Sep 11

Game 144, 2017

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS BA

RHP Kenta Maeda (12-6, 4.02 ERA) takes the mound against RHP Chris Stratton (2-3, 4.10 ERA) in San Francisco.

Maeda allowed one unearned run over five innings on Wednesday against the D-backs. He’s 3-1 with a 4.58 ERA in four career starts against the Giants. Stratton has both started and relieved this season; he’s been much better as a starter. He’s got an 8.59 ERA in relief. As a starter he’s made five starts and has gone 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA since the All Star break.

A sad note: former Dodger (and nine other teams’) scout Mel Didier died Sunday night at home in Phoenix. He was 90 years old. His most memorable find was probably his analysis which showed that the Athletics’ Dennis Eckersley liked to throw backdoor sliders when the count was full and first base was open. He told the Dodgers’ hitters that before Game One of the 1988 World Series. What was the count to Kirk Gibson when he hit that game-winning home run? 3-2. What was the pitch? A backdoor slider.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 The Dodgers end Elroy Face’s consecutive win streak at 22 with a 5-4 victory over the Pirates. The reliever, who will end the season with an 18-1 record, is beaten by Chuck Churn, the winner of only three major league career victories.
  • 1966 In his first major league at-bat, John Miller homers off Lee Stange in the second inning of the Yankees’ 4-2 victory over Boston at Fenway Park. The 22 year-old left fielder, whose total of 10 hits in his 32-game career will include just two round-trippers, will become the only player to hit home runs in his first and last major league plate appearance when he goes deep as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers in his final turn at bat in 1966.
  • 1998 Kevin Malone is named as the Dodgers’ general manager, replacing Tommy Lasorda, who is promoted to Senior Vice President of the team. The “new sheriff in town” tenure in Los Angeles will be marked by the signing of high profile players to huge contracts, including Kevin Brown’s seven-year deal making the right-hander the first $100 million man in baseball.

Historical note of more than passing interest to Cody Bellinger fans: today in 1956 Frank Robinson ties Wally Berger’s 1930 National League record for home runs by a rookie for home runs with his 38th in the Reds’ 11-5 victory over the Giants at Polo Grounds. A’s first baseman Mark McGwire established the major league mark for freshman homers with 49 round-trippers in 1989. Bellinger has 36 with 18 games to go in the season.

Lineup when available.

Granderson again? Why not Ethier in LF? And since A-Gon had to have an epidural shot four days ago, why not Cody at 1B?

Roberts, I’m beginning to question your judgment.

Sep 03

Game 136, 2017

Dodgers at Padres, 1:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Dodgers ask LHP Alex Wood (14-1, 2.41 ERA) to help them salvage a split in this series, while the Padres ask RHP Jhoulys Chacin (11-10, 4.03 ERA) to help pull off an unlikely series win.

Wood is coming off the disabled list where he’d been with an irritated sternum; he’s been given a cortisone injection. Despite that he’s having a career year. Chacin has been unable to get past the fifth inning in his last four starts but has limited the opposition to one run in three of them.

Seager and Bellinger have not been in the lineup together since August 19. The Dodgers are averaging 3.14 runs-per-game in the two weeks since.

This day in Dodgers history:

  • 1917 Grover Cleveland Alexander goes the distance in both games of the Phillies’ doubleheader sweep of Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. In his 18 innings of work, the Philadelphia right-hander limits the Dodgers to seven hits en route to posting 5-0 and 9-3 victories in the twin bill.
  • 1978 At Dodger Stadium, Lee Mazzilli becomes the first Mets player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in a game. The center fielder’s first and seventh inning blasts, respectively hit off southpaw Tommy John and right-hander Charlie Hough, pace the last-place club to an 8-5 victory.

Lineup when available.

Aug 30

Game 131, 2017

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 3:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN

Ryu v. Ray. Sounds like an MMC card, doesn’t it? Nope, it’s the Dodgers’ lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-6, 3.34 ERA) going up against the D-Backs’ LHP Robbie Ray (10-5, 3.06 ERA).

In his last nine starts Ryu is 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA and 49Ks. He held the Pirates to one run over six innings in his last start and was rewarded with the win. Ray’s last start was his first in a month; he gave up one run to the Mets in five innings and got a win. He’d been on the DL since July 28 with a concussion and related symptoms.

Where do Ryu and Kenta Maeda fit in the post season? Eric Stephen has thoughts.

