1930 The last major league bounced home run is hit by Dodger catcher Al Lopez at Ebbets Field as the NL joins the American League, which had enacted the rule change in 1929. The player who hits the ball over the wall on a bounce will now be awarded a ground-rule double.
1932 In the bottom of the ninth, Johnny Frederick hits his major league record-setting sixth pinch-homer of the season, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Cubs. The Brooklyn outfielder’s major league mark will not be broken for 68 years until another Dodger, Dave Hansen, strokes seven round-trippers coming off the bench in 2000.
1953 The Dodgers clinch a pennant at the earliest date ever in baseball history with a 5-2 victory over the Braves at County Stadium. Carl Erskine gets the win when Brooklyn, who clinches consecutive titles for the first time in franchise history, goes up 13 games up on Milwaukee with 12 left to play.
1962 One game behind the front running Dodgers, the Giants lose Willie Mays, their All-Star center fielder, when he is hospitalized for nervous exhaustion. The ‘City by the Bay’ will drop six games in a row, but will recover along with ‘Say Hey Kid’ in time to beat Los Angeles in a playoff to win the National league pennant.
1963 In a pregame ceremony with his former Dodgers teammates, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, and Ralph Branca in attendance, Duke Snider is honored by the Mets with a special ‘night’ at the Polo Grounds, which coincidentally marks the last time the Giants, now located in San Francisco, will ever play in their once long-time home in Harlem. The ‘Silver Fox’, obtained by the last-place expansion team in April, has recently requested to be traded to a contender.
“I look up into the stands, and it looks like Ebbets Field. The Mets are wonderful, but you can’t take the Dodger out of Brooklyn” – DUKE SNIDER, – addressing the Mets fans on his special night at the Polo Grounds.
1995 During a WGN pre-game radio broadcast at Wrigley Field, Cubs announcer Harry Caray remarks to the team’s skipper Jim Riggleman, “Well, my eyes are slanty enough, how ’bout yours?”, referring to Hideo Nomo, the Japanese rookie hurler scheduled to start for the Dodgers. The veteran announcer, known for not backing off for his on-the-air off-handed comments, does issue an apology, calling the incident “unfortunate.”
2000 On the same date the mark was established 68 years ago, Dave Hansen breaks Johnny Frederick’s 1932 record for pinch-hit home runs in a single season with his seventh round-tripper coming off the bench. The Dodger pinch-hitter’s historic homer, a seventh-inning three-run blast off Diamondback right-hander Curt Schilling, isn’t enough to prevent the team’s 5-4 loss to Arizona at Bank One Ballpark.
2021 Max Scherzer becomes the 19th player to reach the 3,000-strikeout plateau with a fifth-inning punch out of Eric Hosmer, who will break up the right-hander’s bid for a perfect game with a one-out double in the eighth of LA’s 8-0 victory over the Padres. The three-time Cy Young Award winner whiffs nine batters in the Dodger Stadium gem, including his third career immaculate inning, tying a major league mark shared by Sandy Koufax and Chris Sale.
RHP Tony Gonsolin (11-0, 1.62 ERA) brings his unblemished record to the hill to face the Cardinals’ long-time ace Adam Wainwright (6-7, 3.15 ERA). In his last start Gonsolin went seven innings, gave up two runs on four hits and saw his ERA go up for his trouble. Wainwright is 40 years old; he and Kershaw each have 191 career wins (Kershaw has 26 fewer losses). In Wainwright’s last start he gave up two runs on five hits, pitched a complete game and lost 2-0.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
2019 The Dodgers got four home runs from Muncy, Turner, Bellinger and Pollock and Ross Stripling got the win as the Dodgers defeated Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox 11-2.
LHP Framber Valdez (postseason 0-0, 7.71 ERA) goes for the Astros and LHP Chris Sale (postseason 0-0, 14.73 ERA) goes for the Red Sox. Yes, it’s a rematch of the Game One pitchers. Houston won that one.
LHP Chris Sale (5-1, 3.16 ERA) tries to bounce back from a one-inning five-run outing in Game Two of the ALDS against the Rays. He’ll face the Astros’ LHP Framber Valdez (11-6, 3.14 ERA). His last outing was about as bad as Sale’s, although he lasted into the fifth inning of Game Two of the ALCS against the White Sox. He gave up four runs on seven hits in that game (which the Astros came back to win).
Today in baseball history the Yankees won their first World Series in 1923, Enos Slaughter scored as “Pesky held the ball” in Game Seven of the 1946 World Series and Ron Swoboda’s diving catch kept the Orioles off the scoreboard in the 1969 World Series:
Kirk Gibson hit a memorable HR for the Dodgers in Game One of the 1988 World Series:
And in 2017 the Dodgers’ Justin Turner emulated Gibson and hit a three-run walk-off home run against the Cubs in the twelfth inning of Game Two of the NLCS:
RHP Ross Stripling (3-3, 3.79 ERA) makes his fourth start replacing the injured Rich Hill. He hasn’t been really successful as a starter yet this season; he’s not gotten past the fifth inning in any start and he’s given up four runs in each of the last two. He’ll face LHP Chris Sale (3-8, 4.04 ERA), who’s not been his usual ace-like self this year. In fact, he gave up five runs in each of his last two starts prior to the All Star break.
In about the only Dodger highlight of Friday’s game, Alex Verdugo curls a home run around the Pesky Pole in right field:
This has nothing to do with the Dodgers or the Red Sox, but I found it interesting: a history of the walk-up song.
