Oct 01

NL Wild Card Series, Game Two

Reds at Braves, 9:08 AM PDT, TV: ESPN

RHP Luis Castillo pitches for the Reds and RHP Ian Anderson (not the Jethro Tull guitar and flute guy) for the Braves. Castillo had a great September going (4-0, 1.26 ERA) until Saturday the 26th, when he gave up four runs in four innings. Anderson was 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA in six starts in this, his rookie season. Among his outings were six innings of one-hit ball against the mighty Yankees in August and seven innings of one-hit ball against the WS Champion Nationals.

Marlins at Cubs, 11:08 AM PDT, TV: ABC

The Marlins’ RHP Sixto Sánchez is a rookie who started off with a bang; five starts in which he posted a 1.69 ERA followed by two in which he ran up an 11.57 ERA. He’ll face the Cubs’ RHP Yu Darvish, an old friend of Dodgers fans. He’s been an ace for the Cubs since 2019; his postseason record is 2-4 with a 5.81 ERA. Much of his poor ERA was built in 2017 when he was with the Dodgers and he went only 3.1 innings in two games against the Astros in the World Series. In light of what has since surfaced about the Astros and sign-stealing, it may be that Darvish’s travails in that Series were not all of his own making.

Cardinals at Padres, 4:08 PM PDT, TV: ESPN2

RHP Adam Wainwright makes his 28th postseason appearance and 15th start for the Cardinals; he’s 4-5 with a 2.81 ERA over those games. He’ll face RHP Zach Davies of the Padres. Davies has been consistent all season: he gave up no more than three earned runs in any of his twelve starts.

Brewers at Dodgers, 7:08 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

The Brewers send RHP Brandon Woodruff out to face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw. Woodruff was 3-5 with a 3.05 ERA this year, but his last start was his best. He went eight scoreless innings against the Cardinals in a must-win game on September 26. Kershaw had a 6-2 and 2.16 ERA season, although his last start was forgettable. He went just four innings, gave up eight hits and four runs (only one earned) last Friday against the Angels.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1944 Dixie Walker, an outfielder on the seventh-place Dodgers, wins the National League batting crown with a .357 batting average, finishing ten points higher than runner-up Stan Musial. In 1947, the ‘People’s Cherce’s younger brother, Harry ‘the Hat’, will also lead the Senior Circuit, hitting .363 in the year when he is traded, after playing ten games for St. Louis, to Philadelphia.
  • 1946 The Dodgers and Cardinals, who both finished the season with a 96-58 record, play the first game of a best-of-three series to determine the National League’s championship, marking the first time in major league history a playoff is needed to send a team to the World Series. St. Louis wins today’s Sportsman’s Park contest, 4-2, and will clinch the pennant in Game 2, beating the Brooklyn at Ebbets Field, 8-4.
  • 1950 On the last day of the season, Pee Wee Reese, ignoring second base ump Frank Dascoli’s directive to slow down when his high outfield fly becomes stuck between the screen and the right field wall, continues sprinting around the bases at full speed, crossing home plate with the tying run in a game the team needs to win to finish tied with Philadelphia for the NL flag. The Dodgers shortstop’s unusual inside-the-park homer, due to an odd ground rule, will be the only run Robin Roberts allows in the Phillies’ pennant clinching 4-1 victory at Ebbets Field.
  • 1950 After they retire today, Burt Shotton of the Dodgers and the A’s Connie Mack will become the last managers to wear street clothes. Although no edict specifically mandates a skipper must wear a uniform, there is now a rule that states that a person not wearing a uniform, except medical personnel, isn’t allowed on the field of play during a game.
  • 1950 In the season finale, Robin Roberts, in the first of his six consecutive 20-win seasons, becomes the first Phillies right-hander to win twenty games for the team since Grover Cleveland Alexander accomplished the feat with a total of 30 victories in 1917. The complete-game, ten-inning 4-1 Ebbets Field victory over the Dodgers hurled by the Whiz Kid from Springfield (IL) clinches Philadelphia’s first NL pennant since 1915.
  • 1951 The Giants’ 3-1 victory over the Dodgers in the first game of the National League playoffs is the first major league contest to be televised coast-to-coast. CBS, who obtained rights to the game, transmits the picture from Ebbets Field, but has to get the signal from ABC, who had made previous arrangements with WOR-TV, the New York station which carried Brooklyn’s regular season games.
  • 1955 After losing the first two contests in the Bronx, the Dodgers even the World Series at a pair of games apiece when they defeat the Yankees at Ebbets Field, 8-5. Brooklyn will make it three victories in a row tomorrow with a 5-3 victory over the Bronx Bombers, but it will take a dramatic Game 7 for the ‘Bums’ to capture their first World Championship.
  • 1961 The Wrigley Field on the West Coast hosts its last professional baseball game when the Angels, who will play at Dodger Stadium next season, are defeated by Cleveland, 8-5, in front of 9,868 fans at the 36 year-old ballpark, which will be torn down in five years to make room for an eventual public playground and senior center. In addition to being the home for the American League expansion team, the venue housed the PCL’s Angels from 1925 through 1957 and served as the location for the 1960 television series Home Run Derby.
  • 1974 At the Astrodome, Mike Marshall establishes the major league mark for the most appearances by a pitcher when he throws two innings in the Dodgers’ 8-5 victory over Houston. With his 106 appearances, the right-handed reliever appears in 65% of the games that his team played this season.
  • 1993 Mike Piazza plates Jose Offerman with a first-inning single to set a new team mark for runs driven in by a rookie with 107. The 24 year-old Dodgers catcher breaks the franchise record for rookie RBIs established by Del Bissonette, a freshman first baseman who played with Brooklyn in 1928.
  • 2009 The Rockies’ 9-2 win over Milwaukee assures the team of a wild card berth in the postseason, and puts the team in position to still win the NL West by sweeping the Dodgers this weekend in L.A. Although the team was 12 games under .500 on June 3, today’s victory, their 91st – a club record – puts Colorado 23 games over .500, another first in the 17 year history of franchise.

Brewers’ lineup:

Dodgers’ lineup:

Oct 11

NLCS 2019

Game One, Nationals at Cardinals, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: TBS

RHP Aníbal Sánchez goes for the Nats while RHP Miles Mikolas pitches for the Cards.

Game Two, Nationals at Cardinals, 1:08 PM PDT, TV: TBS

Two veteran righties take the mound in this game: the Nationals’ Max Scherzer and the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright. Scherzer went seven innings in Game Four of the NLDS, giving up just one run. Wainwright pitched Game Three of the other side of the NLDS, giving his team 7 2/3 innings of scoreless ball.

Game Three, Cardinals at Nationals, 4:38 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Cardinals ask their second-half ace RHP Jack Flaherty to stop the Nationals’ express. The Nats counter with RHP Stephen Strasburg. Flaherty threw six innings of one-run ball in the Cards’ Game Five blowout of the Braves. Strasburg gave up two early home runs to the Dodgers in the Nationals’ own Game Five, but gave them no more in six innings.

Game Four, Cardinals at Nationals, 5:05 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Nationals are on the verge of a sweep, leading the series 3-0. Tonight they’ll pitch LHP Patrick Corbin, who started one game in the NLDS and relieved in two others against the Dodgers. The Cardinals hand the fate of their season to RHP Dakota Hudson, who went 4 2/3 innings in Game Four of their series against the Braves, giving up four runs (only one earned).

Oct 06

NLDS Games Three, 2019

On this day in baseball history Sandy Koufax takes Yom Kippur off, Willie Davis makes three errors in the fifth inning of Game Two of the World Series, Jim Palmer beats Sandy Koufax in the same game, Phil Niekro wins his 300th game, and Lenny Harris surpasses Manny Mota’s career pinch-hit record.

