Oct 02

Goodbye, Vin, and thanks for all the fish

The Dodgers’ legendary broadcaster Vin Scully called his last game today in San Francisco. The Bay Area did itself proud in paying tribute to him and to his 67-year career.


That plaque on the wall reads in part “Vin Scully’s Final Broadcast.” It’s inside the visitors’ broadcast booth at AT&T Park in San Francisco, and the two gentlemen are Willie Mays and Vin Scully. Vin has always said Willie was the best player he ever saw.

The crowd in the Giants’ park gave him a rousing welcome and ovation when he arrived in the broadcast booth:


And then he said goodbye


and flew off into the sunset with a friend also named Scully:


Thank you, Vin. I first heard you in 1959 or 1960 when my family moved to Westwood, Ca. I scored games in spiral notebooks as you and Jerry Doggett called them from distant places like St. Louis and Milwaukee and Philadelphia as well as right across town in the Coliseum. When I went to the nearest Union 76 station the portraits I got for free represented more than just my imagination, for you had made the players and the games real.

We moved across country after the 1962 season and I rarely heard you for twenty years until my work took me back to Los Angeles in the mid-1980s. I’ll never forget the first night I was back in that city hunting for the Dodgers’ game on the radio and hearing your voice again, a little older and with an additional partner (Ross Porter). It was wonderful.

For the last twenty years the local cable company has carried the Dodgers’ games on either Prime Ticket or the newer Sports Net Los Angeles channels and Scully has done all the home games and until recently away games west of the Rockies, so I’ve had the great pleasure of hearing him even more than I did when I was a kid.

What the hell, the man’s 88 years old. He’s entitled to retire.

Thanks, Vin, for the highlights and the joy as well as the reminder when the team failed that there was always another game next day or next year. Enjoy your retirement with Sandi.

Oct 02

Game 162, 2016

Last game of the regular season, and it has some importance for the home team Giants.

The Giants can claim the second wild-card spot in the National League and a one-game showdown with the New York Mets in the Big Apple on Wednesday with either a win Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers or a St. Louis Cardinals loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Cardinals can still force a one-game wild-card tiebreaker against the Giants on Monday in St. Louis with a win Sunday and a San Francisco loss.

As a result of Saturday’s loss the Dodgers locked themselves into the No. 3 seed in the NL playoffs. The second-seeded Nationals, winners of the NL East, have the home-field advantage in the best-of-five series. (The Cubs have the first seed).

Dodgers at Giants, 12:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, KTLA, CS-BA, MLB.TV free game (out-of-market)

Kenta Maeda (16-10, 3.28 ERA) hopes to cap off an excellent MLB rookie season with his 17th win. He’s done very well against the Giants this year: 3-0 with a 2.65 ERA in three starts. He’ll face lefty Matt Moore (12-12, 4.21 ERA), who faced the Dodgers on September 21 and did not fare well: he gave up six runs on seven hits in one-plus innings.

Vin Scully will do all nine innings of the game, which will be simulcast on radio and TV in LA and in the Bay Area. It’s also going to be streamed live on MLB.com.

Lineup when available.

Oct 01

Game 161, 2016

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, KTLA, CS-BA

It’s a mound mismatch, if you look at the records of the two starters. The Dodgers send out Clayton Kershaw (12-3, 1.65 ERA) to face the Giants’ rookie lefthander Ty Blach (0-0, 2.00 ERA). Kershaw has been pretty successful in the Giants’ home park; he’s 10-3 with a 1.30 ERA lifetime. This will be Blach’s second major league start, but he’s seen the Dodgers before: he pitched three scoreless innings against them on September 21. The Giants need to win badly: they’re a game ahead of the Cardinals for the second Wild Card and need both a win and a St. Louis loss today to clinch a spot in the postseason. If they get one but not the other they clinch a tiebreaker game in St. Louis.

Charlie Culberson asked Vin Scully to sign the bat Charlie hit the walkoff HR with last weekend.


