As we all know by now, the only time these teams have met in a World Series was way back in 1916, when the Dodgers’ stars were named Zach Wheat, Casey Stengel, Jake Daubert, Rube Marquard, Nap Rucker and Chief Meyers. They also employed Fred Merkle (yes, that Fred Merkle). The Red Sox had guys named Babe Ruth, Ernie Shore, Carl Mays, Duffy Lewis and Harry Hooper.
Today’s game will pit the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw and the Red Sox’ LHP Chris Sale against one another. This will be Kershaw’s second appearance in the World Series (2017) and Sale’s first. Kershaw is a year older than Sale and started in the big leagues in 2008; he’s got a career record of 153-69 with a 2.39 ERA. Sale started in the big leagues two years later and has a career record of 103-62 with a 2.89 ERA.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1945 Dodger President Branch Rickey announces that the team has signed two black players, shortstop Jackie Robinson and pitcher Johnny Wright, to play with Brooklyn’s Triple A team in Montreal. The 26 year-old Negro League infielder will be the first black player to play in organized baseball since 1884.
1951 The Associated Press selects Giants skipper Leo Durocher as the Manager of the Year. Under his leadership, the Giants rallied from a 13 1/2-game deficit in mid-August to win the pennant, beating the Dodgers in a three-game playoff series best remembered for Bobby Thomson’s fabled home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the deciding game at the Polo Grounds.
1993 Mike Piazza, the sixty-second round pick of the 1988 draft, is the BBWAA’s unanimous choice for the Rookie of the Year award in the National League. The Dodger catcher is the first player to hit over .300 (.318), connect for more than 30 homers (35), and drive in at least 100 runs (112) in the Senior Circuit as a freshman since Wally Berger accomplished the feat in his initial major league season with the Braves in 1930.
1998 Davey Johnson is hired to manage the second-place Dodgers, taking over the reins from Bill Russell. The former Mets, Reds, and Orioles skipper, who has finished first with every team he has ever led, will see his streak end in LA when he compiles a 163- 161 (.503) record.
Today in Red Sox’ history:
1986 In Game 5 of the World Series played at Fenway Park, Bruce Hurst throws a complete game to beat the Mets, 4-2, earning his second victory of the Fall Classic and bringing the team within one victory of ending their 68-year World Championship drought. New York will dash the Red Sox Nation’s hopes with two come-from-behind victories at Shea Stadium.
2004 The Red Sox begin a four-game sweep of the Cardinals in the World Series with an 11-9 win.
2013 The Red Sox win Game One of a World Series in which they’ll defeat the Cardinals in six games behind Jon Lester’s 7 2/3 innings of scoreless five-hit ball.
RHP Walker Buehler (6-4, 2.92 ERA) takes the 5,280′ 10″ mound for the Dodgers this afternoon, and LHP Kyle Freeland (13-7, 2.96 ERA) does the same for the Rockies. Buehler was 2-0 for August and got no decision in his last start against the D-Backs, despite giving up just one run in 6 1/3 innings. Freeland hasn’t lost a game in his last six starts and his team is 11-1 over his last twelve. Even more impressively, he’s got a 2.27 ERA at Coors Field this season.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1955 The Dodgers clinch their eighth National League pennant with a 10-2 victory over the Braves at Milwaukee’s County Stadium. Brooklyn’s 17-game lead makes it the earliest date that a team has captured a flag in baseball history.
1957 Before their departure to play on the West Coast for next season, the Dodgers and Giants face one another for the final time in New York. The Jints beat the Bums at the Polo Grounds, 3-2, to finish the intense 68 year-old storied rivalry with a 656-606 advantage over Brooklyn in the battle between the boroughs.
1967 The Mets, at the urging of their fans, honor former Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax, who retired last season when arthritis ended his career prematurely at the age of 30. The Brooklyn-born southpaw, who threw a no-hitter against New York in 1962, started twenty games against the Amazin’s, compiling a 17-2 record that included 14 complete games and 5 shutouts.
2007 Alex Rodriguez, hitting his 50th and 51st home runs, joins Babe Ruth (1920-54, 1921-59, 1927-60, 1928-54), Roger Maris (1961-61), and Mickey Mantle (1956-52, 1961-54) to become only the fourth player in Yankee history to hit 50 or more homers in a single season. The Yankee infielder’s second homer breaks the major league mark of 49 homers hit by a third baseman, shared with Mike Schmidt (Phillies-1980) and Adrian Beltre (Dodgers-2004).
2017 The Dodgers, who just a couple of months ago seemed poised to challenge the major league record of 116 wins in a season, lose again, their 8th straight defeat and 13th in 14 games, as they bow to the Rockies, 5 – 4. They blow an early 4 – 1 lead as D.J. LeMahieu hits a two-run double in the 5th to put Colorado ahead to stay. On a positive note, Yu Darvish records the 1000th strikeout of his career, punching out Carlos Gonzalez in the 5th, becoming the fastest starting pitcher to reach the mark, in 812 innings over 128 games.
Today’s menu has two lefties, Rich Hill (2-3, 4.56 ERA) for the Dodgers and Eric Lauer (4-5, 4.54 ERA) for the Friars. Hill seems to have recovered from his blister problems (knock on wood) and is making his regular turn despite sustaining a stiff neck in a headfirst slide his last time out. Lauer is a rookie who’s 3-2 with a 2.63 ERA since the first of June.
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1943 Some of the Dodgers, led by infielder Arky Vaughan, threaten not to play in today’s game to protest the suspension of their teammate Bobo Newsome by manager Leo Durocher. The Ebbets Field contest begins ten minutes late. Brooklyn plundered the Pirates, 23-6, and in a few days, Newsome, who had argued with his skipper over a pitch selection in a previous game, is traded to the Browns for Archie McKain and Fritz Ostermueller.
1953 With Roy Campanella’s home run off Giants hurler Sal Maglie, the Dodgers establish a National League record, homering in their 24th consecutive game. Campy’s homer is the only run Brooklyn scores as the Giants extend their winning streak to seven with the 6-1 victory.
1979 With his team trailing the Padres 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs at Veterans Stadium, Phillies pinch hitter Del Unser hits a three-run walk-off home run, giving the team a 6-5 comeback victory. The dramatic dinger makes Del Unser only the second player in major league history to hit a homer in three consecutive at bats as a pinch hitter, a feat also accomplished by Lee Lacy of the Dodgers last season.
1984 At San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, Dodger southpaw Fernando Valenzuela and Mets rookie Dwight Gooden combine to strike out six consecutive American League All-Stars on the 50th anniversary of Carl Hubbell’s memorable 1934 Midsummer Classic performance of setting down five future Hall of Famers on strikes. Dwight Gooden, at the age of 19, becomes the youngest player ever to participate in an All-Star Game.
In one of the most famous events in baseball history, at the All Star Game in 1934 in New York’s Polo Grounds, Giants pitcher Carl Hubbell faces a starting lineup comprised of nine eventual Hall of Famers. ‘King Carl’ is up to the unique occurrence in baseball history when he fans five batters in a row after letting the first two hitters reach base: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin.
LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.76 ERA) makes his first start since going on the disabled list with back pain on June 1. He’d made only two starts in May sandwiched around his first trip to the DL this season with a biceps injury. He draws a nasty assignment: keep pace with the Mets’ ace RHP Jacob DeGrom (5-2, 1.51 ERA). In his last eleven starts DeGrom sports a 0.90 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings.
Per the Associated Press: Kershaw “will be limited against the Mets, with 21-year-old rookie LHP Caleb Ferguson (0-1, 7.59 ERA) ready in reserve.”
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1930 The Dodgers get twelve consecutive hits in a 19-6 win over the Pirates at Forbes Field. Two of the dozen hits in the eight-run sixth inning include a pair of homers hit by Brooklyn outfielder Babe Herman.
1986 The Braves strand 18 runners on base, establishing a National League record. Enough Atlanta players do score to give the team a 6-5 victory over L.A. at Dodger Stadium.
Other notable events in baseball on this date include Ernie Shore’s near-perfect game in 1917, when he relieved Babe Ruth (ejected for arguing balls and strikes and possibly punching the umpire) and retired 26 consecutive batters.
The visiting Dodgers send RHP Kenta Maeda (4-4, 3.61 ERA) out for his second start after a stint on the DL with a strained hip. In the first one he went five innings, gave up five hits, walked three and hit a batter but allowed only two runs while striking out one. He reported no trouble with the hip and the team is expecting him to do even better this time out. He’ll face RHP Tyler Chatwood (3-5, 4.12 ERA), who’s had an up-and-down season. He was pretty good in April, pretty bad in May, and so far in June he’s done a little better than May. In 13 starts he’s only gotten past the fifth inning three times.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1938 After accepting GM Larry MacPhail’s offer to coach first base, Babe Ruth wears a Dodger uniform for the first time as a coach and takes batting practice with the team. The ‘Bambino’ will quit at the end of the season, ending his ties with major league baseball.
