Jul 18

Game 94, 2017

Dodgers at White Sox, 5:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, WGN

The Dodgers try to make it ten straight wins tonight in Chicago at what was once called “New Comiskey Park” and is now called “Guaranteed Rate Field.” Blech. That name is newer (2016) than the two teams by a long shot: the Dodgers were first established in the late 1800s and the White Sox were charter members of the American League in 1901.

The teams first met in the 1959 World Series when the Dodgers claimed the title in six games. The teams first got together during the regular season in 2003 with the White Sox taking two of three games. They haven’t played each other since Chicago took two of three in ’14. The White Sox hold a 16-11 advantage all-time over the Dodgers.

Is the Dodgers’ “surge” sustainable for the rest of the year?

The Dodgers send LHP Clayton Kershaw (14-2, 2.18 ERA) out tonight to face RHP Miguel Gonzalez (4-8, 5.15 ERA). Kershaw has been on a roll; he’s won ten straight and his last loss was May 1. Gonzalez has been rehabbing shoulder joint inflammation since mid-June and has lost eight of his last nine decisions.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1939 The Red Sox send 21 year-old farmhand Pee Wee Reese to the Dodgers for $35,000 and a player to be named later (Red Evans), along with three minor leaguers due to a less-than-enthusiastic scouting report filed by Joe Cronin, the team’s current player-manager, who deliberately downplayed the prospect’s talent to keep his own job in the Boston infield. The Louisville Colonels regular shortstop, a future Hall of Famer, will become a crowd favorite, helping Brooklyn to win seven pennants during his 16 seasons with the team.
  • 1949 Jackie Robinson testifies in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, reading a carefully worded statement put together with the help of Dodger GM Branch Rickey. The Brooklyn second baseman’s statement makes it clear he disagrees with singer and actor Paul Robeson’s belief that American Negroes would refuse to fight in any war against Russia due to the country’s racial discrimination toward blacks.

Lineup when available.

Jul 09

Game 90, 2017

Royals at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSKC

The Royals try to salvage one game of what’s been an unsatisfying return to Dodger Stadium for the first time since 2003. The trouble is they have to get past Clayton Kershaw (13-2, 2.19 ERA) to do it. They’ll ask LHP Danny Duffy (5-4, 3.51 ERA) to shut the high-powered Dodgers’ offense down while they try to put together some hits and runs against the Dodgers’ ace.

Duffy has made one start since returning from the disabled list and he did pretty well, going 5 2/3 innings against the Mariners, giving up two runs and five hits in a 7-3 win. Kershaw went seven shutout innings against the D-Backs Tuesday and gave up just two hits in a game the Dodgers held on to win 4-3 despite a three-run HR off Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning.

The Dodgers won their 60th game last night, becoming just the 4th team in 40 years to do that before the All Star break.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1956 The BBWAA, by a narrow margin of 14-12, votes to establish the Cy Young Award to honor the major leagues’ most outstanding pitcher. Commissioner Ford Frick initiated the idea because he felt hurlers were not recognized in the MVP voting, but ironically the first recipient of the Cy Young Award, Dodger Don Newcombe, also won the Most Valuable Player Award.
  • 1996 In Philadelphia, Dodger backstop Mike Piazza hits a moon shot into the upper-deck at Veterans Stadium and also bangs a RBI double, helping the NL to blank the AL, 6-0, in All-Star action.

In non-Dodger history, it seems fitting that in 1968, the Year of the Pitcher, the All Star Game would play out this way: In the first All-Star game played indoors, American Leaguers are held to just three hits in the Astrodome, with the National League winning the first Mid-Summer Classic to end with a score of 1-0. The contest’s lone tally comes in the bottom of the first frame when Willie Mays, who had been picked off but stayed on the bases due to Luis Tiant’s throwing error, scores an unearned run on a double play ball.

Lineup:

Jul 08

Game 89, 2017

Royals at Dodgers, 4:15 PM PT, TV: Fox

RHP Ian Kennedy (3-6, 4.44 ERA) starts for the Royals and RHP Brandon McCarthy (6-3, 3.25 ERA) goes for the Dodgers.

