May 15

Game 41, 2018

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

LHP Alex Wood (0-3, 3.60 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers against the Marlins’ LHP Wei-Yin Chen (1-2, 10.22 ERA). This will be Wood’s ninth start. He has pitched better than his record indicates as opponents are hitting only .219 against him. Chen has been far better at home than on the road this year, which bodes well for him this evening.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 After 12 scoreless innings at Ebbets Field, the Reds score ten runs in the 13th inning to beat Al Mamaux and the Dodgers, 10-0. Cincinnati starter Hod Eller, who tossed a no-hitter in his previous start, is the beneficiary of the blowout.
  • 1956 Sal Maglie, obtained on waivers by Cleveland last season from the Giants, is shipped to the Dodgers for a hundred dollars after impressing Brooklyn in an exhibition game. The ‘Barber’ will post a 13-5 record along with a 2.89 ERA for the eventual NL Champs, finishing second to teammate Don Newcombe in the balloting for both the Cy Young and MVP awards.
  • 1998 On the day the Marlins trade Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios to the Dodgers for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile, the team hangs on to beat the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, 8-7. In the first inning, the Fish connect for nine consecutive hits, a franchise record, and score seven runs, all without the help of their recently departed teammates.

Turner and Forsythe both return. I hope they’re both fully recovered and not trying to come back too soon.

Lineup when available.


May 03

Game 31, 2018

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 12:40 PM PDT, TV: Facebook-only. If you’re on FB, navigate to MLB Live.

The Dodgers send LHP Alex Wood (0-3, 4.11 ERA) in search of his first win. He hasn’t pitched as badly as his record seems to indicate, but his velocity hasn’t gotten to the heights it reached last year. He’ll face the D-Backs’ LHP Patrick Corbin (4-0, 2.25 ERA), who set the Dodgers down brilliantly on April 4, going 7 1/3 innings while giving up just one hit and no runs.

Injury updates

Roberts said he expects outfielder Yasiel Puig, currently on the disabled list with contusions on his left hip and left ankle, to be activated Tuesday.

Second baseman Logan Forsythe, on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, is likely to begin a Minor League rehab assignment this weekend. But Roberts said he had “no idea” when Justin Turner (broken left wrist) would begin an assignment.

Reliever Tom Koehler, on the disabled list since Spring Training with a strained right shoulder, has started throwing, but he’s not close to a rehab assignment.

Roster moves:


Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 In a controversial move, Branch Rickey trades five Dodgers, including southerner Kirby Higbe, to the Pirates for five-foot, six-inch left-hand-hitting outfielder Al Gionfriddo and $100,000. Some believe ‘the Mahatma’ made the deal to send a message to the team about his commitment to breaking the color barrier and his support of Jackie Robinson, the first black to play in the major leagues this century. It’s a darned good move, considering that Gionfriddo made a game-saving catch of a DiMaggio fly ball in Game 6 of that fall’s World Series.

  • 2004 Similar to last season, the aging outfielder Rickey Henderson re-signs with the Atlantic League’s Bears, hoping for a shot of returning to the big leagues. The 45 year-old future Hall of Famer batted .339, hit eight home runs, drove in 33 runs, scored 52 runs, and stole nine bases for the Newark team last season before joining the Dodgers in July.
  • 2009 Defeating San Diego 2-1 in 10 innings, the Dodgers tie a franchise record, winning their ninth consecutive decision at home from the start of the season. The 1946 club also reeled off nine straight victories at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field at the beginning of the post-war campaign.

Lineup when available.


Apr 28

Games 25 & 26, 2018

Game One: Dodgers at Giants, 1:05 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS Bay Area

The Dodgers’ young right-handed prospect Walker Buehler (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes the second start of his career. He went five scoreless innings against the Marlins on Monday. The Giants are expected to counter with RHP Chris Stratton (2-1, 2.32 ERA) if he gets back from paternity leave in time. He’s given up two earned runs or fewer in each of his last four starts.

Game Two: Dodgers at Giants, 7:05 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS Bay Area

In the second game of a rare doubleheader (made necessary by a rainout three weeks ago) the Dodgers send LHP Alex Wood (0-2, 3.72 ERA) out to face the Giants’ RHP Johnny Cueto (2-0, 0.35 ERA). Wood hasn’t yet gotten his velocity back up to where it was last season, but in his last start he scattered six hits over six innings and kept the Nationals at bay long enough for the Dodgers to win late. Cueto has made two starts since coming off the DL and scattered four hits over 13 scoreless innings, striking out 18 and walking only two. He did that against the D-Backs and Angels, neither of which can be called palookas.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1922 At Ebbets Field, Lee King drives in seven runs in the Phillies’ 10-7 win over the Robins. The Philadelphia outfielder will collect a total of only 15 RBIs this season playing with Philadelphia and the Giants.
  • 2012 Bryce Harper makes his much-anticipated debut in the Nationals’ 4-3 loss to Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine. The 19 year-old rookie center fielder, who drives in the potential go-ahead run in the ninth inning with a sacrifice fly, doubles in the top of the seventh off Chad Billingsley for his first major league hit.

Lineup, Game One:


Lineup for Game Two when available.

Apr 22

Game 20, 2018

Nationals at Dodgers, 5:00 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

LHP Alex Wood is winless in the still-young season at 0-2, but he’s got a 3.91 ERA and gave up only one run and two hits over 5 1/3 innings against the Padres his last time out. He’ll face the Nationals’ RHP Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, 3.86 ERA), who replaced A.J. Cole in the rotation on April 16 against the Mets, going 4 2/3 innings with no decision. This is his first appearance at Dodger Stadium.


On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1955 The NY Giants behind Marv Grissom defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers and Johnny Podres at Ebbets Field, 5-4. Grissom was later traded by the Giants (with Ernie Broglio!) to the Cardinals in 1958, and after retiring he was the Angels’ first pitching coach. Podres, of course, won the seventh game of the World Series that year, beating the Yankees 2-0 and giving Brooklyn its only World Series title. He came West with the Dodgers to LA and also became a pitching coach after his playing days were done, most successfully with the Phillies

Lineup:


Apr 17

Game 16, 2018

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Dodgers ask LHP Alex Wood (0-2, 5.09 ERA) to keep up the good work their last two starters have done in this mini-winning streak. He’ll face RHP Brian Mitchell (0-2, 5.27 ERA), who hasn’t yet achieved the potential the Padres hoped he would when they acquired him in December. His control has been poor: he’s walked 14 in 12 2/3 innings. Wood’s last start was hindered by the lingering effects of food poisoning, the Dodgers think. He only lasted 3 2/3 innings against Oakland on April 11, giving up seven runs on seven hits. More concerning than that start is his velocity, which is several notches below what it was last season.

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.

Apr 11

Game 11, 2018

Athletics at Dodgers, 7:10PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBCSCA

The As send RHP Daniel Mengden (0-2, 6.55 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers LHP Alex Wood (0-1, 1.93 ERA). Mengden has a mustache that looks like the one Rollie Fingers used to sport. As long as he doesn’t pitch as well as Fingers, that has no significance. In his first two outings he didn’t get past the sixth inning and gave up 10 runs in the 11 he did pitch. Wood pitched eight innings of no-run, one-hit ball against the Giants in his first start but only made it through the sixth in his second start, giving up three runs and six hits to the D-Backs.

Vinnie announces the selection of Dodger Stadium for the 2020 All Star Game:


Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1912 Rube Marquard begins a nineteen-game consecutive winning streak by beating the Dodgers, 18-3, in a game which features 13 ground rule doubles hit by the visitors because of the overflow crowd being placed in the outfield and along the foul lines. The future Hall of Fame southpaw’s streak will end in July when the Giants lose to Chicago at the West Side Grounds, 7-2.
  • 1961 Robin Roberts, in his twelfth-straight Opening Day start, is tagged with the loss when the Phillies lose to the Dodgers in the LA Memorial Coliseum, 6-2. The right-hander’s effort ties Grover Cleveland Alexander’s National League record for consecutive season openers.

Here’s one for John from Aus:

1993 When Brewer catcher Dave Nilsson catches for Graeme Lloyd, they become the first all-Australian battery in major league history. The 23 year-old backstop hails from Brisbane, Queensland with his rookie batterymate calling Geelong, Victoria home.

Lineup:


Puig gets a night off.

Apr 04

Game Seven, 2018

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 12:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, SPNLA

The Dodgers ask LHP Alex Wood to stop this mini-losing streak of two games. Wood pitched a masterful one-hitter over eight innings in his first outing this season, only to get no decision and watch the Dodgers lose in the ninth. He’ll face LHP Patrick Corbin (1-0, 3.18 ERA), who won his first outing on Opening Day, giving up two homers but no further runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1968 Due to today’s assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, most of the major league teams will decide to postpone their Opening Day games until the reverend’s funeral takes place in five days. Surprisingly, the Dodgers, at first, are the notable exception, even though the Phillies, their opponents on April 9th, say they will forfeit rather than play on the national day of mourning. [See below]
  • 2016 The Dodgers hand the Padres the worst Opening Day shutout loss since at least 1913, and most likely in the history of the game, blanking the Friars at PetCo Park, 15-0. The contest marked the managerial debut of both skippers with LA’s Dave Roberts and San Diego’s Padres Andy Green both piloting their first major league game.

So what did MLB do to acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder? Initially, not much. It took the Pirates, the most thoroughly integrated team in all of baseball, whose numbers included Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, Maury Wills, Donn Clendenon and Matty Alou, to make a stand and refuse to play on Monday, April 8, Opening Day. The Dodgers’ Walter O’Malley and Buzzie Bavasi were positively tone-deaf.

The last holdouts, the Dodgers, were due to host the Phillies in Los Angeles. Team owner Walter O’Malley, who was the club’s vice president in 1947 when the team signed Jackie Robinson, wanted to go ahead with the game. According to an Associated Press story, O’Malley figured King’s funeral would be over by the time his team took the field on the West Coast.

Dodgers general manager Buzzie Bavasi explained the club’s position to the press: “We are going to follow the schedule,” he said. “We would not play the game if the interment was not completely over. I’m not sure Mr. Giles [Warren Giles, president of the National League] has any jurisdiction in a case like this.”

I rarely agreed with anything Dick Young wrote in those days, but I can concur with this:

Dick Young was equally incredulous at the Dodgers’ strategy. “Teams in the East and Midwest, which would be playing during the funeral hours, should postpone their games,” he wrote, summarizing O’Malley’s and Eckert’s plan. “[But] teams in California, which would be opening an hour after the funeral had concluded, would play. It was as though someone was standing by the side of the bier with a stopwatch and a starter’s gun.”

The Phillies’ GM John Quinn announced they’d forfeit rather than play. O’Malley conferred with Quinn and Giles and finally agreed to postpone the game.

Lineup:


Mar 31

Game Three, 2018

Giants at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: NBCS BA, SPNLA

The Giants try to take the third game of a four-game series behind LHP Derek Holland, a non-roster invitee who earned a spot in their rotation with a 4.05 ERA in six appearances this spring. Holland was 7-14 with a 6.20 ERA for the White Sox last year. He’ll face RHP Kenta Maeda, who went 13-6 for the Dodgers last season with a 4.22 ERA. In his two-year career in MLB he’s 3-1 with a 5.56 ERA against the Giants.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

    1948 At Ebbets Field No. 2, the Dodgers play their first exhibition game at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, which will remain the team’s home for 61 years. Amidst much fanfare, including Governor Millard Caldwell throwing the ceremonial first pitch, Jackie Robinson homers in the first inning as Brooklyn beats its top farm club, the Montreal Royals, 5-4.

  • 1998 Mark McGwire hits the first of his historic seventy home runs when he goes deep off Ramon Martinez in the fifth inning of the Cardinals’ 6-0 victory over L.A. at Busch Stadium. The Redbirds’ first baseman becomes the first player in franchise history to hit a grand slam on Opening Day.

Alex Wood deserved better yesterday, as this video shows:

Lineup when available.

Shake up that lineup, Roberts! Barnes and Farmer make their first appearances of the season, Forsythe moves to 2B.

Mar 30

Game Two, 2018

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: NBCS BA, SPNLA

The visiting Giants send out the 10-year veteran right-hander Johnny Cueto (8-8, 4.52 ERA in 2017) to face the Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (16-3, 2.72 ERA in 2017). Cueto has made nine starts at Dodger Stadium and gone 4-5 with a very good 2.67 ERA. Wood is coming off the best season of his career, so of course he’s abandoned the windup and will pitch solely from the stretch (for now — the first time he suffers through a four-run inning may put paid to that idea).

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1966 Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale’s refusal to report to spring training ends when the hurlers agree to the Dodgers’ offer of $235,000, signing for $130,000 and $105,000, respectively. The LA starters’ joint holdout lasts for 32 days, paving the way for other players to be more aggressive when negotiating with owners.
  • 2012 Jamie Moyer becomes the oldest starting pitcher to make an Opening Day roster when the Rockies announce that the 49 year-old southpaw will face Houston in the second game of the season. Knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm was the same age as the Colorado left-hander when he opened the season with L.A. in 1972, but ‘Old Sarge’ appeared strictly in relief for the Dodgers.

Lineup when available.



Utley replaces Kiké at 2B.

Feb 12

Spring Training begins this week

To get into the mood, Houston Mitchell of the Times is listing the results of a readers’ poll which asked “Who are the 10 Greatest Dodgers of All Time?”

I received 8,382 ballots from newsletter readers who responded to send me their choices as the top 10 Dodgers of all time. Points were assigned based on ranking, with the first-place choice getting 12 points, second place getting 10, third place eight, down to one point for 10th place. After tabulating the ballots, I will be presenting the top 25 in points. We will be counting down Nos. 25-11, one each weekday, for the next three weeks. Then we will time the top 10 so No. 1 unveils on March 29, the day the season opens.

Click the link to see who #25 is.

The Cubs wanted Yu Darvish enough to pay him $126 million over six years. Obviously the Dodgers didn’t want to pay that much for that long. I suspect it was the length of the contract more than the dollars which gave the Dodgers pause.

Kenley Jansen and Alex Wood are both ready for spring training: