Nov 21

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Two of the first four Dodgers’ games in 2018 will be on ESPN.

ESPN will televise the Dodgers-Giants opener on Thursday, March 29, a 4 p.m. PT start, and will also showcase the series finale on “Sunday Night Baseball,” a 5:30 p.m. PT start. Both will be exclusive telecasts by ESPN, which means no SPNLA broadcast of either game.

Hmm. Kershaw pitches Opening Day, Hill in Game Two, Maeda in Game Three and Wood in Game Four, I’m guessing.

Oct 28

World Series Game Four, 2017

Dodgers at Astros, 5:10 PM PT, TV: Fox

Down two games to one, if the Dodgers’ backs are not against the wall (the train tracks?) they’re being pushed closer and closer to it. They ask LHP Alex Wood (16-3, 2.72 ERA) to stop the Astros’ offensive onslaught or hold it off until they can get their own bats in gear. They’ll have to do it against RHP Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA). Wood pitched 4 2/3 innings of Game Three of the NLCS against the Cubs, giving up three runs and taking the loss. Morton lost Game Three of the ALCS to the Yankees but came back to pitch five two-hit innings in Game Five and get the win.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1981 The Dodgers, after dropping the first two games of the Fall Classic, defeat the Yankees, 9-2, capturing the World Championship in six games. The victory at the Bronx ballpark marks the third time this postseason that Los Angeles has come from behind to win a series, having been down 0-2 against the Astros in the five-game strike-necessitated NLDS, and 1-2 behind the Expos in the NLCS five-game series.
  • 1981 Entering Game 6 of the World Series in the fifth inning, Yankee right-hander George Frazier, relieving starter Tommy John, gives up three go-ahead runs in the team’s 9-2 elimination loss to the Dodgers at Yankee Stadium. The 27 year-old right-hander becomes the first pitcher to lose three games in a best of seven World Series, and the second hurler to lose that many in any Fall Classic, joining White Sox southpaw Lefty Williams, who also dropped a trio of games in the best-of-nine series played in 1919.
  • 1995 In Game 6, Tom Glavine and Mark Wohlers combine on a one-hitter to defeat the Indians, 1-0, giving the Braves their third World Championship, the first since moving to Atlanta. David Justice’s leadoff homer in the sixth inning off Jim Poole proves to be the difference.
  • 1998

    “It is especially fitting that this legislation honors a courageous baseball player and individual, the late Curt Flood, whose enormous talents on the baseball diamond were matched by his courage off the field. It was 29 years ago this month that Curt Flood refused a trade from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies. His bold stand set in motion the events that culminate in the bill I have signed into law.” – BILL CLINTON, U.S. president commenting on the Curt Flood Act.

    President Clinton signs Curt Flood Act of 1998, revoking baseball’s antitrust exemption for labor matters, but not for matters involving relocation, expansion or the minor leagues. The passage of the legislation by the 105th Congress comes over seventy-five years after the Supreme Court ruled that the sport was not involved in interstate commerce or trade as customarily defined within the context of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

  • 2009 In Game 1, Chase Utley, en route to a record-tying five World Series homers, becomes the first left-handed batter in 81 years to hit two round-trippers off a southpaw in a Fall Classic game. The Philadelphia second baseman, who also set a postseason record by reaching base in 26 straight games with his first-inning walk, goes deep twice off Yankee southpaw CC Sabathia in the Phillies’ 6-1 victory in New York, to match Babe Ruth’s performance in the fourth and final game of the 1928 series.

Lineup when available.

Oct 18

NLCS Game Four, 2017

Dodgers at Cubs, 6:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Dodgers send the very well-rested LHP Alex Wood (16-3, 2.72 ERA) to the mound to try to close out the series. The Cubs will ask RHP Jake Arrieta (14-10, 3.53 ERA) to put up a roadblock in front of the Dodgers’ seemingly-unstoppable steamroller.

Wood hasn’t pitched in three weeks; he was scheduled to start Game Four of the Dodgers’ NLDS but they swept the D-Backs in that series. He’s been throwing simulated games and yesterday he declared himself ready to go. Arrieta pitched in Game Four of the Cubs’ NLDS against the Nats, going four innings, throwing 90 pitches, giving up an earned run and losing 5-0. He’s a former Cy Young Award winner and once threw a no-hitter at the Dodgers; presumably they won’t take him lightly.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1988 At Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Mark McGwire goes deep off LA’s Jay Howell with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the A’s a 2-1 victory for its only win in the Series. With Kirk Gibson’s heroics in Game 1, ‘Big Mac’s’ walk-off home run marks the first time that two game-winning round-trippers are hit in the same Fall Classic.
  • 2013 The Cardinals advance to their second World Series in three seasons, routing the Dodgers, 9-0, in Game 6 of the NLCS. St. Louis, behind the timely hitting of Carlos Beltran and the strong pitching performance of rookie right-hander Michael Wacha, beats Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83) for the fourth time this season, including a pair of victories in this round of the postseason.

Lineup when available.

Grandal gets a start, Ethier and Utley get second starts, and Granderson gets a start. This may be the Dave Roberts “keep guys happy as much as I can within the needs of the team” approach to managing.

Sep 26

Game 158, 2017

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

The Padres start RHP Dinelson Lamet (7-7, 4.45 ERA) against the Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (15-3, 2.71 ERA).

This is Lamet’s rookie season and it’s been a pretty good one. In his last 11 starts, he’s had a 3.08 ERA with 70 strikeouts. Wood has had a bit of a rocky road in his last few starts, but his last two have been excellent.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1908 Cubs right-hander Ed Reulbach pitches two shutouts in the same day, whitewashing the Brooklyn Superbas in the opener 5-0 on a five-hitter and 3-0 on a three hits in the nightcap. The entire Washington Park doubleheader is played in less than three hours.
  • 1954 Willie Mays, with three hits in the season finale, wins the batting title, finishing the campaign with a .345 average. The ‘Say Hey Kid’ goes third to first in batting average with his performance passing teammate Don Mueller (.342) and Dodger center fielder Duke Snider (341).
  • 1975 Burt Hooton sets a Dodger record for starting pitchers by winning his twelfth consecutive game. The 25 year-old right-hander, who was traded to LA in May for Eddie Solomon and Geoff Zahn, accomplishes the feat by beating J.R. Richard and the Astros at Dodger Stadium, 3-2.
  • 1981 Nolan Ryan becomes the first pitcher to throw five no-hitters when the Astros defeat the Dodgers at the Astrodome, 5-0. The Ryan Express, who will finish his 27-year major league career with a record seven no-hitters, previously has thrown hitless gems against the Royals (1973), Tigers (1973), Twins (1974), and Orioles (1975).

  • 1997 Dodger catcher Mike Piazza, in a 10-4 win over the Rockies, hits the longest home run in the history of Coors Field. The 28 year-old backstop’s sixth-inning blast travels 496 feet and hits the left center field billboard between the scoreboard and the Rockpile.

Lineup:

Sep 20

Game 152, 2017

Dodgers at Phillies, 4:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-P

If the Dodgers win and the D-Backs lose the Dodgers clinch the NL West.

LHP Alex Wood (15-3, 2.69 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and RHP Jake Thompson (2-2, 4.46 ERA) goes for the Phillies.

Wood seems to be mostly recovered from the sternum problem which sent him to the DL. In his last start he pitched six scoreless innings and gave up just three hits to the Nats. Thompson is making only his seventh start of the year and has given up one or no runs in two of his last three starts. In that other one, however, he gave up seven runs, five earned, in five innings.

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 (46 in 1909).
  • 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:

Sep 15

Game 147, 2017

Dodgers at Nationals, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MASN 2, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers currently lead the Nationals by five games in the race for best record in the National League.

LHP Alex Wood (14-3, 2.81 ERA) starts for the Dodgers. He’ll face RHP Edwin Jackson (5-5, 4.14 ERA), now on his twelfth team since he was drafted by the Dodgers in 2001.

Wood’s pitching has deteriorated in the second half of the season after an All-Star performance in the first half. In his last two starts he’s given up nine runs in eleven innings. He’s had a sternum injury, but I wonder if his arm is tired. He’s thrown 134 innings this season after only 60 the year before when he was recovering from elbow surgery mid-season. Jackson has made 10 starts for the Nats after coming over from the Orioles (short distance between moves, anyway) and has a 3.88 ERA in that stretch. His last two outings have been shaky: he’s given up nine earned runs in nine innings.

Here are Houston Mitchell’s suggestions for which players should be sitting and which playing.

What’s the deal with those Pantene 294 fans who travel to Dodgers games?

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1946 In Brooklyn, a giant swarm of gnats engulfs Ebbets Field at the end of the fifth inning of the second game of a doubleheader. Due to the bothersome insects and the impending darkness, the game is called, resulting in a 2-0 victory for the Dodgers over the Cubs.
  • 1950 At Ebbets Field, Cardinal starter Cloyd Boyer hurts his arm while warming up and is replaced by Red Munger. The reliever goes the distance, beating the Dodgers, 6-2, getting credit for a complete game, but not for a game started.
  • 1978 Don Sutton, in front of 47,188 fans at Dodger Stadium, throws a six-hitter to beat Atlanta, 5-0. Los Angeles, with tonight’s attendance, becomes the major league first team in history to draw three million fans at home.
  • 1995 Ozzie Smith takes part in the 1,554th twin killing of his career to set a new big league record for double plays. The Cardinals’ shortstop’s wizardry isn’t enough to prevent the Redbirds’ 7-6 loss to the Dodgers at Busch Stadium.

Lineup:

Ethier and Utley get starts.

Sep 09

Game 142, 2017

Rockies at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-RM

The Dodgers ask LHP Alex Wood (14-2, 2.57 ERA) to end their eight-game losing streak, and he might be just the guy to do it since his opponent is the Rockies. He’s 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA while striking out 17 over 12 innings vs. them this season. He’ll face RHP Chad Bettis (0-2, 4.91 ERA), whose first two starts after returning from the DL and testicular cancer treatment were excellent, but whose last three starts have been poor. He’s posted a 7.63 ERA and allowed six home runs through 15 1/3 innings in those games.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1948 At the Polo Grounds, Dodger Rex Barney no-hits the Giants, 2-0. The Brooklyn 23 year-old right-hander had to endure a one-hour rain delay, as well as showers in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings to finish his gem.
  • 1965 “And there’s 29,000 people in the ballpark and a million butterflies.” – Vin Scully’s description Of Koufax’s gem. Sandy Koufax’s perfect game against the Cubs bests Bob Hendley’s one hit effort, 1-0. The Dodger Stadium gem is the southpaw’s record fourth no-hitter.

  • 2013 Juan Uribe homers in each of his first three trips to the plate in the Dodgers’ 8-1 victory over Arizona. Los Angeles goes yard six times in the Chavez Ravine contest, falling two shy of the franchise record established in 2002.

Lineup:

Sep 03

Game 136, 2017

Dodgers at Padres, 1:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Dodgers ask LHP Alex Wood (14-1, 2.41 ERA) to help them salvage a split in this series, while the Padres ask RHP Jhoulys Chacin (11-10, 4.03 ERA) to help pull off an unlikely series win.

Wood is coming off the disabled list where he’d been with an irritated sternum; he’s been given a cortisone injection. Despite that he’s having a career year. Chacin has been unable to get past the fifth inning in his last four starts but has limited the opposition to one run in three of them.

Seager and Bellinger have not been in the lineup together since August 19. The Dodgers are averaging 3.14 runs-per-game in the two weeks since.

This day 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 when available.

Aug 22

Game 124, 2017

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, KTLA, ATT SportsNet-PIT

This would have been Yu Darvish’s start but he’s on the (precautionary) DL, so the Dodgers have called up RHP Brock Stewart (0-0, 1.64 ERA) to make his third start of the year. He’s gone 7 2/3 innings in the previous two. He’ll face RHP Jameson Taillon (7-5, 4.64 ERA), who returned June 12 from a month on the DL after surgery and treatment for testicular cancer (yes, there have been two MLB players treated for that disease this season — the Rockies’ Chad Bettis is the other). Taillon has had a 5.40 ERA since his return, and in his last outing against the Cardinals he gave up four runs on seven hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in five innings.

Wood’s sternum injury has flared up and he’ll probably miss his next start. Bellinger is still day-to-day but took batting practice and claimed he had no ankle pain. Kershaw will make a rehab start for Oklahoma City on Saturday.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1917 In a 22-inning contest against the Dodgers, Pirates’ outfielder Carson Bigbee sets a major-league record with 11 at-bats. The game was also the fourth straight extra-inning game played by Pittsburgh (total of 59 innings), which sets a National League record.
  • 1965 Juan Marichal thinks Johnny Roseboro throws too close to his head returning the ball to Sandy Koufax and attacks the Dodger catcher with his bat. The Los Angeles backstop suffers cuts on the head during the 14-minute brawl. Marichal was suspended for ten days and fined $1,750.
  • 2000 Hitting a solo blast and a three-run round tripper during a nine-run sixth inning of a 14-6 victory over the Expos, Dodger first baseman Eric Karros becomes the first player in the 111-year franchise history to hit two homers in an inning.

Here’s an oddity: In 1992 in the seventh inning of a Class A Florida State League contest, the Clearwater Phillies string together two walks and two sac bunts to score the game’s only run, beating the Winter Haven Red Sox, 1-0. Opposing minor league hurlers Andy Carter and Scott Bakkum do not give up any hits, making it the first professional game to be hitless in 40 years.

Lineup when available.

Aug 21

Game 123, 2017

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet Pit

The Dodgers will start LHP Alex Wood (14-1, 2.30 ERA) in the fourth game of their seven-game road trip. He and the Dodgers will face RHP Gerrit Cole (10-8, 4.04 ERA).

The Dodgers won the first three games of the season series by a combined total of 21 runs to six. Wood has made seven appearances against the Buccos, six of them starts, and he’s held them to a .227 BA while putting up a 2.61 ERA. Cole had a good June and July going 7-2, but he’s been up and down the rest of the season and he’s given up more than twice as many HRs (26) as he ever has before. His ERA is half-a-run higher than his career average to this point, too.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1975 The Reuschel brothers of the Cubs join forces to blank the Dodgers, 6-0. Rick goes 6.1 innings, and Paul finishes the game for the first shutout thrown by siblings.
  • 1990 The Phillies overcome an eight-run deficit, scoring nine runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat the Dodgers, 12-11. John Kruk’s pinch-hit three-run homer ties the game, and two batters later, Carmelo Martinez’s double plates Rod Booker with the eventual winning run in the Chavez Ravine contest.

  • 2005 Florida suspends their bat boy for six games after the 11 year-old accepts former Marlin and current Dodger hurler Brad Penny’s $500 dare to drink a gallon of milk in less than an hour without throwing up. The Milk Processor Education Program will promise to pay off the dare and to cover the lost wages resulting from the suspension if the sixth grader, who is able to drink the quantity in the allotted time but cannot keep it down, agrees to drink three glasses every 24 hours.

Here’s a bit of trivia I’d never heard before: in 1951 Major General Emmett O’Donnell is selected by the owners to be the new commissioner. President Harry Truman overrules the decision, stating the officer is needed in Korea in his post as commander of bombers.

Bellinger improving but ankle still swollen. Won’t start tomorrow either, Roberts said.

Lineup when available.