Sep 06

Game 139, 2017

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

Believe it or not, the Dodgers could clinch a postseason spot as early as tonight. The scenario has permutations galore and most of them have to do with the Brewers and Cubs. Put simply, if the Dodgers win tonight’s game and the Cubs and Brewers both lose, the Dodgers are guaranteed a spot because neither of those teams can match the Dodgers’ record of 93 wins.

The streaks end tonight. So saith I, Master of all I survey. In order to make it so, the Dodgers will send their parfait genteel Japanese knight Kenta Maeda, he of the 12-6 W-L record and the 4.19 ERA, to the mound to do battle with the D-Backs’ Taijuan Walker, who brings an 8-7 record with a 3.42 ERA to the game. Oddly, Maeda has 122 strikeouts for the season and Walker has 120. Advantage, Dodgers!

The D-Backs hammered Maeda last week in Phoenix, scoring seven runs on eight hits and knocking him out after three innings. Walker shut out the Rockies for five innings in his last start.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1924 In a game that features a total of only six hits, the Brooklyn Robins beat Boston, 1-0, behind the strong two-hit performance of right-hander Bill Doak. The Braves Field victory is the team’s 15th consecutive win, establishing the longest winning streak in franchise history.
  • 1953 With Giants manager Leo Durocher yelling “stick it in his ear”, Ruben Gomez hits Carl Furillo, the National League’s leading hitter, on the wrist with a pitch. After taking first base, the Dodgers right fielder bolts into the opposing dugout to choke ‘Leo the Lip’, but in the melee, the knuckle on his little finger is fractured, putting an end to his season.
  • 1981 Fernando Valenzuela ties the National League’s rookie record for shutouts, blanking St. Louis, 5-0, for his seventh whitewash of the season. The Dodger lefty shares the mark with Irv Young (1905 Beaneaters), Grover Alexander (1911 Phillies), and Jerry Koosman (1968 Mets).
  • 1985 In a matchup of aces that lives up its advanced billing, Dwight Gooden and Fernando Valenzuela hook up in one of the best pitchers’ duel in recent memory. New York beats Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine, 2-0, thanks to Darryl Strawberry’s two-run double on a day that the 20 year-old Mets right-hander strikes out 10 batters, throwing nine shutout innings, while the Dodgers southpaw pitches 11 innings without allowing a run.
  • 1996 Brett Butler returns to the Dodger lineup four months after having surgery for throat cancer. The 39 year-old center fielder scores the decisive run in the team’s 3-2 victory over the Bucs.

Also on this date in big league history, in 1995 Cal Ripken breaks Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game record, playing in his 2,131st straight game. When the game becomes official in the middle of the fifth inning, the new ‘Iron Man’ takes a victory lap around Camden Yards during the 22-minute standing ovation from the sellout crowd, including President Bill Clinton.

Lineup when available.

Aug 27

Game 129, 2017

Brewers at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Brewers send RHP Jimmy (Big Sweat) Nelson (9-6, 3.79 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ RHP Yu (Yu-san) Darvish (8-9, 3.83 ERA) in the rubber match of the three-game series.

The Dodgers faced Nelson on June 2 at Miller Park, when he threw eight shutout innings and struck out 11 but got no decision in a game the Dodgers won, 2-1, in 12 innings. Darvish is 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA over 18 innings in the three starts he’s made as a Dodger. He’s never faced the Brewers.

The Dodgers reinstate Darvish and add Fields to the 10-day DL retroactively with lower back strain.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1937 Dodger right-hander Fred Frankhouse holds the Reds hitless for 7 2/3 innings before a heavy downpour ends the Ebbets Field contest permanently. The right-hander’s 5-0 victory will be one of the 31 “no-no’s” that is erased when MLB redefines a no-hitter in 1991 as a game in which a pitcher throws nine innings or more without giving up a hit. (Editor — I didn’t think that was fair then and I don’t now)
  • 1951 Dodger right fielder Carl Furillo throws out Mel Queen by two feet at first base, after the Pirates pitcher had apparently singled into right field in the top of the third inning in the team’s 5-0 victory over Pittsburgh at Ebbets Field. The “Reading Rifle” will lead the NL in assists for the second consecutive season, with opponents becoming increasingly more reluctant to challenge the strong arm of the Brooklyn outfielder.
  • 1952 The Dodgers set the National League mark for consecutive games with a double play when they complete a twin killing in their twenty-third straight contest, a 10-5 loss to Chicago at Wrigley Field. The fifth inning 1-4-3 DP, pitcher Clyde King to second baseman Jackie Robinson to first baseman Gil Hodges, leaves Brooklyn two shy of the major league record.
  • 1955 Sandy Koufax, in his second big league start, two-hits the Reds at Ebbets Field, 7-0. The 19 year-old bonus baby, displaying the dominance that he will feature during the 1960’s, goes the distance, striking out 14 Cincinnati batters.
  • 2005 Jeff Kent becomes the first player to hit 300 homers as a second baseman. The Dodger infielder, who surpassed Ryne Sandberg’s total of 277 last September, is the major league leader at this position, with Joe Gordon holding the American League record with 246 round-trippers.

John Henry of the Red Sox has recently advocated the renaming of Yawkey Way outside Fenway Park in Boston. Here’s one of the reasons why: in 1946 a committee formed to study integration, which includes Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, delivers its secretive report during an Owners’ Meeting. It defends the covert color barrier which exists in professional baseball. The absurd reasons given to why blacks shouldn’t be allowed to play in the big leagues include an absence of skills due to inferior training and lack of fundamentals and the need to respect Negro League contracts, but another lesser known motivation may have been profit as revealed later in the report, “The Negro leagues rent their parks in many cities from clubs in Organized Baseball (and) Club owners in the major leagues are reluctant to give up revenues amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars every year” as well as the fear white fans would be driven away if black players attracted more minorities to the ballpark.

Lineup when available.

Aug 15

Game 118, 2017

White Sox at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, WGN, MLBN (out-of-market only)

RHP Miguel Gonzalez (6-10, 4.85 ERA) goes for the Sox in this two-game interleague series, while LHP Alex Wood (14-1, 2.37 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers.

Four of the five starts Gonzalez has made since the All Star break meet the “quality start” standard. Seven of Wood’s last nine starts do. The Sox hit southpaws very well: they have the third-highest batting average (.279) and slugging percentage (.435) in their league against lefties.

Chris Hatcher has been traded for international bonus pool space and Segedin has been reinstated from the 60-day DL.

This day 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.
  • 1951With 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.

Lineup when available.

Puig moves to 6th from 8th in the order. Roberts says production will dictate whether he stays there.

Jul 05

Game 86, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The D-Backs send RHP Zack Godley (3-2, 2.67 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ unbeaten LHP Alex Wood (9-0, 1.83 ERA).

Godley lost for the first time in a month last week when he gave up three runs in seven innings to the Cardinals. Wood hasn’t lost yet this year, obviously, and he’s 8 1/3 innings shy of qualifying for the league lead in ERA. His last time out he went six innings and gave up one run to the Padres while getting a win.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1935 The Cuccinellos become the third pair of brothers, following the Waners (2) and Ferrells, and the first on opposing teams to homer in the same game when Al goes deep in the bottom of the ninth in the Giants’ 14-4 loss to Brooklyn at the Polo Grounds. The New York’s third baseman’s sibling, Tony, playing second base for the Dodgers, had homered in the previous inning.
  • 1952 In their final season in Boston, the Braves play in front of the largest home crowd of the season when 13,405 fans watch Brooklyn beat their team for the 12th consecutive time, a 5-3 complete-game victory by Carl Erskine. The most memorable moment of the contest occurs in the second inning when the game is delayed because a small dog has to be escorted off the field by Dodger outfielders Carl Furillo and Duke Snider.
  • 1961 Cardinals first baseman Bill White collects 14 total bases when he hits three home runs and a double. The 27 year-old infielder’s offensive output helps the Redbirds rout the Dodgers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 9-1.
  • 2004 At Dodger Stadium, Diamondback third baseman Chad Tracy’s ninth inning run-scoring single on an 0-2 changeup ends Eric Gagne’s record streak of 84 consecutive saves. The new mark established by the Los Angeles closer is 30 more than the prior mark set by Tom Gordon for the Red Sox in 1999.
  • 2007 At Dodger Stadium, Chipper Jones’ two solo home runs are the difference in the Braves’ 8-6 victory over Los Angeles. With his pair of round-trippers, the team’s third baseman surpasses Dale Murphy for the Atlanta team record of 372 homers.

Today is also the anniversary of the first game Larry Doby played for the Indians, integrating the American League. He ended up with 1,515 hits, only three behind Jackie Robinson. Also on this date in 1953, Robin Roberts pitched his 28th consecutive complete game, shutting out Pittsburgh at Forbes Field, 2-0. Twenty-eight straight complete games! We’ll never see that again!

Lineup when available.

May 24

Game 47, 2017

Cardinals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-M, MLBN (out-of-market only)

RHP Mike Leake (4-2, 2.03 ERA) tries to recapture his lead in the NL ERA race one night after he was overtaken by the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (2.01 ERA after last night’s gem). He’ll face the Dodgers’ Rich Hill (1-1, 2.77 ERA), who’ll be pitching on seven days’ rest.

Leake has been impressive all season; in fact he’s the only NL pitcher to post a quality start every time he’s gone to the mound in 2017. This will be Hill’s second start since coming off the 10-DL; he hasn’t faced the Cardinals since 2008.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 Carl Furillo hits a three-run homer as a pinch-hitter in the first frame of the Dodgers’ 4-3 ten-inning loss to Philadelphia at Ebbets Field. The unusual substitution occurs when Phillies manager Ben Chapman uses his right-handed starter Al Jurisch to pitch only to Brooklyn’s first two hitters, Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson, and then brings in southpaw Oscar Judd, who had been warming up from the start of the game, to face the next three lefty hitters, Pete Reiser, Dixie Walker, and Gene Hermanski, the batter replaced by Furillo.
  • 1973 In a 19-inning marathon, LA outfielder Willie Davis collects six hits in a 7-3 loss to the Mets at Dodger Stadium. The two clubs establish a National League mark by hitting into a combined nine double plays.
  • 2000 Sixteen Dodger players and three coaches are suspended by the commissioner’s office for going into the stands during the Wrigley Field scuffle with fans on May 16. The suspensions totaling 60 games for players and 24 games for coaches is the harshest penalty ever handed down by major league baseball.

In non-Dodger history I thought this was interesting:

  • 1964 The major league mark for shutouts in one day is broken as seven of the twenty major league teams do not cross home plate. The Twins, White Sox, Yankees, Mets, Phillies, Cardinals, and Pirates are all blanked. The record is now eight, set on June 4, 1972. Yes, the Dodgers were participants. Claude Osteen lost to Bob Gibson 4-0.

Lineup when available.

Puig’s ribs can’t hurt him too much if he’s in the outfield again tonight.