Jul 05

Game 86, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The D-Backs send RHP Zack Godley (3-2, 2.67 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ unbeaten LHP Alex Wood (9-0, 1.83 ERA).

Godley lost for the first time in a month last week when he gave up three runs in seven innings to the Cardinals. Wood hasn’t lost yet this year, obviously, and he’s 8 1/3 innings shy of qualifying for the league lead in ERA. His last time out he went six innings and gave up one run to the Padres while getting a win.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1935 The Cuccinellos become the third pair of brothers, following the Waners (2) and Ferrells, and the first on opposing teams to homer in the same game when Al goes deep in the bottom of the ninth in the Giants’ 14-4 loss to Brooklyn at the Polo Grounds. The New York’s third baseman’s sibling, Tony, playing second base for the Dodgers, had homered in the previous inning.
  • 1952 In their final season in Boston, the Braves play in front of the largest home crowd of the season when 13,405 fans watch Brooklyn beat their team for the 12th consecutive time, a 5-3 complete-game victory by Carl Erskine. The most memorable moment of the contest occurs in the second inning when the game is delayed because a small dog has to be escorted off the field by Dodger outfielders Carl Furillo and Duke Snider.
  • 1961 Cardinals first baseman Bill White collects 14 total bases when he hits three home runs and a double. The 27 year-old infielder’s offensive output helps the Redbirds rout the Dodgers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 9-1.
  • 2004 At Dodger Stadium, Diamondback third baseman Chad Tracy’s ninth inning run-scoring single on an 0-2 changeup ends Eric Gagne’s record streak of 84 consecutive saves. The new mark established by the Los Angeles closer is 30 more than the prior mark set by Tom Gordon for the Red Sox in 1999.
  • 2007 At Dodger Stadium, Chipper Jones’ two solo home runs are the difference in the Braves’ 8-6 victory over Los Angeles. With his pair of round-trippers, the team’s third baseman surpasses Dale Murphy for the Atlanta team record of 372 homers.

Today is also the anniversary of the first game Larry Doby played for the Indians, integrating the American League. He ended up with 1,515 hits, only three behind Jackie Robinson. Also on this date in 1953, Robin Roberts pitched his 28th consecutive complete game, shutting out Pittsburgh at Forbes Field, 2-0. Twenty-eight straight complete games! We’ll never see that again!

Lineup when available.

Jul 04

Game 85, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

This is a big series. The D-Backs are 2 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West, which at this stage of the 2017 season looks to be the class of the National League and provider of both Wild Card teams if it were to end today. The D-Backs send lefty Patrick Corbin (6-7, 4.76 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ lefty Clayton Kershaw (12-2, 2.32 ERA) in a twilight game.

Corbin faced the Dodgers on April 15 and did not do well. He gave up five runs over six innings and got the loss. On the other hand he’s gone 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA (eight earned runs in 24 1/3 innings) in his last four starts, including a five-hit, two run, six-inning outing against the Cardinals last Thursday. Kershaw went 8 1/3 innings on April 14 to beat the D-Backs, giving up one run on four hits.

Turner leads the NL in the Final Vote for the ASG, which continues through Thursday.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2006 Nomar Garciaparra ties the major league record for being hit by a pitch in a game as he is plunked three times by three different Diamondback pitchers in a 10-4 Dodger victory. The LA first baseman is the first National Leaguer to equal the mark, both literally and figuratively, since the 2000 season when Astros outfielder Richard Hidalgo got thwacked thrice in a game in April.

It’s the day in 1985 when the Mets and Braves played a 19-inning game which went until just before 4 a.m. the next day. After the 6 hours, 10 minutes game, the 1000 fans left in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium saw pre-dawn fireworks which awakened and frightened many of the ballpark’s neighbors. Probably infuriated quite a few, too.

This is also the day in 1939 when Lou Gehrig gave his farewell speech at Yankee Stadium.

Lineup when available.

Jul 03

Articles I noted in passing

What’s it like to be Latino in MLB today? Prospects, starters and future Hall of Famers share their stories.

From ESPN: Beisbol Experience MLB 50-man interview

“We are not understood. We have to adapt. There are things we are not used to doing in our countries. When you keep doing things wrong, people get tired; I even got tired myself. There should not be so many rules. You just have to do your job and let people have fun, which is what I was doing in 2013. They’ve wanted to change so many things about me that I feel so off. I don’t feel like the player I was in 2013.”

YASIEL PUIG, DODGERS, CUBA

Unused sports venues can represent millions in wasted money, but also in lost moments of joy and sorrow.

Via the Dodgers Dugout email from Houston Mitchell of the LA Times:

Since the All-Star game began in 1933, which Dodgers have pitched the most career innings for the team without ever appearing in the game?

  1. Doug Rau, 1,250 2/3
  2. Ismael Valdez, 1,065
  3. Tom Candiotti, 1,048
  4. Luke Hamlin, 1,011
  5. Joe Hatten, 961 1/3
  6. Pedro Astacio, 886 2/3
  7. Darren Dreifort, 872 2/3
  8. Hugh Casey, 867 2/3
  9. Roger Craig, 814
  10. Tim Belcher, 806

And which Dodgers batters appeared in the most games without ever making the All-Star team?

  1. Eric Karros, 1,601
  2. Wes Parker, 1,288
  3. Steve Yeager, 1,219
  4. Willie Crawford, 989
  5. James Loney, 896
  6. Dave Hansen, 884
  7. Billy Cox, 742
  8. Dave Anderson, 713
  9. Joe Ferguson, 699
  10. Alex Cora, 684

It doesn’t startle me that none of those pitchers ever made the All Star Game, but I am surprised that neither Karros nor Parker ever made it. It may be that first base has been a traditionally star-laden position.

Jul 02

Game 84, 2017

Dodgers at Padres, 1:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Dodgers ask RHP Kenta Maeda (6-3, 4.15 ERA) to pitch them to a sweep of the Padres, who’ll counter with RHP Jhoulys Chacin (6-7, 4.76 ERA).

Maeda had an excellent start his last time out, pitching seven shutout innings against the Angels last Wednesday. He faced the Padres and Chacin in San Diego in May, going five innings, allowing only one run and striking out eight in a no-decision. Chacin has been exceptional at home this season, putting up a 1.83 ERA at Petco Park. He had five consecutive quality starts in June. Against the Dodgers his results have been mixed: on Opening Day in LA they got nine runs off him in 3 1/3 innings, but in the May game against Maeda he held them to one run in 5 1/3 innings. He too got no decision.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1962 Johnny Podres ties a major league mark record, striking out eight consecutive batters in LA’s 5-1 victory over Philadelphia. The 29 year-old southpaw’s streak begins with the third out in the top fourth frame and ends after the first out in the seventh inning of the Dodger Stadium contest.
  • 1995 Dodger right hander Hideo Nomo, who is leading the National League in strikeouts, becomes the first player from Japan to be selected for the major league All-Star game.

Today is also the anniversary of the 1963 16-inning marathon in which 42-year-old Warren Spahn and 25-year-old Juan Marichal pitched 15 scoreless innings against one another before Willie Mays homered in the 16th off Spahn.

Lineup when available.

Jul 01

Game 83, 2017

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

LHP Rich Hill (4-4, 4.60 ERA) is coming off his longest and maybe his best outing of the season, when he went seven innings giving up three runs on four hits against the Angels. He’ll face LHP Dillon Overton (0-0, 6.38 ERA), who was just picked up off waivers by the Padres. He’d made nine appearances for the Mariners this season before they let him go. This will be his seventh career start. He made one for Seattle this season and five for Oakland in 2016 and has a 9.85 ERA in that role.

Sometime down the road could there be a little sibling rivalry? Earlier this week Cole Bellinger, brother of slugging Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, signed with the Padres for $350,000.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1968 Bob Gibson’s scoreless inning streak ends abruptly at 47 with a questionable call when the official scorer rules a wild pitch, and not a passed ball, allowed Len Gabrielson to score in the first inning of the Cardinals’ 5-1 victory over the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. Without the hometown decision, the Redbird right-hander, who will blank San Francisco in his next start, would have been within three innings of breaking the mark of 58 scoreless frames established in June by Don Drysdale, tonight’s losing pitcher.
  • 2011 In the seventh inning of a 5-0 inter-league victory of the Angels in Anaheim, Dee Gordon steals second and third base and then completes the stolen base cycle by swiping home. The Dodger shortstop becomes the 40th major leaguer to accomplish the trifecta in the same frame.

Lineup when available.

Jun 30

Game 82, 2017

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

Lefty Alex Wood (8-0, 1.86 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and YALHP Clayton Richard (5-7, 4.42 ERA) takes the hill for the Padres.

Wood is having the best year of his career, partly because he’s making batters hit the ball on the ground 66.2 percent of the time. Richard is no slouch; he’s getting ground balls 60.1 percent of the time.

RBI asked “When a third strike is dropped by the catcher, why must the runner be thrown out at first?” This SABR article explains the origins and reasons.

The three-strike rule in 1845 takes this form: “Three balls being struck at and missed and the last one caught, is a hand out; if not caught is considered fair, and the striker bound to run.”

There’s lots more interesting history there. Read the whole article.

Kenley Jansen wants to be “the Kershaw of the bullpen.”

“He’s the guy here,” Jansen said. “Me, in my role in the bullpen, I’m the same thing, I’m the ace and the leader in my department. I have to take care of my responsibility.”

Seager’s not hurt, just easing back in to the day-to-day.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1962 Sandy Koufax becomes the first Dodger southpaw to throw a no-hitter since Nap Rucker accomplished the feat in 1908 when he keeps the expansion Mets hitless in the team’s 5-0 victory in Los Angeles. The 26 year-old left-hander, en route to fanning 13, strikes out the first three batters he faces – Richie Ashburn, Rod Kanehl, and Felix Mantilla, on nine pitches to start the game with an immaculate inning.

     

  • 1973 With an 8-7 extra-inning loss to L.A. at Riverfront Stadium, the Reds finish the day 11 games behind the first-place Dodgers. Led by the eventual National League MVP Pete Rose, who will win the batting title with a .338 average, Cincinnati will go on a 60-26 tear to capture the Western Division by 3.5 games.
  • 1985 Pedro Guerrero ties a major league record by hitting 15 home runs in June when he goes deep off Bruce Sutter in his final at bat of the month. The eighth inning two-run round-tripper will prove to be the difference in the Dodgers’ 4-3 victory over Atlanta at Chavez Ravine.
  • 1997 Rangers’ hurler Bobby Witt becomes the first American League pitcher to hit a home run in a regular-season game in nearly 25 years. His round tripper off Ismael Valdes helps Texas to beat the Dodgers in interleague action, 3-2.

Lineup when available.

Jun 29

Game 81, 2017

Dodgers at Angels, 7:07 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-W, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers trot out LHP Clayton Kershaw (11-2, 2.47 ERA) to face the Angels’ RHP JC Ramirez (7-5, 4.38 ERA).

Kershaw’s given up a career high 17 HRs but has otherwise been his usual superb self this season. Against the Angels he has a career 5-2 record, 2.69 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. Ramirez is a converted reliever; this is his 13th career start. In his last one he went six innings and gave up only one run against the Red Sox.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1960 The Phillies strike out a dozen times in each end of a doubleheader when they are swept by the Dodgers at Connie Mack Stadium, 6-3 and 5-2. The 24 K’s tie a major league record for strikeouts in a twin bill. Surprise! Drysdale started the first game and Koufax started the nightcap. Neither of them finished their games.
  • 1990 For the first time since 1917 (Hippo Vaughan and Fred Toney), two no-hitters are thrown on the same day when the A’s Dave Stewart shuts out the Jays 5-0 and the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela blanks the Cardinals, 6-0.
  • 2012 In the Diamondbacks’ 9-3 victory over Milwaukee at Miller Park, Aaron Hill becomes the first modern-era player to hit for the cycle twice in one season since Babe Herman accomplished the feat with the Brooklyn Robins in 1931. Eleven days ago in Seattle, the Arizona second baseman also collected a single, double, triple, and home run in the game.
  • 2015 Joc Pederson becomes the third rookie in major league history to hit 20 home runs before July when he goes deep off Allen Webster in the Dodgers’ 10-6 loss to Arizona at Chase Field. The 23 year-old center fielder joins Wally Berger (Braves, 1930) and Albert Pujols (Cardinals, 2001) in accomplishing the feat as a freshman. He has since been joined in that company by current Dodger Cody Bellinger.

Lineup when available.

Jun 28

Game 80, 2017

Dodgers at Angels, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-W

The visiting Dodgers will send LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6, 4.30 ERA) to the Orange County mound to face RHP Alex Meyer (3-4, 4.20 ERA) of the Angels.

Ryu allowed two home runs and five hits against the Mets in his last start but avoided the loss as Turner, Hernandez and Pederson all homered in the Dodgers’ 6-3 win. Meyer gave up five earned runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings and lost to the Red Sox last Friday. Before that he’d had a streak of seven consecutive starts allowing three or fewer runs.

This date in Dodgers’ history, from the sublime to the ridiculous, or possibly vice versa:

  • 1964 Take a look at the Giants’ 3rd inning here. Was Willie Mays surprised to find Roseboro on the basepaths?
  • 1969 After ending an 11-game losing streak in their previous contest, the expansion Padres are the victims of a 19-0 shutout for the second time this season when Dodgers right-hander Don Drysdale equals the National League-record for the largest margin of victory in a shutout. L.A. will score more than half of their runs when they tally ten times in the third inning.
  • 2008 In Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers, without the benefit of a hit for the entire game, defeat the Angels, 1-0. The combined losing effort of Halo hurlers Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo isn’t considered officially as a no-hitter because the home team didn’t have to bat in the ninth.

Lineup when available.

Jun 27

Game 79, 2017

Angels at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-W

RHP Jesse Chavez (5-7, 5.15 ERA) goes for the Angels while RHP Kenta Maeda (5-3, 4.62 ERA) makes a spot start for the Dodgers.

Chavez appeared in 23 games for the Dodgers last year, all in relief. He was acquired from the Blue Jays in a trade for Mike Bolsinger and let go to free agency in the off-season. In his career he’s faced the Dodgers 11 times with a 3.32 ERA. Maeda has been in the bullpen since a poor outing on June 4, but he’s shown signs of improvement according to Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts. “I think over the last three appearances, he’s throwing the baseball really well,” Roberts said.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1940 To honor the lyricist of Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Jack Norworth Day is celebrated at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field. Norworth and his partner Albert Von Tilzer, who wrote the music, had never seen a game when they created the song in 1908.
  • 1980 Dodger southpaw Jerry Reuss, facing only 28 batters, no-hits the Giants at Candlestick Park, 8-0. Shortstop Bill Russell’s errant throw on Jack Clark’s grounder with two outs in the first inning deprives the 31 year-old left-hander from tossing a perfect game.
  • 2011 Citing MLB refusal to sign off on a transaction that would provide the team with $385 million, the Dodgers file for bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court. Although there will be no disruption to the day-to-day status of the franchise, the Chapter 11 financing permits the Dodgers to use $150 million for daily operations and gives owner Frank McCourt time to seek a media deal that will ensure the club’s long-term financial stability.

Lineup when available.

Jun 26

Game 78, 2017

Angels at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-W

The Angels come to Dodger Stadium a game over .500 and playing without superstar Mike Trout, who’s out for at least two more weeks with a torn ulnar ligament in his thumb. They will also have Albert Pujols, he of the 600+ HRs, playing 1B in one of the two games in the NL park, something he’s done only four times this season.

An omen? “The Angels are 38-28 against the Dodgers since 2005, including winning the ’16 Freeway Series by a 3-1 margin.”

The Angels send old friend RHP Ricky Nolasco (2-9, 5.23 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (4-3, 4.73 ERA). Nolasco got slammed for five runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Yankees in his last start and took the loss. He leads the AL in HRs allowed with 23. Hill got the win his last time out against the Mets, giving up only one run in five innings. He still hasn’t gotten into the sixth inning yet this year.

Cody Bellinger, your NL Player of the Week.

Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated praises the Dodgers for their exploits thus far.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1944 At the Polo Grounds with over 50,000 fans looking on, the New York major league teams face each other in a six inning three-team game (a team played consecutive innings against the other two teams then sat out an inning) to raise money for war bonds. The charity contest, billed as the Tri-Cornered Baseball Game, ends with the final score of Dodgers 5, Yankees 1, Giants 0.

  • 1968 Cardinals right-hander Bob Gibson tosses his fifth consecutive shutout as he blanks the Pirates, 3-0, in the first game of a doubleheader played at Busch Stadium. The future Hall of Famer’s accomplishment is one shy of the major league mark, set earlier in the month by Don Drysdale of the Dodgers.
  • 1999 At Candlestick Park‚ Todd Hundley’s second homer of the day‚ a ninth inning three-run shot to deep right field off Giants’ closer Robb Nen, sparks the Dodgers’ 7-6 comeback win. Ellis Burks had put San Francisco ahead in the bottom of the eighth, 6-4, with a three-run homer off Alan Mills.

Lineup when available.