RHP Ross Stripling (3-3, 3.79 ERA) makes his fourth start replacing the injured Rich Hill. He hasn’t been really successful as a starter yet this season; he’s not gotten past the fifth inning in any start and he’s given up four runs in each of the last two. He’ll face LHP Chris Sale (3-8, 4.04 ERA), who’s not been his usual ace-like self this year. In fact, he gave up five runs in each of his last two starts prior to the All Star break.
In about the only Dodger highlight of Friday’s game, Alex Verdugo curls a home run around the Pesky Pole in right field:
This has nothing to do with the Dodgers or the Red Sox, but I found it interesting: a history of the walk-up song.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1939 The Red Sox send 21 year-old farmhand Pee Wee Reese to the Dodgers for $35,000 and a player to be named later (Red Evans), along with three minor leaguers due to a less-than-enthusiastic scouting report filed by Joe Cronin, the team’s current player-manager, who deliberately downplayed the prospect’s talent to keep his own job in the Boston infield. The Louisville Colonels regular shortstop, a future Hall of Famer, will become a crowd favorite, helping Brooklyn to win seven pennants during his 16 seasons with the team.
1949 Jackie Robinson testifies in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, reading a carefully worded statement put together with the help of Dodger GM Branch Rickey. The Brooklyn second baseman’s statement makes it clear he disagrees with singer and actor Paul Robeson’s belief that American Negroes would refuse to fight in any war against Russia due to the country’s racial discrimination toward blacks.
RHP Antonio Senzatela (6-5, 5.09 ERA) is a third-year pitcher who’s having a pretty good June: he’s 3-1 with a 3.57 ERA for the month. He’ll face the Dodgers’ RHP Kenta Maeda (7-4, 3.87 ERA). Maeda won four games in May but has lost two in June, and the Dodgers seem to think he can’t face a lineup three times. His longest outing of the year is 6 2/3 innings, and he’s not gone past five this month.
Verdugo had a four-hit game on Saturday night; the walk-off HR wasn’t his only production. Here’s the recap:
Personnel move: Freese to the IL with a hamstring strain, Will Smith up from AAA to replace him.
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1930 The Dodgers get twelve consecutive hits in a 19-6 win over the Pirates at Forbes Field. Two of the dozen hits in the eight-run sixth inning include a pair of homers hit by Brooklyn outfielder Babe Herman.
1986 The Braves strand 18 runners on base, establishing a National League record. Enough Atlanta players do score to give the team a 6-5 victory over L.A. at Dodger Stadium.
Other notable events in baseball on this date include Ernie Shore’s near-perfect game in 1917, when he relieved Babe Ruth (ejected for arguing balls and strikes and possibly punching the umpire) and retired 26 consecutive batters.
RHP Tyler Beede (0-2, 8.06 ERA) will pitch for the Giants tonight, facing RHP Kenta Maeda (7-3, 3.89 ERA) of the Dodgers. Beede’s first outing of the season was awful — 7 ER in 2 1/3 innings — and he’s been trying to bring his ERA down ever since. He had three reasonably good outings in May but he’s regressed in June, giving up 9 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings. Maeda’s last start was a tale of two pitchers — he gave up five runs on 36 pitches in the first inning and then retired the next 13 hitters he faced. That wasn’t enough; he took the loss.
Here’s Verdugo’s game-saving catch yesterday:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1915 Cubs right-hander reliever George Washington Zabel, called into the game with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, throws 18 and 1/3 innings of the Cubs’ 4-3 victory over the Robins at Chicago’s West Side Park. ‘Zip’, establishing the major league record for the longest relief stint in one game, beats Brooklyn starter Jeff Pfeffer, who tosses a 19-inning complete-game. (Pfeffer won 113 games for Brooklyn and lost only 80 in a nine-year career with the Robins.)
1956 Joe Adcock’s ninth-inning home run off Brooklyn right-hander Ed Roebuck, his second round-tripper of the game, proves to be the game winner in the Braves’ 5-4 victory over the Dodgers. The blast to left field, which clears an 83-foot wall at the 350-foot mark, is believed to the only homer ever to land on the roof at Ebbets Field.
