Jul 08

Game 89, 2018

Dodgers at Angels, 5:15 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

LHP Alex Wood (5-5, 3.84 ERA) takes the hill for the Dodgers in the rubber match of this three-game series. He’ll face the Angels’ briefly-a-Dodger LHP Andrew Heaney (4-6, 3.94 ERA). Wood has won his last four starts after a three-game slump, while Heaney took the loss in his last start despite giving up only three runs over seven innings to the Mariners. He’s 0-2 with a 6.10 ERA in his only two career starts against the Dodgers.

An aside: I suspect the people who write these previews look up and add the career numbers as filler. Logically, if some pitcher is 12-2 over his lifetime against one team (or 2-12) he’s faced numerous iterations of that team. In these days of nearly-unfettered player movement it might be more useful to look at his career stats against each player he’s expecting to face in the game.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1949 Hank Thompson, who broke into the majors as a member of the St. Louis Browns twelve days after Larry Doby’s American League debut with the Indians in 1947, becomes the first African-American to play for the Giants. When the former Kansas City Monarchs’ standout faces Dodger right-hander Don Newcombe, it marks the first time a pitcher-batter confrontation takes place between black players in the major leagues.

In the “Dubious Moments in Baseball History” column comes this item: in 1979 the Mets announce the selection of Mettle as the name for the team’s new mascot mule. Dolores Mapps of Mercerville, N.J., who submitted the winning entry, believes the moniker captures the team’s “spirit, ardor, stamina, and courage, all of which the Mets have in abundance.”

In a slightly more aesthetic moment, back in 1994 Red Sox shortstop John Valentin snares Marc Newfield’s sixth-inning line drive, steps on second to retire Mike Blowers, and then tags the runner coming from first, Kevin Mitchell, to turn an unassisted triple play. After completing the rare feat, accomplishing a play that has occurred only ten times in major league history, the infielder begins a three-homer outburst by Boston in the bottom of the frame, helping the team defeat the Mariners at Fenway Park, 4-3.

Lineup when available.


Jul 02

Game 84, 2018

Pirates at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-PIT, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The 40-43 Buccaneers come to LA losers of 6 of their last 10 games. They hope to right their ship with RHP Nick Kingham (2-3, 3.82 ERA), who has been on an elevator between AAA Indianapolis and Pittsburgh this season. He’s made six starts for the Pirates, the last on June 9. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (4-5, 4.00 ERA), who has resolved whatever was plaguing him earlier in the year and won his last three starts.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1962 Johnny Podres ties a major league mark record, striking out eight consecutive batters in LA’s 5-1 victory over Philadelphia. The 29 year-old southpaw’s streak begins with the third out in the top of the fourth frame and ends after the first out in the seventh inning of the Dodger Stadium contest.
  • 1995 Dodger right-hander Hideo Nomo, who is leading the National League in strikeouts, becomes the first player from Japan to be selected for the major league All-Star game. As the starter for the Senior Circuit, the 26 year-old rookie tosses two scoreless innings in the National League’s 3-2 victory over their American League rivals at The Ballpark in Arlington.

Lineup:


Jun 27

Game 79, 2018

Cubs at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBC Sports Chicago, ESPN (out-of-market only)

The visiting Cubbies send RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-7, 3.73 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (3-5, 4.13 ERA). In Hendricks’ last start he walked four and gave up four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings and lost. In Wood’s last start he went six innings, gave up only two hits and two runs while striking out seven and got the win.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1980 Dodger southpaw Jerry Reuss, facing only 28 batters, no-hits the Giants at Candlestick Park, 8-0. Shortstop Bill Russell’s errant throw on Jack Clark’s grounder with two outs in the first inning deprives the 31 year-old left-hander from tossing a perfect game.
  • 2011 Citing MLB refusal to sign off on a transaction that would provide the team with $385 million, the Dodgers file for bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court. Although there will be no disruption to the day-to-day status of the franchise, the Chapter 11 financing permits the Dodgers to use $150 million for daily operations and gives owner Frank McCourt time to seek a media deal that will ensure the club’s long-term financial stability.

If you believe USA Today’s Bob Nightengale’s sources, the Dodgers are front-runners in the hunt to acquire the Orioles’ infielder Manny Machado.

Per Nightengale, Baltimore has recently placed increased focus on scouting Los Angeles’ Minor League system as the market for Machado begins to pick up steam. The Dodgers, who are 26-10 since May 17 after opening the season 16-26, ranked 10th on MLB Pipeline’s preseason list of the top farm systems in baseball.

Lineup when available.


Try the “translate this tweet” option. You’ll probably have to click the time stamp to see it at Twitter. Microsoft didn’t work very hard on that function, I’m thinkin’.

Jun 22

Game 74, 2018

Dodgers at Mets, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, SNY, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers send LHP Alex Wood (2-5, 4.22 ERA) to the hill to face the Mets’ RHP Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.82 ERA). Wood’s had an uneven season so far, but his last outing showed signs he may be coming out of it. He went 5 2/3 innings against the Giants on Saturday, giving up four hits and just one run and getting his second win of the year. Wheeler has had a rough first half but shown some improvement recently. Over his last eight games he’s got a 4.24 ERA in 46 2/3 innings even though he’s 0-3 over that period.

With perhaps only one significant financial bullet in their holster, the Dodgers must determine what their most pressing need is, says Andy McCullough of the LA Times.

Kemp’s resurgence could take him to the Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Utley has been reactivated from the DL.

The Dodgers Foundation just dedicated its 48th and 49th “Dreamfields,” baseball and softball fields in underserved communities.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1936 At Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, Ival Goodman hits an unusual home run when his fifth-inning fly ball lands and stays on top of the scoreboard in right field. With the perched ball considered in play, the three Dodger outfielders watch the Reds’ right fielder round the bases for an easy inside-the park round-tripper in their 7-2 loss to Cincinnati.

  • 1947 After pitching a no-hitter four days ago against the Braves, Reds hurler Ewell Blackwell loses his chance for a second consecutive no-hitter when Dodger second baseman Eddie Stanky singles with one out the ninth inning at Crosley Field.
  • 1959 Sandy Koufax goes the distance, beating Philadelphia at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, 6-2. The Dodger southpaw fans 16 Phillies to set a new record for strikeouts in a night game.
  • 1966 At the Astrodome, Houston sets a home attendance mark which will last for 22 years. Dodger southpaw Sandy Koufax, who tosses a complete game to improve his record to 13-2, beats the hometown team, 5-2, in front of the 50,908 fans attending the Wednesday contest.

Lineup:


Jun 16

Game 69, 2018

Giants at Dodgers, 5:15 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The Giants’ LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-1, 4.76 ERA) got a late start thanks to a broken finger on his pitching hand, so this is just his third start of the year. He gave up four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Marlins his last time out. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (1-5, 4.43 ERA), who’s still trying to find the form which made him 16-3 last season. He’s had hamstring and abductor muscle “issues” this season.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1933 Last year’s National League batting champ, Lefty O’Doul, and pitcher Watty Clark, a 20-game winner last season, are traded by the Dodgers to the Giants for first baseman Sam Leslie. Brooklyn’s newest infielder will bat .311 during his three seasons with the team, before returning to New York in 1936.

Lineup when available.


Jun 10

Game 65, 2018

Braves at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSO

The Braves’ LHP Sean Newcomb (7-1, 2.49 ERA) is having the kind of year the Dodgers’ Alex Wood did last season when he started off 10-0 and was selected for the All Star Game. Newcomb lost his first start of the year but has made eight quality starts since then, including five scoreless outings of six innings or more. The Dodgers counter with RHP Ross Stripling (4-1, 1.52 ERA), who’s won his last four starts and given up only four earned runs in his last seven starts going back to May 3.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2012 Bobby Abreu, who was tied with Mickey Mantle for 109th place on the all-time hit list, surpasses the Yankee legend with a second-inning double in L.A.’s 8-2 interleague victory over Seattle at Safeco Field. The 38 year-old outfielder has collected 2,416 hits playing for the Astros, Phillies, Yankees, Angels, and Dodgers.

Lineup when available.


Jun 09

Game 64, 2018

Braves at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSO

The Braves send RHP Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 2.16 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (1-4, 4.48 ERA). Sanchez is coming off his best start of the season; he went seven innings against the Nationals last Friday and gave up only two hits and two unearned runs in a no-decision. He didn’t sign with the Braves until March 16, so he’s just rounding into form. Wood is coming off a bad outing in which he gave up six runs on five hits in just two innings to the Rockies. He’s not gotten a lot of help from his teammates this year, but he hasn’t helped himself much either: his WHIP is 1.13 and opponents’ batting average against is .246.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 Dodger standout pitcher Rube Marquard breaks his leg running the bases, ending his season with a record of 3-3. The hard-throwing southpaw will finish his 18-year Hall of Fame career in 1925, after compiling a 201-177 record along with an ERA of 3.08.
  • 1973 Rightfielder Rusty Staub becomes the pivot man in a very unusual double play during a 4-2 Mets victory against the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. Racing in from the outfield, ‘Le Grand Orange’ gets a throw near second base from first baseman John Milner and tags Davey Lopes, who was picked-off from first, and then throws home to nail Tom Paciorek trying to score from second during the P-1B-SS-1B-2B-1B-2B-RF-C rundown.
  • 1990 Eddie Murray ties Mickey Mantle’s major league mark, hitting a homer from both sides of the plate for the tenth time in his career. The switch-hitting first baseman’s second home run of the game, batting left-handed against Eric Show, proves to be the eventual winning run in the Dodgers’ 5-4 victory over San Diego in the 11th inning at Jack Murphy Stadium.

This surprised me. We think nothing of baseball games being scheduled on Sunday nights now, and in fact ESPN has made Sunday Night Baseball a feature, but it was anything but until 1963. In the first major league game ever played on a Sunday night, the Colt .45’s extend the Giants’ losing streak to seven games, blanking the visiting team, 3-0. Due to the extreme heat during the days of the Texas summer months, baseball grants permission for games to be played in the evening at Colt Stadium.

Lineup when available.


Jun 03

Game 59, 2018

Dodgers at Rockies, 12:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATTSportsNet-RM

The Dodgers send LHP Alex Wood (1-4, 3.75 ERA) to the hill two days after he would ordinarily have started. He’s had hamstring cramps and the idea apparently was that he should spend two days hydrating in Colorado’s altitude to get acclimated. We’ll see if it worked. His opponent will be RHP Chad Bettis (4-1, 3.68 ERA), whose sole loss this season was to the Dodgers on May 22 when he went just five innings. In his latest start on Monday he gave up 10 hits to the Giants.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1969 Tom Seaver strikes out 14 batters in eight innings en route to the Mets’ 5-2 win over LA at Shea Stadium. The victory, fueled by Ed Kranepool’s two home runs, improves the second-place team’s record to 24-23, the latest they have been above .500 in franchise history.
  • 1989 In a 22-inning game played at the Astrodome, Houston beats the Dodgers, 5-4, when Rafael Ramirez’ run-scoring single plates Bill Doran to end the contest at 2:50 a.m., seven hours and 14-minutes after it started. The longest game in National League history features L.A. center fielder John Shelby going 0-for-10 and southpaw Fernando Valenzuela finishing the game at first base.

Lineup when available.


May 26

Game 51, 2018

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

The Friars send RHP Jordan Lyles (1-1, 3.11 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (1-4, 3.32 ERA). Lyles made his first start of the year on May 10 after 13 relief appearances. He’s done pretty well, posting a 2.50 ERA in three starts. Wood finally got his first win of the year his last time out. His season-long WHIP is 1.02 and his K/BB ratio is a career-best 5.67, but he’s gotten too few runs for his efforts.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2015 Clayton Kershaw pitched seven innings of four-hit ball and the Dodgers scored six runs in the fourth inning on doubles by Howie Kendrick, Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis and went on to beat the Atlanta Braves 8-0.

Lineup:


May 20

Game 46, 2018

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

The Dodgers send hard-luck lefty Alex Wood (0-4, 3.35 ERA) to the hill to face the Nationals’ righthander Stephen Strasburg (5-3, 3.28 ERA). Wood has a 1.06 WHIP, 47 strikeouts and only 8 walks in 51 innings of work this season, but he has yet to get a win. He scattered six hits and two runs over six innings in a game against the Nats on April 22. Strasburg went seven innings, struck out ten, gave up two runs to the Dodgers and took the loss on April 21.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1979 Don Sutton becomes the franchise’s winningest pitcher when he is credited with the victory, tossing eight innings in the Dodgers 6-4 victory over the Reds at Riverfront Stadium. The 34 year-old right-hander’s 210th win surpasses the team mark established in 1969 by Don Drysdale.

Lineup when available.