Oct 23

WS Day Minus One

In his regular Dodgers Dugout column Houston Mitchell of the LA Times does a position-by-position comparison between the Dodgers and Astros, which I think is tilted a little toward his hometown team. But here’s what I found interesting in the column: a discussion of ticket pricing and a prescription for what to do about the secondary market.

There’s something wrong in the world when I can fly to Houston, stay overnight and buy a ticket for a World Series game there for cheaper than I can stay in L.A. and buy a ticket for a game here.

Places like StubHub are asking for $1,250 for a seat in the top deck. Unless you were the lucky ones to win the chance to buy tickets through the Dodgers.com lottery, there’s no way an average fan can attend a game. That’s a crime. I have kids to send to college. Am I supposed to tell them, “Sorry, no college for you so we can go to a World Series game?”

If I was the Dodgers, here’s what I would do:

1. Discover which Dodgers fans are selling their tickets through a secondary market for a jacked-up price and bar them from ever buying a postseason ticket again.

2. Buy up as many secondary tickets as I could and pull more names from the online lottery. Sell the tickets to those people.

I was curious and looked at StubHub; I discovered that the least-expensive ticket available for a game at Dodger Stadium was $950, and that was a week ago. I don’t know if Mitchell’s suggestion would work, but he’s definitely got a point. Of course, this isn’t new. I remember a Roger Angell column from 40 years ago in which he wrote of a conversation with a player in the Series who looked up in the stands and asked “where are all the people who were here all year,” meaning all the seats were now in the hands and fannies of corporations and the like, not the long-term fans.

Seager is healthy enough to play, they and he say. Also, Charlie Culberson kept the ball he caught for the final out of NLCS Game Four, but he hasn’t yet found a really good place to display it.

Here’s an interview with Orel Hershiser in which he insists that what he did in 1988 (and there’s a brief recap of the number of appearances he made in the postseason) could still be done by today’s athletes if needed, but lineups and bullpens are built differently now.

Sports Illustrated baseball writers predict the Series outcome.

Oct 14

NLCS Game One, 2017

Cubs at Dodgers, 5:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Dodgers will start LHP Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31 ERA) in tonight’s game. It is still unclear who the Cubs’ starter will be as of Friday evening. It’s likely either John Lackey or Jose Quintana.

Update: It will be Quintana. He started and went 5 2/3 innings in Game Three of the NLDS against the Nats and gave up one unearned run on just two hits. He also threw 12 pitches to four hitters in relief in Game Five.

The Dodgers’ prized shortstop Corey Seager is day-to-day with a back issue, Manager Dave Roberts said.

Update: Seager is not on the official NLCS roster. More here:

“His back’s been barking since that Game 3 in Arizona, so we’re going to have him lay low,” manager Dave Roberts said on Friday. “A lot of what we’ve done even this season, just keep him off the field, helps the elbow and now with the back, so to keep him laying low. But we’re optimistic he’ll be fine day-to-day.”

Obviously that didn’t work. Culberson took his place on the roster, and with Hernandez and Taylor possibly needed to play shortstop as well, the Dodgers added Joc Pederson to the roster for outfield depth.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1969 Thanks to two great catches by Tommy Agee at Shea Stadium, the Mets beat the Orioles to take a 2-1 game lead in the World Series. The center fielder’s outfield heroics save the team at least five runs in the 5-0 victory over Baltimore.
  • 1985 Ozzie Smith provides one of the most memorable moments in Cardinals history by hitting a dramatic homer to win Game 5 of the NLCS. The round-tripper was the first left handed home run of the Wizard’s career, which spans 3009 major league at-bats. (“Go crazy, folks, go crazy!”)

  • 2003 Holding a 3-0 lead and needing only five more outs to go the World Series for the first time since 1945, the Cubs give up eight runs on five hits, three walks, and an error to the Marlins. The team appears to come apart after a fan, later identified as Steve Bartman, sitting along the left-field line at Wrigley Field, tries to catch a foul ball that was about to be caught by Chicago outfielder Moises Alou for the second out of the inning.


Sep 04

Game 137, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 5:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (9-6, 3.71 ERA) tries to hold serve against the D-Backs, who send LHP Robbie Ray (11-5, 2.97 ERA) out to extend their ten-game winning streak.

Ray has been better on the road than at home this season. He’s got a 6-1 record in 11 road starts with a 1.49 ERA. He’s 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts against the Dodgers this year. Hill pitched against the D-Backs last Tuesday and was beaten up. He went 3 2/3 innings and gave up six runs on eight hits and a walk. At home this year he’s 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA.

The Dodgers promoted Charlie Culberson from OKC, reinstated Josh Fields from the 10-day DL and made room on the 40-man roster by moving Brandon McCarthy to the 60-day DL retroactive to July 21. (Side note: I’d love to play poker with rules that let me retroactively change a card I’d previously played!)

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1924 The Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) take a twin bill from the Braves, sweeping their fourth doubleheader in four consecutive days. Between September 1-3, the Brooks beat the Phillies six times.
  • 1966 The Dodgers become the first team to draw two million fans at home and two million on the road as 18,670 Crosley Field patrons watch Los Angeles beat their home town Reds, 8-6.
  • 1969 After thirty-one games, the third longest consecutive game hitting streak in National League history ends as Dodger Willie Davis is stopped by Dick Kelley and Gary Ross in a 3-0 loss to the Padres.

Lineup when available.

Oct 01

Game 161, 2016

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, KTLA, CS-BA

It’s a mound mismatch, if you look at the records of the two starters. The Dodgers send out Clayton Kershaw (12-3, 1.65 ERA) to face the Giants’ rookie lefthander Ty Blach (0-0, 2.00 ERA). Kershaw has been pretty successful in the Giants’ home park; he’s 10-3 with a 1.30 ERA lifetime. This will be Blach’s second major league start, but he’s seen the Dodgers before: he pitched three scoreless innings against them on September 21. The Giants need to win badly: they’re a game ahead of the Cardinals for the second Wild Card and need both a win and a St. Louis loss today to clinch a spot in the postseason. If they get one but not the other they clinch a tiebreaker game in St. Louis.

Charlie Culberson asked Vin Scully to sign the bat Charlie hit the walkoff HR with last weekend.


Apr 10

Game 7, 2016

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-BA

Scott Kazmir of the Dodgers tries to build on his first start of the season in which he went six shutout innings, gave up only one hit, walked none and struck out five. He’s 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA in two career starts against the Giants. Johnny Cueto pitches for the Giants. He’s 2-5 with a 2.79 ERA in eight career starts against the Dodgers. He went seven good innings in his first start, giving up one run on six hits, striking out four while walking none.

Lineup when available.

Happy Birthday to one of yesterday’s heroes: Charlie Culberson is 27 today. Barnes caught Kazmir in his first game, and A.J. has played two in a row, so the younger guy’s playing today. Van Slyke left yesterday’s game with back tightness he says isn’t serious but is persistent.