May 30

Game 55, 2018

Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBCSP

RHP Zach Eflin (1-1, 3.27 ERA) goes for the Phillies while RHP Ross Stripling (2-1, 1.74 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. This will be Eflin’s fifth start in the big leagues. He gave up only one run in his first 12 2/3 innings, but he hasn’t gotten past the fifth in his last two starts. Stripling has filled both the long relief and spot-start roles for the Dodgers this season and done both equally well.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1946 In Boston’s 10-8 victory over the Dodgers, Bama Rowell’s long drive hits the Bulova clock located above the right field scoreboard, making the left-fielder the first major leaguer to reach the famous landmark at Ebbets Field. The crushing four-bagger, that shatters the face of the clock causing glass to cascade onto Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker, is believed to be the inspiration for author Bernard Malamud having Roy Hobbs, the hero of his 1952 novel, The Natural, belt a similar home run, which also rains glass over the diamond.
  • 1962 Frank Thomas strokes a double off Sandy Koufax in the Mets’ 13-6 loss to Los Angeles, extending his franchise mark of consecutive games with a hit to 18 for the expansion team. The streak, which will be only one shy of Maury Wills’ league-leading total for the season, is halted when the New York left fielder goes 0-for-4 in the nightcap of the Dodgers’ sweep at the Polo Grounds.
  • 1986 In a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium, future home run king Barry Bonds goes 0-for-5 in his major league debut. The Pirates center fielder, batting leadoff, strikes out three times.

Lineup:


Oct 17

ALCS Game Four, 2017

Astros at Yankees, 2:00 PM PT, TV: FS1

Despite yesterday’s resounding win, the Yankees are still down a game in this series. Today RHP Lance McCullers (7-4, 4.25 ERA) takes the hill for the Astros versus the Yankees’ RHP Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55 ERA). This will be McCullers’ third postseason appearance; he went 6 1/3 innings in a start against the Royals in the 2015 ALDS and he pitched 3 innings of relief last week against the Red Sox, giving up two runs on three hits. Gray will be making his fourth postseason appearance; he started two games for the As in 2013 and started Game One of this year’s ALDS, going just 3 1/3 innings against the Indians while giving up three runs on three hits and four walks.

Today in Astros’ history:

  • 2004 In Game 4 of the NLCS at Minute Maid Park, Carlos Beltran goes deep in the seventh inning, giving the Astros an eventual 6-5 victory over the Cardinals. With the round-trippers, the Houston center fielder sets a new postseason record, hitting a homer in five consecutive play-off games, and ties Barry Bonds’ 2002 mark with a total of eight play-off round tippers.
  • 2005 The juiced Minute Maid Park crowd, anticipating the Astros’ first National League crown, after the first two batters are quickly retired, is ‘pulperized’ when Albert Pujols hits a two out three-run ninth inning homer. A two-strike single stroked by David Eckstein and a walk worked out by Jim Edmonds set the stage for the Cardinals’ dramatic 5-4 comeback.

Today in Yankees’ history:

  • 1964 The Yankees, who finished with a 99-63 record, fire Yogi Berra after the team drops the World Series to the Cardinals in seven games. The 39 year-old dismissed skipper will join the crosstown Mets as a coach, becoming team’s the manager in 1972, following Gil Hodges’ unexpected death in spring training. At the same time Johnny Keane, who had been rumored in August to be replaced as the Cardinals’ manager by Leo Durocher before the Redbirds surged to win the World Series, surprises team owner Gussie Busch and GM Bob Howsam with a letter of resignation that he had written at the end of September during the height of the pennant race with Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Cincinnati. The former St. Louis skipper will take the Yankee job, which opens as the result of the firing of Yogi Berra.
  • 1985 Billy Martin, who had become the team’s skipper for the fourth time after the Yankees fired Yogi Berra in April, is replaced by Lou Piniella. “Billy the Kid’ piloted the 97-64 Bronx Bombers to a second place finish, ending the season two games behind Toronto.
  • 2000 David Justice’s three-run homer propels the Yankees to their record 37th American League pennant in a come-from-behind victory over the Mariners, 9-7. The victory sets up a Subway Series in New York for the first time in 44 years.
  • 2003 Early editions of the N.Y. Post include an editorial claiming the Yankees lose to Boston and couldn’t get the job done in Game 7 of the ALCS. Although the Bronx Bombers did trail the Red Sox, the team rallies to beat their arch rival in 11 innings, 6-5.
Oct 07

NLDS Games Two, 2017

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

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.

