Apr 11

Game Ten, 2021

Nationals at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: MASN 2, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

It’s a battle of 3-time Cy Young winners today. The Nats send RHP Max Scherzer (0-0, 6.00 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-1, 4.26 ERA). Scherzer gave up four HRs in six innings on Opening Day; he did strike out nine. Kershaw had a forgettable Opening Day start but redeemed himself his second time out, when he gave up just four hits and one run over seven innings while striking out eight.

Before today’s game there’ll be a commemoration of Fernando Valenzuela’s accomplishments and the 40th anniversary of Fernandomania (40 years? Really?).

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1912 Rube Marquard begins a nineteen-game consecutive winning streak by beating the Dodgers, 18-3, in a game which features 13 ground rule doubles hit by the visitors because of the overflow crowd being placed in the outfield and along the foul lines. The future Hall of Fame southpaw’s streak will end in July when the Giants lose to Chicago at the West Side Grounds, 7-2.
  • 1961 Robin Roberts, in his twelfth-straight Opening Day start, is tagged with the loss when the Phillies lose to the Dodgers in the LA Memorial Coliseum, 6-2. The right-hander’s effort ties Grover Cleveland Alexander’s National League record for consecutive season openers.
  • 2006 Jeromy Burnitz, Ryan Doumit, Jack Wilson, and Craig Wilson hit solo home runs in the Pirates’ 7-6 victory over the Dodgers at PNC Park. The quartet of round-trippers blasted by the Buc sluggers is each player’s second homer of the season.

Lineup:

Hmm. Rios in RF? McKinstry in LF? Still no Betts?

Apr 06

Game Six, 2021

Dodgers at Athletics, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: NBCSCA, SPNLA

LHP Clayton Kershaw (0-1, 7.94 ERA) tries to right his ship after an outing in which he gave up six runs (five earned) on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He’ll face RHP Chris Bassitt (0-1, 5.06 ERA), who lost his first start of the year while giving up three runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2001 In the home opener at Veterans Stadium, Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning’s number 14 jersey is retired. Kentucky’s Republican U.S. senator, who compiled a 224-184 record in his 17-year career pitching for the Tigers, Phillies, Pirates, and Dodgers, joins Richie Ashburn (1), Robin Roberts (36), Steve Carlton (32), and Mike Schmidt (20) as the fifth player to have his number retired by the Phillies.
  • 2004 Adrian Beltre becomes the 36th player in baseball history to hit 100 home runs before the age of 25. The Dodger third baseman joins Cal Ripken Jr. and Lou Gehrig to have exactly 100 homers on their 25th birthday.
  • 2016 The Padres, with their 7-0 loss at Petco Park, become the first team to be shut out in the first three games of the regular season, surpassing the dubious mark set by the Browns, who opened the 1943 campaign with 26 straight scoreless innings. San Diego also dropped their first two decisions of the three-game series against the Dodgers, 15-0 and 3-0.

Lineup when available.

Apr 01

Opening Day, 2021

Dodgers at Rockies, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: ATTSportsnetRM, SPNLA, ESPN

LHP Clayton Kershaw will make his ninth Opening Day start, most in Dodger history. He’ll face RHP Germán Márquez. Each pitcher faced the other team once last season: Kershaw gave up one run over seven innings at Coors Field, and Márquez went seven, gave up two runs and five hits at Dodger Stadium.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1937 The Reds sell Babe Herman to the Tigers. The 34 year-old outfielder, batting .300 for his new team, will appear in only 17 contests with Detroit before effectively retiring from the game, although he will return to play briefly for the war-time Dodgers in 1945.
  • 1963 Former Brooklyn Dodger Duke Snider returns to New York when the Mets purchase him from LA for $40,000. The 36 year-old outfielder, who will represent New York in the All-Star game, will be told at the end of the season by Buzzie Bavasi, his former GM, that the Yankees had asked for him to back up Mickey Mantle before he was dealt to the team across the river.
  • 2008 On Opening Day in Los Angeles, Juan Pierre’s 434 consecutive game streak, the longest current one in the major leagues, comes to an end when the Dodger outfielder does not play in the 3-2 victory over the Giants. New skipper Joe Torre plays Andre Ethier in left field in place of the highly paid but light-hitting fly chaser.

Can you imagine Duke Snider in pinstripes?

Lineup when available.

