Jul 28

Game 5, 2020

Dodgers at Astros, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet-SW, FS1, SPNLA

The Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler makes his first start of the season. Also making his first start of the year is the Astros’ LHP Framber Valdez, who’s in his second full season in the big leagues.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Astros’ sign-stealing methods of 2017 were revealed in the off-season.

A number of Astros players and coaches apologized when spring camps opened in February, but many, including Dodgers center fielder and reigning National League MVP Award winner Cody Bellinger, were critical of the team’s response.

[snip]

Many of the core players [from the 2017 World Series] on both sides remain the same, including Bellinger, Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen for the Dodgers, and José Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer and Alex Bregman for the Astros.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1991 Expos right-hander Dennis Martinez pitches a perfect game, defeating Los Angeles 2-0 at Dodger Stadium. Ron Hassey becomes the first backstop to ever catch two perfect games, as he also was behind the plate on May 15, 1981 when Indian hurler Len Barker faced 27 batters, beating the Blue Jays, 3-0.
  • 2017 Alex Wood won his twelfth game against just one loss, going seven innings while giving up eight hits and four runs to the Giants. The Dodgers came from behind with four runs in the seventh and won 6-4.

Lineup when available.

Jul 18

Opening day roster speculation

Who’s gonna be on it?

Pitchers: Pedro Báez, Walker Buehler, Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Clayton Kershaw, Ross Stripling, Blake Treinen, Julio Urías, Alex Wood, Brusdar Graterol and Dustin May

Starting depth could be an issue. After losing Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill (68 starts combined last year) over the offseason, the only veteran starters the Dodgers added were Price and Jimmy Nelson, but both are out for the season. That leaves Urías, Wood and youngsters May, Gonzalez and White to pick up those 68 starts.

Will Smith and Austin Barnes are the catchers. Infielders are Enrique Hernández, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Matt Beaty and Edwin Rios. Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Joc Pederson, A. J. Pollack and Chris Taylor are the outfielders.

Subject to change at any moment, of course.

Feb 09

Betts deal finally done

Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan:

Catching prospect Connor Wong is headed to the Boston Red Sox alongside outfielder Alex Verdugo and shortstop Jeter Downs in the trade that will send outfielder Mookie Betts, starter David Price and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers, sources tell ESPN. Players have been notified.

Notice the Twins were left out of that deal. However, Passan also says

The trade that will send right-hander Kenta Maeda and cash to the Minnesota Twins for right-hander Brusdar Graterol and the 67th pick in the draft — which has around a $1 million slot value — has been agreed upon, source confirms to ESPN. @Ken_Rosenthal was first with the deal.

Here’s an interesting perspective:

The Dodgers turned Kyle Farmer, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood and Yasiel Puig into Josiah Gray and Jeter Downs

Jeter Downs just got them Mookie Betts, they kept Josiah Gray and they also brought back Alex Wood

Sep 20

Game 154, 2019

In pre-expansion era baseball this would be the last game of the season.

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT Sportsnet-RM, ESPN, SPNLA

RHP Peter Lambert (3-6, 6.98 ERA) takes a slightly less elevated hill than the one in Denver for the Rockies. He’ll face LHP Clayton Kershaw (14-5, 3.05 ERA) of the Dodgers. Lambert has had a rough first season, walking 35 and giving up 113 hits in 86 innings while striking out 54. He’s faced the Dodgers twice this year, Kershaw has been nearly as good as ever, although he uncharacteristically lost three games in a row before winning his last one.

The Dodgers named Gavin Lux and Josiah Gray prospects of the year for 2019. Lux we are familiar with; Gray was acquired in the trade which sent Puig, Kemp, Wood and Farmer to the Reds last off-season.

Food for thought: the Dodgers hit high-velocity fastballs better than any other team. Will that matter? Does it even mean anything? Sam Miller asks and attempts to answer those questions.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1907 At Exposition Park in Pittsburgh, Nick Maddox no-hits the Dodgers, 2-1. At the age of 20 years and ten months, the Pirates hurler becomes the youngest pitcher and the second rookie to throw a no-hitter.
  • 1911 Bill Bergen ends his major league career with the lowest lifetime batting average for a position player in major league history by hitting an anemic .170 during his 11-year tenure with the Reds and Superbas. The 33 year-old backstop, who had only one year of batting above .200, also holds the records for lowest season batting average for a regular season (.139 in 1909) and the longest streak of at-bats without a hit (45 in 1909; since surpassed by the Orioles Chris Davis, who went 0 for 54 over 2018-2019).
  • 1954 The Giants clinch the pennant when they beat the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 7-1. The National League champs, finishing the season five games ahead of second-place Brooklyn, will go on to sweep Cleveland in the Fall Classic.
  • 1959 The San Francisco Giants, bowing to the Dodgers, 8-2, play their last game at Seals Stadium. The transplanted New York team, who compiled a 163-145 record in their two-year stay in the former PCL park, will move to the newly constructed Candlestick Park next season.
  • 1961 In a 13-inning contest, Sandy Koufax goes the distance, beating the Cubs, 3-2, in the last regular season game to be played at the LA Memorial Coliseum, which was originally built for the 1932 Olympics. The Dodgers are leaving the only home they have known since moving from Brooklyn four seasons ago to play in a brand new stadium in Chavez Ravine, located a few miles from downtown Los Angeles.
  • 2011 Clayton Kershaw becomes the Dodgers’ first 20-game winner since Ramon Martinez accomplished the feat in 1990. Allowing just one run in 7 1/3 innings, the southpaw gets the victory when LA beats the visiting Giants, 2-1.
  • 2012 Washington secures a playoff spot when they beat the Dodgers at Nationals Park, 4-1. The last time there was postseason baseball in the nation’s capital occurred 79 years ago, when player-skipper Joe Cronin and the Senators lost to the Giants in five games in the 1933 World Series.

Lineup:

Jul 28

Game 107, 2019

Dodgers at Nationals, 10:35 AM PDT, TV: MASN, SPNLA, TBS

RHP Walker Buehler (9-1, 3.23 ERA) goes for win number ten in a day game against the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg (13-4, 3.37 ERA), who’s tied for the MLB lead in wins with Justin Verlander of the Astros and Lance Lynn of the Rangers. Buehler’s last (and only) loss was May 18, while the Nats have won the last six games Strasburg’s started.

Here is young Mr. Smith’s 3-hit 6-RBI game. He spread the wealth: the HR and the sac fly were to the right-center gap while the two-run double was to left-center.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1991 Expos right-hander Dennis Martinez pitches a perfect game, defeating Los Angeles 2-0 at Dodger Stadium. Ron Hassey becomes the first backstop to ever catch two perfect games, as he also was behind the plate on May 15, 1981 when Indian hurler Len Barker faced 27 batters, beating the Blue Jays, 3-0.
  • 2017 Alex Wood won his twelfth game against just one loss, going seven innings while giving up eight hits and four runs to the Giants. The Dodgers came from behind with four runs in the seventh and won 6-4.

Lineup when available.

Dec 14

Roberts on rosters

Newly-inked manager Dave Roberts used his media availability requirement at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday of this week to answer a few questions:

On the position player side, Roberts said he expects Cody Bellinger to be an everyday player in 2019.

“Just the way he can defend and how he can affect a game and impact a game with his legs, with the bat, the goal is to have him out there and handle lefties and righties,” Roberts said.

“I think for Cody, it was a tough year,” Roberts said. “It was a grind for him with a slow start. But if you look at the surface line, it wasn’t bad. Now you kind of introduce the defense and the versatility, for a second-year player, still pretty good.”

But if you have Bellinger in the lineup every day, what position will he play? CF or 1B? “Reply hazy, try again.”

Well, what about Muncy? Kiké? CT3?

Roberts said Muncy, Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernández will all be options at second base, with Muncy also getting at-bats at first.

On the pitching side, Roberts said he sees Kenta Maeda and Alex Wood, who transitioned to bullpen roles by the end of 2018, as starters in 2019. Roberts said Ross Stripling will also compete for a starting job after an All-Star 2018 season.

I think Roberts was in a good mood, as shown by this:

On former Diamondbacks All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt going to the Cardinals:

“Goldy, he can stay in the (National League) Central as long as he wants. I’m trying to work on getting him to the American League next. But Goldy, one of my favorite players to watch. To get him out of our division is great. Hope he’s happy. I’ve got to send him flowers.”

Sep 14

Game 148, 2018

Dodgers at Cardinals, 5:15 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FS-M

The visiting Dodgers send RHP Walker Buehler (6-5, 3.09 ERA) to the hill to face RHP Jack Flaherty (8-6, 2.92 ERA) of the Cards. Buehler lost his last start, giving up four runs in six innings to the Rockies. He went seven innings and gave up just three hits to St. Louis back on August 22 in a game the Dodgers lost thanks to the surrender of two ninth-inning home runs by the bullpen. The starter for the Cardinals in that game was this same Flaherty, who went six innings and gave up just one hit, a home run by Joc Pederson. He had five quality starts in August but hasn’t gotten out of the sixth inning in either of his September starts.

Wood to bullpen, Stripling to rotation. About Wood Roberts says

“Two reasons: No. 1 is that he’s done it before and he’s really flourished in that role, and we expect him to throw leverage innings and dominate. That’s probably the main reason. And we’re going to go with five starters.”

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1951 Preacher Roe wins his 20th game of the season when the Dodgers beat the Pirates at Forbes Field, 3-1. The 36 year-old southpaw will finish the season with a 22-3 record.
  • 2002 Chin-Feng Chen becomes the first Taiwan-born player to appear in the major leagues as he walks and scores as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers against the Rockies. The 24 year-old first baseman-outfielder played for the 1990 Taiwan team which won the Little League World Series.
  • 2008 Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, with his eighth-inning thievery in a 7-4 loss to the Braves at Shea Stadium, becomes the first player to have four straight seasons of 50 or more stolen bases playing for a New York area team, which also includes Yankees, Dodgers, and Giants. The accomplishment extends the infielder’s own record, as he is also the only Gotham major leaguer to achieve the feat for three consecutive years.

Also, in 1990 Mariner Ken Griffey and his son, Junior, become the first father and son to hit homers in the same major league game. The back-to-back blasts are given up by Angel hurler Kirk McCaskill.

Lineup when available.


Sep 03

Game 138, 2018

Mets at Dodgers, 5:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, SNY, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Mets send Jacob DeGrom (8-8, 1.68 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ Alex Wood (8-6, 3.42 ERA). DeGrom is or should be the front runner for the Cy Young Award if W-L records are left out of the decision. He’s gone 24 straight starts allowing three runs or fewer and made 19 consecutive quality starts. His ERA+ is a whopping 218 and his WAR is 7.8. However, the Dodgers beat him 8-3 on June 23 in a game marked by Clayton Kershaw’s second return from the DL, a pinch-hit grand slam by Matt Kemp, and Caleb Ferguson’s first big league win. Wood went seven scoreless innings and gave up just four hits in his last start against the Rangers.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1917 Grover Cleveland Alexander goes the distance in both games of the Phillies’ doubleheader sweep of Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. In his 18 innings of work, the Philadelphia right-hander limits the Dodgers to seven hits en route to posting 5-0 and 9-3 victories in the twin bill.
  • 1978 At Dodger Stadium, Lee Mazzilli becomes the first Mets player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in a game. The center fielder’s first and seventh inning blasts, respectively hit off southpaw Tommy John and right-hander Charlie Hough, pace the last-place club to an 8-5 victory.

Lineup:


Aug 29

Game 133, 2018

Dodgers at Rangers, 5:05 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSW

The visiting Dodgers send LHP Alex Wood (7-6, 3.60 ERA) to the mound to face the Rangers’ LHP Mike Minor (10-6, 4.40 ERA). Wood was scheduled to start last Sunday and had his turn pushed back. He had a poor start his last time out, giving up three runs on seven hits with two walks in four-plus innings. Minor has won his last four starts, including a scoreless one-hit gem against the As in his latest one.

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:


Aug 20

Game 126, 2018

Cardinals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FS-M, MLBN (out-of-market only)

It’s very hard to believe, but this is the first meeting of these two teams this season. The Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (7-6, 3.51 ERA) takes the hill to face the Card’s rookie LHP Austin Gomber (3-0, 2.89 ERA). Wood has given up no more than three earned runs in any of his last 11 starts, and he likes it at Dodger Stadium: he’s 17-7 with a 2.76 ERA there. Gomber is newly promoted from the bullpen; his first big league start was on July 24. His last three appearances in August have been starts. He shut out the Nationals in his last start, going six innings while giving up only three hits and striking out six.

On this day 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.

Humph! MLB’s latest power rankings have the Cardinals climbing from #14 to #8 and the Dodgers sliding from #6 to #11.

Here’s the backstory behind Caleb Ferguson’s rise from The Athletic.

Lineup: