Aug 03

Game 111, 2018

Astros at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATT Sportsnet-SW

Obviously this is a rematch of last year’s World Series, won by the Astros in seven games. RHP Justin Verlander (10-6, 2.24 ERA) starts for the Astros and LHP Alex Wood (7-5, 3.68 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. Verlander started Games 2 and 6 last fall and went six innings each time, giving up a total of five runs. Wood pitched twice as well, starting in one game and relieving in another. He gave up just one run in 7 2/3 innings. Verlander is 1-4 with a 3.54 ERA in his last eight starts, while Wood is 6-0 in his last eight decisions with a 2.61 ERA over that stretch.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 In the second All-Star Game played this summer, Yogi Berra’s two-run home run off Dodgers right-hander Don Drysdale in the third inning at the LA Memorial Coliseum proves to be the difference in the American League’s 5-3 victory over the Senior Circuit. The home run will be the last one hit by a Bronx Bomber in a Mid-Summer Classic game for 41 years until Derek Jeter goes deep in 2001.
  • 1995 Making his first start for the Rockies since being acquired from the Mets, Brett Saberhagen gives up 13 hits and walks three batters, but gets the win in the team’s 9-4 win over the Dodgers. The sellout crowd gives their new hurler an enthusiastic standing ovation when he departs the game with one out in the seventh inning.
  • 1997 Jeromy Burnitz, coming off the bench in the Brewers’ 6-5 loss to Seattle at County Stadium, homers as a pinch hitter for the second consecutive time, tying an American League record. The major league mark for consecutive pinch-hit appearances with a home run is three, shared by Lee Lacy (Dodgers – May 2, 6, and 17, 1978) and Del Unser (Phillies – June 30, July 5 and 10, 1979).
  • 2013 The first-place Dodgers set a franchise record, winning their 13th consecutive game on the road with their 3-0 victory over the Cubs in Chicago. The Giants established the National League mark in 1916 when the team won 17 straight games away from the Polo Grounds.

Today the Dodgers celebrate Andre Ethier, who announced his retirement last month. Here’s a summary of his career from the official Dodgers blog.

Lineup:


Jul 20

Game 97, 2018

Dodgers at Brewers, 5:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI, Dish455

The visiting Dodgers send LHP Rich Hill (2-4, 4.55 ERA) to start the second not-quite-half of the season. He’ll face lefty Wade Miley (1-1, 2.38 ERA), who’s made just one start since coming off the 60-day DL where he’d been recovering from a right oblique injury (I hope Puig’s injury requires less time than that!). In that start he went five innings, walked five, struck out five, and gave up two runs. After a one-inning relief appearance on Sunday this will be Hill’s first start in ten days.

The Dodgers suddenly find themselves with as many as eight starting pitchers.

A six-man rotation is under consideration, especially for an initial stretch of 17 games in 17 days. It would include, in no particular order, Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Alex Wood, Ross Stripling, Kenta Maeda and Walker Buehler. But Hyun-Jin Ryu, who is throwing off a mound, could come back next month. And Julio Urias, the lefty phenom who is recovering from shoulder surgery, theoretically could rejoin the rotation by the start of September, if not sooner.

That’s eight starters if everyone stays healthy, and the Dodgers would like to somehow use all of them.

“If healthy” is the operative phrase there.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1906 At St. Louis, Brooklyn hurler Mal Eason no-hits the Cardinals, 2-0. The ‘Kid’ was the losing pitcher when Johnny Lush pitched a no-hitter against the Superbas (Dodgers) in May.
  • 1951 In a game against the Reds with All-Star hurler Ewell Blackwell on the mound, the Giants, for the first time, employ their infamous scheme for stealing catchers’ signs using a telescope positioned in the centerfield clubhouse. The ‘Jints’ beat Cincinnati, 11-6, and New York will win 22 of the remaining 27 games at the Polo Grounds, overtaking the Dodgers to win the National League pennant.
  • 1970 Twenty-six year-old right-hander Bill Singer pitches the first Dodger no-hitter since Sandy Koufax’s departure when he keeps the Philadelphia batters hitless in a 5-0 victory at Chavez Ravine. The ‘Singer Throwing Machine,’ who spent 52 days on the disabled list earlier in the season recuperating from hepatitis, posts a 5-0 record along with a 1.84 ERA in July and will be named NL Player of the Month.
  • 2008 The Dodgers, with a five-run ninth-inning rally at Chase Field, beat the Diamondbacks, 6-5, and move into a flat-footed tie (48-50) with Arizona for first place in the National League West. Andre Ethier has the key hit in the comeback victory, a go-ahead triple off the center-field wall, as D-Back closer Brandon Lyon, pitching in his third consecutive game, couldn’t hold a three-run lead.

Lineup when available. This is the first one with newly-hired Manny Machado in it.