Second game: Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

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.

Lineup when available.

Sep 25

Game 157, 2017

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

What incentives do the Dodgers have to win these games beyond pride? Well,

Los Angeles holds a 4 1/2-game lead on the Nationals for the best record in the NL, positioning the Dodgers for home-field advantage up to the World Series. The Indians trail the Dodgers by one game for the best record in baseball, which will determine home-field advantage in the Fall Classic.

LHP Travis Wood (4-6, 6.55 ERA) pitches for the Friars while RHP Yu Darvish (9-12, 3.96 ERA) goes for the Dodgers.

Wood held the D-Backs to two runs over six innings in his last start, a marked improvement over his previous two when he gave up 15 earned runs in just 4 1/3 innings. Darvish is hoping to finish the season with a third consecutive good outing. In his previous two he gave up just one run in 12 1/3 innings.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1941 Combined with a Cardinal defeat, the Dodgers win their first pennant in 21 years when they beat Boston at Braves Field, 6-0. Whitlow Wyatt throws a five-hitter and Pete Reiser hits a homer in the winning cause.
  • 1956 Dodger right-hander Sal Maglie no-hits the Phillies at Ebbets Field, 5-0. The ‘Barber’s’ gem helps second-place Brooklyn to keep pace in the pennant race with Milwaukee and Cincinnati.

  • 1962 After appearing in 60 games over a two-year span, Dodger reliever Ed Roebuck suffers his first loss. The LA right-hander gives up a 10th inning home run to Houston’s Al Spanger, breaking the 2-2 deadlock at Chavez Ravine.
  • 1974 In a first-of-its-kind operation, Dr. Frank Jobe transplants a tendon from Tommy John’s right wrist to the Dodger pitcher’s left elbow. The revolutionary ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, which will become a commonplace surgical procedure better known as Tommy John surgery, enables the southpaw to win an additional 164 games, more than half of his career total of 288 victories.
  • 1996 Giants slugger Barry Bonds draws an intentional walk which gives him the National League record with 149 bases-on-balls in a season. The free pass is issued in the seventh inning by LA’s Mark Guthrie with two outs and a runner on third base in the team’s 7-5 loss at Dodger Stadium.
  • 2008 The Diamondbacks, defending division champions, lose to St. Louis, allowing the Dodgers to clinch the NL West. Los Angeles first-year skipper Joe Torre’s 13-year postseason streak continues, unlike the Yankees, his former team.

Lineup:

Apparently Roberts is still annoyed and frustrated by Puig. I can’t imagine any other reason for him not to play, considering he’s 5-for-8 off Wood in his career, reaching in seven of his 10 plate appearances.

Sep 05

Game 138, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

The D-Backs send ex-Dodger Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.08 ERA) out to extend their winning streak to twelve, while Hyun-Jin Ryu tries to stop the Dodgers’ losing streak at four.

Greinke has not been as good on the road this year as at home; he’s got a 3-5 record with a 4.28 ERA away from Chase Field. Ryu has had a good second half if you take away his last outing against Arizona, when he gave up six runs and eight hits including three HRs in a 6-4 loss last Wednesday.

Pederson and Thompson have been recalled from OKC.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1908 Superbas southpaw Nap Rucker strikes out 14 Doves en route to tossing a no-hitter in the team’s 6-0 victory over Boston at Washington Park. The only runners to get on base off the talented left-handed redhead come as a result of three Brooklyn errors.
  • 1938 For the third time this season, Dodger catcher Babe Phelps breaks a bone in his throwing hand. Although the injuries will limit his playing time to only 66 games and 208 at-bats this season, the southpaw-swinging backstop will hit .308 and was named to the National League All-Star team, the first of three consecutive games he’ll play in the Mid-summer classic.
  • 1955 In an 11-4 win over the Phillies, Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe hits his seventh homer, establishing a National League record for home runs by a pitcher in a season. The victory is Newk’s 20th of the season.
  • 1998 Barry Bonds sets a new National League mark, reaching base in 15 consecutive plate appearances. The Giants outfielder’s five singles, two doubles, two homers, and six walks during the streak break Dodger Pedro Guerrero’s mark of 14 established in 1983.

Lineup when available.

Aug 13

Game 117, 2017

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The visiting Padres send RHP Luis Perdomo (6-6, 4.81 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (10-4, 3.69 ERA) in a Sunday afternoon game.

Perdomo gets 62 percent of balls in play to hit the ground, tops among all NL pitchers with 100+ innings. He’s induced 22 ground-ball double plays this year, tied for third in all of baseball. Maeda has had trouble all year getting past the sixth inning, and his last time out was no exception. He went five and got no decision. He’s been in 20 games (18 starts) this season and has completed exactly 100 innings.

Hatcher reinstated, Farmer optioned.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1910 In a game which features each team having 38 at-bats, 13 hits, 12 assists, 2 errors, 5 strikeouts, 3 walks, 1 hit batsman, and 1 passed ball, the Pirates and the Superbas (later to be known as the Dodgers) play to what else – an 8-8 tie.
  • 1951 Any fan who shows up with a musical instrument during the Dodgers’ Musical Depreciation Night is admitted free to the Ebbets Field contest against Boston. With an assortment of trumpets, trombones, zithers, tubas, accordions, bugles, flutes, various type of drums, violins, mandolins, assorted horns, a glockenspiel, a washboard, and a piano, 2,426 fans, which is about 10% of the total crowd, take advantage of the team’s unusual promotion.
  • 1965 Dean Chance establishes an American League record when he fans to extend his streak to 11 consecutive plate appearances with a strikeout. The Angels’ right-hander falls one shy of the major league mark set by Sandy Koufax, who whiffed in 12 consecutive plate appearances in 1955.
  • 1982 At Chavez Ravine, Dodger second baseman Steve Sax steals his 41st base to set a franchise record for rookies when he swipes second base in LA’s 6-1 victory over San Francisco. The eventual National League Rookie of the Year, the fourth consecutive Dodger to win the award, will extend the record to 49.
  • 2006 LA’s Greg Maddux and SF’s Jason Schmidt hook up in a classic West Coast pitcher’s duel, reminiscent of match-ups of Koufax and Marichal, as the Dodgers beat the Giants, 1-0, thanks to Russell Martin’s 10th inning walk-off home run. When Giants slugger Barry Bonds lines into a double play in the first inning, it marks the only time in baseball history a 300 game winner pitches to a batter with over 700 homers.
  • 2007 For the first time in 1,303 games, Nomar Garciaparra of the Dodgers is ejected from a game. The 12-year veteran infielder, who is tossed by home plate umpire Tom Hallion for arguing a called third strike in the fourth inning, is restrained by first base coach Mariano Duncan when he continues to shout and points his bat toward the umpire.

Lineup when available.

May 30

Game 53, 2017

Dodgers at Cardinals, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ESPN, FS-M, MLBN free game of the day in non-blackout regions

RHP Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.08 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. He hopes his second start against the Cardinals within a week goes as well as the first, when he gave up three runs in the first but righted the ship, went five innings and got the win. RHP Michael Wacha (2-2, 3.66 ERA), on the other hand, wants to improve on his performance last Thursday against the Dodgers, when he went only four innings, allowed seven hits, six earned runs, two walks and lost the game.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1946 In Boston’s 10-8 victory over the Dodgers, Bama Rowell’s long drive hits the Bulova clock located above the right field scoreboard, making the left-fielder the first major leaguer to reach the famous landmark at Ebbets Field. The crushing four-bagger that shatters the face of the clock causing glass to cascade onto Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker is believed to be the inspiration for author Bernard Malamud having Roy Hobbs, the hero of his 1952 novel, The Natural, belt a similar home run, which also rains glass over the diamond.
  • 1962 Frank Thomas strokes a double off Sandy Koufax in the Mets’ 13-6 loss to Los Angeles, extending his franchise mark of consecutive games with a hit to 18 for the expansion team. The streak, which will be only one shy of Maury Wills’ league-leading total for the season, is halted when the New York left fielder goes 0-for-4 in the nightcap of the Dodgers’ sweep at the Polo Grounds.
  • 1986 In a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium, future home run king Barry Bonds goes 0-for-5 in his major league debut. The Pirates center fielder, batting leadoff, strikes out three times.
  • 1930 Not Dodgers’ history, but for the economists among us, get a load of this prize: Rogers Hornsby receives his MVP award and is given a thousand gold coins by National League president John Heydler at a ceremony at home plate prior to the Cubs’ contest against St. Louis. Ironically, the ‘Rajah’ will break his ankle while advancing to third base during the Wrigley Field contest and will not play again until the middle of August. Ah, when there was a gold standard! (For the record, the price of an ounce of gold was pegged at $20.67 in 1930. If each coin weighed an ounce that was $20,670, not an insignificant amount of cash in that Depression year)

Early returns from this year’s All Star Game voting: Seager at the top, Turner and A-Gon in top five at their respective positions.

Lineup:

Apr 25

Game 20, 2016

Marlins at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-F

Don Mattingly returns to Dodger Stadium with a team that’s lost 11 of its first 17 games. The Marlins are not very good right now, and they face the added burden of being in the same division as the Washington Nationals, so they’re already 7 1/2 games behind in the NL East. They do have Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez, and they have some guy named Bonds as their new hitting coach with Frank Menechino as his assistant. Fun fact: back in 2001 Bonds and Menechino swung at the lowest percentage of pitches of all major leaguers and still reached base at a combined .447 rate. One was more successful than the other: Bonds hit 73 home runs that season; Menechino’s slash line was .242/.369/.374.

They’ll send lefty Wei-Yin Chen to the hill. He’s 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in three starts. When he was with the Orioles he faced the Dodgers in 2013 and got a win. The Dodgers will counter with the second of their two surprising starters, Ross Stripling, who has a 2.65 ERA in 17 innings but hasn’t gotten a decision yet. Stripling stumbled his last time out in Atlanta when he gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.

Lineup when available.

Huh. Utley gets a day off. Fine. Gonzalez gets a day off. Okay, but I didn’t know Grandal even owned a first-baseman’s mitt. Pederson and Seager also get days off, presumably because the Marlins are starting a lefty.

Jan 07

Principled stand or an idiotic one?

The Hall of Fame election results will be announced tomorrow. The Dodgers’ MLB.com beat writer, Ken Gurnick, has a ballot. Here’s how he voted and why:

Morris

Morris has flaws — a 3.90 ERA, for example. But he gets my vote for more than a decade of ace performance that included three 20-win seasons, Cy Young Award votes in seven seasons and Most Valuable Player Award votes in five. As for those who played during the period of PED use, I won’t vote for any of them.

Personally, I think that’s blackballing, tarring with a broad brush, and being sanctimonious as hell. There has never been any suggestion that Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas or Craig Biggio used PEDs that I’m aware of, and there have only been unsubstantiated rumors about Jeff Bagwell.

Gurnick can leave Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro, Sosa, McGwire and the other confirmed steroid users off his ballot and get no argument from me, but his “none of the above” stance is too sweeping as far as I’m concerned.

Update: Cliff Corcoran has even stronger words for Gurnick in his column at SI.com.

Update: ESPN has released the votes of all 17 of its employees who have them.