Aug 30

Game 131, 2017

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 3:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN

Ryu v. Ray. Sounds like an MMC card, doesn’t it? Nope, it’s the Dodgers’ lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-6, 3.34 ERA) going up against the D-Backs’ LHP Robbie Ray (10-5, 3.06 ERA).

In his last nine starts Ryu is 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA and 49Ks. He held the Pirates to one run over six innings in his last start and was rewarded with the win. Ray’s last start was his first in a month; he gave up one run to the Mets in five innings and got a win. He’d been on the DL since July 28 with a concussion and related symptoms.

Where do Ryu and Kenta Maeda fit in the post season? Eric Stephen has thoughts.

Curtis Granderson’s foundation is donating 25K to the Houston Food Bank.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1918 At the Polo Grounds, the Giants beat the Dodgers, 1-0, on an unearned run in the bottom in the ninth in a contest that takes only fifty-six minutes to complete. Pete Compton’s base hit off Jack Combs plates Larry Doyle, who had singled to lead off the frame and moved to third on Ollie O’Mara’s errant throw on a sacrifice bunt.
  • 1952 Nine-time All-Star infielder Arky Vaughan drowns with a friend when their boat capsized while fishing in a volcanic lake near Eagleville, CA. The former shortstop and third baseman, who compiled a .318 batting average and a .406 on-base percentage playing with the Pirates and Dodgers, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.
  • 1966 Sandy Koufax, in his final decision facing the Mets, lasts only two innings, losing to Bob Friend at Shea Stadium, 10-4. The Dodgers Hall of Fame southpaw has compiled a 17-2 record against the lowly expansion team since their inception in 1962.
  • 2000 Earning his 1,600th victory, Braves’ manager Bobby Cox passes former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda on the career list for most managerial victories. His 5-2 victory over the Reds puts him 14th on the all-time list.
  • 2015 The NL’s eventual 2015 Cy Young Award recipient Jake Arrieta, needing just 116 pitches, beats Los Angeles, 2-0, tossing the 12th no-hitter ever thrown at the Chavez Ravine ballpark, and the 13th no-no in Cubs history. The contest marks the second time in ten games the Dodgers has been unable to get a hit, after being held hitless by Astros right-hander Mike Fiers on August 21.

Lineup when available.

Note Bellinger’s return to the lineup at 1B. To make room for him the Dodgers optioned Kyle Farmer back to OKC. Seager is still nursing his elbow, I imagine.

Aug 29

Game 130, 2017

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, KTLA, FS-A

The Dodgers ask LHP Rich Hill (9-5, 3.32 ERA) to stop their two-game losing streak (horrors!). He’ll face the D-Backs’ RHP Zack Godley (5-7, 3.53 ERA).

Hill lost a perfect game, a no-hitter, a shutout and the game in the ninth and tenth innings his last time out. Godley has lost three straight starts despite giving up only two runs in two of them.

Doc and A-Gon are longtime friends and ex-roomies, which has helped the Dodgers.

Dodgers’ September Call-Ups: Who’s In, Who’s Out? Howard Cole makes predictions.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1939 Wheaties sponsors the first telecast of a baseball game when their ads are aired during the Ebbets Field contest between the Reds and the Dodgers. The commercial broadcast is available only in New York City, where an estimated 500 people own television sets.
  • 1948 Jackie Robinson hits for the backward cycle when he homers in the first inning, triples in the fourth, doubles in the sixth, and completes the rare event with a single in the eighth. In addition to his ten total bases, the Dodger second baseman drives in two runs, scores three times, and steals a base, helping Brooklyn beat the Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park, 12-7.
  • 1951 With his second home run of the game, the sixth time he has accomplished the feat this year, Gil Hodges hits his 36th round-tripper to establish a new franchise record for homers in a season. The Dodger first baseman’s seventh-inning three-run blast in the team’s 13-1 rout of Cincinnati at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field surpasses the mark of 35 set by Babe Herman in 1930.
  • 1989 Giving up just three singles, recently acquired Mets southpaw Frank Viola outduels Orel Hershiser and beats the Dodgers, 1-0. The classic contest between two aces marked the first time in baseball history that the reigning winners of the Cy Young Award have faced one another in the regular season.

Cultural history note: On this date in 1966: On a typically cool night, the Beatles play their final concert at Candlestick Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants. The “Fab Four’s” performance on a five-foot stage, which is located just behind second base surrounded by a six-foot high wire fence, is less than stellar due the ballpark’s inadequate lighting, poor acoustics, and the group’s growing disdain of doing live shows.

Lineup when available.

