May 09

Game 33, 2017

Pirates at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTPIT

RHP Ivan Nova (3-3, 2.14 ERA) will take the mound for the Pirates versus LHP Julio Urias (0-0, 0.84 ERA). Nova has gone six innings in each of his six starts this year, but his last time out he lost to the Reds when he allowed four runs on a season-high 10 hits. Urias will be making his third start of the year; he’s gone 10 2/3 innings and walked eight while striking out five.

Each pitcher has faced the other team once: Nova gave up one run in 5 1/3 innings to the Dodgers last August 12, while Urias threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief against the Pirates the following night.

This day in Dodgers history:

  • 1947 After leading his team in verbally abusing Jackie Robinson with racial slurs during yesterday’s game at Shibe Park, Philadelphia manager Ben Chapman, who admits he had been ‘kinda loud’, sends word to the Brooklyn clubhouse that he would like to make amends by posing with the Dodger first baseman for the newspaper photographers. The orchestrated gesture, which Robinson agrees to, admitting later that is one of the hardest things he ever had to make himself do, is prompted by the bad press created by the Phillies manager’s intolerance and the wrath of Commissioner Chandler.

Bad news for André Ethier and the Dodgers:

Lineup:

May 07

Game 32, 2017 (PPd.)

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

It’s not clear (ha!) whether the weather will allow this game to be played, but if it is it will be RHP Brandon McCarthy (3-0, 3.10 ERA) for the Dodgers and Trevor Cahill (2-2, 3.60 ERA) for the Padres. This may portend well for the Dodgers:

McCarthy’s greatest success has come against the Padres. He is 8-1 with a 3.79 ERA in his career against San Diego, and he beat them, 10-2, on April 6 in Los Angeles.

Two years ago Cahill was in the Dodgers’ minor league system rehabilitating his career; now he’s pitching against them in the bigs. He lost in the opening series of the season to them. He’s been striking out a lot more hitters than usual this year: 30 percent of them instead of the 17 percent he’s averaged over his career. It may be his curveball: opponents are 2-34 against that pitch this season.

Regarding the weather, there’s this:

There have been only two rainouts in Petco Park history, the most recent coming on July 19, 2015, between the Padres and the Rockies. The other took place in 2006, two years after the park opened.

Today in Dodger history:

  • 1959 At the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Yankees defeat the Dodgers, 6-2, in an exhibition game played to benefit Roy Campanella, who was paralyzed in an auto accident prior to the team moving to the West Coast in 1958. The game, which draws the largest crowd ever for a baseball game, 93,103 fans with another estimated 15,000 turned away from the sellout, begins with an emotional ceremony in which Pee Wee Reese pushes the wheelchair-bound catcher into the darkened stadium that is totally illuminated by fans holding candles or matches.
  • 1960 The Sherry boys become the tenth pair of siblings to appear as battery mates in a major league game when Norm replaces John Roseboro behind the plate in the top of the eighth to catch Larry, who is starting his first inning in relief. The backstop will hit a two-out home run in the bottom of the 11th inning, assuring his brother of a victory in the Dodgers’ 3-2 walk-off win over Philadelphia.
  • 1969 Willie Davis, furious with the Wrigley Field Bleacher Bums because of their continual verbal abuse of him, tells his Dodgers teammates that he wants to hit a home run in the middle of the group, which he does in the sixth inning to tie the score. The LA center fielder exacts a bit more more revenge on the heckling horde when his 12th-inning two-run round-tripper proves to be the difference in the 4-2 defeat of the Cubs.
  • 1970 At Shea Stadium, Wes Parker hits a triple off Jim McAndrew to beat the Mets in the tenth inning, 7-4. The three-bagger completes the cycle for the Dodger first baseman.
  • 2011 After a first-inning walk in the Dodgers’ 4-2 loss to the Mets, Andre Ethier goes 0-for-4, ending his 30-game hitting streak. The L.A. outfielder falls one game short of the franchise record set in 1969 by Willie Davis, who enjoyed a 31-game hitting streak that season.