Lineup:


Sep 29

Game 159, 2016

Dodgers at Padres, 6:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

Julio Urias (5-2, 3.53 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and Christian Friedrich (5-11, 4.66 ERA) takes the mound for the Padres. Friedrich’s year hasn’t been good overall, but his September has shown improvement: he’s had a 3.86 ERA through four starts including 25 strikeouts and just nine walks. The Dodgers keep trying to limit Urias’s innings (he’s thrown 119 this year at OKC and with LA) but they keep finding a need to use him. He hasn’t pitched in two weeks, however.

Today will be the final game at Petco Park for the Padres’ own Hall-of-Fame broadcaster, Dick Enberg. He’s been their primary play-by-play man for seven years after a long career at NBC and CBS calling golf, football and tennis, as well as earlier stints as both UCLA basketball’s play-by-play man and the LA Rams play-by-play caller. He even taught and coached baseball at Cal-State Northridge for five years in the early 1960s.

Lineup when available.


Seager off, González off, Kiké in the infield, Chooch at catcher…

Sep 27

Game 157, 2016

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

The Dodgers switched starters around for tonight’s game. They had scheduled Kenta Maeda (16-9, 3.20 ERA) to pitch Wednesday and Jose De Leon tonight, but they reversed the order. It may be that they want Maeda to pitch the last game of the season in San Francisco if home-field advantage for the playoffs is still undecided.

His opponent will be Paul Clemens (3-5, 4.48 ERA), who hasn’t given up a run in his last two starts but who has had trouble going deep into games; his last outing was his longest of the year at 5 2/3 innings.

In playoff opponent news, the Nationals’ All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos is out for the season; he suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in Monday night’s game.


Lineup when available.


May 30

Game 52, 2016

Dodgers at Cubs, 2:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, WGN

Alex Wood (1-3, 4.03 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers while Jason Hammel (6-1, 2.17 ERA) goes for the Cubs. Those are gaudy numbers, but in his career he’s 2-6 with a 4.93 ERA in 16 games (12 starts) against the Dodgers. Wood is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in five games (two starts) against the Cubs.


Lineup:


May 10

Game 33, 2016


Link to Scully interview accompanying above

Mets at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN (out-of-market)

The Mets’ Jacob deGrom (3-1, 1.99 ERA) of the Flowing Locks starts against the Dodgers’ Alex Wood (1-3, 5.18 ERA) of the Moussed Pompadour. The right-handed deGrom only has 16 strikeouts in his four starts, which seems low. Lefty Wood would undoubtedly trade his 28 Ks for a couple of wins; he hasn’t had one in his last five starts.

Lineup when available.


Apr 19

Game 14, 2016

But first, Vin Scully reads a grocery list. Yep, someone sent the Sunday Night Baseball crew an audiotape of Vin reading just that back in the 1970s, and they played it during a tribute they offered to him during the third inning of tonight’s game.

Dodgers at Braves, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSO

Alex Wood (1-1, 4.50 ERA) goes for the Dodgers against some guy named TBD. It will probably be Julio Teheran (0-2, 6.35 ERA, 17 innings, 9 BB, 14 Ks). This will be Wood’s first appearance at Turner Field since he was traded to the Dodgers last July for Hector Olivera, Paco Rodriguez and minor-leaguer Zachary Bird. Olivera has played five games in left field for the Braves this season and Rodriguez will miss the entire year after Tommy John surgery.

Lineup when available.

Jan 13

Milestones

Changes at ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball: Curt Schilling moves to Monday Night Baseball, John Kruk goes back to Baseball Tonight, and Jessica Mendoza and Aaron Boone move into the chairs next to Dan Shulman for the Sunday game.

Monte Irvin has died at 96. He joined the NY Giants from the Negro League Newark Eagles in 1949 (the second black player on the team behind Hank Thompson) and played left field next to Willie Mays. In the 1951 World Series those three men formed the first all-black starting outfield in World Series history. Jay Jaffe has more.