Oct 04

NLDS Games Two, 2019

The early game will be the Cardinals at Braves, 1:37 PM PDT, TV: TBS

This game features the hottest pitcher of the second half, the Cardinals’ RHP Jack Flaherty. He’ll face the Braves’ RHP Mike Foltynewicz. Flaherty made 15 starts in the second half and posted a 0.91 ERA for all of them. Foltynewicz struggled early, went to the minors, and came back up in the second half rejuvenated. He went 6-1 with a 2.65 ERA in his ten starts after August 5.

Cardinals lineup:

Braves lineup:

The late game will be Nationals at Dodgers, 6:37 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Nats send RHP Stephen Strasburg to the mound to face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw. Strasburg threw only 34 pitches while dispatching the Brewers handily for three innings in the Wild Card Game Tuesday. Strasburg’s been in four postseason games in his career, going 2-2 with an 0.41 ERA over 22 innings. Kershaw has been in thirty postseason games with a 9-10 record and a 4.32 ERA over 152 innings.

Jon W. presents an updated edition of his Clayton Kershaw Postseason Chart, which recounts the pitcher’s exploits once the regular season is done.

Nationals lineup:

Dodgers lineup:

Sep 26

Game 159, 2019

Dodgers at Padres, 12:40 PM PDT, TV: FSSD, SPNLA

LHP Clayton Kershaw (15-5, 3.15 ERA) tunes up for the playoffs and tries to get his ERA below 3.00. He’ll face LHP Joey Lucchesi (10-9, 4.28 ERA). Kershaw gave up three HRs and four runs in six innings to the Rockies his last time out but still got the win thanks to the Dodgers’ prolific offense. Lucchesi has had two bad outings in a row (11 runs in 7 2/3 innings), but his sophomore season has been otherwise acceptable.

Here’s Rios’s 473-foot HR:

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1908 Cubs right-hander Ed Reulbach pitches two shutouts in the same day, whitewashing the Brooklyn Superbas in the opener 5-0 on a five-hitter and 3-0 on three hits in the nightcap. The entire Washington Park doubleheader takes less than three hours to complete.
  • 1954 Willie Mays, with three hits in the season finale, wins the batting title, finishing the campaign with a .345 average. The ‘Say Hey Kid’ goes third to first in batting average with his performance passing teammate Don Mueller (.342) and Dodger center fielder Duke Snider (341).1975 Burt Hooton sets a Dodger record for starting pitchers by winning his twelfth consecutive game. The 25 year-old right-hander, who was traded to LA in May for Eddie Solomon and Geoff Zahn, accomplishes the feat by beating J.R. Richard and the Astros at Dodger Stadium, 3-2.
  • 1981 Nolan Ryan becomes the first pitcher to throw five no-hitters when the Astros defeat the Dodgers at the Astrodome, 5-0. The Ryan Express, who will finish his 27-year major league career with a record seven no-hitters, previously has thrown hitless gems against the Royals (1973), Tigers (1973), Twins (1974), and Orioles (1975).

  • 1997 Dodger catcher Mike Piazza, in a 10-4 win over the Rockies, hits the longest home run in the history of Coors Field. The 28 year-old backstop’s sixth-inning blast travels 496 feet and hits the left-center field billboard between the scoreboard and the Rockpile.

Lineup when available.

Sep 20

Game 154, 2019

In pre-expansion era baseball this would be the last game of the season.

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT Sportsnet-RM, ESPN, SPNLA

RHP Peter Lambert (3-6, 6.98 ERA) takes a slightly less elevated hill than the one in Denver for the Rockies. He’ll face LHP Clayton Kershaw (14-5, 3.05 ERA) of the Dodgers. Lambert has had a rough first season, walking 35 and giving up 113 hits in 86 innings while striking out 54. He’s faced the Dodgers twice this year, Kershaw has been nearly as good as ever, although he uncharacteristically lost three games in a row before winning his last one.

The Dodgers named Gavin Lux and Josiah Gray prospects of the year for 2019. Lux we are familiar with; Gray was acquired in the trade which sent Puig, Kemp, Wood and Farmer to the Reds last off-season.