Lineup when available.

Apr 28

Game 24, 2017

Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, TCN

The Phillies start RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 2.55 ERA). This will be his second appearance against the Dodgers; he gave up four runs in a six-inning start last season. The Dodgers will counter with Kenta Maeda (1-2, 8.05 ERA), who had some extra days of rest and spent it working on his mechanics. Maeda leads the major leagues this season in an unenviable category: among the 17 runs he’s allowed in his 19 innings of work are seven home runs.

Surprising news (to me, anyway): Ethier won’t be back any time soon:

Ethier has still not been cleared to resume baseball activities, and manager Dave Roberts indicated there is no timetable for that process to begin. Given Ethier’s extended downtime, Roberts admitted on Thursday that Ethier will not be ready to rejoin the Dodgers until June — “at the earliest,” he said.

And arriving even that soon is predicated on Ethier making significant progress in the next week or so.

Puig, on the other hand, has shown plate discipline and a willingness to take walks that he hasn’t shown since 2014. He’s letting that low outside pitch go by so far this year, after a year or more of lunging after it.

Lineup when available.

Hmm. Is this the first day Puig has had off since the season began?

Apr 03

Opening Day, 2017

The LA Times has a special Baseball 2017 section in its Sunday, April 2 edition.

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ESPN (out-of market only), FSSD

The Padres send Jhoulys Chacin out to do battle with the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw. Chacin will make his second Opening Day start; the first was for the Rockies in 2013. He was with the Angels last year and finished strong: he had a 0.75 ERA in his last four starts for them. He did well for Venezuela in this year’s World Baseball Classic as well. This will be Kershaw’s seventh straight Opening Day start for the Dodgers. That ties him with Drysdale and Sutton for the team record. This will be the fourth time he’ll face the Padres on Opening Day; he gave up three runs on nine hits in the previous 16 innings on those occasions.

The Padres have two potential Rookie of the Year candidates, “outfielders Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe, ranked No. 23 and No. 42, respectively, among MLBPipeline.com’s Top 100 prospects.”

Renfore and Margot excelled for Triple-A El Paso last year en route to a Pacific Coast League championship. Margot batted .304 and stole 30 bases, while Renfroe earned PCL MVP honors by hitting .306 with 30 home runs.

Lineups when available.

Here’s the Opening Day roster. The interesting part is probably the Disabled List, where six guys will start the year:

Pedro Baez, RHP (10-day, right wrist contusion, retroactive to March 30); Andre Ethier, OF (10-day, lumbar disk herniation, retroactive to March 30); Yimi Garcia, RHP (60-day, right elbow surgery); Scott Kazmir, LHP (10-day, left hip strain, retroactive to March 30); Josh Ravin, RHP (10-day, right groin strain, retroactive to March 30); Brock Stewart, RHP (10-day, right shoulder tendinitis, retroactive to March 30)

Here’s the lineup:

Sep 14

Game 145, 2016

Dodgers at Yankees, 1:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, YES

Clayton Kershaw (11-3, 1.89 ERA) makes his second start since coming off the DL. He’ll face Michael Pineda (6-11, 5.07 ERA). Pineda has given up 14 runs in his last four starts. This will be Kershaw’s first start in Yankee Stadium; he’s got a 1.20 ERA against them in two previous appearances.

Lineup:

Welcome back, Andre!

Sep 12

Game 143, 2016

Dodgers at Yankees, 4:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, YES

RHP Jose De Leon (1-0, 4.50 ERA) makes his second big league start for the Dodgers, and RHP Brian Mitchell (1-0, 0.00 ERA) goes for the Yankees. De Leon is rated the #2 prospect in the Dodgers’ organization, while Mitchell is highly regarded by the Yankees. De Leon went six innings against the Padres on September 4, giving up four runs, three earned. Mitchell spent five months recovering from a left big toe which needed surgery for a broken bone, so his first start of the year was September 7 against the Blue Jays. He went five scoreless innings in that game.

