The Mets’ LHP Jason Vargas (5-8, 6.56 ERA) goes against the Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (6-5, 3.59 ERA). Vargas is 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA over his last four starts. In the one game in the recent Dodgers – Diamondbacks series the Dodgers lost, it was Hill who got beaten, giving up a three-run home run the Dodgers couldn’t overcome. It was his first loss since June 10.
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 hometown 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.
2017 J.D. Martinez becomes the 18th major leaguer, joining Reds utilityman Scooter Gennett as the second player this season, to hit four home runs in one game when he goes deep in the top of the ninth inning In the Diamondbacks’ 13-0 rout of the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. The Arizona outfielder, who was acquired in a trade from the Tigers in July, has one more home run than the opponent’s total amount of hits.
The Mets send Jacob DeGrom (8-8, 1.68 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ Alex Wood (8-6, 3.42 ERA). DeGrom is or should be the front runner for the Cy Young Award if W-L records are left out of the decision. He’s gone 24 straight starts allowing three runs or fewer and made 19 consecutive quality starts. His ERA+ is a whopping 218 and his WAR is 7.8. However, the Dodgers beat him 8-3 on June 23 in a game marked by Clayton Kershaw’s second return from the DL, a pinch-hit grand slam by Matt Kemp, and Caleb Ferguson’s first big league win. Wood went seven scoreless innings and gave up just four hits in his last start against the Rangers.
Today 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.
The visiting D-Backs send RHP Clay Buchholz (7-2, 2.07 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ rookie RHP Walker Buehler (6-4, 3.02 ERA). Buchholz signed a minor league contract with Arizona on May 4 and made his first big league appearance since April of 2017 on May 20. He’s been very good indeed, going 2-0 in June, 2-0 in July, and 3-1 with a 1.25 ERA in August, averaging six innings per start. Buehler’s had a trip to the DL this season but has been good in August, going 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA. His last start was a workout, though; he threw 84 pitches in just four innings in 93-degree heat and left the game with a lead, but didn’t go the required five innings for a win.
1969 Willie Davis, with his sixth-inning double in the team’s 5-4 loss to New York at Dodger Stadium, breaks a 53 year-old franchise record by hitting safely in thirty consecutive games. The LA outfielder surpasses the streak established by Zack Wheat in 1916 when the team played in Brooklyn.
1971 Cesar Cedeno hits an inside-the-park grand slam when Dodger second baseman Jim Lefebvre and right fielder Bill Buckner collide, trying to make the fifth inning catch. The 200-foot dropped bloop contributes to the Astros’ 9-3 victory over LA at the Astrodome.
1972 In his major league debut, Doug Rau throws a three-hitter, beating St. Louis at Busch Stadium, 5-1. In his first big-league at-bat, the 23 year-old Dodger southpaw helps his cause with a RBI-triple in the second inning.
1993 The Rockies, drawing a crowd 47,699 for their 62nd home game, surpass the 1982 Dodgers when the team attracts 3,617,863 fans to Denver’s Mile High Stadium, setting a new National League single-season attendance record. The expansion club will also break the 1992 Blue Jays’ major league mark of 4,028,318 before the season is over.
2002 In the top of the ninth inning, Diamondback first baseman Mark Grace hurls an inning of relief with the team trailing the Dodgers, 18-0. The All-Star infielder retires three of the four batters he faces in the Bank One Ballpark, yielding a two-out home run to David Ross.
The visiting D-Backs send Patrick Corbin (10-5, 3.15 ERA) to the mound today. He’ll face the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, (6-5, 2.39 ERA). Corbin has made five straight quality starts and has gone 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA over that stretch. In three starts against the Dodgers this year he’s 1-0 with a 0.98 ERA; the Dodgers are hitting an anemic .115 in those games. Kershaw has made eight consecutive starts in which he’s given up fewer than three earned runs and has gone seven starts since his last loss. Moreover, he’s only given up three HRs since the All Star break. (Side note: take a look at the picture of Corbin at the link above: his face looks a lot like Greg Maddux to me. He should have such a career!)
The Dodgers acquired David Freese from the Pirates for minor leaguer Jesus Manuel Valdez.
Also, “Solo HRs are Us” should be the Dodgers’ motto this season. Fully 69% of their dingers have come with no one on base.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1890 On Labor Day at Brooklyn’s Washington Park, the Bridegrooms, later to be known as the Dodgers, win all three games against Pittsburgh in the first tripleheader ever played. The home team sweeps the visiting Alleghenys, who will be renamed the Pirates next season, 10-9, 3-2, and 8-4.
1953 The Cardinals tie a major league mark, hitting five homers in a 12-5 loss to Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. The solo shots hit by Stan Musial, Harry Elliot, Rip Repulski, and Steve Bilko (2), all off starter Preacher Roe, aren’t enough to offset the Dodgers’ 17-hit attack, which includes six doubles but no round-trippers.
1969 At Dodger Stadium, Willie Davis ties the franchise record by hitting in 29 consecutive games with his second-inning single in LA’s 10-6 victory over New York. The mark was established by Zack Wheat in 1916.
Today in personal history: in 1973 George Foreman knocked out José “King” Roman at the 2-minute mark of the first round at the Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo. I was seated in the nosebleed seats, so far away when it ended we didn’t immediately have a clue it was over. I don’t think there were any big screen TVs showing the fight to those of us in the cheap seats at the time; that innovation came later.
Ex-Dodger Zack Greinke (13-8, 2.93 ERA) goes for the D-Backs and Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1, 2.18 ERA) goes for the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. It could be argued this is the first of several “must-win” games the Dodgers face in the next couple of weeks. Greinke won his last start, but it was the first game he’d won in the month of August. His ERA for the month was 2.81, though, so he didn’t pitch all that badly. Ryu has come off a three-month stint on the DL showing no ill effects from the groin injury which put him there. In his last time out he scattered 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Padres, got two base hits and won the game.
Coincidentally, a year ago on this date the Dodgers and D-Backs faced off and Greinke pitched in that one too. His opponent was Maeda, and the D-Backs won handily.
Pedro Moura at The Athletic watched last night’s game and says the Dodgers have had a season-long “clutch” problem which bit them once again in the first game of this series, and they’re running out of time to fix it.
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1950 In front of 14,226 fans at Ebbets Field, Gil Hodges becomes the fourth major leaguer in the century to hit four home runs in one game as Brooklyn routs the Braves, 19-3. The Dodger first baseman also ties the major league record for total bases with 17.
1959 Sandy Koufax fans 18 batters to establish a new National League record for a nine-inning game in the Dodgers’ 5-2 win over San Francisco at the LA Memorial Coliseum. The left-hander’s performance equals the major league mark established in 1938 by Indians fireballer Bob Feller during a 4-1 loss to Detroit.
2010 The Dodgers trade a player to be named (infielder Tony Abreu) to the Diamondbacks in exchange for starter Jon Garland. The 31 year-old right-hander will post a 3-2 record with a 2.72 ERA in his six late-season starts for the Dodgers, before signing as a free agent with San Diego.
LHP Robbie Ray (3-2, 4.73 ERA) pitches for the visiting D-Backs against the Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (6-4, 3.50 ERA). Ray gave up one run in five innings against the Mariners in his last start, getting no decision. Hill threw six scoreless innings against the Padres in his last start, an 11-1 Dodgers win.
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.
The visiting Dodgers send LHP Alex Wood (7-6, 3.60 ERA) to the mound to face the Rangers’ LHP Mike Minor (10-6, 4.40 ERA). Wood was scheduled to start last Sunday and had his turn pushed back. He had a poor start his last time out, giving up three runs on seven hits with two walks in four-plus innings. Minor has won his last four starts, including a scoreless one-hit gem against the As in his latest one.
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.
The Dodgers send RHP Walker Buehler (6-4, 2.96 ERA) to the mound at The Ballpark at Arlington this evening. He’ll face the Rangers’ rookie RHP Ariel Jurado (2-3, 6.40 ERA). Buehler got a no-decision in his last start, but it wasn’t because he pitched poorly. He went seven scoreless innings in a game the Dodgers eventually lost 3-1 on two home runs. In his last five starts his ERA is 1.11. This is Jurado’s seventh big league appearance. In his last start he went 5 2/3 innings, gave up ten hits and four earned runs. His problem seems to be control: he’s walked 10 and struck out 12 in his short career.
Stan Williams is embittered about his Dodger experiences, which date back to 1958. He thinks that his pitches to Jim Davenport in the 9th inning of Game Three of the 1962 playoff series with the Giants permanently tainted all his previous good work for the Dodgers.
“Walked him. Walked in the winning run. That’s how I’ll be remembered.”
That’s probably true. My memory of him is mostly that one inning, even though he did pitch well before and after that. He was traded to the Yankees after that season; the Dodgers got Moose Skowron in return.
This day in Dodgers’ history:
1945 A moment in American history takes place in Brooklyn as Branch Rickey meets with Jackie Robinson to share his plans to integrate the major leagues. During the three hour meeting, the Dodgers’ president will shout racial epithets to ‘test’ the 26 year-old ballplayer’s mettle to withstand the abuse which will come with being the first player to cross the color line this century.
1951 The Giants’ 16-game winning streak comes to end when Howie Pollet six-hits the team in the Pirates’ 2-0 victory at the Polo Grounds. The consecutive victories enable Leo Durocher and his club to narrow the Dodgers’ lead from 13.5 to six games.
1967 Giants hurler Gaylord Perry begins the longest consecutive inning scoreless streak in franchise history when he shuts out the Dodgers at Candlestick Park, 7-0. The right-hander will not give up another run over a span of 40 innings, a feat the son of a tenant farmer from North Carolina will repeat three seasons later.
1977 Steve Garvey collects five extra-base hits in one game when he bashes three doubles and two homers, including a grand slam, in the Dodgers’ 11-0 rout over St. Louis at Chavez Ravine. The LA first baseman becomes just the fourth major leaguer to accomplish the feat, joining Lou Boudreau (1946 Indians – HR, four 2B), Joe Adcock (1954 Braves – four HR, 2B), and Willie Stargell (1970 Pirates – two HR, three 2B).
2003 Eric Gagne earns his 44th straight save in the Dodgers’ 6-3 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Los Angeles reliever’s effort establishes a new major league record, surpassing Tom Gordon, who had saved 43 in a row to begin a season with the Red Sox in 1998.
2008 In the 11-2 victory over the Dodgers, Cristian Guzman becomes the second player in Nationals history to hit for the cycle, joining Brad Wilkerson, who accomplished the feat in 2005, the team’s first year in Washington, D.C. The 30 year-old shortstop completes his cycle with an eighth inning triple.
2015 “Vin will be back for one more year (at least). God bless us, everyone” – JIMMY KIMMEL’s cue card message to the crowd.
Team executive Magic Johnson, appearing on the Dodger Stadium video board, introduces Jimmy Kimmel to report “big, breaking news.” The ABC late-night television host, who waves to the fans without saying a word, displays a succession of cue cards, informing the Chavez Ravine crowd the 87 year-old Vin Scully will be returning to broadcast Dodgers games in 2016 for his 67th season.
The Padres send out the guy on their roster who’s been there longest, LHP Robbie Erlin (3-3, 3.46 ERA). He’s been on the team’s roster since the 2013 season, but it’s only in the last month that’s he’s been a regular in the starting rotation. In fact, he’s only appeared in 33 games in his entire five-year career, starting six. He’s pitched 80 2/3 innings this season, more than he has in any other year in the big leagues. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-1, 2.27 ERA), who’s made two starts since coming off a two-month stint on the DL and has a 2.70 ERA in the ten innings he’s pitched in those games.
Tim Rogers at Dodgers Nation reminds us how the luxury tax works and what limits it places on the Dodgers in particular, now and after the season ends. Thanks to Fred for sending me the link in email.
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.
The Friars send rookie RHP Brian Kennedy (0-2, 8.36 ERA) to perform a thankless task: try to beat the Dodgers behind LHP Clayton Kershaw (6-5, 2.40 ERA). Kennedy’s first two big league starts were poor, but his last one was pretty good: he gave up just two runs in five innings in a game the Padres’ bullpen lost. Kershaw has given up one run in each of his last two starts and, like Kennedy, watched the bullpen cough up a lead late against San Francisco. He won the other game in Seattle.
Ha! Justin Verlander got a surprise when he had lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel yesterday.
Yesterday was Kiké Hernández’s 27th birthday; today is Max Muncy’s 28th.
On 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 a 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.