Kennedy has won three straight games after going 0-6 with a 5.40 ERA in his first 11 starts. He’s been prone to the gopher ball, giving up 16 HRs so far this season. He’s also 5-9 against the Dodgers in his career. McCarthy is coming off the 10-day DL; his last start was June 25 when he lost his control and threw three wild pitches against the Rockies while lasting only three innings. He’d been 4-2 with a 1.57 ERA over six starts before that.

To make room for McCarthy the Dodgers optioned Scott Van Slyke to OKC.

Kershaw is an occasional goof.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1949 Hank Thompson, who broke in to the majors as a member of the St. Louis Browns twelve days after Larry Doby’s American League debut with the Indians in 1947, becomes the first African-American to play for the Giants. When the former Kansas City Monarchs’ standout faces Dodger right-hander Don Newcombe, it marks the first time a pitcher-batter confrontation takes place between black players in the major leagues.

Lineup:

Jul 07

Game 88, 2017

Royals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSKC

The Royals send RHP Jason Hammel (4-7, 5.08 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (6-4, 4.56 ERA).

Hammel hasn’t gotten past the sixth inning in either of his last two starts. In his most recent one he gave up seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Twins. He is 2-7 with a 5.00 ERA in 18 career games (14 starts) against the Dodgers. Maeda had a rough time in his last start when he gave up five runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings in a loss to the Padres. In his previous four appearances he had a 1.06 ERA. Maeda has never faced the Royals before.

In case you missed it, Scott Van Slyke was recalled from OKC to replace Grant Dayton, who went on the 10-day DL with a stiff neck. Also, as expected, Alex Wood will replace Clayton Kershaw at the All Star Game.

Another thing you might have missed: yesterday was Dave Roberts Bobblehead night, and his kids had a big part in it. Daughter Emme sang the National Anthem and his son, Cole, threw out the ceremonial first pitch — a strike. Then the two kids teamed up to say “It’s Time for Dodger Baseball!”

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1953 The Dodgers set a major league mark for the most consecutive games with a home run by a team with a least one round tripper in their 24 contests. Brooklyn starter Preacher Roe hits the record-breaking homer with a third-inning blast in the team’s 9-5 victory over Pittsburgh at Forbes Field.
  • 1998 Jeff Shaw becomes the first player to participate in an All-Star game wearing a uniform for a team he hasn’t yet played for when he works an inning, allowing three hits and a run pitching for the National League squad before appearing in a regular season game for the Dodgers. The 32 year-old closer, who posted a 1.81 ERA along with 23 saves in the first half of the season for the Reds, was traded three days by Cincinnati to Los Angeles for Paul Konerko and Dennys Reyes.
  • 2004 Kazuhisa Ishii tosses a one-hitter in the Dodgers’ 11-0 defeat of Arizona. The 30 year-old Japanese southpaw retires the first 12 batters he faces before issuing a leadoff walk to Luis Gonzalez, which is followed with a single by Shea Hillenbrand, but then the left-hander proceeds to mow down 15 consecutive D-Backs to finish his masterpiece.

Lineup when available.

Jul 04

Game 85, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

This is a big series. The D-Backs are 2 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West, which at this stage of the 2017 season looks to be the class of the National League and provider of both Wild Card teams if it were to end today. The D-Backs send lefty Patrick Corbin (6-7, 4.76 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ lefty Clayton Kershaw (12-2, 2.32 ERA) in a twilight game.

Corbin faced the Dodgers on April 15 and did not do well. He gave up five runs over six innings and got the loss. On the other hand he’s gone 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA (eight earned runs in 24 1/3 innings) in his last four starts, including a five-hit, two run, six-inning outing against the Cardinals last Thursday. Kershaw went 8 1/3 innings on April 14 to beat the D-Backs, giving up one run on four hits.

