Oct 30

Gather ’round the stove, y’all

We go into the offseason earlier than we hoped and without the ultimate prize, so who’s coming back to ensure we get back to the Series for the third consecutive year?

…the Dodgers retain their nucleus. Hill will return for the final year of a three-year deal he signed after 2016. Justin Turner and Jansen will be back. Max Muncy, this year’s breakout star, will be back and cost-controlled. Seager is expected to be healthy. A young nucleus of position players that includes Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernández and Joc Pederson will also come back, with Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo perhaps ready to take on bigger roles.

Kershaw or not, the rotation could post a combination of Buehler and Julio Urías that is currently a combined 45 years old.

Besides Kershaw, other free agents include Machado, Freese, Dozier, and Grandal. Despite the current dissatisfaction with Grandal,

…only J.T. Realmuto was a more valuable catcher by Baseball Prospectus’ WARP metric, and he is coming off the best offensive season of his career. He will be paid, and handsomely, as the Dodgers will look to find a catching partner to join the light-hitting Austin Barnes.

Beyond Kershaw’s decision, which must be made this week, the biggest question is whether Dave Roberts will manage the team next year. You’d think three consecutive playoff appearances and two trips to the World Series would make that question ludicrous, but baseball owners have done screwier things*.

To win the World Series, the Dodgers would have had to play better than they had for any seven-game stretch all season. Roberts would have had to nail every single decision, which he did not. Puig would have had to throw to the cutoff man, which he did not. Their pitchers would have had to pitch to their strengths, which they did not. Their hitters would have had to, well, hit.

“You have to realize that we are a really good team to get to go to the World Series two years in a row,” Kershaw said. “It might not be a personnel thing. It might just be a ‘play better’ thing.”

So, what’s next? Here are selected events from Major League Baseball’s calendar:

  • Nov. 2, 2018 Deadline for teams to extend qualifying offer to own free agents, 5 p.m. ET
  • Nov. 8-15, 2018 Japan All-Star Tour (including CT3)
  • Nov. 12, 2018 Deadline for players to accept or reject qualifying offer, 5 p.m. ET
  • Nov. 30, 2018 Non-tender deadline
  • Dec. 9-13, 2018 Winter Meetings in Las Vegas
  • Dec. 13, 2018 Rule 5 Draft

*Back in 1964 the Cardinals’ owner Gussie Busch fired the team’s entire senior management in August, leaving field manager Johnny Keane as sole survivor for the time. Shortly after the Cardinals won the World Series, Keane surprised management by resigning (and then being hired by the Yankees, who’d just lost to Keane’s former team).

Aug 14

Game 121, 2018

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

It’ll be the Giants’ LHP Andrew Suárez (4-8, 4.64 ERA) versus the Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (7-6, 3.58 ERA). Suárez is a rookie who’ll be making his first career start against the Dodgers. Wood is coming off the 10-day DL where he was placed August 3 with left adductor tendinis.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 In a total of two hours and seventeen minutes, the Dodgers and Cubs split a doubleheader. In the opener, the Cubs blank Brooklyn 2-0, in one hour and ten minutes, and in the nightcap, it takes the Dodgers one hour and seven minutes to shut out Chicago, 1-0.
  • 1932 Brooklyn’s 10-inning, 2-1 victory over the Giants at the Polo Grounds makes reliever John Quinn, at the age of 49, the oldest player to win a major league game. Johnny Frederick, who will have a total of only six home runs during the entire season, hits a ninth inning game-tying homer off Carl Hubbell, his fourth round-tripper as a pinch hitter, establishing a new major-league record.

Also, in 2015 the Padres’ Matt Kemp hits a ninth-inning triple to complete the cycle, making him the first player in the 35-year history of the franchise to accomplish the feat. The San Diego outfielder’s home run in the first, single in the third, and double in the seventh contribute to the team’s 9-5 victory over Colorado at Coors Field.

Lineup:


Apparently the medical staff felt Dozier’s reported dizziness and abnormal EKG results were nothing to worry about.

Aug 01

Game 109, 2018

Brewers at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI, Dish455, MLBN (out-of-market only)

RHP Chase Anderson (7-7, 3.69 ERA) brings his current hot streak to the mound at Dodger Stadium. He’s given up two or fewer runs in each of his last seven starts and has a 1.93 ERA over those 37 1/3 innings. He’ll face the Dodgers’ lefty Rich Hill (4-4, 3.82 ERA), who went 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA for July.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1906 After pitching 10.2 innings of no-hit ball, Harry McIntire yields a single to Pirates second baseman Claude Ritchey. The Dodgers and McIntire lose the game in the 13th on an unearned run, 1-0.
  • 1924 Dazzy Vance strikes out seven consecutive batters to establish a major league record when the Brooklyn Robins defeat the Cubs at Ebbets Field, 4-0. The future Hall of Famer, who will compile a 28-6 record for the Brooks this season, will lead the National League in strikeouts with 262.
  • 1957 Gil Hodges, in a 12-3 win over the Cubs, hits his 13th and last career grand slam in Brooklyn Dodger history. The first baseman’s bases-loaded shot off Dick Littlefield establishes a new National League record, previously shared by Rogers Hornsby and Ralph Kiner.
  • 2011 After popping out in a pinch-hitting appearance, Craig Counsell remains without a hit in his last 45 at-bats, tying the longest single-season hitless streak by a position player in history, established by Brooklyn backstop Bill Bergen in 1909. The major league record is 0-for-70, established in 1970 by Bob Buhl, a pitcher who toiled with the Braves and Cubs that season.
  • 2015 Clayton Kershaw strikes out Mike Trout looking with a wicked curveball, marking the first time that reigning MVPs have faced one another in a major league game. The interleague contest between the two LA teams ends with Dodger southpaw keeping the Angel outfielder 0-for-3 while hurling eight innings in the team’s 3-1 victory over the Halos at Chavez Ravine.

Lineup when available.


Dozier’s first start in a Dodgers uniform means someone has to sit. Tonight it’s Muncy who gets the night off.

Jul 31

Game 108, 2018

Brewers at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI, Dish455, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Trade news at time of posting (9:55 HST):

Phils acquire Wilson Ramos from Rays
Cubs add Kintzler in trade with Nationals
Rays get Tommy Pham from Cardinals
Mariners acquire Cameron Maybin from Marlins
Indians deal for outfielder Leonys Martin
D-backs reacquire Ziegler in deal with Miami

And:


The deal sends the veteran second-baseman to LA for Logan Forsythe, and minor leaguers Luke Raley and Devin Smeltzer.

The deal has not been confirmed by either club.

Also: The Dodgers got RHP John Axford from the Blue Jays for minor-leaguer Corey Copping.

The Brewers send LHP Wade Miley (1-1, 2.01 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (4-3, 3.92 ERA). Miley has a 3.86 ERA in 81 2/3 innings of work against the Dodgers, mostly with the D-Backs. Even better, he’s 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA at Dodger Stadium. Buehler has had a tough June and July; he spent most of June on the disabled list with microfractured ribs, and he’s had trouble coming back from that in July, giving up 7 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings for a 6.52 ERA.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1954 At Ebbets Field, using a borrowed bat, Joe Adcock hits four home runs in one game as well as a double which just misses by inches being his fifth round-tripper, in the Braves’ 15-7 victory over the Dodgers. The Milwaukee first baseman’s 18 total bases, collected on just seven pitches, set a major league record, surpassing the mark established in 1950 by Brooklyn’s Gil Hodges.
  • 1955 The Indians obtained Sal Maglie off waivers from the Giants, who release the 38 year-old right-hander because of his ailing back. The ‘Barber’, who will be used sparingly in Cleveland, will become a major cog next season in the Dodgers’ National League championship after being acquired by the team in May for $100.
  • 1983 Orioles Gold Glover Brooks Robinson, Giants ace Juan Marichal, ten-time American League All-Star infielder George Kell, and long-time Dodger skipper Walter Alston are inducted into the Hall of Fame. Marichal, the Dominican Dandy, becomes the first Latin player to be enshrined at Cooperstown.
  • 2004 Ten minutes prior to the trading deadline, Steve Finley gives the Diamondbacks permission to deal him to the Dodgers. The trade sends the four-time Gold Glove center fielder and backstop Brent Mayne to LA for minor league catching prospect Koyie Hill, flycatcher Reggie Abercrombie, and southpaw Bill Murphy, who was acquired in yesterday’s trade with the Marlins.
  • 2006 The Dodgers trade infielder Cesar Izturis to the Cubs for 300-game winner Greg Maddux. The last minute deadline deal, in which the future Hall of Famer waived his no-trade clause, gives the 40 year-old hurler an opportunity to go to a contender.
  • 2008 In a three-team swap, the much anticipated departure of Manny Ramirez from Beantown is finally accomplished with the unhappy outfielder being traded to the Dodgers. Former Pirates player Jason Bay will now roam left field for the Red Sox, with Pittsburgh receiving outfielder Brandon Moss and pitcher Craig Hansen from Boston as well as getting third baseman Andy LaRoche and right-hander Bryan Morris from Los Angeles to complete the last-minute trading deadline deal.

Lineup when available.