Aug 27

Game 129, 2017

Brewers at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Brewers send RHP Jimmy (Big Sweat) Nelson (9-6, 3.79 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ RHP Yu (Yu-san) Darvish (8-9, 3.83 ERA) in the rubber match of the three-game series.

The Dodgers faced Nelson on June 2 at Miller Park, when he threw eight shutout innings and struck out 11 but got no decision in a game the Dodgers won, 2-1, in 12 innings. Darvish is 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA over 18 innings in the three starts he’s made as a Dodger. He’s never faced the Brewers.

The Dodgers reinstate Darvish and add Fields to the 10-day DL retroactively with lower back strain.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1937 Dodger right-hander Fred Frankhouse holds the Reds hitless for 7 2/3 innings before a heavy downpour ends the Ebbets Field contest permanently. The right-hander’s 5-0 victory will be one of the 31 “no-no’s” that is erased when MLB redefines a no-hitter in 1991 as a game in which a pitcher throws nine innings or more without giving up a hit. (Editor — I didn’t think that was fair then and I don’t now)
  • 1951 Dodger right fielder Carl Furillo throws out Mel Queen by two feet at first base, after the Pirates pitcher had apparently singled into right field in the top of the third inning in the team’s 5-0 victory over Pittsburgh at Ebbets Field. The “Reading Rifle” will lead the NL in assists for the second consecutive season, with opponents becoming increasingly more reluctant to challenge the strong arm of the Brooklyn outfielder.
  • 1952 The Dodgers set the National League mark for consecutive games with a double play when they complete a twin killing in their twenty-third straight contest, a 10-5 loss to Chicago at Wrigley Field. The fifth inning 1-4-3 DP, pitcher Clyde King to second baseman Jackie Robinson to first baseman Gil Hodges, leaves Brooklyn two shy of the major league record.
  • 1955 Sandy Koufax, in his second big league start, two-hits the Reds at Ebbets Field, 7-0. The 19 year-old bonus baby, displaying the dominance that he will feature during the 1960’s, goes the distance, striking out 14 Cincinnati batters.
  • 2005 Jeff Kent becomes the first player to hit 300 homers as a second baseman. The Dodger infielder, who surpassed Ryne Sandberg’s total of 277 last September, is the major league leader at this position, with Joe Gordon holding the American League record with 246 round-trippers.

John Henry of the Red Sox has recently advocated the renaming of Yawkey Way outside Fenway Park in Boston. Here’s one of the reasons why: in 1946 a committee formed to study integration, which includes Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, delivers its secretive report during an Owners’ Meeting. It defends the covert color barrier which exists in professional baseball. The absurd reasons given to why blacks shouldn’t be allowed to play in the big leagues include an absence of skills due to inferior training and lack of fundamentals and the need to respect Negro League contracts, but another lesser known motivation may have been profit as revealed later in the report, “The Negro leagues rent their parks in many cities from clubs in Organized Baseball (and) Club owners in the major leagues are reluctant to give up revenues amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars every year” as well as the fear white fans would be driven away if black players attracted more minorities to the ballpark.

Lineup when available.

Aug 26

Game 128, 2017

Brewers at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI

The Brewers send RHP Zach (“Bat Boy”) Davies (14-7, 4.09 ERA) out to the mound to face the Dodgers’ RHP Ross (“Chicken Strip”) Stripling (3-4, 3.41 ERA), who’s making a spot start for the injured Alex Wood. The very skinny (6 feet, 155 lbs) Davies is 7-3 with a 2.65 ERA over his last 11 starts. Stripling is scheduled for four innings and 55 pitches and then the bullpen will take over.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1939 At Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, NBC televises the first major league game in history on experimental station W2XBS, covering a doubleheader split in which the Reds win the first game, 5-2, and the Dodgers take the nightcap, 6-1. The network employs two cameras, one behind home plate, showing a wide view of the field, and the other on the third base line to capture the plays at first base.
  • 1947 Dan Bankhead becomes the major league’s first black pitcher. The 27 year-old right-hander doesn’t do well in a relief stint, giving up ten hits and six runs in 3.1 innings in a 16-3 loss to the Pirates, but the Dodger rookie hits his only big league home run in his first major league at-bat.
  • 1965 At Shea Stadium, the Mets beat the Dodgers, 5-2, making Tug McGraw (2-2) the first Mets pitcher to defeat Sandy Koufax (21-7). Previously, New York had lost 13 consecutive times to the future Hall of Fame southpaw.
  • 1993 The Mets announce that Vince Coleman will remain on paid administrative leave until the end of the season, effectively ending his playing career with the team. Co-owner Fred Wilpon’s unequivocal decision that the controversial outfielder, who signed a four-year $11.95 million contract before the 1991 season, will not ever put on a Mets uniform again is the result of Coleman admitting to tossing a M-100 firecracker from a Jeep departing from a Dodger Stadium parking lot last month, injuring three people.

Lineup:

Aug 25

Game 127, 2017

Brewers at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI

This is the first day of the MLB-promoted “Players Weekend,” so the uniforms are going to look a little different and the names on their backs may look a lot different.

The Brewers send RHP Chase Anderson (7-2, 2.83 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda ((11-5, 3.88 ERA). This will be Anderson’s second start since coming back from the DL for a left oblique strain. In his first one he went five innings and gave up only one run while striking out four Rockies. Maeda has a 3.09 ERA in his four August starts and is 7-2 in his last 10 starts.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1979 In a Hollywood Stars vs. the Media game played at Dodger Stadium, Robin Williams, the star of the hit television series Mork and Mindy, a show in which he plays an alien, runs the bases backwards. The comedian explains circling the bags clockwise is very common on the Planet Ork, his character’s home in the universe.
  • 1995 At Veterans Stadium, Gregg Jefferies hits for the cycle when Philadelphia crushes the Dodgers, 17-4. The Phillies’ first baseman, who has four RBIs and scores four runs, collects all of his extra-base hits off of LA starting pitcher Hideo Nomo.
  • 2008 After being swept in a four-game series earlier in the month in L.A., the Phillies return the favor, beating the Dodgers, 5-0, to complete its own four-game sweep. It is the first time in franchise history that Philadelphia has swept the Dodgers in a four-game series at home.
  • 2009 With a 5-4 win in ten innings over the Dodgers, the Rockies move 18 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history. The wild-card leader, winning 52 of their last 74 games, the latest on a Troy Tulowitzki bases-loaded single, has cut LA’s Western Division lead from 15.5 games on June 3 to just two games.
  • 2012 In nine-player blockbuster trade, the Dodgers obtain Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto, and cash considerations for James Loney, Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, Jr., and two players to be named later (Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands). The deal gives the new Dodgers ownership an opportunity to show their fans they are serious about making a run for the postseason, while giving an under-performing Boston team more financial flexibility in the offseason.

    Lineup when available.

Aug 24

Game 126, 2017

Dodgers at Pirates, 1:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-PIT

Dodger lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-6, 3.45 ERA) will face the Pirates’ RHP Chad Kuhl (6-8, 4.52 ERA) in a day game at PNC Park. Ryu seems to have gotten on track after his two-year recovery from injuries: he’s 2-0 with a 2.22 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings in his last eight starts. Kuhl has pitched much better since July 1, posting a 3.21 ERA. In his first 15 starts of the season before that he had a 5.58 ERA.

Yu Darvish and Kenta Maeda will meet and greet the Japanese Little League team before the game.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1941 During a double-header against the Cardinals, a rag tag group of five ‘musicians’, dubbed the Dodger SymPhony by announcer Red Barber, makes their Ebbets Field’s debut. This band, in which none of the members can read music, performs their zany antics at all evening and weekend games.
  • 1955 A telegram sent to Brooklyn president Walter O’Malley by the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce offers the team “thirty acres or more of dry flat land in open country in the heart of Long Island’s densest Dodger fan concentration.” The village’s attempt to attract the fleeing franchise to the south shore of Suffolk County will not materialize, and the club, after exploring many different venues as an alternative to Ebbets Field, will leave the East Coast in 1958 to play in Los Angeles.
  • 1957 The Dodgers, in a 13-3 loss to Milwaukee at Ebbets Field, use eight pitchers in one game, tying a major league record. Johnny Podres gives up three home runs in the fourth frame when Nippy Jones, Hank Aaron, and Andy Pafko all go deep off the Brooklyn starter.
  • 1960 During a dull game, Vin Scully, the play-by-play voice of the Dodgers, knowing that many fans in the stands follow the game on transistor radios, asks his listeners to help him surprise third base umpire Frank Secory. His ballpark audience responds when the veteran broadcaster tells them, “Let’s have some fun. As soon as the inning is over I’ll count to three, and on three everybody yell, ‘Happy birthday, Frank!'”
  • 1974 Davey Lopes steals five bases, tying a National League record established in 1904 by Giants first baseman Dan McGann. The Dodger second baseman’s quintet of stolen bags adds to the team’s franchise mark of eight stolen bases in their 3-0 victory over the Redbirds at Chavez Ravine.
  • 1975 Davey Lopes steals his major league record 38th consecutive base, but the streak will be stopped by Montreal backstop Gary Carter when he attempts to swipe another base in the Dodger Stadium contest. The second baseman will be thrown out in the 12th inning of the team’s 5-3 loss in fourteen innings.
  • 2014 Joc Pederson becomes the fourth player in the history of the Pacific Coast League to have a 30-30 season, and the first to accomplish the feat in 80 years, when he steals his 30th base for the Isotopes. The 22 year-old Albuquerque slugger, who has 32 home runs and a .432 slugging percentage in 116 games this season, will join the Dodgers when rosters expand next week.