As long as Turner’s ailing, it puts off the “where do we play Muncy” decision.

Speaking of JT, he and Alex Wood had a boisterous reaction to Machado’s acquisition:


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:


Apr 01

Game Four, 2018

Giants at Dodgers, 5:37 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

The Dodgers try to capture the fourth game of the opening series and gain a split. To do that they send LHP Rich Hill to the mound. He was 12-8 with a 3.32 ERA in 25 starts with the Dodgers last year. He’ll face RHP Chris Stratton, who was 4-4 with a 3.68 ERA in 13 appearances for the Giants last season. He’s only made one appearance at Dodger Stadium in his brief career, giving up three runs in four innings last September 24 and taking the loss.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1937 The Reds sell Babe Herman to the Tigers. The 34 year-old outfielder, batting .300 for his new team, will appear in only 17 contests with Detroit before effectively retiring from the game, although he will return to play briefly for the war-time Dodgers in 1945.
  • 1963 Former Brooklyn Dodger Duke Snider returns to New York when the Mets purchase him from LA for $40,000. The 36 year-old outfielder, who will represent New York in the All-Star game, will be told at the end of the season by Buzzie Bavasi, his former GM, that the Yankees had asked for him to back up Mickey Mantle before he was dealt to the team the across the river.
  • 2008 On Opening Day in Los Angeles, Juan Pierre’s 434 consecutive game streak, the longest current one in the major leagues, comes to an end when the Dodger outfielder does not play in the 3-2 victory over the Giants. New skipper Joe Torre plays Andre Ethier in left field in place of the highly paid but light-hitting fly chaser.

Can you imagine Duke Snider in pinstripes?

Yesterday’s Kyle Farmer versatility moment:

Lineup when available.


Young Joc in left. I get the feeling no Dodger is going to play as many as 140 games in the regular season.

Mar 29

Opening Day, 2018

Giants at Dodgers, 4:08 PM PDT, ESPN

It’ll be LHP Ty Blach for the visiting Giants and LHP Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers. Blach has been very good at Dodger Stadium in his four appearances: he’s got a 1.38 ERA. Kershaw will be making his eighth Opening Day start for the Dodgers, a new franchise record. He had previously shared the record of seven with Don Drysdale and Don Sutton. This will be Kershaw’s 41st career start against the Giants: he’s 22-9 with a 1.60 ERA in the first 40.

The Dodgers are virtually the same team as the NL Champions of last year, albeit temporarily without third baseman and team leader Justin Turner. They do have a left-field platoon which includes prodigal Matt Kemp; I think it’s fair to say most fans didn’t expect to see him still here on Opening Day. And I wonder: Andre Ethier is still a free agent and would have been cheaper to keep than Kemp is.

This is the 12th season opener between the clubs since they moved west in 1958. The Giants have won 6 of the previous 11.

An Opening Day Quiz from George Will at the Washington Post. I started off like a house afire and faded in the later innings. I scored 21 of 41.

Lineup when available.

Kiké hitting cleanup. O-o-o-kay.

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.

Oct 17

NLCS Game Three, 2017

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

The visiting Dodgers send RHP Yu Darvish (10-12, 3.86 ERA) out to keep the Cubs at bay and take a 3-0 lead in the series. The Cubs counter with RHP Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA). Darvish had a good outing in Game Three of the ALDS against the Diamondbacks, giving up one run on two hits in five innings while striking out seven and not walking anyone. Hendricks had an excellent start against the Nats in Game One of the NLDS when he allowed no runs, but a less-than-stellar one in Game Five when he gave up four runs on nine hits in four innings. He may take some confidence from his two NLCS starts against the Dodgers last year when he gave up only one run on five hits in 12 2/3 innings.

Here are several news items pertaining to the Dodgers and this series: first, from MLB: Memories of last year’s Game Six loss and the subsequent ring ceremonies this year might be a prod for the Dodgers. Second, SI’s Jay Jaffe writes about Yasiel Puig’s discipline and flair. And finally, Rich Hill is known for his curve, but it’s his fastball that’s doing heavy lifting this season.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1978 The Yankees capture their twenty-second and second consecutive World Championship, beating Los Angeles with a 7-2 victory at Dodger Stadium. Playoff hero Bucky Dent, who collects ten hits in the six-game series, is named the the Fall Classic’s Most Valuable Player.

Other historical note: in 1989 as the Giants and A’s get ready to play Game 3 of the World Series, the Bay Area is hit by the massive 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake, which will be responsible for 63 deaths. The Candlestick Park contest is quickly postponed by Commissioner Fay Vincent, and he orders the evacuation of the ballpark.

Lineup:

Puig at cleanup. Pederson, Ethier and Utley starting. Grandal not starting. No siree, no lineup shakeups here.