1956 Fred Haney, named yesterday to replace Charlie Grimm, wins two games in his managerial debut with the Braves when the team sweeps a doubleheader against the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 5-4 and 3-1, starting a streak of 11 consecutive victories. The club’s former coach will compile a 341-231 (.596) record, guiding Milwaukee to two pennants and a world championship during his four seasons at the helm.
1976 At Shea Stadium, Dave Kingman hits a walk-off homer to give the Mets a 1-0 victory over the Dodgers. Sky King’s game-ending blast comes off Charlie Hough in the 14th inning.
1992 Dodger farmhand Mike Piazza, believing he was low balled in his contract negotiations, takes exception to the team giving a reported bonus of $500,000 to top draft pick Ryan Luzinski, a 220-pound catcher from Holy Cross High in Delran, New Jersey who will never play in a major league game. Next season, Piazza will be selected as the National League’s Rookie of the Year, and will hit .331 in seven seasons for LA.
One more item from the history books: on this date in 1962 Met Marv Throneberry’s apparent first inning triple becomes an out on an appeal play for missing second base in an 8-7 loss to San Francisco at the Polo Grounds. When New York manager Casey Stengel questions the call, he is told by the umpire, according to legend, “Don’t bother arguing Casey, he missed first base, too.”
The visiting Dodgers send RHP Ross Stripling (1-1, 2.92 ERA) to the mound to face the Brewers’ RHP Jhoulys Chacín (2-2, 6.52 ERA). Stripling has been the most consistent of the Dodgers’ starters, and in his last start he went eight innings and gave up just four hits and one run, getting the win against these same Brewers. The opposing pitcher in that game? Chacín, who gave up six earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings and took the loss.
It might be a little hard to believe, but Chacín is only two years older than Stripling. The difference is that Chacin made his MLB debut in 2009 when he was just 21. He’s got a career W-L record of 76-77. Stripling didn’t get into a big league game until he was 26; his career W-L record is 17-21.
Verdugo’s throw in Thursday’s game tied the current season high for fastest throw from the outfield: 98.4 MPH.
1890 The Brooklyn Bridegrooms, who will later be known as the Dodgers, play their first National League game. The former American Association team loses to the Beaneaters, who will become known as the Braves in 1912, at Boston’s South End Grounds, 15-9.
1938 During the first inning, both Dodgers’ Ernie Koy and Phillies’ Emmett Mueller homer in their first major league at-bats. The pair of rookies will collectively hit a total 42 home runs during their nine seasons in the major leagues.
1956 In the first major league game ever played in New Jersey, the Dodgers begin their Jersey City home game experiment with a 10-inning 5-4 victory over the Phillies at Roosevelt Stadium. A sparse crowd of 12,214, limited by inclement weather, sees Brooklyn backstop Roy Campanella tie the score in the tenth inning with his 1000th career hit, a double down the left field line.
1968 Nolan Ryan makes quick work of the Dodgers when he strikes out the side on nine pitches in the top of the third inning of the Mets’ 3-2 loss at Shea Stadium. The 21 year-old New York fireballer, who will also accomplish the feat with the Angels in 1972, strikes out 11 batters in 7.1 frames, including Claude Osteen, Wes Parker, and Zoilo Versalles, the victims of his immaculate inning.
2000 Veteran hurler Orel Hershiser ties a major league mark, equaled by 19 others, hitting four batters in one game. Astro Richard Hidalgo also ties a modern major league record by getting hit three times in a game, twice by Hershiser and a third time by Dodger reliever Matt Herges.
2002 Mariners’ third baseman Jeff Cirillo ties the major league record for consecutive errorless games at the hot corner by playing his 99th contest without a miscue. John Wehner, a journeyman infielder with the Dodgers, Pirates, and Marlins, established the mark during a span of eight-plus seasons.
At bumsrap’s suggestion, I’ve added a link on the right under the “Blogroll” section called “Dodgers Affiliate Scores.” It allows you to see all the scores from every Dodger team from the big club down to the rookiest of rookie leagues for any date. Click it and look for the date box, then pick the date you want.
