

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: FSSD, SPNLA

Lefty Matt Strahm (1-2, 3.00 ERA) goes for the Padres and RHP Kenta Maeda (4-2, 4.03 ERA) does the same for the Dodgers. Strahm has been converted to full-time starter this season and has done well: he had a rough first outing but has a 1.98 ERA in the six starts since. Maeda had his best start of the season his last time out, giving up just one hit over six innings. He faced the Padres on May 5 and gave up four runs in six innings, including three who’d gotten on base via a walk.

Here’s Bellinger’s two-run HR (15) yesterday:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 After 12 scoreless innings at Ebbets Field, the Reds score ten runs in the 13th inning to beat Al Mamaux and the Dodgers, 10-0. Cincinnati starter Hod Eller, who tossed a no-hitter in his previous start, is the beneficiary of the blowout.
  • 1956 Sal Maglie, obtained on waivers by Cleveland last season from the Giants, is shipped to the Dodgers for a hundred dollars after impressing Brooklyn in an exhibition game. The ‘Barber’ will post a 13-5 record along with a 2.89 ERA for the eventual NL Champs, finishing second to teammate Don Newcombe in the balloting for both the Cy Young and MVP awards.
  • 1998 On the day the Marlins trade Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios to the Dodgers for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile, the team hangs on to beat the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, 8-7. In the first inning, the Fish connect for nine consecutive hits, a franchise record, and score seven runs, all without the help of their recently departed teammates.

Lineup when available.


May 14

Game 44, 2019

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: FSSD, SPNLA

Incipient ace RHP Chris Paddack (3-1, 1.55 ERA) pitches for the Padres while LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 3.31 ERA) goes to the mound for the Dodgers. Paddack has had seven days rest since his last start, a 7 2/3 inning effort in which he struck out 11 Mets and got the win. From an article at MLB.com discussing the early front-runners for the Cy Young award: “Paddack pitched 90 innings of Minor League ball last season in his return from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, and he hasn’t pitched on fewer than five days of rest as he approaches the 50-inning mark this season.”

Kershaw is 18-6 with a 1.97 ERA lifetime against the Padres. In his last start he went 6 2/3 innings and got the win against the Braves. This is the only time I can remember Kershaw’s opponent having a lower ERA than the Dodgers’ ace going into a game.

By the way, Kershaw made an appearance on The Ellen Show recently:


Late Breaking News: Julio Urias has been arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic battery after an incident last night.

Urias’ arrest came after officers with the Los Angeles Police Department responded to reports of a domestic violence incident in the parking lot of the Beverly Center at 8500 Beverly Blvd. Witnesses told police they saw a man later identified as Urias shove a woman, who then fell over.

Authorities reviewed surveillance footage, which indicated the woman had been pushed, according to a source familiar with the police probe who was not authorized to speak about it. LAPD officers in domestic violence cases typically seek independent evidence of violent acts, such as video, physical marks or other confirmation.

In this investigation, the woman — who has not been identified — and Urias denied the incident was anything more than a verbal altercation, but officers are trained to examine other facts, even when a victim is uncooperative, according to two law enforcement sources.

Urias, a 22-year-old left-hander from Mexico, was arrested around 9:30 p.m. and released on $20,000 bond about four hours later, according to an LAPD arrest log and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s jail inmate locator.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1956 The Orioles, taking a gamble, purchase sore-armed Billy Loes from the Dodgers for a reported $25,000. The 26 year-old right-hander, who will be selected for American League All-Star team next season, will post a 21-30 (.412) record during his four years with Baltimore.
  • 1981 With a 3-2 win over Montreal in front of the largest Dodger Stadium crowd in seven years, rookie sensation Fernando Valenzuela improves his record to 8-0. The 20 year-old southpaw, who has started the season with five shutouts and a minuscule ERA of 0.50, gets the victory when right fielder Pedro Guerrero hits a leadoff game-ending home run off Steve Ratzer in the bottom of the ninth inning at Chavez Ravine.
  • 2011 For the first time since 1914, the Dodgers are defeated after allowing just one hit, losing to the visiting Diamondbacks,1-0. Chad Billingsley, the hard-luck loser, gives up a leadoff double in the second to Stephen Drew, who scores the game’s only run when shortstop Jamey Carroll fails to cover the bag in an attempted pick-off play.

Lineup when available.


May 12

Game 43, 2019

Nationals at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: MASN 2, SPNLA

RHP Stephen Strasburg (3-2, 3.71 ERA) goes for the Nats while LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1, 2.03 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. How is it possible that Strasburg is 30 years old with a career W-L record of 97-54 and a 3.16 ERA? In his last start he went 6 2/3 innings; he held the Brewers to three hits until the seventh inning when they got to him for four runs. Ryu’s last start was that rarity, a complete game shutout, in which he gave up four hits on 93 pitches against the Braves. He’s struck out 45 on the season and walked two. The two pitchers have met twice before and their teams have split.

Mike Petriello, now of MLB.com but formerly the blogger at the now-defunct Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness Dodger blog, has written an analysis of Hyun-Jin Ryu which posits that he’s MLB’s most underrated ace. If you remember Petriello, his pieces are stat-heavy, and this one’s no exception. He uses them to make the point that Ryu’s career performance is up with the elite pitchers in all of baseball.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1956 At Ebbets Field, Carl Erskine tosses his second career no-hitter when he holds the crosstown rival Giants hitless in the Dodgers’ 3-0 victory. The right-handed ‘Oisk’ also threw a no-no against the Cubs in 1952.
  • 1958 In a 12-3 rout of their West Coast rival, Willie Mays homers twice against the Dodgers in the LA Memorial Coliseum contest. The ‘Say Hey Kid’s’ second round-tripper, a fifth-inning shot off Ed Roebuck, is the first grand slam ever hit by a San Francisco Giant.
  • 1979 Bill Murray, anchorman on Saturday Night Live Weekend Update reports 42 year-old Chico Escuela (a fictional baseball player portrayed by Garrett Morris) has informed the Mets that he is quitting baseball. Although baseball has been “berra berra good…” to him, a crushing blow off the bat of Dodger first baseman Steve Garvey into the Dominican’s infielder’s crotch ends an inspiring comeback.
  • 1990 Blanking the Dodgers at Shea Stadium, 7-0, Frank Viola gets his seventh consecutive win from the start of the season. The Mets southpaw sets a franchise record of nine straight victories, dating back to his past two decisions last season.
  • 2004 In one of the most remarkable at-bats in big league history, Alex Cora fouls off 14 consecutive pitches and then hits the 18th thrown to him by the Cubs’ Matt Clement over the right-field fence for a two-run home run which doubles LA’s lead to 4-0. The Dodger Stadium crowd cheered each foul ball, watching the increasing total displayed on the scoreboard.

  • 2015 Giancarlo Stanton becomes the fourth player to hit a home run out of Dodger Stadium, joining Mark McGwire (1999), Mike Piazza (1997), and Willie Stargell, who accomplished the feat twice (1969, 1973). The jaw-dropping first-inning blast off Mike Bolsinger, estimated to have traveled 475 feet, proves to be the only bright spot in the Marlins’ 11-1 loss to LA at Chavez Ravine.

Lineup when available.


May 11

Game 42, 2019

Nationals at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: KTLA, MASN 2, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

The redoubtable RHP Max Scherzer (1-4, 3.78 ERA) takes the hill to face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (4-0, 4.95 ERA). The Nats are 1-7 when Scherzer has started this season; they’re not scoring many runs when he pitches. Buehler’s first start of the year was horrible; he lasted just three innings and gave up five runs, leaving him with an ERA of 15.00. Every outing since has caused his ERA to drop. At this point in the season he’s having trouble the third time through the opponents’ batting order; they’re hitting .196 the first two times through and .409 the third.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1963 Sandy Koufax takes a perfect game into the eighth inning before walking Ed Bailey on a 3-and-2 pitch, but will finish the Dodger Stadium contest with the second of four career no-hitters, blanking the Giants, 8-0. The Los Angeles southpaw beats San Francisco ace Juan Marichal, who will also author a no-hitter next month.

Three years ago tonight’s starter had a history-making performance: In 2016 Max Scherzer ties a major league mark when he strikes out 20 batters in a nine-inning game, joining Roger Clemens (1986, 1996 Red Sox), Kerry Wood (1998 Cubs), and Randy Johnson (2001 Diamondbacks). The 31 year-old right-hander, who goes the distance in Washington’s 3-2 victory over the Tigers at Nationals Park, has an opportunity to establish a new record with two out in the ninth, but James McCann grounds into a force out at second base to end the contest.

Lineup when available.


May 10

Game 41, 2019

Nationals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: MASN, SPNLA

The Nationals send RHP Aníbal Sánchez (0-5, 5.15 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ RHP Kenta Maeda (3-2, 4.66 ERA) in the middle second game of this three-game four-game series. Sánchez has lost four straight starts and walked at least four in four of his six starts this year. Maeda has done just a little better; he’s walked at least two in four of his seven starts.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1953 With a double and home run, Roy Campanella drives in all the runs in the Dodgers’ 5-0 victory over the Phillies at Ebbets Field. Campy’s total of 40+ RBIs in the first 30 games will not be matched until Tino Martinez accomplishes the feat in 1997 with the Yankees.
  • 1955 Dodger right-hander Don Newcombe faces only 27 batters when he one-hits Chicago at Wrigley Field, 3-0. Gene Baker, who will be thrown out trying to steal second base, ruins Newk’s bid for perfection, with a fourth-inning single.

Other historical notes: on this day in 1909 Fred Toney completes the longest no-hitter in organized baseball history, a 1-0 victory over the Lexington Colts of the Blue Grass League. As word spread around town about the Class D Winchester Hustlers right-hander’s performance on the mound, fans continued to stream into the ballpark before the lone run of the contest scored on a squeeze play in the bottom of the 17th. And if you thought the Phillies’ Ben Chapman was bigoted only toward African-Americans, think again. On this date in 1934 Ben Chapman, who will lead the protest against Jackie Robinson in 1947, harasses a Jewish fan during a Yankees’ 13-3 victory of the White Sox at the Bronx ballpark. The New York left fielder shouts disparaging epithets and taunts the team’s supporter with Nazi salutes.

Lineup when available.


May 09

Game 40, 2019

Nationals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: MASN, SPNLA

LHP Patrick Corbin (2-1, 3.71 ERA) makes his first start against the Dodgers as a member of the Nats. As a Diamondback last season he was 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in 23 1/3 innings against them. His opponent will be LHP Rich Hill, (0-0, 3.60 ERA), who’ll be making just his third start. He was sharp in his first one against the Pirates but went only four innings in the second start against the Padres, giving up three runs on two HRs by Manny Machado.

Here is the latest speculation about free agent Craig Kimbrel. The Dodgers could see a need for him if Kenley Jansen can’t stop giving up HRs.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 Philadelphia manager Ben Chapman, who admits he had been ‘kinda loud’ in leading his team in verbally abusing Jackie Robinson with racial slurs during yesterday’s game, sends word to the Brooklyn clubhouse that he would like to make amends by posing with the Dodger first baseman for the newspaper photographers. The orchestrated gesture, which Robinson agrees to, admitting later that is one of the hardest things he ever had to make himself do, is prompted by the bad press created by the Phillies manager’s intolerance and the wrath of Commissioner Chandler.

Also on this day: In 2015 with runners on second and third, the Pirates turn the first recorded 4-5-4 triple play in baseball history, recording all three outs entirely on the left side of the infield. The oddity occurs when Yadier Molina lines out to second baseman Neil Walker (1), who throws to third baseman Jung Ho Kang to double up Jhonny Peralta (2), who had strayed too far off the third, and then fields the third baseman’s return throw to triple up Jason Heywood at second base (3).

Lineup when available.


May 08

Game 39, 2019

Braves at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSE

The Braves send RHP Mike Foltynewicz (0-1, 5.06 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 2.77 ERA). Foltynewicz missed spring training and most of April with a bone spur in his elbow. He was scheduled to be the Braves’ Opening Day starter. In his return from the IL he had a 6.11 ERA in four Triple-A rehab starts and hasn’t done much better in his first two starts for Atlanta. Kershaw too had a slow start to the season; this will be his fifth start of 2019. He’s averaging six-plus innings per appearance.

Turner had a big night:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1941 An Army-Navy Relief game between New York’s two National League teams raises over $60,000. Dolph Camilli’s homer is the difference in the Ebbets Field exhibition as the Dodgers edge the Giants, 7-6.
  • 2012 Josh Hamilton becomes the 16th major leaguer to hit four home runs in one game when he blasts an 0-2 pitch over the Camden Yards centerfield fence in the eighth inning of the Rangers’ 10-3 victory over Baltimore. The Texas outfielder, who connected each time with a man on base, also hits a double to set the American League’s single-game record for total bases with 18, one shy of Shawn Green’s major league mark of 19 established in 2002 with the Dodgers.

In a sign that the apocalypse cannot be far away, in 2012 the New York State Senate congratulates Mr. Met with a voice approved resolution, honoring the larger-than-life bobblehead for being named the best mascot in the U.S. in a fan survey conducted by the Marketing Arm. The Amazins’ spherical symbol of cheer, who defeated the popular Phillie Phanatic in the poll, is commended by the legislative body for having his legacy serve as “a sterling example for all mascots”.

Lineup when available.


May 07

Game 38, 2019

Braves at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: FSSE, SPNLA

The Braves give the ball to LHP Max Fried (4-1, 2.11 ERA) and the Dodgers do the same to LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-1, 2.55 ERA). Fried limited the Padres to one run on four hits with seven strikeouts over seven innings in his best start of the season last time out. Ryu went eight innings against the Giants his last time out, giving up one run on four hits, no walks and six strikeouts. He leads the majors with 0.5 walks per nine innings.

From Monday’s game wrapup:

Buehler is 12-5 in his 30 career starts. No drafted Dodgers pitcher has won that many games in that few starts, including fellow first-rounders Clayton Kershaw, Bob Welch or Chad Billingsley.

In franchise history, only Kenta Maeda, Don Newcombe, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kaz Ishii and Hideo Nomo rank ahead of Buehler for wins in the first 30 Major League starts, and each played professionally previously in Asia or, in Newcombe’s case, the Negro Leagues.

Additionally, Buehler has limited the opposition to a .195 batting average in those 30 starts, sixth in MLB all-time behind Jose Fernandez (.181), Vida Blue (.181), Nomo (.185), Juan Guzman (.192) and Matt Harvey (.195).

Bellinger won’t play first base for the forseeable future due to the potential for injury when diving for balls. (What, he won’t dive for balls in right field?) Pollock won’t play for six more weeks; he has a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line in his left arm to transmit antibiotics and cannot play baseball until it’s removed. The antibiotics are to fight the staph infection in his elbow which took him into surgery last week. This particular problem is bizarre; read the whole story.

Buehler struck out eight in Monday’s game:

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 At the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Yankees defeat the Dodgers, 6-2, in an exhibition game played to benefit Roy Campanella, who was paralyzed in an auto accident prior to the team moving to the West Coast in 1958. The game, which draws the largest crowd ever for a baseball game, 93,103 fans with another estimated 15,000 turned away from the sellout, begins with an emotional ceremony in which Pee Wee Reese pushes the wheelchair-bound catcher into the darkened stadium that is totally illuminated by fans holding candles or matches.
  • 1960 The Sherry boys become the tenth pair of siblings to appear as batterymates in a major league game when Norm replaces John Roseboro behind the plate in the top of the eighth to catch Larry, who is starting his first inning in relief. The backstop will hit a two-out home run in the bottom of the 11th inning, assuring his brother of a victory in the Dodgers’ 3-2 walk-off win over Philadelphia.
  • 1969 Willie Davis, furious with the Wrigley Field Bleacher Bums because of their continual verbal abuse of him, tells his Dodgers teammates that he wants to hit a home run in the middle of the group, which he does in the sixth inning to tie the score. The LA center fielder exacts a bit more revenge on the heckling horde when his 12th-inning two-run round-tripper proves to be the difference in the 4-2 defeat of the Cubs.
  • 1970 At Shea Stadium, Wes Parker hits a triple off Jim McAndrew to beat the Mets in the tenth inning, 7-4. The three-bagger completes the cycle for the Dodger first baseman.
  • 1991 Darryl Strawberry returns to New York as a Dodger with mixed results. A crowd of 49,118 mostly booing fans watches him hit a two-run home run, and they cheer when he makes the last out of the game with the potential tying and winning runs on base in the 6-5 Mets victory.
  • 2009 The Dodgers fail to improve upon their 13-game winning streak at home to open the season–the victorious span surpassed the 1911 Tigers to set a new major league mark. The 11-9 loss to Washington comes on the same day the team learns about Manny Ramirez, the club’s most productive hitter, being suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance.
  • 2009 Major League Baseball suspends Manny Ramirez for fifty games after he tests positive for the use of a banned substance. The 36 year-old Dodgers outfielder, who will not be eligible to return to the team until July 3, apologizes to the fans, explaining he did not take steroids, but was given a medication which a doctor thought was okay to be prescribed.
  • 2011 After a first-inning walk in the Dodgers’ 4-2 loss to the Mets, Andre Ethier goes 0-for-4, ending his 30-game hitting streak. The L.A. outfielder falls one game short of the franchise record set in 1969 by Willie Davis, who enjoyed a 31-game hitting streak that season.
  • 2014 Adrian Beltre becomes the fifth player in major league history to hit 100 home runs for three different teams when he goes deep in the Rangers’ 9-2 loss to Colorado at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The 35 year-old third baseman, who joins Alex Rodriguez, Jim Thome, Darrell Evans, and Reggie Jackson in accomplishing the feat, hit 147 homers for the Dodgers (1998-2004) and 103 with the Mariners (2005-09).

Lineup when available.