For those who wonder whether a powerful Game 3 showing by a star pitcher can swing a whole World Series, even if that ace’s team trails by two games when he takes the mound, I refer you to Game 3 of the 1978, ’81 and ’85 World Series. Ron Guidry, Fernando Valenzuela and Bret Saberhagen were the complete-game star pitchers for the Yankees, Dodgers and Royals. All three of their teams came back to win the Series.
2017 Yu Darvish has his first bad outing of the postseason, giving up four runs in 1 2/3 innings in Game Three of the World Series. The Dodgers couldn’t come back against the Astros’ Lance McCullers and Brad Peacock and fell behind two games to one.
Today in Red Sox’ history:
2013 Johnny Gomes hit a three-run homer off the Cardinals’ Lance Lynn in the sixth inning and the Red Sox won Game Four of the World Series.
As we all know by now, the only time these teams have met in a World Series was way back in 1916, when the Dodgers’ stars were named Zach Wheat, Casey Stengel, Jake Daubert, Rube Marquard, Nap Rucker and Chief Meyers. They also employed Fred Merkle (yes, that Fred Merkle). The Red Sox had guys named Babe Ruth, Ernie Shore, Carl Mays, Duffy Lewis and Harry Hooper.
Today’s game will pit the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw and the Red Sox’ LHP Chris Sale against one another. This will be Kershaw’s second appearance in the World Series (2017) and Sale’s first. Kershaw is a year older than Sale and started in the big leagues in 2008; he’s got a career record of 153-69 with a 2.39 ERA. Sale started in the big leagues two years later and has a career record of 103-62 with a 2.89 ERA.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1945 Dodger President Branch Rickey announces that the team has signed two black players, shortstop Jackie Robinson and pitcher Johnny Wright, to play with Brooklyn’s Triple A team in Montreal. The 26 year-old Negro League infielder will be the first black player to play in organized baseball since 1884.
1951 The Associated Press selects Giants skipper Leo Durocher as the Manager of the Year. Under his leadership, the Giants rallied from a 13 1/2-game deficit in mid-August to win the pennant, beating the Dodgers in a three-game playoff series best remembered for Bobby Thomson’s fabled home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the deciding game at the Polo Grounds.
1993 Mike Piazza, the sixty-second round pick of the 1988 draft, is the BBWAA’s unanimous choice for the Rookie of the Year award in the National League. The Dodger catcher is the first player to hit over .300 (.318), connect for more than 30 homers (35), and drive in at least 100 runs (112) in the Senior Circuit as a freshman since Wally Berger accomplished the feat in his initial major league season with the Braves in 1930.
1998 Davey Johnson is hired to manage the second-place Dodgers, taking over the reins from Bill Russell. The former Mets, Reds, and Orioles skipper, who has finished first with every team he has ever led, will see his streak end in LA when he compiles a 163- 161 (.503) record.
Today in Red Sox’ history:
1986 In Game 5 of the World Series played at Fenway Park, Bruce Hurst throws a complete game to beat the Mets, 4-2, earning his second victory of the Fall Classic and bringing the team within one victory of ending their 68-year World Championship drought. New York will dash the Red Sox Nation’s hopes with two come-from-behind victories at Shea Stadium.
2004 The Red Sox begin a four-game sweep of the Cardinals in the World Series with an 11-9 win.
2013 The Red Sox win Game One of a World Series in which they’ll defeat the Cardinals in six games behind Jon Lester’s 7 2/3 innings of scoreless five-hit ball.
Astros at Red Sox, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: TBS. Brian Anderson and Ron Darling will be the broadcasters.
Two of the best pitchers the AL has to offer face one another in this game: RHP Justin Verlander (16-9, 2.52 ERA) goes for the Astros and LHP Chris Sale (12-4, 2.11 ERA) for the Red Sox. Verlander went 5 1/3 innings in Game One of the ALDS against the Indians, striking out seven while walking only two and allowing just two hits. Sale got the win in Game One of the Red Sox’ ALDS matchup with the Yankees, going 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight, walking two and giving up just two runs.
Today in Astros’ history:
2017 Dallas Keuchel gives up four hits in seven innings of shutout ball against the Yankees in a 2-1 win in Game One of the ALCS.
Today in Red Sox’ history:
1903 In Game 8 of the series, the Boston Pilgrims (Red Sox) defeat the Pirates, 3-0, to take baseball’s first ever world championship, five games to 3. In the 95-minute contest, Bill Dinneen gets the win over Pittsburgh’s Deacon Phillippe in front of a Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds crowd of 7,455 fans.
2003 A tearful 72 year-old Don Zimmer apologizes for his part in yesterday’s brawl during Game 3 of the ALCS between the Yankees and Red Sox. During the fourth-inning matinee melee at Fenway, the Yankees’ assistant to the manager is thrown to the ground by Pedro Martinez, after charging the right-hander.
The late game is scheduled for prime time on the East Coast, of course, since it’s the Yankees at Red Sox, 4:30 PM PDT, TV: TBS
The Yankees send lefty J.A. Happ (17-6, 3.65 ERA) to the Fenway Park hill to face the Red Sox’ own lefty, Chris Sale (12-4, 2.11 ERA). The Yankees got Happ on July 26 from the Blue Jays where he’d been 10-6. Notice he has yet to lose a game in Yankee pinstripes. Sale came to the Red Sox after the 2016 season. He lost two ALDS starts last year to the Astros.