Curtis Granderson’s foundation is donating 25K to the Houston Food Bank.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1918 At the Polo Grounds, the Giants beat the Dodgers, 1-0, on an unearned run in the bottom in the ninth in a contest that takes only fifty-six minutes to complete. Pete Compton’s base hit off Jack Combs plates Larry Doyle, who had singled to lead off the frame and moved to third on Ollie O’Mara’s errant throw on a sacrifice bunt.
  • 1952 Nine-time All-Star infielder Arky Vaughan drowns with a friend when their boat capsized while fishing in a volcanic lake near Eagleville, CA. The former shortstop and third baseman, who compiled a .318 batting average and a .406 on-base percentage playing with the Pirates and Dodgers, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.
  • 1966 Sandy Koufax, in his final decision facing the Mets, lasts only two innings, losing to Bob Friend at Shea Stadium, 10-4. The Dodgers Hall of Fame southpaw has compiled a 17-2 record against the lowly expansion team since their inception in 1962.
  • 2000 Earning his 1,600th victory, Braves’ manager Bobby Cox passes former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda on the career list for most managerial victories. His 5-2 victory over the Reds puts him 14th on the all-time list.
  • 2015 The NL’s eventual 2015 Cy Young Award recipient Jake Arrieta, needing just 116 pitches, beats Los Angeles, 2-0, tossing the 12th no-hitter ever thrown at the Chavez Ravine ballpark, and the 13th no-no in Cubs history. The contest marks the second time in ten games the Dodgers has been unable to get a hit, after being held hitless by Astros right-hander Mike Fiers on August 21.

Lineup when available.

Note Bellinger’s return to the lineup at 1B. To make room for him the Dodgers optioned Kyle Farmer back to OKC. Seager is still nursing his elbow, I imagine.

Aug 22

Game 124, 2017

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, KTLA, ATT SportsNet-PIT

This would have been Yu Darvish’s start but he’s on the (precautionary) DL, so the Dodgers have called up RHP Brock Stewart (0-0, 1.64 ERA) to make his third start of the year. He’s gone 7 2/3 innings in the previous two. He’ll face RHP Jameson Taillon (7-5, 4.64 ERA), who returned June 12 from a month on the DL after surgery and treatment for testicular cancer (yes, there have been two MLB players treated for that disease this season — the Rockies’ Chad Bettis is the other). Taillon has had a 5.40 ERA since his return, and in his last outing against the Cardinals he gave up four runs on seven hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in five innings.

Wood’s sternum injury has flared up and he’ll probably miss his next start. Bellinger is still day-to-day but took batting practice and claimed he had no ankle pain. Kershaw will make a rehab start for Oklahoma City on Saturday.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1917 In a 22-inning contest against the Dodgers, Pirates’ outfielder Carson Bigbee sets a major-league record with 11 at-bats. The game was also the fourth straight extra-inning game played by Pittsburgh (total of 59 innings), which sets a National League record.
  • 1965 Juan Marichal thinks Johnny Roseboro throws too close to his head returning the ball to Sandy Koufax and attacks the Dodger catcher with his bat. The Los Angeles backstop suffers cuts on the head during the 14-minute brawl. Marichal was suspended for ten days and fined $1,750.
  • 2000 Hitting a solo blast and a three-run round tripper during a nine-run sixth inning of a 14-6 victory over the Expos, Dodger first baseman Eric Karros becomes the first player in the 111-year franchise history to hit two homers in an inning.

Here’s an oddity: In 1992 in the seventh inning of a Class A Florida State League contest, the Clearwater Phillies string together two walks and two sac bunts to score the game’s only run, beating the Winter Haven Red Sox, 1-0. Opposing minor league hurlers Andy Carter and Scott Bakkum do not give up any hits, making it the first professional game to be hitless in 40 years.

Lineup when available.

Aug 21

Game 123, 2017

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet Pit

The Dodgers will start LHP Alex Wood (14-1, 2.30 ERA) in the fourth game of their seven-game road trip. He and the Dodgers will face RHP Gerrit Cole (10-8, 4.04 ERA).

The Dodgers won the first three games of the season series by a combined total of 21 runs to six. Wood has made seven appearances against the Buccos, six of them starts, and he’s held them to a .227 BA while putting up a 2.61 ERA. Cole had a good June and July going 7-2, but he’s been up and down the rest of the season and he’s given up more than twice as many HRs (26) as he ever has before. His ERA is half-a-run higher than his career average to this point, too.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1975 The Reuschel brothers of the Cubs join forces to blank the Dodgers, 6-0. Rick goes 6.1 innings, and Paul finishes the game for the first shutout thrown by siblings.
  • 1990 The Phillies overcome an eight-run deficit, scoring nine runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat the Dodgers, 12-11. John Kruk’s pinch-hit three-run homer ties the game, and two batters later, Carmelo Martinez’s double plates Rod Booker with the eventual winning run in the Chavez Ravine contest.

  • 2005 Florida suspends their bat boy for six games after the 11 year-old accepts former Marlin and current Dodger hurler Brad Penny’s $500 dare to drink a gallon of milk in less than an hour without throwing up. The Milk Processor Education Program will promise to pay off the dare and to cover the lost wages resulting from the suspension if the sixth grader, who is able to drink the quantity in the allotted time but cannot keep it down, agrees to drink three glasses every 24 hours.

Here’s a bit of trivia I’d never heard before: in 1951 Major General Emmett O’Donnell is selected by the owners to be the new commissioner. President Harry Truman overrules the decision, stating the officer is needed in Korea in his post as commander of bombers.

Bellinger improving but ankle still swollen. Won’t start tomorrow either, Roberts said.

Lineup when available.

Aug 18

Game 120, 2017

Dodgers at Tigers, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-D

On “University of Michigan” night in Detroit, it’s fitting that the Dodgers send former Michigan baseball standout lefty Rich Hill (8-4, 3.44 ERA) to the mound to face righty Jordan Zimmermann (7-9, 5.62 ERA).

Hill was the NL Pitcher of the Month for July but has yet to get a decision in August. He went six innings in his last start against the Padres while giving up two runs on five hits. He’s pitched at Comerica park seven times while in the AL, but only once as a starter. That was last year for Oakland before the Dodgers acquired him. Zimmermann gave up seven runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings in his last start but somehow avoided taking a loss. The Dodgers are familiar with him from his years with the Nationals. He was 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA against them.

The Dodgers activated Adrian Gonzalez and optioned Rob Segedin.

From Dodgers Insider

An entire baseball team could be fielded with the number of different Dodger players who’ve hit a walk-off this year. With Puig’s game-winning two-run double, he became the ninth different player to walk the Dodgers off with a win in their 10 walk-offs this season.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 Long time baseball executive Branch Rickey is named president of the newly formed Continental League. The 77 year-old former Dodger general manager is currently serving as an advisor with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • 1982 In the second longest game in franchise history, the Cubs lose to the Dodgers, 2-1. The Wrigley Field contest, which is played over two days, takes a Dusty Baker sacrifice fly and 21 innings to complete.

Lineup when available.

Adrian’s first day off the DL and he’s in the lineup at 1B, Seager gets to sit on the bench and think about hitting, Bellinger roams left field, and Taylor moves to shortstop for the day.

It just struck me how many guys on this team have names that begin with “C.” On days when Kershaw pitches and Utley plays 2B, the Dodgers could have 5/9 or nearly 56% of their lineup made up of them.

Jul 01

Game 83, 2017

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

LHP Rich Hill (4-4, 4.60 ERA) is coming off his longest and maybe his best outing of the season, when he went seven innings giving up three runs on four hits against the Angels. He’ll face LHP Dillon Overton (0-0, 6.38 ERA), who was just picked up off waivers by the Padres. He’d made nine appearances for the Mariners this season before they let him go. This will be his seventh career start. He made one for Seattle this season and five for Oakland in 2016 and has a 9.85 ERA in that role.

Sometime down the road could there be a little sibling rivalry? Earlier this week Cole Bellinger, brother of slugging Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, signed with the Padres for $350,000.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1968 Bob Gibson’s scoreless inning streak ends abruptly at 47 with a questionable call when the official scorer rules a wild pitch, and not a passed ball, allowed Len Gabrielson to score in the first inning of the Cardinals’ 5-1 victory over the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. Without the hometown decision, the Redbird right-hander, who will blank San Francisco in his next start, would have been within three innings of breaking the mark of 58 scoreless frames established in June by Don Drysdale, tonight’s losing pitcher.
  • 2011 In the seventh inning of a 5-0 inter-league victory of the Angels in Anaheim, Dee Gordon steals second and third base and then completes the stolen base cycle by swiping home. The Dodger shortstop becomes the 40th major leaguer to accomplish the trifecta in the same frame.

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 21

Game 73, 2017

Mets at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, SNY, ESPN (out-of-market only)

The Mets ask RHP Tyler Pill (0-2, 3.75 ERA) to take the hill tonight. They’d originally planned that Rafael Montero would start this game, but he had to throw 3 2/3 innings of long relief Monday night. LHP Rich Hill (3-3, 5.14 ERA) will get the start for the Dodgers.

PIll, a San Dimas native, made two starts earlier this season, posting a 3.48 ERA despite a fastball that averages less than 90 mph. His manager says he has to change speeds or he won’t be effective. Hill is coming off his worst start of the year; he gave up seven runs in four innings against the Indians last week. He has yet to record an out in the sixth inning this season.

Even more astonishing, perhaps, is that the guys holding down positions 2 and 3 are not only active but are in tonight’s lineup: Seager and Pederson each hit 26 in their respective rookie years.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1957 In his first major league start, Von McDaniel‚ who graduated from Oklahoma’s Hollis High School last month, two-hits the Dodgers at Busch Stadium‚ 2-0. Brooklyn does not get a hit off the 18 year-old bonus baby until the sixth inning.
  • 1998 Bill Russell is released as Dodger manager and is replaced in the dugout by Glenn Hoffmann. In the front office, Tommy Lasorda assumes the general manager duties of the third-place club from Fred Claire.
  • 2016 Dean Kremer becomes the first-ever Israeli to sign a contract with a Major League baseball team when he comes to terms with the Dodgers, after being selected in the annual amateur draft earlier this month. The 20-year-old right-hander, who won Europe’s Most Valuable Pitcher award in both 2014 and 2015, has hurled for Israel’s national baseball team for the past three seasons. (Note: Kremer is currently 1-3 with a 6.69 ERA for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Dodgers’ Advanced A team in the California League)

Lineup when available.