Jun 12

Game 66, 2018

Rangers at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSW

The Rangers give the ball to Father Time RHP Bartolo Colon (3-3, 4.16 ERA), who is now tied with Juan Marichal for most career wins by a pitcher from the Dominican Republic (243). The Dodgers send out callow youth in the form of LHP Caleb Ferguson, making just his second big league appearance. In his MLB debut on June 6 he went 1 2/3 innings, gave up two hits and four runs, walked three and struck out three, earning an unsightly ERA of 21.60. Nowhere to go but down, right?

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1940 In a trade which stuns the baseball world, the Dodgers obtain Ducky Medwick and pitcher Curt Davis from the Cardinals for outfielder Ernie Koy, pitcher Carl Doyle, two minor leaguers, and $125,000. The deal to acquire the 1937 Triple Crown winner, which is engineered by GM Larry MacPhail, signals the emergence of Brooklyn as a serious contender.
  • 1941 The Braves break up the Waners’ brother act, sending Lloyd, known as ‘Little Poison’, to the Reds for pitcher Johnny Hutchings. ‘Big Poison’ Paul, the older sibling, was signed as a free agent with the team after being released by the Dodgers last month.
  • 2005 Hee-Seop Choi homers in his first three at-bats in the Dodgers’ 4-3 victory over Minnesota. The southpaw-swinging first baseman’s solo shot in the sixth off Brad Radke, who also gave up the infielder’s first two home runs, proves to be the difference in the Chavez Ravine contest.

Lineup when available.


Jun 10

Game 65, 2018

Braves at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSO

The Braves’ LHP Sean Newcomb (7-1, 2.49 ERA) is having the kind of year the Dodgers’ Alex Wood did last season when he started off 10-0 and was selected for the All Star Game. Newcomb lost his first start of the year but has made eight quality starts since then, including five scoreless outings of six innings or more. The Dodgers counter with RHP Ross Stripling (4-1, 1.52 ERA), who’s won his last four starts and given up only four earned runs in his last seven starts going back to May 3.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2012 Bobby Abreu, who was tied with Mickey Mantle for 109th place on the all-time hit list, surpasses the Yankee legend with a second-inning double in L.A.’s 8-2 interleague victory over Seattle at Safeco Field. The 38 year-old outfielder has collected 2,416 hits playing for the Astros, Phillies, Yankees, Angels, and Dodgers.

Lineup when available.


Jun 09

Game 64, 2018

Braves at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSO

The Braves send RHP Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 2.16 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (1-4, 4.48 ERA). Sanchez is coming off his best start of the season; he went seven innings against the Nationals last Friday and gave up only two hits and two unearned runs in a no-decision. He didn’t sign with the Braves until March 16, so he’s just rounding into form. Wood is coming off a bad outing in which he gave up six runs on five hits in just two innings to the Rockies. He’s not gotten a lot of help from his teammates this year, but he hasn’t helped himself much either: his WHIP is 1.13 and opponents’ batting average against is .246.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 Dodger standout pitcher Rube Marquard breaks his leg running the bases, ending his season with a record of 3-3. The hard-throwing southpaw will finish his 18-year Hall of Fame career in 1925, after compiling a 201-177 record along with an ERA of 3.08.
  • 1973 Rightfielder Rusty Staub becomes the pivot man in a very unusual double play during a 4-2 Mets victory against the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. Racing in from the outfield, ‘Le Grand Orange’ gets a throw near second base from first baseman John Milner and tags Davey Lopes, who was picked-off from first, and then throws home to nail Tom Paciorek trying to score from second during the P-1B-SS-1B-2B-1B-2B-RF-C rundown.
  • 1990 Eddie Murray ties Mickey Mantle’s major league mark, hitting a homer from both sides of the plate for the tenth time in his career. The switch-hitting first baseman’s second home run of the game, batting left-handed against Eric Show, proves to be the eventual winning run in the Dodgers’ 5-4 victory over San Diego in the 11th inning at Jack Murphy Stadium.