Food for thought: the Dodgers hit high-velocity fastballs better than any other team. Will that matter? Does it even mean anything? Sam Miller asks and attempts to answer those questions.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1907 At Exposition Park in Pittsburgh, Nick Maddox no-hits the Dodgers, 2-1. At the age of 20 years and ten months, the Pirates hurler becomes the youngest pitcher and the second rookie to throw a no-hitter.
  • 1911 Bill Bergen ends his major league career with the lowest lifetime batting average for a position player in major league history by hitting an anemic .170 during his 11-year tenure with the Reds and Superbas. The 33 year-old backstop, who had only one year of batting above .200, also holds the records for lowest season batting average for a regular season (.139 in 1909) and the longest streak of at-bats without a hit (45 in 1909; since surpassed by the Orioles Chris Davis, who went 0 for 54 over 2018-2019).
  • 1954 The Giants clinch the pennant when they beat the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 7-1. The National League champs, finishing the season five games ahead of second-place Brooklyn, will go on to sweep Cleveland in the Fall Classic.
  • 1959 The San Francisco Giants, bowing to the Dodgers, 8-2, play their last game at Seals Stadium. The transplanted New York team, who compiled a 163-145 record in their two-year stay in the former PCL park, will move to the newly constructed Candlestick Park next season.
  • 1961 In a 13-inning contest, Sandy Koufax goes the distance, beating the Cubs, 3-2, in the last regular season game to be played at the LA Memorial Coliseum, which was originally built for the 1932 Olympics. The Dodgers are leaving the only home they have known since moving from Brooklyn four seasons ago to play in a brand new stadium in Chavez Ravine, located a few miles from downtown Los Angeles.
  • 2011 Clayton Kershaw becomes the Dodgers’ first 20-game winner since Ramon Martinez accomplished the feat in 1990. Allowing just one run in 7 1/3 innings, the southpaw gets the victory when LA beats the visiting Giants, 2-1.
  • 2012 Washington secures a playoff spot when they beat the Dodgers at Nationals Park, 4-1. The last time there was postseason baseball in the nation’s capital occurred 79 years ago, when player-skipper Joe Cronin and the Senators lost to the Giants in five games in the 1933 World Series.

Lineup:

Sep 13

Game 149, 2019

Dodgers at Mets, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: SNY, SPNLA

LHP Clayton Kershaw (13-5, 3.06 ERA) tries to get back on track for the Dodgers. After completing at least six innings in each of his first 23 starts, he’s failed to get past the fifth in any of his last three. He’ll face the Mets’ RHP Noah Syndergaard (10-7, 4.06 ERA), who appears to be unhappy with Wilson Ramos as his catcher. Last weekend he asked the Mets to put Rene Rivera or Tomas Nido in the lineup when he pitches.

Rich Hill’s injury is a recurrence of the one which delayed his start this season: a balky MCL. In spring training it was a full-on sprain; he says yesterday’s injury is not as painful.

Here’s the Orioles’ pitcher completely forgetting he’s supposed to cover home plate after a passed ball, allowing Seager and Bellinger to score in yesterday’s game:

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1925 In the first game of a twin bill, Robins’ (Dodgers) starter Dazzy Vance no-hits the Phillies at Ebbets Field, 10-1. The Brooklyn hurler had one-hit the team from the City of Brotherly Love five days earlier.
  • 2005 During the six-run second inning uprising by San Diego, each Dodger outfielder commits an error. The fielding of Ricky Ledee (lf), Jose Cruz Jr. (right field), and Jayson Werth (cf) contributes to the 6-4 loss to the first place Padres.

Lineup:

Sep 06

Game 143, 2019

Wait. This is the 143rd game of the season? There are only 20 games left as of tonight? Leapin’ lizards!

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: NBC Bay Area, SPNLA

RHP Jeff Samardzija (9-11, 3.61 ERA) takes the hill for the Giants; he’ll face LHP Clayton Kershaw (13-4, 2.96 ERA) on his home turf. Samardzija has had four winless starts in a row, games in which he has averaged less than six innings per start. Kershaw had a rough outing in Arizona last week, but the Giants are some of his favorite victims: he’s 23-11 lifetime against them and 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA this season.