Mar 16

Momma told me there’d be days like this

Kershaw started today’s game and Bauer picked up after him. The two of them went the full nine innings and gave up 11 hits and seven runs.

The game was notable only in that it occasioned Bellinger’s first start of Spring Training, a test of his surgically-repaired shoulder.

Oh by the way, Seager had hit 5 HRs in his last six games before going 1 for 3 today.

Oct 25

World Series Game Five, 2020

Dodgers vs Rays, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The Dodgers hand the ball to LHP Clayton Kershaw, who pitched wonderfully in Game One of this series, to face the Rays’ RHP Tyler Glasnow, who was Kershaw’s opponent in that game and was gone after 4 1/3 innings. He gave up six runs on just three hits while striking out eight, but he walked six. Kershaw is 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA this postseason; Glasnow is 2-2 with a 6.08 ERA.

I am not going to post video of that last play. I think I’ll be seeing it in my sleep, especially if the Dodgers don’t win this Series.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1981 In Game 5 at Dodger Stadium, Pedro Guerrero’s and Steve Yeager’s back-to-back solo home runs in the seventh inning off Yankee southpaw Ron Guidry give Los Angeles a 2-1 win, its third victory in the Fall Classic. Guerrero and Yeager, along with teammate Ron Cey, will be named as the co-recipients of the World Series MVP award.
  • 1986 One strike from defeat, the Mets tie the game on a wild pitch and then, thanks to Bill Buckner’s error, win Game 6, knotting the Fall Classic at three games apiece. This event was selected as one of baseball’s 30 most memorable moments. “If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words, but more than that, you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.” – Vin Scully, describing the aftermath of the play after a long silence.
  • 2005 The first World Series game ever to be played in the state of Texas proves to be memorable when Geoff Blum’s 14th inning solo home run (the 30th Major Leaguer to hit a HR in his first World Series AB) becomes the beginning of the end of the longest Fall Classic contest ever played. The 7-5 victory, which gives the White Sox a commanding 3-0 advantage over the Astros, takes 5 hours, 41 minutes to complete, with the 14 frames equaling the number of innings the Red Sox needed to beat the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 1916 series.

Lineups:

Dodgers:

Rays:

Oct 20

World Series Game One, 2020

Rays vs Dodgers, 5:00PM PDT, TV: Fox

By virtue of the better season record the Dodgers earned “home field advantage” for this neutral-site series; they’ll have last ups in games 1,2,6 and 7.

Here’s MLB’s position-by-position analysis. (Spoiler: In their estimation the Dodgers have large or small edges everywhere except the rotation and the bullpen.)

The Rays give the ball to their very tall (he’s 6′ 8″ and his nickname is “Baby Giraffe,” MLB says) RHP Tyler Glasnow, who’s 2-1 in the playoffs with 25 Ks. His last appearance was in Game Four of the ALCS and it didn’t go particularly well: he gave up four runs to the Astros in six innings of work. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw, who’ll be making his fifth World Series start. We all know the stories of his postseason woes; Roberts does too, one assumes, and he should be ready to replace Kershaw at the first moment he looks to be in trouble.

Now this is startling:

Six years and six days before Game 1 of the 2020 World Series, Andrew Friedman left his longtime post running the Tampa Bay Rays’ front office to become the Los Angeles Dodgers’ president of baseball operations.

He departed with a promise disguised as friendly banter, one that will be fulfilled when his current team lines up against his former club on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

“We joked when I left the team that we were going to meet up in the World Series one day,” Friedman said, “and for it actually to happen is surreal.”

Oh my. I like Jeff Passan of ESPN, and he wrote a good book, but I dunno. Here he is on Pablo Torre’s podcast earlier today:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1988 The Dodgers become World Champions when Orel Hershiser limits the opposition to four singles in Game 5 of the World Series and beats the A’s, 5-1. The right-hander, who also won Game 2, is named the Most Valuable Player of the Fall Classic.

  • 1994 Receiving all 28 first-place votes, Raul Mondesi (.306, 16, 56) is named the National League’s Rookie of the Year. The Los Angeles right fielder, who easily outdistanced Astros’ hurler John Hudek and Braves’ outfielder Ryan Klesko, is the third consecutive Dodger to win the award.
  • 2010 Ted Lilly signs a three-year, $33 million deal to remain with the Dodgers. The 34 year-old southpaw, obtained from the Cubs in early August, compiled a 7-4 record with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts for LA, including victories in the first five starts for his new team.

Lineups:

Rays:

Dodgers:

Oct 18

NLCS Game Seven, 2020

Braves vs Dodgers, 5:15 PM PDT, TV: Fox, FS1

When the Braves send RHP Ian Anderson to the mound this evening he’ll be the sixth-youngest pitcher ever to start a postseason elimination game. He’s made three starts in the playoffs, going 15 2/3 innings without allowing a run, including four innings against the Dodgers in Game Two of this series. The Dodgers failed to take advantage of the five walks he issued during that outing and lost the game. It seems unlikely he’ll be that generous again, but if he is they’ve got to score those runners.

The Dodgers have not yet announced who’s gonna start, but Gonsolin seems to be the likely choice. He could go deep into the game or, if he falters, he could be pulled quickly. The Dodgers have several fairly well-rested arms in the bullpen, although they may be well-rested because they’re not entirely trusted. Who knows?

Update: In a surprise to me, RHP Dustin May is going to start for the Dodgers. He went two innings in the Dodgers’ 7-3 win in Game Five, starting the game and giving up three hits and two runs.

Please, Roberts, do not be tempted to use Clayton Kershaw on short rest. He is no longer the 22-year-old wunderkind of ten years ago. He’s a guy with 2,300 innings of major league baseball under his belt. Asking him to do anything in today’s game would be setting him up to fail in the postseason again, and he deserves better from his bosses.

The catch didn’t steal a homer, but it would have scored a run and put Ozuna on 2nd or 3rd. It was Betts’ reaction after he caught it that really amused me, though:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1977 In the Yankees’ 8-4 victory over the Dodgers in Game 6 of the Fall Classic, Reggie Jackson, who also homered in his last at-bat in the previous contest, hits three more home runs, each on the first pitch of the at-bat, giving the New York slugger three homers on three consecutive pitches, after drawing a base-on-balls in his first plate appearance. ‘Mr. October’s heroics in the Bronx ballpark assures the team of their twenty-first World Championship and first since 1962.

  • 2013 The Cardinals advance to their second World Series in three seasons, routing the Dodgers, 9-0, in Game 6 of the NLCS. St. Louis, behind the timely hitting of Carlos Beltran and the strong pitching performance of rookie right-hander Michael Wacha, beats Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83) for the fourth time this season, including a pair of victories in this round of the postseason.

Lineups when available.

Braves:

Dodgers:

Oct 15

NLCS Game Four, 2020

Dodgers vs Braves, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The Dodgers once more ask LHP Clayton Kershaw to be their ace and get them back to even in the series, which the Braves still lead 2-1 despite the bludgeoning they took yesterday. Kershaw is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 14 postseason innings this year. The Braves hand the ball to yet another rookie (in nine postseason games they’ve started six rookie pitchers), a righthander named Bryse Wilson. This will be his first postseason appearance. He was 1-0 with a 4.02 ERA in six games in 2020, two of which were starts. It’s not expected that Wilson will be in the game very long, but he could be the reincarnation of Howard Ehmke. Who knows?

Let’s hope the Dodgers repeat yesterday’s first-inning exploits:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1981 With Dave Righetti, Ron Davis, and Goose Gossage combining to shut out Oakland, 4-0, the Yankees sweep the A’s to capture their thirty-third American League pennant. The Bronx Bombers will face the Dodgers in the World Series for the third time in the past five Fall Classics.
  • 1988 In his only plate appearance in the Fall Classic, a limping Kirk Gibson, appearing as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Game 1, sends a two-out, 3-2 pitch from relief ace Dennis Eckersley over the right-field fence, giving the Dodgers a 5-4 victory over the A’s. The round-tripper marks the first time a World Series game ends on a come-from-behind home run in the final inning.
  • 2008 In Game 5 of the NLCS, the visiting Phillies beat the Dodgers, 5-1, to win their first pennant since 1993. Southpaw Cole Hamels, the series MVP, hurls his third postseason gem, and Jimmy Rollins starts the Philadelphia attack with a leadoff home run to start the game.
  • 2017 Twenty-nine years later to the day, Justin Turner follows Kirk Gibson into franchise folklore when he hits a postseason walk-off three-run home run in the 12th inning of the LA’s 4-1 victory over the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS. In 1988, a hobbled Kirk Gibson, in his only Fall Classic appearance, came off the bench to hit one of the most memorable round-trippers in World Series history, giving the Dodgers a come-from-behind victory against the A’s in Game 1.

Lineups:

Braves:

Dodgers:

Oct 13

NLCS Game Two, 2020

Braves vs Dodgers, 3:05 PM PDT, TV: FS1

The Braves give the ball to rookie RHP Ian Anderson, who made his first appearance in the big leagues on August 26. He went 3-2 in the regular season and has improved on that once the postseason began, going 2-0 and allowing no runs at all in 11 2/3 innings. The Dodgers had planned to ask LHP Clayton Kershaw to get them even, but back spasms have intervened. They will send RHP Tony Gonsolin to the mound instead. This will be the first postseason appearance of his career.

Here’s the rest of the story of Kershaw’s back and the Dodgers’ plans for the rotation.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1974 Herb Washington, representing the tying run in the top of the ninth, is picked off first base by Dodger closer Mike Marshall for the second out of Game 2, the only contest the A’s will lose in the Fall Classic. The world-class sprinter, who will never have a plate appearance in his brief 105-game career, was selected by Oakland owner Charlie Finley to become the team’s “designated runner,” a position that doesn’t exist with any other major league club.

    Lineups when available.

    Braves’ lineup:

    Dodgers’ lineup:

Oct 07

NLDS Game Two, 2020

Marlins vs Braves, 11:08 AM PDT, TV: MLBN

Atlanta leads the series 1-0.

It’ll be RHP Pablo López for the Marlins and RHP Ian Anderson for the Braves. López will be making his first postseason start and Anderson his second.

Padres vs. Dodgers, 6:08 PM PDT, TV: FS1

Los Angeles leads the series 1-0.

The Padres haven’t named a starter yet. Update: It’ll be Zach Davies. LHP Clayton Kershaw will pitch for the Dodgers. Should Kershaw get the win he’d even his career postseason record at 11-11.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1952 In the decisive Game 7, the Yankees beat the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 4-2, to win their fourth consecutive World Championship. Gil Hodges finishes the Fall Classic hitless in twenty-one at-bats, which had prompted some Brooklyn fans to gather at local churches asking for divine help for their beloved first baseman.
  • 1977 In Game 3 of the NLCS, the Dodgers rally for three runs with none on and two outs in the top of the ninth inning to take a one-run lead in their eventual 6-5 victory over the Phillies at Veterans Stadium. The game appeared to be over when LA’s Davey Lopes is picked off first base for the final out, but a throwing error by Gene Garber advances him to second base, from where he will score the decisive run on Bill Russell’s single.
  • 1978 In Game 4 of the NLCS, Ron Cey scores in the 10th inning on Bill Russell’s two-out game winning single, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Phillies and their second consecutive National League pennant. Cey, who walked after the first two batters were retired, advanced into scoring position when Garry Maddox misplayed Dusty Baker’s fly ball in center field.

  • 2001 Barry Bonds extends his major league record for home runs in a season to 73 as he drives a 3-2 first inning knuckleball off Dodger Dennis Springer over the right field fence. The blast also secures two more major league records for the Giants’ left fielder when he surpasses Babe Ruth (1920 – .847) with a .863 season slugging percentage and bests Mark McGwire (1998 – one HR every 7.27 AB) by homering in every 6.52 at-bats.
  • 2006 The Mets defeat Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, 9-5, to complete a three-game sweep in the NLDS. The Dodgers have won only one postseason game in 13 attempts since beating the A’s in the 1988 World Series.

Today in Padres’ history:

  • 1984 In a game that will be best remembered for Cubs first baseman Leon Durham’s seventh-inning error on an easy ground ball, the Padres win the NLCS when Tony Gwynn’s seventh-inning two-run double breaks a 3-3 tie en route to a 6-3 victory at Jack Murphy Stadium. Chicago had a 2-0 game advantage as well as a 3-0 lead in the decisive Game 5 but was unable to end their thirty-nine year World Series appearance drought.
  • 2001 On the last day of the season, Rickey Henderson bloops a double down the right-field line off Rockies’ hurler John Thomson to become the 25th major leaguer to collect 3000 hits. Tony Gwynn, who is playing in his last major league game and is also a member of the 3000 hit club, meets the Padre outfielder at home plate in front of a sellout crowd Qualcomm Park.

Lineups when available.

Padres’ lineup:

Dodgers’ lineup: