Sep 27

Game 159, 2017

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

The Dodgers are up three games in the win column over the Indians for the best record in baseball (and home field advantage through the playoffs and World Series if they get that far) with four games left to play.

The Padres send LHP Clayton Richard (8-14, 4.63 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (11-8, 3.50 ERA).

These pitchers have faced their respective opposing teams before this season:

Hill will be making his final tuneup ahead of a probable start in Game 3 of the NL Division Series. The southpaw is 2-0 in four starts vs. the Padres this season, owning 1.50 ERA to go along with 25 strikeouts. Richard is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts at Dodger Stadium this season. The southpaw is 3-4 with a 3.61 ERA over his last 11 starts.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1936 Replacing Johnny Mize, tossed by an ump for arguing, Cardinal rookie first baseman Walter Alston makes an error in handling two chances and strikes out in his only major league at-bat. ‘Smokey’ will, however, win seven pennants and four World Series in his 23-year Hall of Fame career as Dodger manager from 1954 to 1976.
  • 1951 Bill Sharman, recently called up from Fort Worth, is one of 15 Dodgers who are ejected by umpire Frank Dascoli for bench jockeying after a close call at home plate. The future basketball Hall of Famer will never play in the big leagues, and thus he will become the only player to be ejected from a major league game without ever appearing in one.
  • 1960 Ryne Duren makes his first start in two years memorable when he strikes out the first five batters he faces in the Yankees’ 5-1 victory over Washington. The feat ties a modern major league record shared by Lefty Gomez (Yankees), Dazzy Vance (Dodgers), and Walter Johnson (Senators).
  • 1961 Sandy Koufax breaks the National League mark for strikeouts in a season, surpassing Christy Mathewson’s mark of 267 established in 1903. Unlike the turmoil caused by commissioner Ford Frick’s edict of having to hit 61 homers by the 154th game in the extended 162-game schedule to break Babe Ruth’s single season home run record, little is made that the Dodgers southpaw’s 268th punch-out occurs in the 151st game of the season, compared to the 142-game sked played early in the century.
  • 1964 The Houston Colt .45’s play their final game in Colt Stadium, the team’s home ballpark since joining the National League in 1962. The future Astros beat the Dodgers in the 12th inning, 1-0, when Jimmy Wynn’s single plates Bob Aspromonte.
  • 1993 In a 7-3 victory over the Dodgers, Cubs’ reliever Randy Myers becomes the first National League pitcher to record 50 saves in a season.
  • 1993 Mike Piazza, who broke the major league rookie record for home runs by a catcher earlier in the month, sets another mark for round-trippers when he hits his 34th, surpassing the previous L.A. Dodger mark shared by Steve Garvey (1977) and Pedro Guerrero (1985). Duke Snider established the franchise record with 43 homers playing with Brooklyn in 1956.
  • 2000 The United States Olympic team, managed by former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda, stuns the world, beating the much-favored Cuban team to win the country’s first gold medal in its national pastime. Ben Sheets ends Cuba’s 21-game Olympic winning streak with a 4-0 shutout.
  • 2011 After giving up five runs in the top of the tenth inning, the Diamondbacks score six times in the bottom of the frame in an amazing 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the Dodgers. Arizona infielder Ryan Roberts delivers the decisive blow in the Chase Field contest, a walk-off grand slam with two outs.

Adrian Gonzáles is done for the season, it appears.

Lineup when available.

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.

Aug 29

Game 130, 2017

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, KTLA, FS-A

The Dodgers ask LHP Rich Hill (9-5, 3.32 ERA) to stop their two-game losing streak (horrors!). He’ll face the D-Backs’ RHP Zack Godley (5-7, 3.53 ERA).

Hill lost a perfect game, a no-hitter, a shutout and the game in the ninth and tenth innings his last time out. Godley has lost three straight starts despite giving up only two runs in two of them.

Doc and A-Gon are longtime friends and ex-roomies, which has helped the Dodgers.

Dodgers’ September Call-Ups: Who’s In, Who’s Out? Howard Cole makes predictions.

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.

Lineup when available.