Here’s Joc’s second HR of the game Wednesday:

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 to its advanced billing, Dwight Gooden and Fernando Valenzuela hook up in one of the best pitchers’ duels 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:

Aug 31

Game 138, 2019

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 5:10 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, SPNLA

It’ll be LHP Clayton Kershaw (13-3, 2.76 ERA) against LHP Robbie Ray (11-7, 3.86 ERA) in today’s game at Chase Field. Kershaw actually has a losing record at this site: he’s 6-8 in his career there. He struck out 12 but gave up 3 solo home runs and lost to the Yankees in his last start. Ray had a bad June (1-4, 5.00 ERA) but he’s been solid the rest of this season. He’s averaging 11.8 K/9 and is 2-0 in August.

Here’s the last play of yesterday’s game:

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1950 In front of 14,226 fans at Ebbets Field, Gil Hodges becomes the fourth major leaguer in the century to hit four home runs in one game as Brooklyn routs the Braves, 19-3. The Dodger first baseman also ties the major league record for total bases with 17.
  • 1959 Sandy Koufax fans 18 batters to establish a new National League record for a nine-inning game in the Dodgers’ 5-2 win over San Francisco at the LA Memorial Coliseum. The left-hander’s performance equals the major league mark established in 1938 by Indians fireballer Bob Feller during a 4-1 loss to Detroit.
  • 2010 The Dodgers trade a player to be named (infielder Tony Abreu) to the Diamondbacks in exchange for starter Jon Garland. The 31 year-old right-hander will post a 3-2 record with a 2.72 ERA in his six late-season starts for the Dodgers, before signing as a free agent with San Diego.

Lineup when available.

Aug 25

Game 132, 2019

Yankees at Dodgers, 4:05 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

RHP Domingo Germán (16-3, 4.15 ERA) takes to the mound for the Yankees, facing LHP Clayton Kershaw (13-2, 2.71 ERA) of the Dodgers. The Yankees are trying to conserve their 27-year-old pitcher’s arm, which is why Germán has averaged less than six innings per start this year. He’s appearing in just his 51st big league game. The Dodgers’ Kershaw has not gone fewer than six innings in any one of his 22 starts this year; in his last one he went six, gave up three solo home runs and walked three batters but still got the win as the Dodgers clobbered the Blue Jays 16-3.

Here’s that eventful ninth inning from yesterday:

Yesterday was Kiké Hernández’s 28th birthday; today is Max Muncy’s 29th.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1979 In a Hollywood Stars vs. the Media game played at Dodger Stadium, Robin Williams, the star of the hit television series, Mork and Mindy, a show in which he plays an alien, runs the bases backwards. The comedian explains circling the bags clockwise is very common on the Planet Ork, his character’s home in the universe.
  • 1995 At Veterans Stadium, Gregg Jefferies hits for the cycle when Philadelphia crushes the Dodgers, 17-4. The Phillies’ first baseman, who has four RBIs and scores four runs, collects all of his extra-base hits off of LA starting pitcher Hideo Nomo.
  • 2008 After being swept in a four-game series earlier in the month in L.A., the Phillies return the favor, beating the Dodgers, 5-0, to complete its own four-game sweep. It is the first time in franchise history that Philadelphia has swept the Dodgers in a four-game series at home.
  • 2009 With a 5-4 win in ten innings over the Dodgers, the Rockies move 18 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history. The wild-card leader, winning 52 of their last 74 games, the latest on a Troy Tulowitzki bases-loaded single, has cut LA’s Western Division lead from 15.5 games on June 3 to just two games.
  • 2012 In a nine-player blockbuster trade, the Dodgers obtain Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto, and cash considerations for James Loney, Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, Jr., and two players to be named later (Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands). The deal gives the new Dodgers ownership an opportunity to show their fans they are serious about making a run for the postseason, while giving an under-performing Boston team more financial flexibility in the offseason.

Players’ Weekend Dodger nickname code, for help in deciphering today’s lineup.

