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 29

Game 51, 2016

Dodgers at Mets, 5:00PM PT, TV: ESPN2

Sunday Night Baseball in Queens features Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 1.48 ERA) starting for the Dodgers and Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.44 ERA) starting for the Mets. Kershaw has already thrown three shutouts this month, so it’s not impossible he could get another.

Kershaw is 7-0 with a 1.17 ERA and has held Mets’ hitters to a .185 average over 10 career starts. Colon has had rather less success against the Dodgers: 2-6 with a 5.54 ERA. Of course, the rosters don’t remain static: if you were 3-0 against a team five years ago the odds are good that very few of the guys you beat then remain on the team this season. On the other hand, in Colon’s long career Utley (10 hits in 20 ABs, three for extra bases) and Gonzalez (12 for 27 with two home runs) have hurt him.

Lineup when available.



Despite what that says, Howie Kendrick is in LF.

May 28

Game 50, 2016

Dodgers at Mets, 4:15PM PT, TV: Fox, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Kenta Maeda (3-3, 3.29 ERA) pitches against Noah Syndergaard (5-2, 1.94 ERA) in a rematch of the May 11 game in Los Angeles in which Maeda handled most of the Mets lineup pretty well but gave up two home runs to his opposing number. Syndergaard throttled the Dodgers over 8 innings, giving up only two earned runs.

The Mets will honor the 1986 World Series championship team in a pregame ceremony on the field that begins at 6:15 p.m. ET. Fans received a 1986 replica jersey on Friday and will receive a replica championship ring on Sunday.

Callups and send-downs: Urias down, Casey Fien up, James Ramsey DFA.

Lineup when available.


May 27

Game 49, 2016

Dodgers at Mets, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers’ 19-year-old rookie Julio Urias makes his first MLB start against the Mets’ Jacob deGrom (3-1, 3.07 ERA), who’s hit a bad patch: he’s 0-1 with a 4.63 ERA over his last four starts.

This will be Chase Utley’s first appearance in NYC since he slid into the Mets’ then-shortstop Ruben Tejada during the playoffs last year, a collision which resulted in a broken leg for the infielder. Tejada has since moved on to the Cardinals, but the Mets fans are still there and are expected to be loud in their displeasure toward the Dodgers’ second-baseman.

For those on the road or away from the West Coast, this will be “an MLB Network Showcase game, [which] can be seen free on MLB.TV and will feature MLB Plus — MLB.com’s data-driven online broadcast that uses Statcast™ and other analytical and broadcast elements to deliver an in-depth discussion about both the action on the field and the big picture.”

Here’s Vinnie reciting the “People Will Come” soliloquy from “Field of Dreams.”

Lineup when available.

May 26

Dawn of the Urias era?

It’s probably premature to suggest that, just as it was when Kershaw came up eight years ago. Nonetheless, Julio Urias will pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the New York Mets in New York City on Friday, May 27, 2016. He’ll be the youngest pitcher to start for the Dodgers since one Fernando Valenzuela in September of 1980. Here are the five most recent starters to debut at a younger age:

  • Felix Hernandez, SEA, 8/4/2005
  • Todd Van Poppel, OAK, 9/11/1991
  • Wilson Alvarez, CHW, 7/24/89
  • Dwight Gooden, NYM, 4/7/84
  • Britt Burns, CWS, 8/5/75

Three of those guys had pretty good careers (Burns had a hip injury which shortened his, and Van Poppel couldn’t make his fastball move much).

I can imagine how excited the youngster and his family are. Kiké Hernandez is amused in a funny way, of course:


Urias has gone 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA over 41 innings for the AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers, striking out 44 while walking 8, a 5.5 K/BB ratio.

Making your first major league start in New York City is being thrown into the deep end of the pool, but the Dodgers must be confident in the youngster. I wonder why they didn’t bring Stripling back up to replace Alex Wood, whose triceps soreness is the cause of this shift in the first place.

May 25

Game 48, 2016

Reds at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-O

Scott Kazmir (3-3, 5.23 ERA) will try to get his form back after a rough game his last time out. In that one he walked seven Padres, gave up three hits including a two-run single to the opposing pitcher and somehow avoided taking the loss when the Dodgers scored six runs only to lose on a Justin Melvin Upton walk-off home run.

His opponent will be right-hander Dan Straily (2-1, 2.85 ERA), who threw six innings of one-run ball against the Mariners on Friday but got no decision for his hard work.

This is the last game in a stretch of 20 consecutive ones for the Dodgers. They head for New York and Chicago for six games beginning Friday.

Lineup:


May 24

Game 47, 2016

Before we get to the game details, have a look at a new book featuring a whole bunch of Dodgers from the 1960s teams: “The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

Leahy places these men’s lives within the political and social maelstrom that was the era when the conformity of the 1950s gave way to demands for equality and rights. Increasingly frustrated over a lack of real bargaining power and an iron-fisted management who occasionally meddled in their personal affairs, many players shared an uneasy relationship with the team’s front office.

Since that was the period in which I became a fan, I’m looking forward to reading this.

Now, on to today’s game.

Reds at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CIN TV

The Dodgers sent Stripling down to AAA after his three-inning relief stint on Sunday in order to bring another starter back up, and it’ll be Mike Bolsinger, (0-1, 6.23 ERA). He’ll pitch against Daniel Wright, who’s making his MLB debut after a nine-inning complete game win at AAA Louisville May 16.

This is hard to believe, considering how hard-fought those Dodgers-Reds games were in the 1970s and 1980s, but over the last decade the Dodgers have a 45-23 record against the Reds, their best winning percentage against any team in the National League.

Lineup when available.


May 23

Game 46, 2016

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

Clayton Kershaw (6-1, 1.67 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and Brandon Finnegan (1-2, 4.44 ERA) goes for the Reds.

The Reds can be excused if they feel overmatched: in his last six starts Kershaw’s had at least 10 strikeouts and one walk or fewer. The left-handed Finnegan has struggled in his last three starts, not getting past the sixth inning in any of them while posting a 5.52 ERA over 14 2/3 innings.


Tsao has been placed on the 15-day DL with a right triceps strain retroactive to 5/23. Bolsinger and Avilan have been recalled from Oklahoma City.

Lineup when available.


Fourteen years ago today Shawn Green hit four home runs, went 6-for-6 and amassed 19 total bases against the Brewers:

May 22

Game 45, 2016

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

The Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (3-3, 2.87 ERA) started his career in American baseball like a house on fire, posting a 0.31 ERA in his first four starts. In his next four starts he gave up 14 earned runs to bring his ERA and W-L record down to earth. He’ll face the Padres’ Colin Rea (3-2, 4.37 ERA), who has had trouble getting past the fifth inning this season, doing so in only three of his eight starts so far.

Lineup:


May 21

Game 44, 2016

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

Starting for the Dodgers today is lefty Alex Wood (1-3, 4.17 ERA), who has been pretty successful recently: in his last four starts he’s gone 24 1/3 innings, striking out 30 and posting a 2.59 ERA. The Padres send out righthander Cesar Vargas, who’s 0-2 with a 3.55 ERA and may be pitching to stay in the big leagues, as Andrew Cashner will come off the DL this week and the Padres will have to make room for him.

Adrian Gonzalez is expected to return to the Dodgers’ starting lineup tonight after several days off with back tightness. Matt Kemp has made trouble for Wood in the past, going 5-for-9 with a home run and double against him.

Lineup when available.