1940 Dodger Ducky Medwick, acquired in a trade less than a week ago, is beaned by former Cardinal teammate Bob Bowman and needs to be carried off the field on a stretcher. Brooklyn president Lee MacPhail accuses the St. Louis pitcher of deliberately hitting Medwick in the head because the two had quarreled in a hotel elevator prior to the game.
1996 Brant Brown hits the first three home runs of his career on the same day. The 25 year-old rookie goes deep as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning off Chan Ho Park in a 9-6 loss to the Dodgers in the opener of a Wrigley Field twin bill, but his two additional round-trippers contribute to Chicago’s 7-4 victory in the nightcap.
2014 With the only batter reaching base as a result of a throwing error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the seventh inning, Clayton Kershaw no-hit the Rockies at Dodger Stadium, striking out a career-high 15 batters. The left-hander’s teammate Josh Beckett also threw a no-hitter 24 days ago, making it the shortest span between no-hitters by a team since the Reds’ Johnny Vander Meer accomplished it in consecutive starts, four days apart, in 1938.
The Phillies send RHP Aaron Nola (6-2, 2.27 ERA) to face the Dodgers’ fresh-off-the-DL lefty Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.86 ERA). Nola threw 6 2/3 innings of no-hit ball against the Blue Jays his last time out before tiring. He ended up with no decision. Kershaw’s been on the disabled list with left biceps tendinitis for nearly a month; his last start was May 1. In order to make room for him the Dodgers optioned Pat Venditte to Oklahoma City.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1937 In Game 1 of a Memorial Day doubleheader, Carl Hubbell’s consecutive-game winning streak, compiled over two seasons, ends at 24 when the Dodgers, led by Babe Phelps’ 5-for-6 performance, defeat the Giants at the Polo Grounds, 10-3. ‘King Carl’ is honored between games when the southpaw is presented with the National League’s 1936 MVP Award by Babe Ruth.
1948 Tommy Lasorda, best known as the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame skipper, strikes out 25 batters and collects the game-winning hit when the Schenectady Blue Jays defeat the Amsterdam Rugmakers, 6-5, in 15 innings. The promising southpaw, who goes the distance in the CanAm minor-league contest played in McNearney Stadium, believes he probably threw more than 300 pitches during the game.
1965 For the first time in history, an all-switch-hitting infield starts a big league game. In the nightcap of a twin bill, the Dodgers, with Wes Parker at first base, Jim Lefebvre at second, Maury Wills at shortstop, and Jim Gilliam at third, lose to the visiting Reds, 6-1.
1968 Don Drysdale’s shutout streak stays intact when home plate umpire Harry Wendelstedt rules that Dick Dietz, who is hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, did not make an attempt to get out of the way of the right-hander’s delivery. The Giants catcher finishes the at-bat by popping up, and the next two batters also make outs to give ‘Big D” his fifth straight shutout, tying a major league established by White Sox hurler Doc White in 1904.
2001 The Red Sox finally beat the Yankees in their eighth attempt, and for the first time in over a year since Pedro Martinez scoffed at the ‘Curse’. The right-hander was 7-1 with a 1.44 ERA when he said, “Wake up the Bambino and let me face him — I’ll drill him in the “%#$,” but after the comment he managed only seven more winless starts, making it first time he did not win in seven straight starts since the first seven major league appearances as a rookie with the Dodgers.
2012 With their 6-2 victory, the Brewers beat LA at Chavez Ravine for the fourth consecutive day, making the Brew Crew the first visiting team to sweep a four-game series since the Rockies accomplished the feat in August, 1993. The victories also mark the first time the franchise has ever swept the Dodgers.
Today’s Dodger lineup vs. Phillies: Pederson LF Muncy 1B Turner 3B Grandal C Bellinger CF Puig RF Valera 2B Hernández SS Kershaw P pic.twitter.com/jVsnyWXsuq
LHP Clayton Kershaw makes his third start of the season and second against the Giants. He’s 0-2 for the first time since 2009 and has lost his first two starts for the first time ever. His ERA is still a tidy 2.25, however. In a rematch of Opening Day he’ll face the Giants’ LHP Ty Balch, who’s 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1966 At the Astrodome, the Astros and Dodgers play baseball’s first game on synthetic grass. Thanks to the Monsanto chemical company, who proposed using an experimental playing surface of nylon grass, the plan to play on an all-dirt field, necessitated by the need to paint the dome’s glass panes to reduce the glare which prevented natural grass from growing, was alleviated by the use of ‘AstroTurf’.
1974 Braves outfielder Hank Aaron passes Babe Ruth as the all-time home run leader with his 715th, going deep in the fourth inning off Dodger hurler Al Downing in Atlanta’s home opener. ‘Hammerin’ Hank’ equaled the Bambino’s mark on Opening Day in Cincinnati.
1994 Kent Mercker no-hits Los Angeles, 6-0 at Dodger Stadium. The Braves left-hander was one of the three Atlanta pitchers, along with Mark Wohlers and Alejandro Pena, in 1991 to also no-hit the Padres, but this victory is his first complete game in the major leagues.
1994 Chan Ho Park becomes the first Korean to play in the major leagues when he makes his pitching debut at Chavez Ravine. In one inning of work, the 21 year-old Kongju City native gives up two runs on one hit, walking two and striking out two batters in the Dodgers’ 6-0 loss to Atlanta.
2015 Adrian Gonzalez becomes the first major league player to hit five home runs in the first three games of the season when he goes deep three times in the Dodgers’ 7-4 victory over San Diego at Chavez Ravine. The Los Angeles first baseman joins Carl Furillo (1955) and Jimmy Wynn (1974) as the only players in franchise history to have homered in the first three games of a campaign.
Lineup when available.
Today’s Dodger lineup at Giants: Taylor CF Seager SS Puig RF Hernández 1B Grandal C Kemp LF Forsythe 3B Barnes 2B Kershaw P pic.twitter.com/CG4uNBXRZo
The Dodgers field a patchwork lineup with the loss of Bellinger to food poisoning, which also got Alex Wood. According to Ken Gurnick Wood will get an extra day to recover and Ryu will start Tuesday. Maeda won’t relieve today, and will start one of next weekend’s games.
Down two games to one, if the Dodgers’ backs are not against the wall (the train tracks?) they’re being pushed closer and closer to it. They ask LHP Alex Wood (16-3, 2.72 ERA) to stop the Astros’ offensive onslaught or hold it off until they can get their own bats in gear. They’ll have to do it against RHP Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA). Wood pitched 4 2/3 innings of Game Three of the NLCS against the Cubs, giving up three runs and taking the loss. Morton lost Game Three of the ALCS to the Yankees but came back to pitch five two-hit innings in Game Five and get the win.
Today in baseball history:
1981 The Dodgers, after dropping the first two games of the Fall Classic, defeat the Yankees, 9-2, capturing the World Championship in six games. The victory at the Bronx ballpark marks the third time this postseason that Los Angeles has come from behind to win a series, having been down 0-2 against the Astros in the five-game strike-necessitated NLDS, and 1-2 behind the Expos in the NLCS five-game series.
1981 Entering Game 6 of the World Series in the fifth inning, Yankee right-hander George Frazier, relieving starter Tommy John, gives up three go-ahead runs in the team’s 9-2 elimination loss to the Dodgers at Yankee Stadium. The 27 year-old right-hander becomes the first pitcher to lose three games in a best of seven World Series, and the second hurler to lose that many in any Fall Classic, joining White Sox southpaw Lefty Williams, who also dropped a trio of games in the best-of-nine series played in 1919.
1995 In Game 6, Tom Glavine and Mark Wohlers combine on a one-hitter to defeat the Indians, 1-0, giving the Braves their third World Championship, the first since moving to Atlanta. David Justice’s leadoff homer in the sixth inning off Jim Poole proves to be the difference.
“It is especially fitting that this legislation honors a courageous baseball player and individual, the late Curt Flood, whose enormous talents on the baseball diamond were matched by his courage off the field. It was 29 years ago this month that Curt Flood refused a trade from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies. His bold stand set in motion the events that culminate in the bill I have signed into law.” – BILL CLINTON, U.S. president commenting on the Curt Flood Act.
