Sep 11

Game 144, 2017

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS BA

RHP Kenta Maeda (12-6, 4.02 ERA) takes the mound against RHP Chris Stratton (2-3, 4.10 ERA) in San Francisco.

Maeda allowed one unearned run over five innings on Wednesday against the D-backs. He’s 3-1 with a 4.58 ERA in four career starts against the Giants. Stratton has both started and relieved this season; he’s been much better as a starter. He’s got an 8.59 ERA in relief. As a starter he’s made five starts and has gone 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA since the All Star break.

A sad note: former Dodger (and nine other teams’) scout Mel Didier died Sunday night at home in Phoenix. He was 90 years old. His most memorable find was probably his analysis which showed that the Athletics’ Dennis Eckersley liked to throw backdoor sliders when the count was full and first base was open. He told the Dodgers’ hitters that before Game One of the 1988 World Series. What was the count to Kirk Gibson when he hit that game-winning home run? 3-2. What was the pitch? A backdoor slider.

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, the winner of only three major league career victories.
  • 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.

Historical note of more than passing interest to Cody Bellinger fans: today in 1956 Frank Robinson ties Wally Berger’s 1930 National League record for home runs by a rookie for home runs with his 38th in the Reds’ 11-5 victory over the Giants at Polo Grounds. A’s first baseman Mark McGwire established the major league mark for freshman homers with 49 round-trippers in 1989. Bellinger has 36 with 18 games to go in the season.

Lineup when available.

Granderson again? Why not Ethier in LF? And since A-Gon had to have an epidural shot four days ago, why not Cody at 1B?

Roberts, I’m beginning to question your judgment.

Sep 10

Game 143, 2017

Rockies at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, TBS (out-of-market only), ATT SportsNet-RM

The Rockies ask RHP Tyler Chatwood (6-12, 4.88 ERA) to complete the sweep, facing the Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (9-7, 3.67 ERA). The two teams meet at the end of the season for a final three-game series.

Chatwood has a 10.57 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers this season over 7 2/3 innings. He’s only started two games since July 15 when he injured his right calf in the first inning of a game against the Mets and he’s expected to throw between 60-70 pitches. Hill’s last start was a good one against the D-Backs on Monday when he gave up two runs on two hits over six innings. The bullpen collapsed and the Dodgers eventually lost that game 13-0 while giving up four home runs to J.D. Martinez.

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 when available.

Sep 09

Game 142, 2017

Rockies at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-RM

The Dodgers ask LHP Alex Wood (14-2, 2.57 ERA) to end their eight-game losing streak, and he might be just the guy to do it since his opponent is the Rockies. He’s 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA while striking out 17 over 12 innings vs. them this season. He’ll face RHP Chad Bettis (0-2, 4.91 ERA), whose first two starts after returning from the DL and testicular cancer treatment were excellent, but whose last three starts have been poor. He’s posted a 7.63 ERA and allowed six home runs through 15 1/3 innings in those games.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1948 At the Polo Grounds, Dodger Rex Barney no-hits the Giants, 2-0. The Brooklyn 23 year-old right-hander had to endure a one-hour rain delay, as well as showers in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings to finish his gem.
  • 1965 “And there’s 29,000 people in the ballpark and a million butterflies.” – Vin Scully’s description Of Koufax’s gem. Sandy Koufax’s perfect game against the Cubs bests Bob Hendley’s one hit effort, 1-0. The Dodger Stadium gem is the southpaw’s record fourth no-hitter.

  • 2013 Juan Uribe homers in each of his first three trips to the plate in the Dodgers’ 8-1 victory over Arizona. Los Angeles goes yard six times in the Chavez Ravine contest, falling two shy of the franchise record established in 2002.

Lineup:

Sep 08

Game 141, 2017

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-RM

The Rockies send RHP German Marquez (10-6, 4.26 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ RHP Yu Darvish (8-11, 4.09 ERA) in game two of the series.

Marquez is a 22-year-old rookie who’s been getting hit early in counts in his last few starts as the league has begun to figure his patterns out. He gave up three runs in the sixth in his start Sunday against the D-Backs when they did just that. Darvish’s first two starts for the Dodgers were very good, but his last four have been pretty bad (6.16 ERA).

On this date 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 Amazins, 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).

Lineup when available.

Sep 07

Game 140, 2017

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-RM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

History says the Dodgers are still in good shape despite the current 1-11 stretch.

The only reason the Dodgers’ situation looks more dire than it actually is? Because as they’ve stumbled, the D-backs have surged. How do you surrender 9 1/2 games in the standings in two weeks? Lose 11 of 12, while the second-place team wins 13 in a row. That’s what happened this time, but such extreme polarity is rare and impossible to sustain on either end.

Save us, Clayton! Dodger fans could be forgiven if that’s what they mutter as tonight’s game begins with the Dodgers’ ace Kershaw (16-2, 1.95 ERA) facing RHP Jon Gray (6-4, 4.26 ERA) at Dodger Stadium. Gray has made seven starts against the Dodgers in his career and put up a 3.75 ERA against them. He got no decision in his only start against them this season, going five innings and giving up just one run on four hits. Kershaw is making his second start after coming off the DL with back troubles; in his first one he went six scoreless innings, struck out seven and didn’t walk anybody.

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:

Sep 06

Game 139, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

Believe it or not, the Dodgers could clinch a postseason spot as early as tonight. The scenario has permutations galore and most of them have to do with the Brewers and Cubs. Put simply, if the Dodgers win tonight’s game and the Cubs and Brewers both lose, the Dodgers are guaranteed a spot because neither of those teams can match the Dodgers’ record of 93 wins.

The streaks end tonight. So saith I, Master of all I survey. In order to make it so, the Dodgers will send their parfait genteel Japanese knight Kenta Maeda, he of the 12-6 W-L record and the 4.19 ERA, to the mound to do battle with the D-Backs’ Taijuan Walker, who brings an 8-7 record with a 3.42 ERA to the game. Oddly, Maeda has 122 strikeouts for the season and Walker has 120. Advantage, Dodgers!

The D-Backs hammered Maeda last week in Phoenix, scoring seven runs on eight hits and knocking him out after three innings. Walker shut out the Rockies for five innings in his last start.

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 its advanced billing, Dwight Gooden and Fernando Valenzuela hook up in one of the best pitchers’ duel 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 when available.

Sep 05

Game 138, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

The D-Backs send ex-Dodger Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.08 ERA) out to extend their winning streak to twelve, while Hyun-Jin Ryu tries to stop the Dodgers’ losing streak at four.

Greinke has not been as good on the road this year as at home; he’s got a 3-5 record with a 4.28 ERA away from Chase Field. Ryu has had a good second half if you take away his last outing against Arizona, when he gave up six runs and eight hits including three HRs in a 6-4 loss last Wednesday.

Pederson and Thompson have been recalled from OKC.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1908 Superbas southpaw Nap Rucker strikes out 14 Doves en route to tossing a no-hitter in the team’s 6-0 victory over Boston at Washington Park. The only runners to get on base off the talented left-handed redhead come as a result of three Brooklyn errors.
  • 1938 For the third time this season, Dodger catcher Babe Phelps breaks a bone in his throwing hand. Although the injuries will limit his playing time to only 66 games and 208 at-bats this season, the southpaw-swinging backstop will hit .308 and was named to the National League All-Star team, the first of three consecutive games he’ll play in the Mid-summer classic.
  • 1955 In an 11-4 win over the Phillies, Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe hits his seventh homer, establishing a National League record for home runs by a pitcher in a season. The victory is Newk’s 20th of the season.
  • 1998 Barry Bonds sets a new National League mark, reaching base in 15 consecutive plate appearances. The Giants outfielder’s five singles, two doubles, two homers, and six walks during the streak break Dodger Pedro Guerrero’s mark of 14 established in 1983.

Lineup when available.

Sep 04

Game 137, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 5:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (9-6, 3.71 ERA) tries to hold serve against the D-Backs, who send LHP Robbie Ray (11-5, 2.97 ERA) out to extend their ten-game winning streak.

Ray has been better on the road than at home this season. He’s got a 6-1 record in 11 road starts with a 1.49 ERA. He’s 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts against the Dodgers this year. Hill pitched against the D-Backs last Tuesday and was beaten up. He went 3 2/3 innings and gave up six runs on eight hits and a walk. At home this year he’s 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA.

The Dodgers promoted Charlie Culberson from OKC, reinstated Josh Fields from the 10-day DL and made room on the 40-man roster by moving Brandon McCarthy to the 60-day DL retroactive to July 21. (Side note: I’d love to play poker with rules that let me retroactively change a card I’d previously played!)

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 home town 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.

Lineup when available.

Sep 03

Game 136, 2017

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

The Dodgers ask LHP Alex Wood (14-1, 2.41 ERA) to help them salvage a split in this series, while the Padres ask RHP Jhoulys Chacin (11-10, 4.03 ERA) to help pull off an unlikely series win.

Wood is coming off the disabled list where he’d been with an irritated sternum; he’s been given a cortisone injection. Despite that he’s having a career year. Chacin has been unable to get past the fifth inning in his last four starts but has limited the opposition to one run in three of them.

Seager and Bellinger have not been in the lineup together since August 19. The Dodgers are averaging 3.14 runs-per-game in the two weeks since.

This day in Dodgers history:

  • 1917 Grover Cleveland Alexander goes the distance in both games of the Phillies’ doubleheader sweep of Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. In his 18 innings of work, the Philadelphia right-hander limits the Dodgers to seven hits en route to posting 5-0 and 9-3 victories in the twin bill.
  • 1978 At Dodger Stadium, Lee Mazzilli becomes the first Mets player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in a game. The center fielder’s first and seventh inning blasts, respectively hit off southpaw Tommy John and right-hander Charlie Hough, pace the last-place club to an 8-5 victory.

Lineup when available.

Sep 02

Game 135, 2017

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

The Dodgers send RHP Yu Darvish (8-10, 3.88 ERA) to the hill in the nightcap to face RHP Jordan Lyles (0-2, 6.94 ERA). Darvish has been fighting his mechanics in his starts with the Dodgers after coming over from the Rangers. Lyles is making his Padres debut after being claimed off waivers from the Rockies.

Lineup when available.

Ethier gets his first start of the year on September 1. I wonder how excited he is.