The Reds ask RHP Sonny Gray (0-2, 2.03 ERA) to salvage one game of this three-game set. He’ll face RHP Walker Buehler (1-0, 8.25 ERA), who’s been alternating good and bad games so far; if the pattern holds today he should be good.
Here’s Verdugo’s 2-run double in the 7th inning of Tuesday’s game:
1955 Roberto Clemente singles off Dodger pitcher Johnny Podres in his first major league at-bat. The Pirates’ rookie, who will die in a plane crash attempting to bring relief aid to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua in 1972, will collect exactly 3,000 hits during his 18-year major league career, all with Pittsburgh.
1956 Luis Aparicio, Don Drysdale, and Frank Robinson play in their first major league games, respectively, for the White Sox, Dodgers, and Reds. The trio of debuts marks the first time that three future Hall of Famers have made their initial appearance on the same day.
1988 The Braves beat the Dodgers, 3-1, after breaking the National League record with ten losses to start the season. The team will drop 27 of its first 39 decisions, costing Chuck Tanner his job as the Atlanta manager.
2013 Clayton Kershaw becomes the second fastest Dodger to strike out 1,000 batters when he throws a second-inning 93-mph fastball past San Diego first baseman Yonder Alonso. The 25 year-old southpaw reaches the milestone in 970 career innings, 15.2 more than needed by Hideo Nomo, who established the team mark in 2003.
Also in baseball history on this day: in 1969 Bill Stoneman pitched a no-hitter for the Expos in the ninth game of their existence, and in 1976 Mike Schmidt hit four consecutive home runs in a ten-inning 18-16 Phillies’ win over the Cubs.
It’ll be Robbie Ray for the visitors versus Ross (Chicken Strip) Stripling for the Dodgers. Stripling has had all winter to fix his pitch-tipping problem, which kept him off postseason rosters for all three series the Dodgers played last year. Ray struggled for the first four months of last year and didn’t throw consecutive quality starts until September, but over his last eight starts he had a 2.09 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 43 innings.
MLB is all-in on technology these days, says Tom Verducci at Sports Illustrated. Here’s the opening paragraph:
Cold and clear as verity, a new dawn broke over Camelback Ranch, spring home of the Dodgers. So did morning. In one batting cage at the Glendale, Ariz., complex last month—not the cage with ground force measurement plates—rookie outfielder Alex Verdugo, 22, took batting practice while tethered to a laptop computer by two dozen thick white wires sprouting like vines from a harness around his hips and torso. Behind him, also in the cage, two technicians monitored the 3D motion images of Verdugo and his swing.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1935 The reigning National League champion Cardinals release 44 year-old right-hander Dazzy Vance, who appeared in his first and only World Series during his one season with the team. The future Hall of Fame hurler will return to the Dodgers, where he spent the most productive years of his career, finishing his major league 16-year tenure in the major leagues with a 197-140 (.585) record along with an ERA of 3.24.
2008 In an exhibition game celebrating the club’s 50th anniversary of their move west from Brooklyn, the Dodgers lose to the Red Sox in front of 115,300 fans at the LA Coliseum. The crowd is the largest ever to watch a baseball game, surpassing the previous record when approximately 114,000 patrons attended an exhibition contest between the Australian national team and an American services team during the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.
2017 The Dodgers commemorate Kirk Gibson’s historic pinch-hit, walk-off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series by offering a special ticket package to sit in the right-field pavilion seat, recently painted blue and autographed by him, where the ball landed. The team is donating two-thirds of the $300 price of the ducats, which includes a companion seat, two commemorative T-shirts and food and drink, to the Kirk Gibson Foundation to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s research, the neurological disease which affects the Fall Classic hero.
“Nothing’s changed,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said at the GM Meetings here at the Omni La Costa Resort. “We remain extremely optimistic. We have just set it off to the side a little bit as we work through all of our coaches and the vacancies we have there. Nothing has changed from our vantage point.”
In addition to hitting coach Turner Ward and third base coach Chris Woodward, the Dodgers are also losing Danny Lehmann, their game planning and communications coach who was in uniform for games. And general manager Farhan Zaidi, who was introduced Wednesday afternoon as the San Francisco Giants’ new decision maker.
Friedman says the team’s only urgent need is catcher, presuming Grandal doesn’t accept the qualifying offer the Dodgers extended to him. Of the two players to whom those offers were made, Ryu is considered by observers to be more likely to agree.
This assessment of Grandal from Friedman is probably the same most Dodgers fans have:
“I would prefer a more even, level distribution,” Friedman said this week. “But I would also prefer how it has played out to most catchers in the big leagues. So.”
Former exec Jim Bowden speculates on who the Marlins’ Realmuto might be traded to and what he might bring in return. He thinks the Dodgers would have to give up Alex Verdugo and AA pitcher Dustin May. Incidentally, there’s a chart of MLB catchers sorted by WAR in that article: Realmuto’s 4.8 is the highest, but second is Grandal at 3.6.
The Dodgers put RHP Kenta Maeda (7-5, 3.12 ERA) on the mound in Philadelphia to face the Fightin’ Phils’ RHP Aaron Nola (12-3, 2.30 ERA). Maeda has been the Dodgers’ most consistent pitcher all season, and he hasn’t given up more than three runs in a start since May 11. He got a win in relief in his last appearance on July 15, one in which he worked 1/3 of an inning, striking out the Angels’ Ian Kinsler with the bases loaded to get Kershaw off the hook. The Phillies’ Nola is 5-1 with a 2.22 ERA since June 1 and pitched a scoreless inning in the All Star Game. This is the best start of his short career.
Internet-sourced trade proposal: The Mets’ deGrom for the Dodgers’ prospects Verdugo (#2), Ruiz (#7) and Alvarez (#9). MLB’s Jim Duquette poo-poos that but suggests an alternative: “a deal involving Ruiz, right-hander Dustin May (the Dodgers’ No. 9 prospect) and middle infielder Gavin Lux (the Dodgers’ No. 11 prospect) could bring both sides together.”
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1909 At Washington Park, the Superbas sweep a twin bill from the visiting Cardinals with identical 1-0 scores. Brooklyn’s southpaw Nap Rucker, who will finish second in the NL with 200 strikeouts, whiffs 16 Redbirds in one of the contests.
1931 For the second time in ten days, Babe Herman hits for the cycle. The Dodger outfielder joins “Long John” Reilly and Bob Meusel as one of only three ‘tricyclists’ to have accomplished the feat of collecting a single, double, triple, and home run in one game three times.
1965 Unbeknownst to him at the time, 75 year-old Mets skipper Casey Stengel, who compiled a managerial record of 1,905-1,842 with the Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, and Mets, manages his final baseball game, a 5-1 loss to Philadelphia at Shea Stadium. After leaving a party after midnight at Toots Shor’s, the ‘Old Perfesser’ loses his balance and fractures his left hip, resulting in the unexpected retirement with the team.
1968 ChiSox reliever Hoyt Wilhelm breaks Cy Young’s record when he makes his 907th career appearance, pitching a third of an inning in which he gives up a run on two hits to be on the short side of the team’s 3-2 loss to Oakland. The 45 year-old knuckleballer, who will retire in 1972 after pitching in 1,070 games, will finish his 21-year major league career with a 143-122 (.540) won-loss record and 228 saves, hurling for the Giants, Cardinals, Indians, Orioles, White Sox, Angels, Braves, Cubs, and Dodgers.
1970 Tommy Agee steals home with two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning, giving the Mets a 2-1 walk-off victory over the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, the New York center fielder stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, before scoring the winning run with his thievery of home plate.
1977 After his two-out foul pop-up is dropped by Mets’ right fielder Bruce Boisclair, Davey Lopes responds with a game-ending three-run home run off Bob Apodaca. The L.A. second baseman’s ninth-inning dramatics provide the Dodgers with a 5-3 win and spoil the opportunity for a win for Nino Espinosa, who left the game needing just one more out for a complete-game victory.
1993 Following the game at Dodger Stadium, Vince Coleman tosses an M-80 from a car, resulting in reported injuries to three fans in the Chavez Ravine parking lot, including an 11 year-old boy and a two year-old girl. The Mets’ player was a passenger in the 1991 Jeep Cherokee driven by LA outfielder Eric Davis, who acknowledges Coleman flipped the firecracker out of his vehicle as a ‘joke,’ but not into a crowd of people.
