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.

Jun 20

Game 72, 2017

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

The Mets send LA native RHP Robert Gsellman (5-4, 5.50 ERA) out to make his first ever start in California. He’ll face the Dodgers’ increasingly-consistent righthander Brandon McCarthy (5-3, 3.14 ERA).

Gsellmann has not had a good year and if not for injuries to other starters he’d probably be in the bullpen or in the minors trying to get his mojo back. Instead he’s started 12 games for the Mets this year and put up a 5.71 ERA while doing so. McCarthy, on the other hand, came back from a dislocated left (non-throwing) shoulder injury and has put up a 1.91 ERA in his last five starts.

For the statheads:

Entering Monday, no full-time starter had allowed a lower rate of “hard-hit” balls (those with exit velocities of at least 95 mph) than McCarthy’s 21.4 percent, and no pitcher had allowed a lower rate of barrels (the most favorable batted balls for hitters, yielding expected batting averages of at least .500 and slugging percentages of at least 1.500) than McCarthy’s 2.2 percent.

Here are videos of Bellinger’s five most memorable HRs in this young season, per CutFour.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2008 In recognition of their significant contributions to the community, the Dodgers become the first sports franchise to be honored by the Hollywood Historic Trust and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. The team receives an Award of Excellence star, which is placed in the Walk of Fame, which includes a constellation of celebrities, real and fictional, who have had a major impact on the entertainment industry.
  • 2009 Jeff Weaver beats his kid brother Jered when the visiting Dodgers best the Halos, 6-5, at Angel Stadium. The Northridge, California natives become the eighth set of siblings in major league history to start against one another.

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.

May 10

Game 34, 2017

Pirates at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTPIT

The visitors send RHP Chad Kuhl (1-2, 5.54 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (2-2, 5.81 ERA). Kuhl managed to beat the Dodgers twice last year despite posting a 4.09 ERA while doing so. Maeda’s last two starts were his best of the season (12 innings, three earned runs, 16 Ks).

Here’s a scheduling quirk: today’s game will be the third of 35 consecutive games the Pirates will play outside of the National League Central.

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1953 With a double and home run, Roy Campanella drives in all the runs in the Dodgers’ 5-0 victory over the Phillies at Ebbets Field. Campy’s total of 40+ RBIs in the first 30 games will not be matched until Tino Martinez accomplishes the feat in 1997 with the Yankees.
  • 1955 Dodger right-hander Don Newcombe faces only 27 batters when he one-hits Chicago at Wrigley Field, 3-0. Newk’s bid for perfection is ruined by a fourth-inning single hit by Gene Baker, who will be thrown out trying to steal second base.

Injury update:

Lineup:

We see the immediate impact of Toles’s injury, as Bellinger moves to left field and Utley plays 1B.

May 08

Game 32, 2017

Pirates at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTPIT

It’ll be righty Trevor Williams (1-1, 5.40 ERA) for the Bucs against Brandon McCarthy (3-0, 3.10 ERA) or Alex Wood (2-0, 3.28 ERA). Williams has been in the bullpen and hasn’t started since Spring Training, so he may be on an 80-pitch limit. Yesterday would have been McCarthy’s day to start. That had been pushed back a day due to a mysterious weight-room injury to his non-throwing shoulder but the rainout denied him that. Wood’s last game was April 26, when he made his third start.

Is Cody Bellinger the latest version of Eric Karros, who got a chance in 1992 and made the most of it?

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1941 An Army-Navy Relief game between New York’s two National League teams raises over $60,000. Dolph Camilli’s homer is the difference in the Ebbets Field exhibition as the Dodgers edge the Giants, 7-6.

Lineup when available.

Wood’s doing the pitching and NL Player of the Week Cody Bellinger is playing 1B.

May 05

Game 30, 2017

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

RHP Kenta Maeda (2-2, 6.58 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. He lost to the Padres on April 4, but he’s since found a cut fastball and its use led to a very good outing against the Phillies last week: seven innings, five hits, two runs and a win. He’ll face RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-3, 5.82 ERA), who hasn’t allowed a run in 14 2/3 innings at home this year.

The Dodgers are expected to activate Joc Pederson from the 10-day DL, which means someone has to be sent down to OKC to make room. Might be Bellinger, might be one of the relief pitchers. We’ll probably know by early afternoon.

On this day in Dodgers history:

  • 1955 In his first major league start, Dodger rookie starter Tommy Lasorda ties a record, throwing three wild pitches in the first inning of the team’s 4-3 victory over St. Louis at Ebbets Field.
  • 1962 Bo Belinsky throws the first no-hitter in Angels history and the first one ever tossed at Dodger Stadium, beating the Orioles, 2-0. The 25 year-old southpaw is only the tenth rookie to throw a no-hitter.
  • 2009 The Dodgers tie the major league record of 12 consecutive wins at home to start the season with their 3-1 victory over Arizona. L.A.’s 12-0 start at home equals the mark set by the Tigers in 1911.

Kershaw, McCarthy and Bill Shaikin try their hands at financial analysis of the Dodgers’ methods of acquiring starting pitching.

Lineup when available.

Note Bellinger is at 1B. Here’s why:

May 02

Game 28, 2017

Injury news:

The Dodgers are getting Pederson ready to return to the club Friday for the series opener against the Padres in San Diego.

“He’s going to DH tonight [at Rancho Cucamonga], go through that progression and hopefully if things go well we’ll see him on Friday,” Robert said. “He’ll take three at-bats tonight, so that’s exciting.”

The other walking wounded that we’ll see soon include:

Outfielder Franklin Gutierrez (hamstring) is scheduled to be activated before Tuesday’s game, Roberts said. Second baseman Logan Forsythe (broken toe) is expected to begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday or Thursday.

Kazmir, Ravin and Segedin will be a while yet.

Ravin made his first rehab appearance with Rancho Cucamonga on Monday, striking out one and allowing one hit in a scoreless inning. He’s essentially starting Spring Training, Roberts said.

Kazmir threw a bullpen session over the weekend and is scheduled to remain in Los Angeles and throw again when the Dodgers leave for San Diego.

[snip]

Segedin is working out in Arizona at the Dodgers’ complex at Camelback Ranch Glendale. Roberts said a date for a rehab assignment for Segedin has not been set yet.

“He’s in Arizona right now doing some baseball activities, but he still says that it’s not right,” Roberts said. “I know, obviously, every day he’s getting better, but I think that with the time he’s missed, it’s still, once he starts, it’s going to be certainly a week of games at least to show that he’s healthy.”

If you’ve forgotten, Segedin injured a big toe and ligament in his very first plate appearance with the Dodgers on April 17.

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS-BA

It’s a lefty matchup between the Giants’ Matt Moore (1-3, 4.80 ERA) and the Dodgers’ Alex Wood (1-0, 2.29 ERA). Moore held the Dodgers to one run on two hits over seven innings last Thursday and came up with no decision. He’s made 18 starts in his career with the Giants, and five of them have been against the Dodgers.

Wood pitched six shutout innings and allowed one hit Wednesday in San Francisco, also getting no decision. In his three starts this season he’s got a 3.14 ERA, and he’d no doubt like to have another good outing to persuade the Dodgers to keep hi in the starting rotation.

Lineup when available.

Note that Bellinger is at first base.

Apr 26

Game 22, 2017

In case you missed it, here’s the most amazing play of the year thus far:

Dodgers at Giants, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBC-Bay Area, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Lefty Alex Wood (1-0, 3.29 ERA) faces Johnny Cueto (3-1, 5.25 ERA) in Game Three of the four-game set. It might be Wood’s last start for a while, because of this news:

followed by this remark: “Roberts said Urias is up to stay.”

Lineup when available.

Roberts keeps switching batting orders around for reasons I don’t understand. Bellinger’s leading off? Toles was leading off and now he’s hitting eighth? Utley’s hitting 0-for April and yet he’s at second base?

Apr 25

Game 21, 2017

Dodgers at Giants, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS-BA

Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 2.54 ERA) faces YALHP Ty Blach (0-0, 4.76 ERA). These two pitchers have met once before, on October 1 of last year, and Blach came out ahead. He gave up three hits but no runs and got two hits himself in his first (and only) major league win. Kershaw’s 18-8 lifetime against the Giants and 10-4 at AT&T Park.

The miserable Giants have won the season series against the Dodgers four of the past five years, and the Dodgers have been really pitiful at the Giants’ home park: they’re 2-8 there in each of the last two years.

In other news:

Lineup when available.

I am a little puzzled. I wonder if the thinking is the Dodgers are looking at Bellinger as a first-baseman down the road but meanwhile they have an outfield need.

To make room for him they optioned Eibner to AAA and designated RHP Joe Gunkel for assignment.

Feb 28

How will they handle Urias’s innings?

Here’s the current thinking:

“I think it’s something we continue to talk through and ultimately for us, it’s what’s best for Julio and what’s best for us,” Roberts said. “I think that there is a certain innings limit that he’s going to have this year and we all understand that and we all accept that. We want him to be ready to go in September and beyond.”

In other news, Scott Kazmir will likely be the starter on Wednesday against the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch on a back field.

In case you missed Cody Bellinger’s home run the other day, here’s a link to the video.