President Clinton signs Curt Flood Act of 1998, revoking baseball’s antitrust exemption for labor matters, but not for matters involving relocation, expansion or the minor leagues. The passage of the legislation by the 105th Congress comes over seventy-five years after the Supreme Court ruled that the sport was not involved in interstate commerce or trade as customarily defined within the context of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
2009 In Game 1, Chase Utley, en route to a record-tying five World Series homers, becomes the first left-handed batter in 81 years to hit two round-trippers off a southpaw in a Fall Classic game. The Philadelphia second baseman, who also set a postseason record by reaching base in 26 straight games with his first-inning walk, goes deep twice off Yankee southpaw CC Sabathia in the Phillies’ 6-1 victory in New York, to match Babe Ruth’s performance in the fourth and final game of the 1928 series.
The visiting Cubs trot out veteran (133 2/3 playoff innings!) LHP Jon Lester (13-8, 4.33 ERA), who made two starts against the Nats this season and came away with no decisions but a 2.84 ERA. He’ll face LHP Gio Gonzalez (15-9, 2.86 ERA), who saw the Nationals just once this year; he gave up two hits and five walks over six innings and took the loss in June.
The D-Backs send LHP Robbie Ray (15-5, 2.89 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers, three days after pitching 2 1/3 innings of relief and making 34 pitches in the Wild Card game. He’ll face LHP Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32 ERA), who was 0-3 with a 5.03 ERA in four starts against the D-Backs this season. That ERA was skewed by one bad game in which they scored six runs in 3 2/3 innings against him.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1952 In the decisive Game 7, the Yankees beat the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 4-2, to win their fourth consecutive World Championship. Gil Hodges finishes the Fall Classic hitless in twenty-one at-bats, which had prompted some Brooklyn fans to gather at local churches asking for divine help for their beloved first baseman.
1977 In Game 3 of the NLCS, the Dodgers rally for three runs with none on and two outs in the top of the ninth inning to take a one-run lead in their eventual 6-5 victory over the Phillies at Veterans Stadium. The game appeared to be over when LA’s Davey Lopes is picked off first base for the final out, but a throwing error by Gene Garber advances him to second base, from where he will score the decisive run on Bill Russell’s single.
1978 In Game 4 of the NLCS, Ron Cey scores in the 10th inning on Bill Russell’s two-out game winning single, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Phillies and their second consecutive National League pennant. Cey, who walked after the first two batters were retired, advanced into scoring position when Garry Maddox misplayed Dusty Baker’s fly ball in center field.
2001 Barry Bonds extends his major league record for home runs in a season to 73 as he drives a 3-2 first inning knuckleball off Dodger Dennis Springer over the right field fence. The blast also secures two more major league records for the Giants’ left fielder when he surpasses Babe Ruth (1920 – .847) with a .863 season slugging percentage and bests Mark McGwire (1998 – one HR every 7.27 AB) by homering in every 6.52 at-bats.
2006 The Mets defeat Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, 9-5, to complete a three-game sweep in the NLDS. The Dodgers have won only one postseason game in 13 attempts since beating the A’s in the 1988 World Series.
The Red Sox ask LHP Drew Pomeranz (17-6, 3.32 ERA) to stop the Astros in his first playoff start. He appeared out of the bullpen for the Sox last year. The ‘Stros counter with LHP Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90 ERA). Pomeranz beat the Astros last Sunday, allowing three hits and one run in six innings. Keuchel has faced the Red Sox three times in his career, two of them starts, and has a 9.88 ERA to show for it.
The Yankees ask hulking LHP C.C. Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA) to throw a spanner into the Indians’ works in Game Two. He’ll face Cy Young Award front-runner RHP Corey Kluber (18-4, 2.25 ERA), whose record since June 1 is startling: 15-2 with a 1.62 ERA in 23 starts. This is a storyline the writers like: former Indians ace Sabathia (c. 2008) versus current ace Kluber. Kluber started against the Yankees twice in August and gave up just three runs on six hits with 18 strikeouts in 17 innings. Sabathia made 27 starts this year but didn’t face the Indians. He has a ton of postseason experience: he’s made 18 starts and gone 9-5 with a 4.53 ERA.
On this date in baseball history Babe Ruth became the first man to hit three HRs in a single game in the World Series in 1926. He did it again in 1928. In 1945 William Stanis cursed the Cubs because they wouldn’t allow his ticket-holding billy goat Murphy into Wrigley Field for Game Four of the World Series. October 6 is also the anniversary of “the midge game” in Cleveland, when rookie reliever Joba Chamberlain was so distracted by the bugs that he threw a wild pitch which allowed the Indians to tie Game Two of the ALDS in 2007.