Turner leads the NL in the Final Vote for the ASG, which continues through Thursday.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2006 Nomar Garciaparra ties the major league record for being hit by a pitch in a game as he is plunked three times by three different Diamondback pitchers in a 10-4 Dodger victory. The LA first baseman is the first National Leaguer to equal the mark, both literally and figuratively, since the 2000 season when Astros outfielder Richard Hidalgo got thwacked thrice in a game in April.

It’s the day in 1985 when the Mets and Braves played a 19-inning game which went until just before 4 a.m. the next day. After the 6 hours, 10 minutes game, the 1000 fans left in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium saw pre-dawn fireworks which awakened and frightened many of the ballpark’s neighbors. Probably infuriated quite a few, too.

This is also the day in 1939 when Lou Gehrig gave his farewell speech at Yankee Stadium.

Lineup when available.

Jun 29

Game 81, 2017

Dodgers at Angels, 7:07 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-W, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers trot out LHP Clayton Kershaw (11-2, 2.47 ERA) to face the Angels’ RHP JC Ramirez (7-5, 4.38 ERA).

Kershaw’s given up a career high 17 HRs but has otherwise been his usual superb self this season. Against the Angels he has a career 5-2 record, 2.69 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. Ramirez is a converted reliever; this is his 13th career start. In his last one he went six innings and gave up only one run against the Red Sox.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1960 The Phillies strike out a dozen times in each end of a doubleheader when they are swept by the Dodgers at Connie Mack Stadium, 6-3 and 5-2. The 24 K’s tie a major league record for strikeouts in a twin bill. Surprise! Drysdale started the first game and Koufax started the nightcap. Neither of them finished their games.
  • 1990 For the first time since 1917 (Hippo Vaughan and Fred Toney), two no-hitters are thrown on the same day when the A’s Dave Stewart shuts out the Jays 5-0 and the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela blanks the Cardinals, 6-0.
  • 2012 In the Diamondbacks’ 9-3 victory over Milwaukee at Miller Park, Aaron Hill becomes the first modern-era player to hit for the cycle twice in one season since Babe Herman accomplished the feat with the Brooklyn Robins in 1931. Eleven days ago in Seattle, the Arizona second baseman also collected a single, double, triple, and home run in the game.
  • 2015 Joc Pederson becomes the third rookie in major league history to hit 20 home runs before July when he goes deep off Allen Webster in the Dodgers’ 10-6 loss to Arizona at Chase Field. The 23 year-old center fielder joins Wally Berger (Braves, 1930) and Albert Pujols (Cardinals, 2001) in accomplishing the feat as a freshman. He has since been joined in that company by current Dodger Cody Bellinger.

Lineup when available.

Jun 24

Game 76, 2017

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Rockies send out RHP Tyler Chatwood (6-7, 4.08 ERA) to face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (10-2, 2.61 ERA).

Chatwood has been on a roll in June, allowing two runs or fewer in each start since June 3. In his career he’s 3-2 with a 1.62 ERA over 39 innings in six starts at Dodger Stadium. This year he’s 3-1 on the road with a somewhat gaudy 1.41 ERA and he’s held opponents to a .182 batting average away from Coors Field. Kershaw’s coming back from a poor (for him) start against the Mets on June 19th when he gave up six runs on four HRs and threw 112 pitches over 6 1/3 innings. With all of that, he still got the win.

Alex Wood has started 2017 like a house afire. He’s “the first Dodgers starter since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 to start a season 8-0, and he’s the first Dodgers starter since Orel Hershiser in ’85 to remain unbeaten 11 starts into a season.”

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 The Dodgers win, 4 – 2, over the Pirates, as Jackie Robinson swipes home for the first of 19 times in his career.
  • 1956 Ed Bailey of the Redlegs hits three home runs in a 10 – 6 first-game win against the Dodgers. The Redlegs win the nitecap, 2 – 1. Eleven Cincinnati players then make an appearance on the What’s My Line? television show that night.
  • 2013 Rookie Yasiel Puig hits his 7th homer in 20 games and drives in the deciding run in the 8th in leading the Dodgers to a 3 – 1 win over the Giants.