Note: Austin Barnes was called up to replace Russell Martin after this was published, so his nickname doesn’t appear on that list. Here’s the explanation for his nickname “Sam”:

The origin story of “Sam” is actually quite funny. During Spring Training in 2016, some of the veterans sent Barnes, a rookie, on a taco run. When he got back, A.J. Ellis joked that he didn’t even know his name, so Utley said, “It’s Sam.” In reality, most of his teammates call him “Barnsey.”

Lineup:

Aug 20

Game 127, 2019

Blue Jays at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SNET, SPNLA

RHP Sean Reid-Foley (2-3, 3.00 ERA) pitches for the Canadian team while LHP Clayton Kershaw (12-2, 2.63 ERA) does the same for the Dodgers. Reid-Foley may actually start the game or he may follow an “opener.” His last time out he gave up three runs in 3 1/3 innings, throwing 88 pitches while doing so. Kershaw got his 165th career win in his last start, shutting out the Marlins for seven innings and striking out ten with no walks.

Cody Bellinger being a mensch:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1945 Dodger shortstop Tommy Brown becomes the youngest player (17 years, eight months, and 14 days) in major league history to hit a home run. The round-tripper by ‘Buckshot,’ who started his career as a 16 year-old high school student, will be the only run Brooklyn scores off 30 year-old Pirates southpaw Preacher Roe, who goes the distance in the 11-1 rout of the home team at Ebbets Field.
  • 1974 In an 18-8 rout of the Cubs, the Dodgers collect 24 hits and set a club record with 48 total bases, including Davey Lopes’ three home runs, double, and single. The Dodger second baseman’s 15 total bases are the most ever for a leadoff hitter.
  • 1978 In the visitors’ clubhouse at Shea Stadium, Dodger Blue becomes black and blue when Steve Garvey confronts teammate Don Sutton about a Washington Post story in which the pitcher is critical of him. After the right-hander confirms he had made the comments, the argument becomes physical when he makes an inappropriate remark about the first baseman’s wife.

Lineup when available.

Aug 17

Game 125, 2019

Dodgers at Braves, 4:20 PM PDT, TV: FSSO, SPNLA

LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-2, 1.45 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers while the Braves send RHP Mike Foltynewicz (4-5, 6.24 ERA) to the hill. The last time Ryu saw the Braves he threw a 4-hit complete game shutout against them on May 7. Foltynewicz spent six weeks at AAA and has made two starts since. He’s got a 7.41 ERA in the four starts he’s made against the Dodgers since 2018.

The Dodgers set a new record for most HRs in a five-game stretch with 22:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1992 Kevin Gross, retiring 22 of the final 23 batters he faces on his wife’s birthday, no-hits the Giants at Dodger Stadium, 2-0. The LA right-hander’s no-no averts the team from being swept in a four-game series at home against the Giants for the first time in 69 years.
  • 2013 Clayton Kershaw blanks the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, 5-0, giving the Dodgers their first double-digit winning streak since 2006. The team’s 42 victories in their last fifty games, including a 25-3 mark since the All-Star break, equals the 1941 Yankees and 1942 Cardinals for the best record for that span of games since 1900.

Lineup when available.

Aug 14

Game 122, 2019

Dodgers at Marlins, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: FS-M, SPNLA

LHP Clayon Kershaw (11-2, 2.77 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while LHP Elieser Hernandez (2-4, 4.94 ERA) pitches for the home team. Kershaw has gone at least six innings in each of his 20 starts this season, and his last one was a seven-inning nine-strikeout gem against the Cardinals. Hernandez’s last start might have been his career best (he’s only made 14 overall), when he threw six innings of shutout ball against the Braves.

Astros, Dodgers or Yankees? Which is best right now and in October? The question is addressed by an ESPN panel.

Baseball’s 20-Something Sluggers Are Saving The Sport, say the stat guys at 538. Take note: measured by WAR, the Dodgers have two of the best 23-year-olds in all of baseball history in Bellinger and Verdugo.

Americana: Yasiel Puig became a naturalized citizen today.

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: