Sep 15

Game 151, 2019

Dodgers at Mets, 4:00 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

RHP Walker Buehler (13-3, 3.14 ERA) comes off one of his best games of the year, a four-hit, eleven-strikeout gem over seven shutout innings which pushed the Dodgers over the line to win the Division Championship on Tuesday. He’ll face the Mets’ RHP Zack Wheeler (11-7, 4.21 ERA), who’s been on a roll recently, posting a 1.50 ERA over his last three starts despite opponents hitting .300 against him during that stretch.

Here’s Muncy’s slide to first base after Ramos hit the ball off Ryu’s back:

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. The nightcap is called due to the bothersome insects and the impending darkness, resulting in a 2-0 Dodger victory 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.

Lineup:

Sep 14

Game 150, 2019

Dodgers at Mets, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA, WPIX

The Dodgers send out LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-5, 2.45 ERA), hoping that skipping a turn will help him get back on the Cy Young track he’d been on until his last four starts. In those starts he’s put up an unsightly 9.95 ERA while giving up 36 hits, five HRs, and seven walks in 19 innings. His opponent will be RHP Jacob deGrom (9-8, 2.70 ERA), last year’s Cy Young winner, whose won-loss record belies the way he’s pitched this season.

Here’s Gavin Lux’s go-ahead HR off the original outfield wall in Friday’s game:

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 149, 2019

Dodgers at Mets, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: SNY, SPNLA

LHP Clayton Kershaw (13-5, 3.06 ERA) tries to get back on track for the Dodgers. After completing at least six innings in each of his first 23 starts, he’s failed to get past the fifth in any of his last three. He’ll face the Mets’ RHP Noah Syndergaard (10-7, 4.06 ERA), who appears to be unhappy with Wilson Ramos as his catcher. Last weekend he asked the Mets to put Rene Rivera or Tomas Nido in the lineup when he pitches.

Rich Hill’s injury is a recurrence of the one which delayed his start this season: a balky MCL. In spring training it was a full-on sprain; he says yesterday’s injury is not as painful.

Here’s the Orioles’ pitcher completely forgetting he’s supposed to cover home plate after a passed ball, allowing Seager and Bellinger to score in yesterday’s game:

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.

Lineup:

Sep 12

Game 148, 2019

Dodgers at Orioles, 4:15 PM PDT, TV: MASN, SPNLA

The Dodgers send LHP Rich Hill (4-1, 2.55 ERA) to the mound for the first of four expected starts before the playoffs begin. He hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since June 19 when he strained a flexor tendon, and he’s not expected to go more than a couple of innings. His opponent will be RHP Dylan Bundy (6-13, 5.06 ERA), who’s had an odd schedule: before 18 of his 27 starts he’s had an extra day of rest and has had one before today’s start, which has seemed to be beneficial. When he’s had that extra day he’s cut his ERA a full run from what it had been entering the game.

The Dodgers held a lead in yesterday’s game, believe it or not:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1930 The last major league bounced home run is hit by Dodger catcher Al Lopez at Ebbets Field as the NL joins the American League, which had enacted the rule change in 1929. The player who hits the ball over the wall on a bounce will now be awarded a ground-rule double.
  • 1932 In the bottom of the ninth, Johnny Frederick hits his major league record-setting sixth pinch-homer of the season, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Cubs. The Brooklyn outfielder’s major league mark will not be broken for 68 years until another Dodger, Dave Hansen, strokes seven round-trippers coming off the bench in 2000.
  • 1953 The Dodgers clinch a pennant at the earliest date ever in baseball history with a 5-2 victory over the Braves at County Stadium. Carl Erskine gets the win when Brooklyn, who clinches consecutive titles for the first time in franchise history, goes up 13 games up on Milwaukee with 12 left to play.
  • 1962 One game behind the front running Dodgers, the Giants lose Willie Mays, their All-Star center fielder, when he is hospitalized for nervous exhaustion. The ‘City by the Bay’ will drop six games in a row, but will recover along with ‘Say Hey Kid’ in time to beat Los Angeles in a playoff to win the National league pennant.
  • 1963

    “I look up into the stands, and it looks like Ebbets Field. The Mets are wonderful, but you can’t take the Dodger out of Brooklyn” – DUKE SNIDER, – addressing the Mets fans on his special night at the Polo Grounds.

    In a pregame ceremony with his former Dodgers teammates, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, and Ralph Branca in attendance, Duke Snider is honored by the Mets with a special ‘night’ at the Polo Grounds, which coincidentally marks the last time the Giants, now located in San Francisco, will ever play in their once long-time home in Harlem. The ‘Silver Fox’, obtained by the last-place expansion team in April, has recently requested to be traded to a contender.

  • 1995 During a WGN pre-game radio broadcast at Wrigley Field, Cubs announcer Harry Caray remarks to the team’s skipper Jim Riggleman, “Well, my eyes are slanty enough, how ’bout yours?”, referring to Hideo Nomo, the Japanese rookie hurler scheduled to start for the Dodgers. The veteran announcer, known for not backing off for his on-the-air off-handed comments, does issue an apology, calling the incident “unfortunate.”
  • 2000 On the same date the mark was established 68 years ago, Dave Hansen breaks Johnny Frederick’s 1932 record for pinch-hit home runs in a single season with his seventh round-tripper coming off the bench. The Dodger pinch-hitter’s historic homer, a seventh-inning three-run blast off Diamondback right-hander Curt Schilling, isn’t enough to prevent the team’s 5-4 loss to Arizona at Bank One Ballpark.

Lineup:

Sep 11

Game 147, 2019

Dodgers at Orioles, 4:05 PM PDT, TV: MASN, SPNLA

The NL West champion Dodgers send RHP Ross Stripling (4-4, 3.42 ERA) to the mound to face the Orioles’ rookie LHP John Means (10-10, 3.50 ERA). “Chicken Strip” has made 13 starts and 15 relief appearances this season; he’s got a 3.38 ERA as a starter and a 3.57 ERA as a reliever. In his last start on September 1 he went three scoreless innings; he probably won’t go much longer than that in Wednesday’s game. Means is approaching a career high in innings at 131; the most he’s ever thrown in a season was 157 last year. In his last four starts he’s put up a 2.45 ERA.

So how did the Dodgers get here this go-around?

  • MLB-leading ERA (3.12), K/BB ratio (4.72), WHIP (1.07) and shutouts (15) from its starters
  • The highest run differential in the NL (+237) by a cushion of 125 runs
  • A National League record in homers that is continuing to build (258)
  • The highest team OPS in the NL
  • Only one losing streak of five games or more

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 The Dodgers end Elroy Face’s consecutive win streak at 22 with a 5-4 victory over the Pirates. The reliever, who will end the season with an 18-1 record, is beaten by Chuck Churn, one of only three major league victories in his career.
  • 1966 In his first major league at-bat, John Miller homers off Lee Stange in the second inning of the Yankees’ 4-2 victory over Boston at Fenway Park. The 22 year-old left fielder, whose total of 10 hits in his 32-game career will include just two round-trippers, will become the only player to hit home runs in his first and last major league plate appearance when he goes deep as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers in his final turn at bat in 1966.
  • 1998 Kevin Malone is named as the Dodgers’ general manager, replacing Tommy Lasorda, who is promoted to Senior Vice President of the team. The “new sheriff in town” tenure in Los Angeles will be marked by the signing of high profile players to huge contracts, including Kevin Brown’s seven-year deal making the right-hander the first $100 million man in baseball.

Lineup when available.

Sep 10

Game 146, 2019

Portrait of the author at Camden Yards, September 2018:

Dodgers at Orioles, 4:05 PM PDT, TV: MASN, SPNLA

The visiting Dodgers trot out RHP Walker Buehler (12-3, 3.28 ERA) to take the mound in the Orioles’ gem of a ball park. He’ll face LHP Ty Blach (1-2, 10.95 ERA), who shut the Dodgers out for five innings on Opening Day when he was with the Giants. The Orioles claimed him off waivers and sent him to AAA Norfolk after he had three rough starts with them. He went five innings in his first start back up against Tampa Bay, giving up two hits and two runs. Buehler has been outstanding in most of his starts this year, but his last one was horrible: the Rockies got six runs off him in five innings.

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:

Sep 08

Game 145, 2019

Giants at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: NBCS BA, SPNLA

The Giants’ RHP Derek Rodríguez (5-8, 5.15 ERA) comes off one of his best games of the year, a one-run seven-inning gem last Tuesday against the Cardinals, and tries to complete a sweep. Julio Urias (4-3, 2.55 ERA) will try to stop it for the Dodgers. Urias went three innings last week in his first appearance after completing a suspension, giving up one run.

There was nary a Dodgers’ highlight in yesterdays game. In case you missed it, there was a complimentary column about Dodger catcher Will Smith in USA Today the other day.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1955 The Dodgers clinch their eighth National League pennant with a 10-2 victory over the Braves at Milwaukee’s County Stadium. Brooklyn’s 17-game lead makes it the earliest date that a team has captured a flag in baseball history.
  • 1957 Before their departure to play on the West Coast for next season, the Dodgers and Giants face one another for the final time in New York. The Jints beat the Bums at the Polo Grounds, 3-2, to finish the intense 68 year-old storied rivalry with a 656-606 advantage over Brooklyn in the battle between the boroughs.
  • 1967 The Mets, at the urging of their fans, honor former Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax, who retired last season when arthritis ended his career prematurely at the age of 30. The Brooklyn-born southpaw, who threw a no-hitter against New York in 1962, started twenty games against the Amazin’s, compiling a 17-2 record that included 14 complete games and 5 shutouts.
  • 2007 Alex Rodriguez, hitting his 50th and 51st home runs, joins Babe Ruth (1920-54, 1921-59, 1927-60, 1928-54), Roger Maris (1961-61), and Mickey Mantle (1956-52, 1961-54) to become only the fourth player in Yankee history to hit 50 or more homers in a single season. The Yankee infielder’s second homer breaks the major league mark of 49 homers hit by a third baseman, shared with Mike Schmidt (Phillies-1980) and Adrian Beltre (Dodgers-2004).
  • 2017 The Dodgers, who just a couple of months ago seemed poised to challenge the major league record of 116 wins in a season, lose again, their 8th straight defeat and 13th in 14 games, as they bow to the Rockies, 5 – 4. They blow an early 4 – 1 lead as D.J. LeMahieu hits a two-run double in the 5th to put Colorado ahead to stay. On a positive note, Yu Darvish records the 1000th strikeout of his career, punching out Carlos Gonzalez in the 5th, becoming the fastest starting pitcher to reach the mark, in 812 innings over 128 games.

Lineup:

Sep 07

Game 144, 2019

Giants at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: KTLA, MLBN (out-of-market only), NBCS BA, SPNLA

RHP Tyler Beede (3-9, 5.61 ERA) goes for the San Franciscans while RHP Tony Gonsolin (2-1, 2.89 ERA) pitches for the Angelenos. The Giants have lost each of Beede’s last eight starts, and he’s given up 18 first-inning runs in his 18 starts. Gonsolin has given up four runs in his last four starts and had a 1.80 ERA in the 20 innings he threw in August.

Here are Pollock’s three HRs from yesterday’s game (all solo shots, more’s the pity):

From a story at The Athletic analyzing which players are providing the most bang for the least bucks:

Three of the Dodgers’ best players — Cody Bellinger (No. 1 on the list), Walker Buehler (No. 6) and Max Muncy (No. 9) — are also their least expensive. (All three earn a little over $1.5 million combined.)

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1903 A year before the first subway line is completed, the Brooklyn Superbas, later to be known as the Dodgers, play their cross-town rivals in a two-stadium, same-day doubleheader. The first game played in Washington Park begins at 10:30 am with 9,300 fans watching the visiting Giants win the opener, 6-4, and later that afternoon in front of 23,623 patrons at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, Brooklyn wins the second game, 3-0.
  • 1916 The Giants defeat the Dodgers 4-1 to start their major league record 26-game winning streak. The ‘Jints’ start the span two games under .500 and make up nine games in the standings, but remain in fourth place during the entire streak.
  • 1962 With four steals in a 10-1 loss to the Pirates, Dodger Maury Wills breaks the modern National League record for stolen bases in a season with his 82nd swipe. Bob Bescher established the mark in 1911, playing left field for Cincinnati.
  • 1964 At Connie Mack Stadium, a Labor Day crowd of 26,390 fans watches the first-place Phillies split a doubleheader with the Dodgers. The attendance for the twin bill brings the season’s total to 1,224,172 patrons, breaking the all-time franchise home attendance record established by the Whiz Kids in 1950.
  • 2001 Shawn Green breaks a franchise record for homers in a season with his 44th home run, the first of two dingers the Dodger right fielder will hit off Dustin Hermanson in the team’s 7-1 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The previous mark had been shared by Duke Snider (1956) and Gary Sheffield (2000).

Lineup when available.

Sep 06

Game 143, 2019

Wait. This is the 143rd game of the season? There are only 20 games left as of tonight? Leapin’ lizards!

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: NBC Bay Area, SPNLA

RHP Jeff Samardzija (9-11, 3.61 ERA) takes the hill for the Giants; he’ll face LHP Clayton Kershaw (13-4, 2.96 ERA) on his home turf. Samardzija has had four winless starts in a row, games in which he has averaged less than six innings per start. Kershaw had a rough outing in Arizona last week, but the Giants are some of his favorite victims: he’s 23-11 lifetime against them and 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA this season.

Here’s Joc’s second HR of the game Wednesday:

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:

Sep 04

Game 142, 2019

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT Sportsnet-RM, SPNLA

RHP Antonio Senzatela (8-9, 6.95 ERA) goes for the Rockies. He’ll face the Dodgers’ suddenly-mortal LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-5, 2.35 ERA). Senzatela got half his wins this season in one month (June) and has been struggling the rest of the year. Ryu has hit a rough patch, going 0-3 with an 11.05 ERA in his last three starts and giving up five of the 15 HRs he’s surrendered all year in those games. The Dodgers need him to recover his form soon.

Here are the back-to-back HRs by “the old guys” which gave the Dodgers the lead in yesterday’s game:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1924 The Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) take a twin bill from the Braves, sweeping their fourth doubleheader in four consecutive days. Between September 1-3, the Brooks beat the Phillies six times.
  • 1966 The Dodgers become the first team to draw two million fans at home and two million on the road as 18,670 Crosley Field patrons watch Los Angeles beat their hometown Reds, 8-6.
  • 1969 After thirty-one games, the third longest consecutive game hitting streak in National League history ends as Dodger Willie Davis is stopped by Dick Kelley and Gary Ross in a 3-0 loss to the Padres.
  • 2017 J.D. Martinez becomes the 18th major leaguer, joining Reds utilityman Scooter Gennett as the second player this season, to hit four home runs in one game when he goes deep in the top of the ninth inning In the Diamondbacks’ 13-0 rout of the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. The Arizona outfielder, who was acquired in a trade from the Tigers in July, has one more home run than the opponent’s total amount of hits.

Lineup when available.