1993 In a 5-4 loss to the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, Mets right-hander Anthony Young extends his record losing streak to 27 games. The latest defeat is the result of the hard-luck hurler walking Dave Hansen in with the winning run with two outs in the 10th inning.
2015 Michael Conforto becomes the 1,000th player in Mets history when he makes his major league debut, going 0-3 in the team’s 7-2 loss to the Dodgers at Citi Field. Tomorrow, the 24 year-old rookie left fielder will enjoy a 4-for-4 day at the plate when he will collect three singles and a double en route scoring four runs.
The Dodgers take the 40-mile drive southeast to Angels Stadium for Game One of the Freeway Series. They’ll send RHP Kenta Maeda (5-5, 3.36 ERA) to the mound for his third career start against the Halos. He pitched well enough to win in his last start against the Rockies, but German Marquez was better, holding the Dodgers to two hits and one run over eight innings. The Angels counter with Felix Peña (1-0, 3.71 ERA), who will be making just his fourth big league start tonight. He got his first win as a starter a week ago when he pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Orioles while giving up just five hits. He’s still learning: he’s only pitched 60 1/3 innings in the major leagues since his debut in 2016.
Down on the farm: Verdugo and Toles are hot at OKC, AAA All-Stars include four OKC players and two Dodger prospects lead their respective leagues (Texas and California) in home runs.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1938 At Crosley Field, Yankees’ hurler Lefty Gomez is defeated for the first time in four All-Star starts as the NL wins the All-Star game 4-1. National League shortstop Leo Durocher becomes the first Dodger to start in an All-Star Game and gets a ‘bunt’ home run.
1953 In his first major league start, 24 year-old right-hander Al Worthington throws a two-hitter, blanking the Pirates, 6-0. The Giants’ rookie, known as ‘Red’, will become the first National League freshman to throw consecutive shutouts at the start of a career, when he repeats the feat in his next outing, also blanking the Dodgers, 6-0.
2000 Vin Scully, 72, is voted the No. 1 sportscaster of the 20th century by members of the American Sportscasters Association. The Dodger veteran broadcaster’s 51-year career has included play-by-play of 25 Fall Classics and a dozen All-Star Games.
So far this spring the Dodgers have a 2-3 record. I like this deal,though:
Dodgers @ Padres
Peoria Stadium – Wed 2/28
358 tickets as low as $4
As we all expected, the Dodgers have a bunch of outfielders all trying to win a job in left field (Yasiel Puig’s a fixture in right and Chris Taylor’s the same in center). Andrew Toles is coming back from a torn ACL in his right knee, Joc Pederson’s trying to regain his form of 2016, Alex Verdugo might be their best non-pitching prospect, and oh yeah, Matt Kemp is back. He’s 40 pounds lighter than he was last season, which should certainly help his fairly awful defense of the last few years, and he can still hit. I think it’s even money he and his $43M contract get traded, possibly before the season begins, but the Dodgers have supposedly been trying to do that since they reacquired him in the offseason. The left field situation featured in a Dodgers.com story about Maeda’s two-inning stint on Tuesday:
In the ongoing competition for left field, Matt Kemp started in left Tuesday and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Joc Pederson started in center and was 0-for-2 with a walk, caught-stealing and strikeout, and he threw out former Dodger Willie Calhoun at the plate; and Alex Verdugo started in right and was 0-for-2 with a strikeout. Off the bench, Andrew Toles was 0-for-1 with a sacrifice fly and a strikeout.
I just subscribed to the new sportswriting website The Athletic. If you subscribe by clicking that link you get 25% off the $59.99 annual subscription price and I get $10 in credit at Amazon. It looks like a slightly pricey deal for a lot of extraordinary sportswriters, including people laid off by ESPN like Jayson Stark. Ken Rosenthal of Fox is there, as is Peter Gammons. It’s covering the NFL, the NHL, the NBA and MLS in addition to MLB. Take a look at it.