Turner or Ethier may DH for the Dodgers in this game.

Here’s a good story by Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register talking to Joc Pederson about his improvement in hitting and reduction in strikeouts this season.

Lineup when available.

Kendrick at 1B? Hmm.

Sep 10

Game 141, 2016

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

Lefty Rich Hill (11-3, 1.94 ERA) makes his third start for the Dodgers. In his first two he’s thrown 12 scoreless innings. He’ll face RHP Tom Koehler (9-10, 3.87 ERA), who hasn’t won since August 9 but whose last outing was six shutout innings against Cleveland on September 4.

Personnel move:

“Manager Dave Roberts said Ethier will get an occasional start, but with the club’s outfield depth, Ethier will mostly be used coming off the bench as a late-innings pinch-hitter.”

Lineup:

Hmm. Utley gets the day off and Kendrick is back at 2B for the first time in a while. His LF slot will be taken by Puig.

Jul 16

Game 93, 2016

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 2.70 ERA) makes his third start of the season. He’s gone five innings in each of his first two since recovering and rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery. His opponent is Archie Bradley (3-5, 4.64 ERA), who lost to the Dodgers in his only start against them this season on June 14 in Phoenix, pitching four scoreless innings then giving up five runs in the next 1 2/3 innings.

Fun fact: Since the start of 2013, the Dodgers own the best record in baseball after the All-Star break at 126-79 entering Friday. Next was Kansas City at 127-87.

Trayce Thompson goes to the 15-day DL with lower back irritation, Zach Walters comes up. Ethier’s leg isn’t healed, but he’s going to up his workout level anyway. From Dave Roberts, this statement sounds ominous:

“Because it’s not healed completely, we really don’t have a timetable. It’ll be healed at some point, but this season to hope and expect it to be pain-free is something that’s maybe too optimistic. Andre wants to be back and he’ll do whatever he can to be back.”

Lineup:

Late addition: Tim Kurkjian screws up on SportsCenter, picks Orel Hershiser as his player to watch in the second half of the season.

Jul 06

Game 87, 2016

Orioles at Dodgers, 12:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MASN

Kevin Gausman (1-6, 3.97 ERA) goes out for the Birds and Bud Norris (4-7, 3.89 ERA) makes his second start for the Dodgers.

Ethier might be back for the first game in August, Roberts says. Kershaw and Anderson are all on a fast track to recovery now.

Lineup:

Mar 22

Tibias, forearms, obliques, oh my!

Andre Ethier broke his lower leg (the tibia, for the purists) when he fouled a ball off it last Friday. He’ll be out 10-14 weeks. This means in all likelihood that Carl Crawford will be the Dodgers’ starting left-fielder for the first three months of the season.

That stinks.

So do all these injuries:

pitcher Frankie Montas had a rib removed and was placed on the 60-day disabled list. Brett Anderson suffered a bulging disk and had surgery. Hyun-Jin Ryu’s recovery from shoulder surgery has been slow and he won’t pitch in a spring game. Pitcher Josh Ravin broke his non-throwing left arm in an auto accident. Brandon McCarthy is still recovering from Tommy John surgery. Brandon Beachy (elbow) and Mike Bolsinger (oblique) have had their fifth-starter candidacies derailed by injuries.

Seager sprained his knee almost two weeks ago, but is expected back by Opening Day. Starter Alex Wood missed a start with forearm soreness. Julio Urias was slowed with slight groin tightness. Caleb Dirks never pitched because of a back injury.

Yasmani Grandal missed several games with strained forearms and came out of Monday’s game after aggravating the right one. Alex Guerrero missed a week with a twisted knee. Adrian Gonzalez missed a couple games with a bulging disk in his neck. Howie Kendrick missed a handful of games with a tight groin muscle. Justin Turner has been eased back slowly after offseason microfracture knee surgery. Crawford missed a game last week because of a sore back.

Other than that, Dodgers’ fans, it’s been a great spring training.