Aug 25

Game 127, 2017

Brewers at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI

This is the first day of the MLB-promoted “Players Weekend,” so the uniforms are going to look a little different and the names on their backs may look a lot different.

The Brewers send RHP Chase Anderson (7-2, 2.83 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda ((11-5, 3.88 ERA). This will be Anderson’s second start since coming back from the DL for a left oblique strain. In his first one he went five innings and gave up only one run while striking out four Rockies. Maeda has a 3.09 ERA in his four August starts and is 7-2 in his last 10 starts.

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 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.

    Lineup when available.

Aug 20

Game 122, 2017

Dodgers at Tigers, 10:10 AM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-D

The visiting Dodgers try to finish a sweep of the Tigers in a day game from Comerica Park. They’ll send RHP Kenta Maeda (11-4, 3.76 ERA) to the mound to face 2011 Cy Young Award winner RHP Justin Verlander (8-8, 4.11 ERA).

Maeda is on a hot streak. He’s gone 5-0 with a 1.95 ERA in his last six starts. He’s never faced the Tigers. Verlander gave up three HRs in a loss to the Rangers on Tuesday. He’s certainly not having a year even close to his standards.

Potential milestones: Verlander is looking for his 30th interleague win. He’s gone a gaudy 29-5 with a 2.94 ERA in 41 career regular-season starts against National League teams, but he hasn’t victimized the Dodgers much. His only start against the Dodgers was a home victory on July 8, 2014. Adrian González needs two hits to reach 2,000 for his career, but Verlander’s not the guy he’d like to face to get there. He’s 3-17 lifetime against the Tigers’ pitcher.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1945 Dodger shortstop Tommy Brown becomes the youngest player (17 years, 8 months, and 14 days) in major league history to hit a home run. The round-tripper by ‘Buckshot’, who started his career as a 16 year-old high school student, will be the only run Brooklyn scores off 30 year-old Pirates southpaw Preacher Roe, who goes the distance in the 11-1 rout of the home team at Ebbets Field.
  • 1974 In an 18-8 rout of the Cubs, the Dodgers collect 24 hits and set a club record with 48 total bases, including Davey Lopes’ three home runs, double, and single. The Dodger second baseman’s 15 total bases are the most ever for a leadoff hitter.
  • 1978 In the visitors’ clubhouse at Shea Stadium, Dodger Blue becomes black and blue when Steve Garvey confronts teammate Don Sutton about a Washington Post story in which the pitcher is critical of him. After the right-hander confirms he had made the comments, the argument becomes physical when an inappropriate remark is made about the first baseman’s wife.

I remember lying on a couch in my relative’s home while on vacation in Santa Maria listening to Scully and Doggett tell me about this one: in 1961 in the second game of a doubleheader the Phillies snap a 23-game losing streak by beating the Braves, 7-4. The victory establishes a new record for the most consecutive losses by a major league team.

Lineup when available.

Aug 18

Game 120, 2017

Dodgers at Tigers, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-D

On “University of Michigan” night in Detroit, it’s fitting that the Dodgers send former Michigan baseball standout lefty Rich Hill (8-4, 3.44 ERA) to the mound to face righty Jordan Zimmermann (7-9, 5.62 ERA).

Hill was the NL Pitcher of the Month for July but has yet to get a decision in August. He went six innings in his last start against the Padres while giving up two runs on five hits. He’s pitched at Comerica park seven times while in the AL, but only once as a starter. That was last year for Oakland before the Dodgers acquired him. Zimmermann gave up seven runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings in his last start but somehow avoided taking a loss. The Dodgers are familiar with him from his years with the Nationals. He was 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA against them.

The Dodgers activated Adrian Gonzalez and optioned Rob Segedin.

From Dodgers Insider

An entire baseball team could be fielded with the number of different Dodger players who’ve hit a walk-off this year. With Puig’s game-winning two-run double, he became the ninth different player to walk the Dodgers off with a win in their 10 walk-offs this season.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 Long time baseball executive Branch Rickey is named president of the newly formed Continental League. The 77 year-old former Dodger general manager is currently serving as an advisor with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • 1982 In the second longest game in franchise history, the Cubs lose to the Dodgers, 2-1. The Wrigley Field contest, which is played over two days, takes a Dusty Baker sacrifice fly and 21 innings to complete.

Lineup when available.

Adrian’s first day off the DL and he’s in the lineup at 1B, Seager gets to sit on the bench and think about hitting, Bellinger roams left field, and Taylor moves to shortstop for the day.

It just struck me how many guys on this team have names that begin with “C.” On days when Kershaw pitches and Utley plays 2B, the Dodgers could have 5/9 or nearly 56% of their lineup made up of them.

Jun 13

Game 65, 2017

Dodgers at Indians, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, SportsTime Ohio

This will be the first time the Dodgers play an American League team this year; they’re the only team which hasn’t played an interleague game yet in 2017.

Cleveland is frustrating its manager.

The visiting Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw (8-2, 2.20 ERA) to the mound to face the 2016 World Series runners-up Indians’ starter Trevor Bauer (5-5, 6.10 ERA). Austin Jackson, Edwin Encarnacion and Abraham Almonte (10-day DL) are the only three Indians who have ever faced Kershaw. They’ve combined to go 1-for-10 with two strikeouts. This will be Kershaw’s second career start against the Indians and his first career start at Progressive Field. His home start was in 2008, the sixth start of his career. He gave up four runs on four hits and three walks and struck out five in five innings. Bauer has made two career starts against the Dodgers and gone 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in 11 2/3 innings. In his last start he gave up four runs on five hits and five walks in 3 1/3 innings to the Twins.

From MLB.com:

23. Los Angeles Dodgers: OF Jeren Kendall, Vanderbilt
[MLB.com Draft and prospect expert Jim] Callis: I know the industry soured on Kendall a bit because of his strikeout rate at Vanderbilt, but I love this pick at No. 23, and personally, would have taken him in the top 10. Yes, he swings and misses, as evidenced by his 74 whiffs in 261 at-bats, but he has the best tools in the college ranks, and he’s been a very productive player at a top program. He has a chance to be a 15-HR, 30-steal guy while playing a quality center field.

The Dodgers picked RHP Morgan Cooper of the U of Texas in the second round. Details about him here.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1957 In a game which features the ejection of Johnny Logan and Don Drysdale, Clem Labine loses for the first time in ten months and 38 relief appearances when the Braves beat Brooklyn, 8-5. The Milwaukee shortstop charged the mound after getting drilled in the ribs by the Dodger right-hander, resulting in banishment for both players.
  • 1973 The Dodgers infield, a quartet which will be together eight and a half years, setting a major league record for longevity, plays together for the first time. First baseman Steve Garvey, second baseman Davey Lopes, third baseman Ron Cey, and shortstop Bill Russell are in the lineup in the 16-3 defeat to the Phillies.
  • 1998 The first triple play ever completed at Dodger Stadium is turned by Darren Dreifort (p), Eric Young (2b), Jose Vizcaino (ss), and Bobby Bonilla (3b). With Colorado runners on first and second base, the 1-6-4 double play becomes a triple killing when Jamey Wright is thrown out at third base by the LA second baseman, who covered first base for the second out.
  • 2010 The Angels, with their first sweep at Dodger Stadium, complete their 14-game road trip with 11 victories, the most for the team on a single trip since 1962. In the 6-5 decision over their crosstown rivals, Halo hurler Jered Weaver strikes out his older brother, Jeff, who came into the game as a long reliever in the third inning, for the first time since they were kids.

Lineup when available.

Jun 05

Game 59, 2017

Nationals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MASN, ESPN

YALHP Gio Gonzalez (4-1, 3.03 ERA) takes the hill for the Nats. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-5, 3.91 ERA). Gonzalez has hit a rough patch. After putting up a 1.62 ERA during April he ballooned to a 4.37 ERA for May. Ryu had his best start of the year his last time out, allowing just one run in six innings against the Cardinals.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1977 On Old Timers’ Day, the Dodgers retire former manager Walter Alston’s uniform number 24. ‘Smokey’ compiles a 2040-1613 (.558) record along with seven pennants that results in four World Championships during his 23 years in the dugout.
  • 2000 The Marlins select 16-year-old Adrian Gonzalez as their first overall pick in the first-year player draft. The first baseman, a student at Eastlake High School in Bonita, California, comes to terms with Florida on the same day he is drafted. Note: He was 18 according to Dodgers.com

Lineup when available.

May 30

Game 53, 2017

Dodgers at Cardinals, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ESPN, FS-M, MLBN free game of the day in non-blackout regions

RHP Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.08 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. He hopes his second start against the Cardinals within a week goes as well as the first, when he gave up three runs in the first but righted the ship, went five innings and got the win. RHP Michael Wacha (2-2, 3.66 ERA), on the other hand, wants to improve on his performance last Thursday against the Dodgers, when he went only four innings, allowed seven hits, six earned runs, two walks and lost the game.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1946 In Boston’s 10-8 victory over the Dodgers, Bama Rowell’s long drive hits the Bulova clock located above the right field scoreboard, making the left-fielder the first major leaguer to reach the famous landmark at Ebbets Field. The crushing four-bagger that shatters the face of the clock causing glass to cascade onto Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker is believed to be the inspiration for author Bernard Malamud having Roy Hobbs, the hero of his 1952 novel, The Natural, belt a similar home run, which also rains glass over the diamond.
  • 1962 Frank Thomas strokes a double off Sandy Koufax in the Mets’ 13-6 loss to Los Angeles, extending his franchise mark of consecutive games with a hit to 18 for the expansion team. The streak, which will be only one shy of Maury Wills’ league-leading total for the season, is halted when the New York left fielder goes 0-for-4 in the nightcap of the Dodgers’ sweep at the Polo Grounds.
  • 1986 In a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium, future home run king Barry Bonds goes 0-for-5 in his major league debut. The Pirates center fielder, batting leadoff, strikes out three times.
  • 1930 Not Dodgers’ history, but for the economists among us, get a load of this prize: Rogers Hornsby receives his MVP award and is given a thousand gold coins by National League president John Heydler at a ceremony at home plate prior to the Cubs’ contest against St. Louis. Ironically, the ‘Rajah’ will break his ankle while advancing to third base during the Wrigley Field contest and will not play again until the middle of August. Ah, when there was a gold standard! (For the record, the price of an ounce of gold was pegged at $20.67 in 1930. If each coin weighed an ounce that was $20,670, not an insignificant amount of cash in that Depression year)

Early returns from this year’s All Star Game voting: Seager at the top, Turner and A-Gon in top five at their respective positions.

Lineup:

May 16

Game 40, 2017

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

LHP Rich Hill (1-1, 3.38 ERA) tries to avoid blister problems while making his third start of the year; after each of his first two he had to go on the 10-day DL while his fingers healed. He pitched five innings Wednesday in a rehab assignment with Rancho Cucamonga with no physical effects. The Giants counter with YALHP Ty Blach (0-2, 4.88 ERA), who has taken Madison Bumgarner’s spot in the rotation while Bumgarner recovers from his dirt bike accident. Blach has gone 1-1 with a 1.13 ERA in three games (two starts) against the Dodgers in his career. In the game he won he shut out the Dodgers over eight innings on three hits. That was in October of 2016.

To make room for Hill the Dodgers optioned Grant Dayton to Oklahoma City.

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1967 Reliever Phil Regan loses his first game in 77 appearances. The ‘Vulture’ gets pinned with his first defeat in over a year when Astros’ third baseman Bob Aspromonte hits a two-run triple in the tenth to beat the Dodgers, 5-3.
  • 2000 After a fan steals Los Angeles’ catcher Chad Kreuter’s hat and hits him in the back of the head, many Dodgers, including coaches John Shelby and Rick Dempsey, go into the stands and start fighting with the Wrigley Field faithful. When the melee ends, several fans are arrested as the game is delayed nearly ten minutes, and there is litter all over the field.

Lineup when available.

No Bellinger, no Seager. González is with Rancho Cucamonga for his first-ever rehab assignment.