Aug 16

Game 124, 2019

Dodgers at Braves, 4:20 PM PDT, TV: FSSO, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

The Dodgers’ RHP Kenta Maeda (8-8, 4.12 ERA) takes the mound at Sun Trust Park against RHP Mike Soroka (10-2, 2.32 ERA). Maeda’s last start was arguably his best of the year: he pitched seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball against the D-Backs, striking out six and walking none. Soroka is a rookie with the second-best ERA in MLB behind the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu and this is the first time I’ve heard or read his name. He’s gone at least seven innings in each of his last three starts and four of his last six.

Yesterday’s game was mostly forgettable, but here’s Cody Bellinger’s 40th HR of the season. It’s a career high for him.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1950 At the Polo Grounds, Hank Thompson’s two inside-the-park home runs off Don Bankhead and Carl Erskine contribute to the Giants’ 16-7 drubbing of the Dodgers. The 24 year-old third baseman will hit 129 round-trippers in his 9-year career, three of which will be of the IPHR variety.
  • 1964 St. Louis outfielder Curt Flood collects eight consecutive hits during a doubleheader against Dodgers pitching. The Cardinals split the twin bill in Los Angeles, losing the opener to Sandy Koufax, 3-0, but take the nightcap when Curt Simmons tosses a six hitter to give the Redbirds a 4-0 victory.

Babe Ruth died in New York City on this day in 1948.

Lineup:

I wonder if Bellinger has a bonus clause in his contract for winning a Gold Glove award and that’s why they’ve started playing him in positions other than right field.

Mar 21

Labor strife ahead?

Magic 8-ball says yes.

As late as March 1, scores of free agents were still unsigned as front offices divest from players who are 30 or older — All-Star outfielder Adam Jones is 33, Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel is 31, closer Craig Kimbrel is 30. At the same time, teams manipulate the service time of big-league-ready young players such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. by leaving them in the minors. Teams do this assured in the knowledge that while these veteran and rookie players could obviously help a team, the public condones the anti-labor practice of tanking. Many teams simply aren’t trying to win, and fans don’t care.

[snip]

But today’s player, across sports, was born into a country that has demonized labor so thoroughly that some of them do not even believe philosophically in the principles of unions and more quickly turn on one another. It should forever be remembered that when the owners squeezed veterans in the NBA and NFL, the players responded by attacking younger players, advocating for a rookie wage scale.

[snip]

Baseball’s ownership is now reaching a brazen point. The new generation of Ivy League GMs, with their own metrics and measures for paying players (how is it not collusion if everyone is seemingly using the same methodology?), have crossed two lines:The first is their philosophy of no longer paying players for what they’ve done, only for what they are projected to do. The second is controlling players for six full years and then refusing to pay them once they reach their free agent seventh. The modern player, richer than ever, is faced with a question: Is a punitive free agent market, and a culture that threatens any player over 30, enough to shut down the game?

So far, the players aren’t looking like Curt Flood, while the owners are looking like Charles Comiskey (the reason the Black Sox threw the Series was because their owner was such a cheap man). The players seem to be opting for the security of multi-year contracts, which is rational seeing what’s happened to the stars who’ve hit free agency and received no offers at all.

Oct 28

World Series Game Four, 2017

Dodgers at Astros, 5:10 PM PT, TV: Fox

Down two games to one, if the Dodgers’ backs are not against the wall (the train tracks?) they’re being pushed closer and closer to it. They ask LHP Alex Wood (16-3, 2.72 ERA) to stop the Astros’ offensive onslaught or hold it off until they can get their own bats in gear. They’ll have to do it against RHP Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA). Wood pitched 4 2/3 innings of Game Three of the NLCS against the Cubs, giving up three runs and taking the loss. Morton lost Game Three of the ALCS to the Yankees but came back to pitch five two-hit innings in Game Five and get the win.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1981 The Dodgers, after dropping the first two games of the Fall Classic, defeat the Yankees, 9-2, capturing the World Championship in six games. The victory at the Bronx ballpark marks the third time this postseason that Los Angeles has come from behind to win a series, having been down 0-2 against the Astros in the five-game strike-necessitated NLDS, and 1-2 behind the Expos in the NLCS five-game series.
  • 1981 Entering Game 6 of the World Series in the fifth inning, Yankee right-hander George Frazier, relieving starter Tommy John, gives up three go-ahead runs in the team’s 9-2 elimination loss to the Dodgers at Yankee Stadium. The 27 year-old right-hander becomes the first pitcher to lose three games in a best of seven World Series, and the second hurler to lose that many in any Fall Classic, joining White Sox southpaw Lefty Williams, who also dropped a trio of games in the best-of-nine series played in 1919.
  • 1995 In Game 6, Tom Glavine and Mark Wohlers combine on a one-hitter to defeat the Indians, 1-0, giving the Braves their third World Championship, the first since moving to Atlanta. David Justice’s leadoff homer in the sixth inning off Jim Poole proves to be the difference.
  • 1998

    “It is especially fitting that this legislation honors a courageous baseball player and individual, the late Curt Flood, whose enormous talents on the baseball diamond were matched by his courage off the field. It was 29 years ago this month that Curt Flood refused a trade from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies. His bold stand set in motion the events that culminate in the bill I have signed into law.” – BILL CLINTON, U.S. president commenting on the Curt Flood Act.

    President Clinton signs Curt Flood Act of 1998, revoking baseball’s antitrust exemption for labor matters, but not for matters involving relocation, expansion or the minor leagues. The passage of the legislation by the 105th Congress comes over seventy-five years after the Supreme Court ruled that the sport was not involved in interstate commerce or trade as customarily defined within the context of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

  • 2009 In Game 1, Chase Utley, en route to a record-tying five World Series homers, becomes the first left-handed batter in 81 years to hit two round-trippers off a southpaw in a Fall Classic game. The Philadelphia second baseman, who also set a postseason record by reaching base in 26 straight games with his first-inning walk, goes deep twice off Yankee southpaw CC Sabathia in the Phillies’ 6-1 victory in New York, to match Babe Ruth’s performance in the fourth and final game of the 1928 series.

Lineup when available.

Aug 16

Game 119, 2017

White Sox at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-C

The White Sox try to get a split of this series tonight, sending out YALHP Carlos Rodon (1-4, 4.24 ERA) to face the Dodgers’ big (6′ 5″, 220 lbs) trade deadline acquisition, RHP Yu Darvish (8-9, 3.81).

This will be Darvish’s home debut, and if he continues the way he did in his first two starts for the Dodgers he’ll please the crowd, his teammates and management. Since his acquisition he’s 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and has 20 strikeouts to only three walks in 12 innings. He also has finished off a strikeout with 30.3 percent of his two-strike pitches. Rodon’s last start against the Astros was his best of the season. He went 8 innings and gave up just two runs but got no decision for all his work.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1950 At the Polo Grounds, Hank Thompson’s two inside-the-park home runs off Don Bankhead and Carl Erskine contribute to the Giants’ 16-7 drubbing of the Dodgers. The 24 year-old third baseman will hit 129 round-trippers in his 9-year career, three of which will be of the IPHR variety.
  • 1964 St. Louis outfielder Curt Flood collects eight consecutive hits during a doubleheader against Dodgers pitching. The Cardinals split the twin bill in Los Angeles, losing the opener to Sandy Koufax, 3-0, but take the nightcap when Curt Simmons tosses a six hitter to give the Redbirds a 4-0 victory.

Babe Ruth died in New York City on this day in 1948.

Lineup:

I suspect Kiké is in the lineup because he homered twice off Rodon in his only other start against the Dodgers back in July.