Oct 10

NLDS Game Four, 2017

Nationals at Cubs, 2:30 PM PT, TV: TBS

This is the only game today, and it’s an elimination game for the Nats. They ask RHP Tanner Roark (13-11, 4.67 ERA) Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 2.52 ERA) to stop the Cubs, who have hardly been a juggernaut but have managed to get past excellent performances from the Nats’ aces Strasburg and Scherzer to take a 2-1 lead in the series. The Cubs counter with RHP Jake Arrieta (14-10, 3.53 ERA), who hurt a hamstring five weeks ago but had been 7-2 with a 1.79 ERA over the previous two months.

After much Sturm und Drang yesterday centered on Starsburg’s health and whether he was too queasy to pitch today on regular rest, apparently he recovered overnight. He’ll start today after all.

Yesterday in baseball history:

  • 1920 The Indians’ Bill Wambsganss becomes the only player in World Series history to complete an unassisted triple play when he makes a leaping catch, steps on second base, and then tags the [Dodger] runner arriving from first base. After the play, a dead calm engulfs Cleveland’s League Park as the hometown fans try to digest what they had just witnessed.
  • 1948 The largest crowd ever to attend a World Series game, 86,288 fans, jam into Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium to witness a showdown between two future Hall of Famers. Braves’ southpaw Warren Spahn beats Bob Feller and the Indians in Game 5 of the Fall Classic, 11-5.
  • 1968 Cardinal fireballer Bob Gibson sets the mark for total strikeouts (35) in a World Series, but loses the seventh and deciding game to ]Mickey Lolich and the] Tigers, 4-1.
  • 2009 The Dodgers advance to their second consecutive National League championship series, beating St. Louis 5-1 to complete a three-game sweep of the Redbirds in the NLDS. Solid pitching by late-season pick-up Vicente Padilla and timely hitting by Andre Ethier, who had three extra-base hits, and Manny Ramirez, who broke out of a slump with three hits and two RBIs, close out the series, which will be best remembered for the team’s dramatic Game 2 comeback when Matt Holliday’s error on James Loney’s ninth-inning two-out line drive leads to a stunning two-run walk-off rally.

Today in history:

  • 1978 Rookie right-hander Bob Welch strikes out Reggie Jackson with two men on base and two out in the top of the ninth inning, dramatically preserving a 4-3 Dodger victory over the Yankees in Game 2 of the Fall Classic. The relief performance will put the 21 year-old in the national spotlight.

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 11

Game 144, 2017

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS BA

RHP Kenta Maeda (12-6, 4.02 ERA) takes the mound against RHP Chris Stratton (2-3, 4.10 ERA) in San Francisco.

Maeda allowed one unearned run over five innings on Wednesday against the D-backs. He’s 3-1 with a 4.58 ERA in four career starts against the Giants. Stratton has both started and relieved this season; he’s been much better as a starter. He’s got an 8.59 ERA in relief. As a starter he’s made five starts and has gone 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA since the All Star break.

A sad note: former Dodger (and nine other teams’) scout Mel Didier died Sunday night at home in Phoenix. He was 90 years old. His most memorable find was probably his analysis which showed that the Athletics’ Dennis Eckersley liked to throw backdoor sliders when the count was full and first base was open. He told the Dodgers’ hitters that before Game One of the 1988 World Series. What was the count to Kirk Gibson when he hit that game-winning home run? 3-2. What was the pitch? A backdoor slider.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 The Dodgers end Elroy Face’s consecutive win streak at 22 with a 5-4 victory over the Pirates. The reliever, who will end the season with an 18-1 record, is beaten by Chuck Churn, the winner of only three major league career victories.
  • 1966 In his first major league at-bat, John Miller homers off Lee Stange in the second inning of the Yankees’ 4-2 victory over Boston at Fenway Park. The 22 year-old left fielder, whose total of 10 hits in his 32-game career will include just two round-trippers, will become the only player to hit home runs in his first and last major league plate appearance when he goes deep as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers in his final turn at bat in 1966.
  • 1998 Kevin Malone is named as the Dodgers’ general manager, replacing Tommy Lasorda, who is promoted to Senior Vice President of the team. The “new sheriff in town” tenure in Los Angeles will be marked by the signing of high profile players to huge contracts, including Kevin Brown’s seven-year deal making the right-hander the first $100 million man in baseball.

Historical note of more than passing interest to Cody Bellinger fans: today in 1956 Frank Robinson ties Wally Berger’s 1930 National League record for home runs by a rookie for home runs with his 38th in the Reds’ 11-5 victory over the Giants at Polo Grounds. A’s first baseman Mark McGwire established the major league mark for freshman homers with 49 round-trippers in 1989. Bellinger has 36 with 18 games to go in the season.

Lineup when available.

Granderson again? Why not Ethier in LF? And since A-Gon had to have an epidural shot four days ago, why not Cody at 1B?

Roberts, I’m beginning to question your judgment.