Sep 30

Game 160, 2016

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15PM PT, TV: SPNLA, KTLA, CS-BA, MLB.TV free game

When the schedulers at MLB HQ in New York set this weekend’s games up they were surely hoping that the two long-time rivals would be neck-and-neck in the NL West division, and even up to two or three weeks ago that seemed like a wish that might come true. But the Giants’ bullpen continued its season-long collapse and it hasn’t been able to hold a lead to save its life. Somehow it has managed to blow 32 save opportunities this season. Thirty-two! Not all the blame rests with the pen, though; the Giants have been shut out 13 times this season, and nine of those games have been after the All-Star break.

Somehow, despite that, the Giants have a magic number of three to clinch a Wild Card spot. If they end up tied with the Cardinals those two teams would have to play a preliminary game just to determine who gets to play the other Wild Card winner in the one-game playoff, the winner of which gets the Cubs. The Mets are in this too, so it’s complicated.

Tonight it will be the Dodgers’ Rich Hill (12-5, 2.05 ERA) against the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner (14-9, 2.71 ERA). Bumgarner was last seen by the Dodgers as he yelled at Yasiel Puig in the vicinity of first base on September 19 at Dodger Stadium. At the time he had a 1-0 lead through seven innings; he was pulled from the game at that point and the bullpen (there it is again) gave up three singles to tie the game and a game-winning double by Adrian González to win it for the Dodgers.

Hill hasn’t started a game since September 20, presumably in hopes his blistering fingers will fully heal. He’s expected to start Game Two of the NLDS and he needs to stay sharp. He may have a short leash this evening.

Lineup when available.

Adrian’s sinus infection must be ongoing.

Sep 29

Game 159, 2016

Dodgers at Padres, 6:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

Julio Urias (5-2, 3.53 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and Christian Friedrich (5-11, 4.66 ERA) takes the mound for the Padres. Friedrich’s year hasn’t been good overall, but his September has shown improvement: he’s had a 3.86 ERA through four starts including 25 strikeouts and just nine walks. The Dodgers keep trying to limit Urias’s innings (he’s thrown 119 this year at OKC and with LA) but they keep finding a need to use him. He hasn’t pitched in two weeks, however.

Today will be the final game at Petco Park for the Padres’ own Hall-of-Fame broadcaster, Dick Enberg. He’s been their primary play-by-play man for seven years after a long career at NBC and CBS calling golf, football and tennis, as well as earlier stints as both UCLA basketball’s play-by-play man and the LA Rams play-by-play caller. He even taught and coached baseball at Cal-State Northridge for five years in the early 1960s.

Lineup when available.

Seager off, González off, Kiké in the infield, Chooch at catcher…

Sep 07

Game 139, 2016

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

The Dodgers send RHP Brock Stewart (0-2, 7.94 ERA) to the hill to pitch against LHP Robbie Ray (7-12, 4.46 ERA). These two guys’ last starts couldn’t have been more different. Stewart threw five scoreless inning against the Cubs, while Ray had four uneventful innings against the Rockies before they scored six runs against him in the fifth. Ray is a strikeout pitcher, averaging 11 Ks per nine innings. Most of Stewart’s ERA is the result of a performance against the Rockies in Denver when he gave up 9 earned runs in four innings.

This is the final game of the homestand for the Dodgers. They play Miami on Friday when Kershaw makes his first start in two months. They move on from Miami to New York and Yankee Stadium and then to Arizona before returning to Dodger Stadium for their final two home series of the year.

Lineup:

Note that A-Gon has the night off, barring pinch-hitting duties.

Aug 25

Game 127, 2016

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CS-BA

The Dodgers send rookie RHP Ross Stripling (3-4, 4.04 ERA) out to face the Giants for the first time since his MLB debut when he pitched 7 1/3 innings of no-hit ball on April 8 of this year.

Moore (7-10, 4.18 ERA) was acquired by the Giants at the trade deadline last month. He’s made four starts, walked 22, struck out 17 and posted a 4.70 ERA in 23 innings for them since then.

A-Gon is on a 17-game hitting streak. Utley has a sore foot and may be replaced by Kendrick at 2B. Howie is 6-14 with a double against Moore over his career.

Lineup when available.

Jul 31

Game 105, 2016

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

Bud Norris (6-9, 4.27 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and Patrick Corbin (4-9, 5.31 ERA) pitches for the D-Backs. It’s a rematch for these two pitchers: between the two of them they gave up 10 earned runs and 15 hits in nine combined innings in a 13-7 Dodgers win on July 15.

Roberts said Yasiel Puig will start on Sunday for the first time in a week. There have been several different rumors about a possible trade including Puig, so I’m wondering if this is a showcase game for him. CBS Sports came up with eight different teams to which he might be traded. He’s also been rumored to be part of a three-team deal with the Reds for Jay Bruce.

Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is one home run away from joining the 300-homer club. He would become the seventh active player to reach 300 homers and 400 doubles. The other six are Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, Adrian Beltre, and Carlos Beltran.

Pretty good company, I’d say. I think five of the six are locks for the Hall of Fame, and A-Rod would be were it not for his PED use.

Lineup when available.

Jul 30

Game 104, 2016

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

The Dodgers send Scott Kazmir (9-3, 4.35 ERA) out to face the D-Backs’ Braden Shipley (0-1, 10.13 ERA). Kazmir’s W-L record is deceptive; he’s not pitched quite as well as that would indicate. This will be Shipley’s second big league start; he gave up three homers to the Brewers in his first start. It was a three-run shot by Martin Maldonado which ended his outing.

A-Gon is one dinger shy of 300 for his career, and this will be Kazmir’s first time facing Arizona since 2006.

Lineup:

Jul 08

Game 89, 2016

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

Andrew Cashner (3-6, 4.42 ERA) goes for the Padres while Scott Kazmir (7-3, 4.37 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. Here’s a bit of a surprise: Kazmir hasn’t lost in his last ten starts. Cashner pitched well in his first start last Sunday after coming off the DL, giving up just two runs in six innings against the Yankees.

A-Gon has been very successful against Cashner; he’s hit .344/.432/.750 with four homers. Likewise, Alexei Ramirez and Adam Rosales have a combined .930 OPS in 62 plate appearances against Kazmir from their days in the AL when he was there.

Lineup when available.

Jun 27

Game 78, 2016

Dodgers at Pirates, 9:35AM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOT Sports, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers ask Scott Kazmir (5-3, 4.52 ERA) to stop their slide before it gets worse. His last start was a quality one in which he gave up only two runs to the Nats in six innings. The Pirates ask Francisco Liriano (4-7, 5.17 ERA) to stop his personal slide during which he’s gotten no wins in his last five starts and walked 19 batters during that stretch.

Expect Adrian González to sit this one out as per this word from Dave Roberts on Sunday.

Lineup: somebody post it in the comments when it turns up. I am NOT getting up at dawn to watch this game.

Jun 03

Game 56, 2016

Braves at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSO

Los Bravos send out Julio Teheran, whose 1-5 record makes no sense when you look at his 2.77 ERA, against the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda, who’s 4-3 with a 3.00 ERA. Neither of them has had much success at Dodger Stadium:

In five starts against Los Angeles, Teheran has posted a 0-4 record. His 5.63 ERA and .298 batting average against are his worst against any National League team. He’s struggled mightily at Dodger Stadium, where he’s allowed 10 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings (16 runs in 15 innings including the postseason).

The Dodgers will counter with Maeda, who was given an extra day of rest after being struck in the right hand by a comebacker in his start against the Mets on Saturday. The rookie right-hander has also experienced his trials when pitching in his home park, going 1-3 with a 4.08 ERA this year.

A-Gon hit .312 for May, raising his season average to .299. He leads all Dodgers in average, followed by Utley, Seager and Thompson.

In praise of Kershaw, MLB’s Richard Justice appreciates his work.

Lineup:

They’re apparently being very careful of Puig’s hamstring by sitting him again tonight.