The D-Backs send LHP Caleb Smith (2-5, 3.45 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (8-1, 2.49 ERA).
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.
The Dodgers’ RHP Trevor Bauer (6-5, 2.64 ERA) takes the mound in Phoenix, where he’ll face the D-Backs’ LHP Caleb Smith (2-2, 3.61 ERA).
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.
RHP Walker Buehler (10-2, 3.08 ERA) takes the mound for the Dodgers against the Marlins’ LHP Caleb Smith (7-6, 3.71 ERA). Buehler was annoyed with himself after his last start; he went six scoreless innings and struck out eight but “didn’t throw enough first-pitch strikes.” Smith has struggled since the All Star break. He had a 3.50 ERA before that and has had a 4.15 ERA since. He averaged 2.63 BB/9 and 11 K/9 before the break and 3.89 BB/9 and 10.13 K/9 after it.
Senor Rios had a big night: his first two home runs.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1914 Brooklyn’s Jake Daubert sets a National League record with four sacrifices in one game. The first baseman’s efforts aren’t enough when the Dodgers drop an 8-7 decision to Philadelphia at Ebbets Field.
1926 When Babe Herman doubles with the bases loaded, three Dodgers wind up on third base. The runner on second rounds third but decides to go back as the runner from first reaches the same base, and a few seconds later Herman slides in to join his two teammates.
1951 With one out in the top of the eighth inning and a runner on third base in a 1-1 tied game, Willie Mays, running at full speed, makes an incredible catch of Carl Furillo’s drive to deep centerfield. After grabbing the ball, the rookie outfielder turns counterclockwise and throws a perfect strike to home to nail a surprised Billy Cox at home to complete the double play. Some believe the catch, in the Giants’ eventual 3-1 Polo Grounds victory over the Dodgers, is the impetus for the beginning of the team’s incredible comeback from an 11.5 game deficit to win the National League pennant.
2006 The Dodgers, with their 4-0 blanking of the Marlins, win their sixth consecutive game and 17th in the last 18 contests. The stretch is the team’s best run since the Brooklyn Superbas went 20-1 in 1899.
The Dodgers ask RHP Kenta Maeda (2-3, 4.75 ERA) to stop their losing streak, while the Marlins ask LHP Caleb Smith (2-4, 3.63 ERA) to get them the sweep. Like all Dodgers’ pitchers, Maeda is pitching worse than last year. In addition to his close-to-5 ERA he’s got a WHIP of 1.53 and is giving up nearly 2.5 hits per nine innings more than last season. Smith has pitched pretty well in his last four starts, going 2-2 and giving up four runs in 24 innings over that stretch.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1947 At Forbes Field, Hank Greenberg asks Jackie Robinson if the Dodger infielder was hurt in a collision with him at first base earlier in the game and then tells the embattled Brooklyn rookie, “Stick in there. You’re doing fine. Keep your chin up.” Jackie will remark to the writers a few days later that his “diamond hero” is Hank Greenberg, knowing that the Pirates’ first baseman, who due to the bigotry endured as a Jew, can appreciate his difficulty of facing racial injustice every day as the first black player in the major leagues this century.
1978 Pinch hitting for Davey Lopes in the Los Angeles 10-1 rout of the Pirates, Lee Lacy goes deep in the bottom of the eighth inning off Will McEnaney at Dodger Stadium. The utility player becomes the first player in major league history to homer in three consecutive at bats as a pinch hitter.
1992 Using only 21 dates, the Blue Jays reach the one-million mark in attendance sooner than any team in major league history. The 1991 Blue Jays and the 1981 Dodgers shared the previous record.