Oct 12

NLCS Game One, 2020

Braves vs Dodgers, 5:08 PM PDT, TV:Fox. All this Series’ games will be played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX.

MLB has a position-by-position preview and analysis of the two teams.

The Dodgers give RHP Walker Buehler the ball for Game One, just as they’ve done for the previous two series. He hasn’t gone past four innings in either of his previous two starts and hasn’t thrown more than 95 pitches in a game since 2019. He’ll face LHP Max Fried, who won Game One of the Wild Card Series for the Braves, beating the Reds, but gave up four runs in four innings against the Marlins in the NLDS. The Braves win behind him, though: they’re 12-1 in his starts this year.

Edwin Ríos and Alex Wood have been added to the 28-man roster for the NLCS. Gavin Lux and Terrance Gore were dropped to make room.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1916 In front of record crowd of 43,620 fans at Braves Field, Red Sox right-hander Ernie Shore three-hits the Robins in Game 5 of the World Series, 4-1, to capture the team’s fourth World Championship in the 13-year history of the Fall Classic. Boston, as it did last season, plays its Fall Classic home games in their crosstown National League rival’s larger ballpark, which allows more fans to attend the game than if the contest had held at Fenway Park.
  • 1920 At Cleveland’s League Park, the Indians’ hurler Stan Coveleski blanks the Robins, 3-0, to win the 1920 World Series. The Tribe, en route to the franchise’s first World Championship, wins the best of nine series five games to 2.
  • 1948 The Yankees surprise their fans and a skeptical press when they name Casey Stengel to replace Bucky Harris as the team’s manager. In his previous stints as the skipper with the National League’s Braves and Dodgers, the ‘Old Perfesser’ had never finished higher than fifth place.
  • 1949 Vin Scully, working his first broadcast ever, does the play-by-play when Maryland defeats Boston University at Fenway Park, 14-13. The football assignment marks the start of a 67-year career in the broadcast booth for the Hall of Fame baseball announcer, who becomes the iconic voice of the Dodgers.

Lineups when available.

Braves’ lineup:

Dodgers’ lineup:

Sep 18

Game 52, 2020 and 4+1 Day

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:10 PM PDT, TV: ATTSportsNet-RM, SPNLA

It’s a bullpen game for the Dodgers LHP Alex Wood (0-1, 4.32 ERA) takes the hill for the Dodgers. The Rockies give the ball to RHP Ryan Castellani (1-2, 4.46 ERA), who walked six Angels and hit one in 5 2/3 innings in his last start but still gave up just one unearned run in a no-decision. Wood has gone longer than one inning only once this year, and that was in July. Don’t expect him to be around too long.

Here’s the Dodgers’ six-run seventh inning yesterday:

If I were Josh Sborz I’d be getting tired of commuting between USC’s campus and wherever the Dodgers are. He was just optioned back there and Mitch White was called up.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1964 Willie Davis broke a 16-inning, 3–3 stalemate between the Phillies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium with a walk-off steal of home. With two outs in the bottom of the 16th, Davis reached on an infield single, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch by Philadelphia’s Jack Baldschun, then stole home on reliever Morrie Steevens.
  • 1984 The Tigers, with a 3-0 victory over Milwaukee, clinch the American League East title to become only the fourth team in major league history to lead from start to finish of a season. The 1923 Giants, 1927 Yankees, and the 1955 Dodgers also led their circuits from wire to wire.
  • 2006 The Dodgers, who are last in the National League in homers, hit four consecutive home runs in an inning when Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Russell Martin, and Marlon Anderson all go deep in the bottom of the ninth to tie the Padres, 9-9. The improbable feat, which had been accomplished only by the 1964 Twins, 1963 Indians, and the 1961 Braves, leads to Nomar Garciaparra’s walk-off two-run homer in the tenth and sole possession of first place when Los Angeles beat the Friars, 11-10.

Lineup:

Sep 01

Game 37, 2020

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

With six days rest LHP Julio Urias (2-0, 3.67 ERA) goes for the home team. He’ll face the D-Backs’ LHP Alex Young (1-1, 4.70 ERA), who will be making his fourth start as the replacement for an injured Madison Bumgarner. Urias has been “throwing his fastballs slower and his offspeed pitches faster than last year,” says MLB. In Young’s last start he gave up three runs on five hits over five innings.

The D-Backs traded their crusty relief pitcher Archie Bradley to the Reds over the weekend, so the Dodgers won’t have to face him anytime soon.

Here are the three home runs which the Dodgers hit on Sunday to set the NL record for most dingers in a month:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1890 On Labor Day at Brooklyn’s Washington Park, the Bridegrooms, later to be known as the Dodgers, win all three games against Pittsburgh in the first tripleheader ever played. The home team sweeps the visiting Alleghenys, who will be renamed the Pirates next season, 10-9, 3-2, and 8-4.
  • 1953 The Cardinals tie a major league mark, hitting five homers in a 12-5 loss to Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. The solo shots hit by Stan Musial, Harry Elliot, Rip Repulski, and Steve Bilko (2), all off starter Preacher Roe, aren’t enough to offset the Dodgers’ 17-hit attack, which includes six doubles but no round-trippers.
  • 1969 At Dodger Stadium, Willie Davis ties the franchise record by hitting in 29 consecutive games with his second-inning single in LA’s 10-6 victory over New York. The mark was established by Zack Wheat in 1916.

Lineup when available.

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.