Lineup when available.

Hmm. Utley at 1B, Bellinger in LF, Seager on the shelf.

Jun 19

Game 71, 2017

Mets at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, SNY

This will be the first time the Mets’ RHP Zach Wheeler (3-4, 4.48 ERA) pitches against the Dodgers. He’ll face LHP Clayton Kershaw (9-2, 2.23 ERA).

Wheeler had a pretty good May and June until his last outing, when he was shelled by the Cubs, giving up eight runs in only 1 2/3 innings. He’s coming off Tommy John surgery and has already thrown 64 1/3 innings, which the Mets say is about halfway to the point where they want to shut him down. Kershaw threw seven good innings in his last start against the Indians, and he’s working on an extra day of rest, too. He has been more susceptible to the gopher ball this year than in the past; he’s given up 13 already this season, three short of his career high.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1952 Carl Erskine throws a no-hitter against the Cubs in the Dodgers’ 5-0 victory at Ebbets Field. A third inning walk to the opposing pitcher, which accounts for the only runner to reach base, may have been a result of skipper Chuck Dressen telling the 25 year-old right-hander to speed up his pitches due to an impending storm.
  • 1972 At Three Rivers Stadium, Roberto Clemente hits a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to become the Pirates’ all-time RBI leader. The Pittsburgh right fielder’s three ribbies in the 13-3 drubbing of the Dodgers give the future Hall of Famer a total of 1,274 runs batted in for the Bucs.
  • 1973 In different games, the Reds’ Pete Rose and Dodger Willie Davis both collect their 2,000th career hit. The Cincinnati infielder, known as ‘Charlie Hustle’, reaches the milestone with a single against San Francisco in the Reds’ 4-0 victory at Candlestick Park, and the L.A. outfielder, known as 3-Dog, reaches the plateau in front of the home crowd with a two-run home run in the team’s 3-0 victory over Atlanta.
  • 2003 During a College World Series contest against Stanford, a pitch strikes Cal State Fullerton shortstop Justin Turner on the left side of his face as he attempts to bunt. Adding insult to injury, the future Mets infielder also suffers a broken ankle on the play when he unsuccessfully tries to avoid getting hit by the 87-mph fastball thrown by Matt Manship.

Lineup when available.

Jun 18

Game 70, 2017

Dodgers at Reds, 10:10 AM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-O

The Dodgers hope to sweep the series with this game, and they’ll send RHP Kenta Maeda (4-3, 4.95 ERA) out to try to win it. He’ll face old acquaintance Bronson Arroyo (3-5, 7.01 ERA).

Maeda has struggled this season, with only two quality starts in the ten games he’s started, but his last outing was a four-inning save against the Reds on June 9. If he pitches to that level again he may rejoin the Dodgers’ starting rotation.

Arroyo never threw a pitch for the Dodgers, but he came over from the Braves in the July 2015 trade in which they acquired Alex Wood, Mat Latos, Luis Avilan, Jose Peraza and Jim Johnson. He was injured at the time and the Braves were dumping his salary. He was granted free agency in November of that year and landed with the Reds. He may not last very long if his performance doesn’t improve, because Homer Bailey and Brandon Finnegan can come off the DL by the end of June.

Notes:

Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has been clobbering the ball in June. On Tuesday, he became the fastest player to record at least four multihomer games. According to Statcast, as of Saturday, Bellinger is fifth in MLB in barrel rate (23.5 percent) and currently leads left-handed batters in hard contact rate against left-handed pitchers this season. His teammate Corey Seager ranks second in hard contact rate. Bellinger hit his 19th homer on Saturday.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1938 After accepting GM Larry MacPhail’s offer to coach first base, Babe Ruth wears a Dodger uniform for the first time as a coach and takes batting practice with the team. The ‘Bambino’ will quit at the end of the season, ending his ties with major league baseball.
  • 1940 Dodger Ducky Medwick, acquired in a trade less than a week ago, is beaned by former Cardinal teammate Bob Bowman and needs to be carried off the field on a stretcher. Brooklyn president Lee MacPhail accuses the St. Louis pitcher of deliberately hitting Medwick in the head because the two had quarreled in a hotel elevator prior to the game.
  • 1996 Brant Brown hits the first three home runs of his career on the same day. The 25 year-old rookie goes deep as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning off Chan Ho Park in a 9-6 loss to the Dodgers in the opener of a Wrigley Field twin bill, but his two additional round-trippers contribute to Chicago’s 7-4 victory in the nightcap.
  • 2014 With the only batter reaching base as a result of a throwing error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the seventh inning, Clayton Kershaw no-hits the Rockies at Dodger Stadium, striking out a career-high 15 batters. The left-hander’s teammate Josh Beckett also threw a no-hitter 24 days ago, making it the shortest span between no-hitters by a team since the Reds’ Johnny Vander Meer accomplished it in consecutive starts, four days apart, in 1938.

Vinnie calls Kershaw’s no-hitter:

Lineup when available.

Jun 13

Game 65, 2017

Dodgers at Indians, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, SportsTime Ohio

This will be the first time the Dodgers play an American League team this year; they’re the only team which hasn’t played an interleague game yet in 2017.

Cleveland is frustrating its manager.

The visiting Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw (8-2, 2.20 ERA) to the mound to face the 2016 World Series runners-up Indians’ starter Trevor Bauer (5-5, 6.10 ERA). Austin Jackson, Edwin Encarnacion and Abraham Almonte (10-day DL) are the only three Indians who have ever faced Kershaw. They’ve combined to go 1-for-10 with two strikeouts. This will be Kershaw’s second career start against the Indians and his first career start at Progressive Field. His home start was in 2008, the sixth start of his career. He gave up four runs on four hits and three walks and struck out five in five innings. Bauer has made two career starts against the Dodgers and gone 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in 11 2/3 innings. In his last start he gave up four runs on five hits and five walks in 3 1/3 innings to the Twins.

From MLB.com:

23. Los Angeles Dodgers: OF Jeren Kendall, Vanderbilt
[MLB.com Draft and prospect expert Jim] Callis: I know the industry soured on Kendall a bit because of his strikeout rate at Vanderbilt, but I love this pick at No. 23, and personally, would have taken him in the top 10. Yes, he swings and misses, as evidenced by his 74 whiffs in 261 at-bats, but he has the best tools in the college ranks, and he’s been a very productive player at a top program. He has a chance to be a 15-HR, 30-steal guy while playing a quality center field.

The Dodgers picked RHP Morgan Cooper of the U of Texas in the second round. Details about him here.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1957 In a game which features the ejection of Johnny Logan and Don Drysdale, Clem Labine loses for the first time in ten months and 38 relief appearances when the Braves beat Brooklyn, 8-5. The Milwaukee shortstop charged the mound after getting drilled in the ribs by the Dodger right-hander, resulting in banishment for both players.
  • 1973 The Dodgers infield, a quartet which will be together eight and a half years, setting a major league record for longevity, plays together for the first time. First baseman Steve Garvey, second baseman Davey Lopes, third baseman Ron Cey, and shortstop Bill Russell are in the lineup in the 16-3 defeat to the Phillies.
  • 1998 The first triple play ever completed at Dodger Stadium is turned by Darren Dreifort (p), Eric Young (2b), Jose Vizcaino (ss), and Bobby Bonilla (3b). With Colorado runners on first and second base, the 1-6-4 double play becomes a triple killing when Jamey Wright is thrown out at third base by the LA second baseman, who covered first base for the second out.
  • 2010 The Angels, with their first sweep at Dodger Stadium, complete their 14-game road trip with 11 victories, the most for the team on a single trip since 1962. In the 6-5 decision over their crosstown rivals, Halo hurler Jered Weaver strikes out his older brother, Jeff, who came into the game as a long reliever in the third inning, for the first time since they were kids.

Lineup when available.