Aug 14

Game 122, 2019

Dodgers at Marlins, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: FS-M, SPNLA

LHP Clayon Kershaw (11-2, 2.77 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while LHP Elieser Hernandez (2-4, 4.94 ERA) pitches for the home team. Kershaw has gone at least six innings in each of his 20 starts this season, and his last one was a seven-inning nine-strikeout gem against the Cardinals. Hernandez’s last start might have been his career best (he’s only made 14 overall), when he threw six innings of shutout ball against the Braves.

Astros, Dodgers or Yankees? Which is best right now and in October? The question is addressed by an ESPN panel.

Baseball’s 20-Something Sluggers Are Saving The Sport, say the stat guys at 538. Take note: measured by WAR, the Dodgers have two of the best 23-year-olds in all of baseball history in Bellinger and Verdugo.

Americana: Yasiel Puig became a naturalized citizen today.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 In a total of two hours and seventeen minutes, the Dodgers and Cubs split a doubleheader. In the opener, the Cubs blank Brooklyn 2-0, in one hour and ten minutes, and in the nightcap, it takes the Dodgers one hour and seven minutes to shut out Chicago, 1-0.
  • 1932 Brooklyn’s 10-inning, 2-1 victory over the Giants at the Polo Grounds makes reliever John Quinn, at the age of 49, the oldest player to win a major league game. Johnny Frederick, who will have a total of only six home runs during the entire season, hits a ninth inning game-tying homer off Carl Hubbell, his fourth round-tripper as a pinch hitter, establishing a new major-league record.

Also, in 2015 the Padres’ Matt Kemp hits a ninth-inning triple to complete the cycle, making him the first player in the 35-year history of the franchise to accomplish the feat. The San Diego outfielder’s home run in the first, single in the third, and double in the seventh contribute to the team’s 9-5 victory over Colorado at Coors Field.

Lineup:

Aug 03

Game 113, 2019

Padres at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: FSSD, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

RHP Cal Quantrill (4-2, 3.57 ERA) pitches for the Padres. RHP Walker Buehler (9-2, 3.38 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. Quantrill has made three starts and five relief appearances since June 23 and put up a 1.67 ERA while doing so. In his last start Buehler was saddled with his first loss in two months by the Nationals, who after four scoreless innings knocked him out in the sixth inning, by which time he’d given up eight hits and seven runs (only four of which were earned).

From The Athletic:

The fact that the four best relievers rumored to be on the market — the Giants’ Will Smith, the Padres’ Kirby Yates, Vázquez and the Mets’ Edwin Diaz — were not moved should tell us that the asking prices for all four were astronomical and/or those teams are hanging on to the delusion that they, too, could win a World Series this year (they can’t). The Yankees needed a starting pitcher as badly as I need traffic in Los Angeles to disappear forever. Unlike me, they could wave a magic wand and make their dream happen, but they chose not to. It is very obvious that sellers in this market were infected by a madness that convinced them they weren’t sellers.

[snip]

“We focused on the top four or five guys and, after that, we weren’t just gonna bring a guy in just to bring a guy in,” Friedman said.

In other words, the Dodgers weren’t going to trade for Shane Greene, Mark Melancon and Chris Martin like the Braves did, or Sam Dyson and Sergio Romo like the Twins did, or Hunter Strickland, Roenis Elías and Daniel Hudson like the Nationals did. And that might be because they believe their own minor leaguers, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, are better than all of them.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 In the second All-Star Game played this summer, Yogi Berra’s two-run home run off Dodgers right-hander Don Drysdale in the third inning at the LA Memorial Coliseum proves to be the difference in the American League’s 5-3 victory over the Senior Circuit. The home run will be the last one hit by a Bronx Bomber in a Mid-Summer Classic game for 41 years until Derek Jeter goes deep in 2001.
  • 1995 Making his first start for the Rockies since being acquired from the Mets, Brett Saberhagen gives up 13 hits and walks three batters, but gets the win in the team’s 9-4 win over the Dodgers. The sellout crowd gives their new hurler an enthusiastic standing ovation when he departs the game with one out in the seventh inning.
  • 1997 Jeromy Burnitz, coming off the bench in the Brewers’ 6-5 loss to Seattle at County Stadium, homers as a pinch hitter for the second consecutive time, tying an American League record. The major league mark for consecutive pinch-hit appearances with a home run is three, shared by Lee Lacy (Dodgers – May 2, 6, and 17, 1978) and Del Unser (Phillies – June 30, July 5 and 10, 1979).
  • 2013 The first-place Dodgers set a franchise record, winning their 13th consecutive game on the road with their 3-0 victory over the Cubs in Chicago. The Giants established the National League mark in 1916 when the team won 17 straight games away from the Polo Grounds.

Lineup when available.

Little bit of shuffling here. Cody to 1B, Joc to RF, Alex to CF. Pollack’s groin must still be tight.

Jul 13

Game 94, 2019

Dodgers vs. Red Sox, 4:15 PM PDT, TV: Fox

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.

Lineup when available.


Jun 23

Game 79, 2019

Rockies at Dodgers, 1:15 PM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet RM, SPNLA

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.

Lineup when available.


Jun 17

Game 73, 2019

Giants at Dodgers, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: ESPN, NBCS BA, SPNLA

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.”

Lineup when available.


Apr 19

Game 22, 2019

Dodgers at Brewers, 5:10 PM PDT, TV: FS-WI, SPNLA

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.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 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.

Lineup when available.


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.

Apr 17

Game 20, 2019

Reds at Dodgers, 12:10 PM PDT, TV: FS-O, SPNLA

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:

On this date in Dodgers history:

  • 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.

Lineup when available.


Mar 29

Game 2, 2019

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

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.

Lineup when available.


Nov 08

Management turnover

Roberts extended.

“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.

Oct 30

Gather ’round the stove, y’all

We go into the offseason earlier than we hoped and without the ultimate prize, so who’s coming back to ensure we get back to the Series for the third consecutive year?

…the Dodgers retain their nucleus. Hill will return for the final year of a three-year deal he signed after 2016. Justin Turner and Jansen will be back. Max Muncy, this year’s breakout star, will be back and cost-controlled. Seager is expected to be healthy. A young nucleus of position players that includes Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernández and Joc Pederson will also come back, with Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo perhaps ready to take on bigger roles.

Kershaw or not, the rotation could post a combination of Buehler and Julio Urías that is currently a combined 45 years old.

Besides Kershaw, other free agents include Machado, Freese, Dozier, and Grandal. Despite the current dissatisfaction with Grandal,

…only J.T. Realmuto was a more valuable catcher by Baseball Prospectus’ WARP metric, and he is coming off the best offensive season of his career. He will be paid, and handsomely, as the Dodgers will look to find a catching partner to join the light-hitting Austin Barnes.

Beyond Kershaw’s decision, which must be made this week, the biggest question is whether Dave Roberts will manage the team next year. You’d think three consecutive playoff appearances and two trips to the World Series would make that question ludicrous, but baseball owners have done screwier things*.

To win the World Series, the Dodgers would have had to play better than they had for any seven-game stretch all season. Roberts would have had to nail every single decision, which he did not. Puig would have had to throw to the cutoff man, which he did not. Their pitchers would have had to pitch to their strengths, which they did not. Their hitters would have had to, well, hit.

“You have to realize that we are a really good team to get to go to the World Series two years in a row,” Kershaw said. “It might not be a personnel thing. It might just be a ‘play better’ thing.”

So, what’s next? Here are selected events from Major League Baseball’s calendar:

  • Nov. 2, 2018 Deadline for teams to extend qualifying offer to own free agents, 5 p.m. ET
  • Nov. 8-15, 2018 Japan All-Star Tour (including CT3)
  • Nov. 12, 2018 Deadline for players to accept or reject qualifying offer, 5 p.m. ET
  • Nov. 30, 2018 Non-tender deadline
  • Dec. 9-13, 2018 Winter Meetings in Las Vegas
  • Dec. 13, 2018 Rule 5 Draft

*Back in 1964 the Cardinals’ owner Gussie Busch fired the team’s entire senior management in August, leaving field manager Johnny Keane as sole survivor for the time. Shortly after the Cardinals won the World Series, Keane surprised management by resigning (and then being hired by the Yankees, who’d just lost to Keane’s former team).