Lineup when available.

Yes, that is a birthday cake for Kiké. No, I did not add it. The Dodgers’ Twitter person did.

Aug 23

Game 125, 2017

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-PIT

The Dodgers’ lefty Rich Hill (9-4, 3.54 ERA) tries to keep the team’s momentum going today when he faces the Pirates’ RHP Trevor Williams (5-6, 4.71 ERA). Hill got a five-inning win last week against the Tigers despite giving up a couple of runs in the first inning. He’s walked five in his last ten innings, but when he has runners on base in scoring position behind him he’s got a .172 expected average allowed — based on the quality of contact against him, plus his actual strikeouts, which ranks third lowest in either the NL or all of MLB (it’s not stated). Williams’ first big league start was against the Dodgers on May 8, and it was awful: he gave up eight runs (six earned) in three innings to them. His last start was similar: he gave up eight runs to the Cardinals in three-plus innings. In between, he’s thrown 97 innings and has a 3.62 ERA.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1958 Gil Hodges hits his 14th career grand slam in the Dodgers’ 10-1 victory over Milwaukee at LA Memorial Coliseum. The first baseman’s bases-full round-tripper establishes a new National League record, but is far fewer than Lou Gehrig’s major league mark of 23.
  • 1989 In the 11th frame of an eventual 22-inning 1-0 loss, the Expos’ Youppi! becomes the first mascot to be thrown out of a game when Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda complains to the umpires about the hairy orange giant’s behavior at Olympic Stadium. The L.A. skipper takes exception to the loud noise caused by the hairy creature’s running leap onto the visitors’ dugout before sneaking back into a front row seat.
  • 1989 In that same game, the second-longest shutout in big league history ends when Rick Dempsey hits a home run in the top of the 22nd inning, giving the Dodgers an eventual 1-0 victory over the Expos at Olympic Stadium. The Astros blanked the Mets for 24 frames en route to a 1-0 win at the Astrodome in 1968.
  • 2000 Team president Bob Graziano apologizes to a female couple who were asked to leave Dodger Stadium on August 8th because the two shared a kiss during a game. The pair felt the action of the eight security guards was discriminatory because the couple’s friends, a man and a woman, also kissed but were not ejected.
  • 2013 At a Dodger Stadium press conference, LA announces Vin Scully will continue to broadcast Dodgers’ games for his 65th consecutive season. Some of the historic moments the Hall of Fame broadcaster has called include Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, 19 no-hitters, including four thrown by Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, and Kirk Gibson’s dramatic walk-off in the 1988 Fall Classic.

Lineup when available.

Aug 22

Game 124, 2017

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, KTLA, ATT SportsNet-PIT

This would have been Yu Darvish’s start but he’s on the (precautionary) DL, so the Dodgers have called up RHP Brock Stewart (0-0, 1.64 ERA) to make his third start of the year. He’s gone 7 2/3 innings in the previous two. He’ll face RHP Jameson Taillon (7-5, 4.64 ERA), who returned June 12 from a month on the DL after surgery and treatment for testicular cancer (yes, there have been two MLB players treated for that disease this season — the Rockies’ Chad Bettis is the other). Taillon has had a 5.40 ERA since his return, and in his last outing against the Cardinals he gave up four runs on seven hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in five innings.

Wood’s sternum injury has flared up and he’ll probably miss his next start. Bellinger is still day-to-day but took batting practice and claimed he had no ankle pain. Kershaw will make a rehab start for Oklahoma City on Saturday.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1917 In a 22-inning contest against the Dodgers, Pirates’ outfielder Carson Bigbee sets a major-league record with 11 at-bats. The game was also the fourth straight extra-inning game played by Pittsburgh (total of 59 innings), which sets a National League record.
  • 1965 Juan Marichal thinks Johnny Roseboro throws too close to his head returning the ball to Sandy Koufax and attacks the Dodger catcher with his bat. The Los Angeles backstop suffers cuts on the head during the 14-minute brawl. Marichal was suspended for ten days and fined $1,750.
  • 2000 Hitting a solo blast and a three-run round tripper during a nine-run sixth inning of a 14-6 victory over the Expos, Dodger first baseman Eric Karros becomes the first player in the 111-year franchise history to hit two homers in an inning.