This surprised me. We think nothing of baseball games being scheduled on Sunday nights now, and in fact ESPN has made Sunday Night Baseball a feature, but it was anything but until 1963. In the first major league game ever played on a Sunday night, the Colt .45’s extend the Giants’ losing streak to seven games, blanking the visiting team, 3-0. Due to the extreme heat during the days of the Texas summer months, baseball grants permission for games to be played in the evening at Colt Stadium.

Lineup when available.


Jun 08

Game 63, 2018

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

Coming off a 5-1 road trip the Dodgers send young righthander Walker Buehler (3-1, 2.74 ERA) out to face old friend RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 4.83 ERA), who has nearly equaled his win total of last year for the Dodgers already. Buehler has made four starts at home this season and is 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA and 27 Ks in 25 innings. McCarthy has been healthy so far, which is the biggest difference between last season and this. He missed two months of the Dodgers’ 2017 season with a blister on his right hand, one of three disabled list stints on the season for McCarthy.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1952 Prior to the start of a twin bill against the Reds, Dodger manager Chuck Dressen tells Cal Abrams if he wants to stay with the team that the benchwarmer will need to verbally taunt the skipper of the opposing club. Much to his chagrin, the spare outfielder, who spends the entire first game of a double-header severely heckling his opponents and their leader, is informed between games he has been traded to Cincinnati, effective tomorrow, and will need to report to his new field boss, one very angry Roger Hornsby.
  • 1955 After only eight games and 13 innings of work, the Dodgers option rookie left-handed pitcher Tom Lasorda to Montreal to make room for a bonus baby who is also a southpaw. Sandy Koufax, who had injured his ankle, comes off the 30-day disabled list.
  • 1968 Dodger right-hander Don Drysdale’s scoreless streak ends at a record 58 2/3 consecutive innings when Tony Taylor is driven in by Howie Bedell’s sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. It will be the Phillies outfielder’s only RBI for the season.
  • 2007 With their 3-0 victory over Detroit at Comerica Park, the Mets begin a span of 18 games to become the first team in baseball history to play six consecutive series against six different clubs that all participated in the playoffs the previous season. New York will compile an 8-10 record during the stretch playing against the Tigers, Dodgers, Yankees, Twins, A’s, and the Cardinals.
  • 2012 Six Mariners pitchers combine to hurl the franchise’s third no-hitter when starter Kevin Millwood leaves the game with an injury and five relievers, Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League, and Tom Wilhelmsen, keep the Dodgers hitless in the team’s 1-0 victory at Safeco Field. Brian Runge, the home plate umpire, was also behind the dish for Philip Humber’s perfect game, making him the first ump to call balls and strikes for two no-hitters in one season since Drew Coble accomplished the feat in 1990.

Lineup when available.


Jun 07

Game 62, 2018

Dodgers at Pirates, 9:35 AM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATT Sportsnet-PIT, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers and Pirates lay out a battle of righthanders for the rubber game of the series. For the Dodgers it will be RHP Dennis Santana (1-0, 12.27 ERA) and for the Pirates it’ll be RHP Jameson Taillon (3-4, 3.97 ERA). Santana made his big league debut last Friday night, getting his first win while going 3 2/3 innings against Colorado and surrendering five runs on six hits, walking one, striking out four (and doubling in two runs). Taillon got a win on June 1 when he threw eight shutout innings against the Cardinals. It was his first win since April 8. He’s made two prior starts against the Dodgers and has a 9.00 ERA to show for them.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1954 Dodger catcher Roy Campanella steals home in the top of the 12th inning in a 7-5 victory over St. Louis at Sportsman’s Park. Campy had added an insurance run with an eighth inning round-tripper, but the Redbirds scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score.
  • 1957 Howard University awards honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and recently retired Dodgers infielder Jackie Robinson. In the coming years, the former baseball great and the Baptist minister will often appear together at Civil Rights rallies, fundraising events, and demonstrations.

    Jackie Robinson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • 1982 Joining Lou Gehrig, Everett Scott, Billy Williams, and Joe Sewell, Dodger infielder Steve Garvey becomes only the fifth player in major league history to play in 1,000 consecutive games. The first baseman, establishing a National League record, will appear in 1207 consecutive games, before the streak ends next season when he breaks his thumb in a collision at home plate, playing for the Padres.

Lineup when available.

Jun 06

Game 61, 2018

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATT Sportsnet-PIT

Fresh-off-the-plane 21-year-old rookie LHP Caleb Ferguson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his MLB debut for the Dodgers against RHP Trevor Williams (5-3, 3.84 ERA). Ferguson was 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA at AA Tulsa and was 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA at AAA OKC this season. Williams had a poor May, going 1-2 with a 5.51 ERA. This after going 4-1 in April with a 2.29 ERA.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1941 The Giants join the Dodgers and Senators in requiring their players wear protective headgear. The durable plastic liners, which are sewn into the hat, don’t provide a defense against defeats when the team drops both ends of a doubleheader to Pittsburgh at the Polo Grounds, 5-4 and 4-3.
  • 1957 After an 86-minute delay, the first fog out in major league history occurs at Ebbets Field when the umpires call off the Dodgers’ game against the Cubs due to extremely poor visibility. Brooklyn has a 1-0 lead when the game is postponed with one out in the bottom of the second inning.
  • 1968 The day after Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles, Maury Wills refuses to play in a 4-2 loss to the Dodgers, his former team. The 35 year-old shortstop stays in the Chavez Ravine training room, reading RFK’s book, To Seek a New World.
  • 1994 Mike Piazza hits the longest home run recorded in the history of Joe Robbie Stadium when his first career grand slam is estimated to travel 477 feet. The catcher’s Ruthian blast, one of four Dodger round-trippers during the Florida contest, isn’t enough to thwart the Marlins’ 11-10 come-from-behind victory.
  • 2006 On the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year of the century, the Dodgers score six runs in the sixth inning during the sixth game of the homestand, beating the Mets, 8-5. On 05/05/05, the Twins scored five times in the fifth inning en route to a 9-0 victory over the Indians.
  • 2007 At Petco Park, Trevor Hoffman becomes the first reliever to save 500 games. It takes the all-time saves leader 10 ninth inning pitches, including an 87 mph fastball thrown past Russell Martin for the final out, to reach the milestone in the Padres’ 5-3 victory over the Dodgers.

Another event of note: in 1944 Baseball canceled its scheduled eight-game slate due to the Allied invasion of Normandy known as D-Day. The military operation has 60,000 Allied troops, including six minor leaguers who will be killed in action, landing along a heavily protected 50-mile stretch of the coastline in France to begin an offensive assault against Hitler and the Nazi party. Of less momentous note, in 2000, thanks to the Angels’ video crew playing a clip from the 1994 movie “Ace Ventura, Pet Detective” on the JumboTron, the Rally Monkey is born. With the words “Rally Monkey” superimposed over a monkey jumping up and down in the Jim Carrey movie, the crowd goes wild when Anaheim scores two runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Giants, 6-5.

Lineup when available.


Jun 05

Game 60, 2018

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATT Sportsnet-PIT

RHP Ross Stripling (3-1, 1.68 ERA) goes for the visiting Dodgers while RHP Joe Musgrove (2-0, 0.64 ERA) goes for the Pirates. Stripling is 3-0 in his last four starts (of seven so far this year, along with 11 relief appearances) with a 1.44 ERA and 35 Ks in 25 innings. Musgrove has won both games he’s pitched this season, going seven innings in each.

From The Athletic via Jon Weisman, a good story about Ross Stripling’s use of data analysis to improve his pitching. Also about Stripling and also via Weisman, an article in the LA Times about Stripling’s insertion into the starting rotation.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1977 On Old Timers’ Day, the Dodgers retire former manager Walter Alston’s uniform number 24. ‘Smokey’ compiles a 2040-1613 (.558) record along with seven pennants that results in four World Championships during his 23 years in the dugout.
  • 2015 Current Dodger Pat Venditte becomes the first full-time switch-pitcher in the modern era when he tosses two scoreless frames in Oakland’s 4-2 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The A’s ambidextrous reliever faces the minimum six batters in his two innings, allowing a single to Hanley Ramirez before getting an inning-ending double play in the seventh and then proceeds to pitch a perfect eighth.