The early game is Braves at Cardinals, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Braves send rookie RHP Mike Soroka to the Busch Stadium mound to face the Cardinals’ veteran RHP Adam Wainwright. Soroka has been sensational on the road; he’s made 16 starts away from home and given up no more than three runs in any of them and no more than two in fourteen. That computes to a road ERA of 1.55. Wainwright will be making his 25th career postseason appearance — his 13th start — and a 3.03 career ERA in those games. He’s been even better at Busch, where he’s got a 1.72 ERA.

Braves lineup:

Cardinals lineup:

The second game is Dodgers at Nationals, 4:45 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Dodgers send LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound to face the Nationals’ RHP Aníbal Sánchez. Ryu’s been dominant at home and a little less so on the road, but as the MLB Game Preview author says, when you lead the major leagues in ERA you pitch well everywhere. Sánchez is substituting for Max Scherzer, who’d originally been penciled in for this start until he struck out the side in the 8th inning in Game Two.

The Dodgers and their families arrived at National Airport yesterday evening. Look at all the daddies holding their children’s hands going down the stairs.

Dodgers lineup:

Nationals lineup:

Sep 16

Game 150, 2018

Dodgers at Cardinals, 5:00 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

On ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball RHP Ross Stripling (8-3, 2.61 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and RHP Adam Wainwright (1-3, 4.70 ERA) goes for the Cardinals. Stripling’s three losses this season have come on the road despite a 2.86 ERA in his 18 appearances away from Dodger Stadium. He’s 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA against the Cardinals in his short career. This is Wainwright’s fifth start of the year. He made three in April and injured his elbow, tried to come back in May but wasn’t ready, and has made one start in September. Six days ago he started against the Pirates, went five innings, gave up seven hits and four earned runs but avoided the loss. Because of this lost season, he’s thinking about retirement.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1924 Cardinal first baseman Sunny Jim Bottomley goes 6-for-6, including two homers, and bats in a record twelve runs when the team beats the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 17-3. The previous mark of 11 RBIs in one game was established in 1892 by today’s opposing Dodger manager, Wilbert Robinson.
  • 1976 In the 11th inning at Veterans Stadium, Rick Joseph hits a walk-off grand slam in the Phillies’ 8-4 victory over the Dodgers. Two batters are walked intentionally by Ron Perranoski to face the weak hitting Philadelphia pinch hitter, who responds with his first career home run, which will be his only round-tripper this season.
  • 1988 The Reds’ Tom Browning pitches a perfect game against the Dodgers, striking out eight and allowing only eight balls to be hit out of the infield in his 1-0 victory. Over three starts, including the perfect game, he retires 40 consecutive batters – one shy of a major league record.

On September 16, 1993 Dave Winfield got his 3000th hit. In 1996 Paul Molitor did the same. And in 2005 Youppi!, who got his start at Olympic Stadium, is named as the first official mascot of the Montreal Canadiens, becoming the first to ever switch from Major League Baseball to the NHL. The acquisition, reportedly at the cost of six figures, is made possible when the Expos leave the hairy orange arm-waving giant behind in favor of an eagle called “Screech” when they moved to Washington, D.C. to become the Nationals.

Lineup when available.

Jun 01

Game 55, 2017

Dodgers at Cardinals, 10:45 AM PT (that’s 7:45PM CEST for Bob Hendley), TV: MLBN (out-of-market only), ESPN, SPNLA, FS-M

RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-1, 3.28 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and RHP Adam Wainwright (5-3, 4.20 ERA) will go for the Cards. McCarthy left his last start against the Cubs after six scoreless innings, complaining of knee tendinitis, which he says he’s had since spring training. Wainwright has made three consecutive quality starts, giving up just one run in his last 20 1/3 innings. This will be his 331st game in a Cardinals uniform, which moves him past Larry Jackson into 10th place on the all time games-pitched list for the Redbirds.

This day 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 bat has been altered. The rookie 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 when available.

Oct 11

ALCS Day Two, NLCS Day One, 2014

Royals at Orioles, 10:00AM HST/1:00PM PT, TV: TBS

In Game One the Royals reversed conventional wisdom and hit three home runs while stealing no bases. The Orioles did the opposite, stealing two bases and hitting no home runs. The two teams go at each other again Saturday afternoon with the Royals leading the series 1-0. Pitching for the Royals will be Yordano Ventura, who went seven innings against the Angels in the Division Series on Friday, surrendering five hits and one run while striking out six. Ventura’s career record against the Os is 0-1 with 17 strikeouts and a 1.26 ERA. His opponent will be Bud Norris, who pitched 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball against the Tigers in the final game of the ALDS, giving up two hits and striking out six. He was a hard-luck loser against the Royals in May, giving up one run in 7 1/3 innings.

Giants at Cardinals, 2:00PM HST/5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

Madison Bumgarner and Adam Wainwright are the two horses of their respective staffs. The Giants did well against Wainwright this season, roughing him up twice, including May 30 at home when they got to him for seven earned runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. Bumgarner split two decisions against the Cardinals this year.

The teams are pretty even. Look at these numbers:

The similarities in the Giants and Cards are reflected in regular-season pitching numbers that are close to identical. Both teams finished with 3.50 team ERAs and eight complete games. The Cards, with 1,221 strikeouts, racked up 10 more than the Giants’ staff. Hitters batted .242 against the Cards, .241 against the Giants.

Oct 03

NLDS Day One, 2014

Giants at Nationals, 12:00PM PT, TV: FS1

The Giants start 13-year veteran Jake Peavy, the mid-season acquisition who was 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA for the Red Sox but 6-4 with a 2.17 ERA when he got back to the National League with the Giants. Their ace, Bumgarner, pitched and won the wild card game on Wednesday and won’t be available until Game 3 of this series on Monday. The Nationals have had their rotation set for two weeks, and tomorrow they start Stephen Strasburg, who was 14-11 with a 3.14 ERA this season. He’ll be making his postseason debut; in a controversial move the Nats’ management shut him down before the season ended in 2012, the last time the Washington team made the playoffs. (They missed the wild card by four games last season, and Strasburg was recovering from Tommy John surgery anyway).

Cardinals at Dodgers, 3:30PM PT, TV: FS1

Clayton Kershaw vs. Adam Wainwright. The best pitching matchup of any of these four series. We could see a double no-hitter.

Can Molina stop Dee Gordon and the other Dodger base stealers? Can the Dodgers keep from going into another hitting slump like they did last year?

We’ll find out this afternoon.

Jun 26

Game 81, 2014

Cardinals at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Adam Wainwright (he of the 10-3, 2.08 ERA record) goes for the Redbirds. The Dodgers send Josh Beckett (5-4, 2.28 ERA) out to meet him. Wainwright’s ERA is second in all of baseball, Beckett’s is fifth. (Kershaw’s is 2.24, but he hasn’t got the number of innings to match the one-inning-per-team’s-games requirement yet — he’s got 72.1 innings, and the Dodgers have played 80 games.)

Who’s gonna pitch for the Cards the rest of the series? Good question.

Joe Kelly, Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia are already missing because of injury, and St. Louis had to use five relief pitchers after Miller exited. There is no official word on whether Miller will be available for his next start.

That means that Carlos Martinez (three career starts) and Marco Gonzales (moved from Double-A to the Majors on Wednesday for his first start) might need to hold down spots in the rotation.

Lineup when available.

Oct 28

World Series Game Five

“On paper, this projects as a low-scoring game. The Cards are batting just .235 as a team this series. The Red Sox are even worse at .189.”

Boston at St. Louis, 1:30PM HST, 4:30PM Pacific, 7:30PM Eastern on Fox.

The Sox’ pitcher is Jon Lester; the Cardinals’ pitcher is Adam Wainwright.

In two World Series starts, Lester has yet to allow a run, including pitching 7 2/3 shutout innings against the Cards in Game 1.

[snip]

Wainwright . . . struggled in the opener, allowing five runs (three earned) in five innings.