Here’s an oddity: In 1992 in the seventh inning of a Class A Florida State League contest, the Clearwater Phillies string together two walks and two sac bunts to score the game’s only run, beating the Winter Haven Red Sox, 1-0. Opposing minor league hurlers Andy Carter and Scott Bakkum do not give up any hits, making it the first professional game to be hitless in 40 years.

Lineup when available.

Aug 21

Game 123, 2017

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet Pit

The Dodgers will start LHP Alex Wood (14-1, 2.30 ERA) in the fourth game of their seven-game road trip. He and the Dodgers will face RHP Gerrit Cole (10-8, 4.04 ERA).

The Dodgers won the first three games of the season series by a combined total of 21 runs to six. Wood has made seven appearances against the Buccos, six of them starts, and he’s held them to a .227 BA while putting up a 2.61 ERA. Cole had a good June and July going 7-2, but he’s been up and down the rest of the season and he’s given up more than twice as many HRs (26) as he ever has before. His ERA is half-a-run higher than his career average to this point, too.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1975 The Reuschel brothers of the Cubs join forces to blank the Dodgers, 6-0. Rick goes 6.1 innings, and Paul finishes the game for the first shutout thrown by siblings.
  • 1990 The Phillies overcome an eight-run deficit, scoring nine runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat the Dodgers, 12-11. John Kruk’s pinch-hit three-run homer ties the game, and two batters later, Carmelo Martinez’s double plates Rod Booker with the eventual winning run in the Chavez Ravine contest.

  • 2005 Florida suspends their bat boy for six games after the 11 year-old accepts former Marlin and current Dodger hurler Brad Penny’s $500 dare to drink a gallon of milk in less than an hour without throwing up. The Milk Processor Education Program will promise to pay off the dare and to cover the lost wages resulting from the suspension if the sixth grader, who is able to drink the quantity in the allotted time but cannot keep it down, agrees to drink three glasses every 24 hours.

Here’s a bit of trivia I’d never heard before: in 1951 Major General Emmett O’Donnell is selected by the owners to be the new commissioner. President Harry Truman overrules the decision, stating the officer is needed in Korea in his post as commander of bombers.

Bellinger improving but ankle still swollen. Won’t start tomorrow either, Roberts said.

Lineup when available.

Aug 20

Game 122, 2017

Dodgers at Tigers, 10:10 AM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-D

The visiting Dodgers try to finish a sweep of the Tigers in a day game from Comerica Park. They’ll send RHP Kenta Maeda (11-4, 3.76 ERA) to the mound to face 2011 Cy Young Award winner RHP Justin Verlander (8-8, 4.11 ERA).

Maeda is on a hot streak. He’s gone 5-0 with a 1.95 ERA in his last six starts. He’s never faced the Tigers. Verlander gave up three HRs in a loss to the Rangers on Tuesday. He’s certainly not having a year even close to his standards.

Potential milestones: Verlander is looking for his 30th interleague win. He’s gone a gaudy 29-5 with a 2.94 ERA in 41 career regular-season starts against National League teams, but he hasn’t victimized the Dodgers much. His only start against the Dodgers was a home victory on July 8, 2014. Adrian González needs two hits to reach 2,000 for his career, but Verlander’s not the guy he’d like to face to get there. He’s 3-17 lifetime against the Tigers’ pitcher.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1945 Dodger shortstop Tommy Brown becomes the youngest player (17 years, 8 months, and 14 days) in major league history to hit a home run. The round-tripper by ‘Buckshot’, who started his career as a 16 year-old high school student, will be the only run Brooklyn scores off 30 year-old Pirates southpaw Preacher Roe, who goes the distance in the 11-1 rout of the home team at Ebbets Field.
  • 1974 In an 18-8 rout of the Cubs, the Dodgers collect 24 hits and set a club record with 48 total bases, including Davey Lopes’ three home runs, double, and single. The Dodger second baseman’s 15 total bases are the most ever for a leadoff hitter.
  • 1978 In the visitors’ clubhouse at Shea Stadium, Dodger Blue becomes black and blue when Steve Garvey confronts teammate Don Sutton about a Washington Post story in which the pitcher is critical of him. After the right-hander confirms he had made the comments, the argument becomes physical when an inappropriate remark is made about the first baseman’s wife.

I remember lying on a couch in my relative’s home while on vacation in Santa Maria listening to Scully and Doggett tell me about this one: in 1961 in the second game of a doubleheader the Phillies snap a 23-game losing streak by beating the Braves, 7-4. The victory establishes a new record for the most consecutive losses by a major league team.

Lineup when available.