Lineup when available.


Jun 03

Game 59, 2018

Dodgers at Rockies, 12:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATTSportsNet-RM

The Dodgers send LHP Alex Wood (1-4, 3.75 ERA) to the hill two days after he would ordinarily have started. He’s had hamstring cramps and the idea apparently was that he should spend two days hydrating in Colorado’s altitude to get acclimated. We’ll see if it worked. His opponent will be RHP Chad Bettis (4-1, 3.68 ERA), whose sole loss this season was to the Dodgers on May 22 when he went just five innings. In his latest start on Monday he gave up 10 hits to the Giants.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1969 Tom Seaver strikes out 14 batters in eight innings en route to the Mets’ 5-2 win over LA at Shea Stadium. The victory, fueled by Ed Kranepool’s two home runs, improves the second-place team’s record to 24-23, the latest they have been above .500 in franchise history.
  • 1989 In a 22-inning game played at the Astrodome, Houston beats the Dodgers, 5-4, when Rafael Ramirez’ run-scoring single plates Bill Doran to end the contest at 2:50 a.m., seven hours and 14-minutes after it started. The longest game in National League history features L.A. center fielder John Shelby going 0-for-10 and southpaw Fernando Valenzuela finishing the game at first base.

Lineup when available.


Jun 02

Game 58, 2018

Dodgers at Rockies, 4:15 PM PDT, TV: FOX

The Dodgers’ latest ROY candidate is RHP Walker Buehler (3-1, 2.20 ERA). He’ll face the Rockies’ RHP German Marquez (4-5, 4.21 ERA). Buehler faced the Rockies on May 21 and went seven strong innings, striking out six and allowing only a solo home run to Gerardo Parra. Unfortunately, after he left the game the Rockies, behind Marquez’s seven innings of two-hit ball, got two more hits and the winning run in the eighth and won the game.


Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1995 Hideo Nomo, limiting the Mets to one run on two hits in 8+ innings of work, picks up his first major league win, a 2-1 decision at Dodger Stadium. L.A. signed the 26 year-old former Japanese All-Star in the off-season.

Lineup when available.


Jun 01

Game 57, 2018

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATTSportsNet RM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers embark on a six-game road trip by playing the Rockies at Coors Field this evening. They’ll ask LHP Scott Alexander (1-0, 4.05 ERA) to start for the injured Kenta Maeda. Alexander has been in 20 games this season, completing 20 innings. All of them have been in relief. In fact, this is his first start in the big leagues, and it comes in his 100th MLB appearance. He’ll face the Rockies’ LHP Tyler Anderson (3-1, 4.72 ERA), who’s spent his entire three-year MLB career as a starter and has thrown 55 1/3 innings in 11 games this season.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1955 Duke Snider blasts three home runs in the Dodgers’ 11-8 win over Milwaukee. Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, and Roy Campanella also go deep in the Ebbets Field’s contest, helping Brooklyn set a franchise record with six home runs.
  • 1962 In the nightcap of a twin bill at Shibe Park, Don Drysdale beats the Phillies for the 13th consecutive time, continuing a streak which started in 1958. The Dodger right-hander, however, will drop his next seven decisions against Philadelphia after today’s victory.
  • 1997 When Wilton Guerrero scurries to pick up pieces of his shattered bat after grounding out to start the game, home plate ump Steve Ripley becomes suspicious and discovers that the rookie used an altered bat. The Dodgers second baseman is immediately ejected from the game by crew chief Bruce Froemming, and the 21 year-old infielder will also receive an eight-day suspension and a $1,000 fine for his use of a corked bat.

Lineup: