Oct 07

NLDS Games Two, 2017

First game: Cubs at Nationals, 2:30 PM PT, TV: TBS

The visiting Cubs trot out veteran (133 2/3 playoff innings!) LHP Jon Lester (13-8, 4.33 ERA), who made two starts against the Nats this season and came away with no decisions but a 2.84 ERA. He’ll face LHP Gio Gonzalez (15-9, 2.86 ERA), who saw the Nationals just once this year; he gave up two hits and five walks over six innings and took the loss in June.

Second game: Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The D-Backs send LHP Robbie Ray (15-5, 2.89 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers, three days after pitching 2 1/3 innings of relief and making 34 pitches in the Wild Card game. He’ll face LHP Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32 ERA), who was 0-3 with a 5.03 ERA in four starts against the D-Backs this season. That ERA was skewed by one bad game in which they scored six runs in 3 2/3 innings against him.

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.

Lineup when available.

Aug 24

Game 126, 2017

Dodgers at Pirates, 1:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-PIT

Dodger lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-6, 3.45 ERA) will face the Pirates’ RHP Chad Kuhl (6-8, 4.52 ERA) in a day game at PNC Park. Ryu seems to have gotten on track after his two-year recovery from injuries: he’s 2-0 with a 2.22 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings in his last eight starts. Kuhl has pitched much better since July 1, posting a 3.21 ERA. In his first 15 starts of the season before that he had a 5.58 ERA.

Yu Darvish and Kenta Maeda will meet and greet the Japanese Little League team before the game.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1941 During a double-header against the Cardinals, a rag tag group of five ‘musicians’, dubbed the Dodger SymPhony by announcer Red Barber, makes their Ebbets Field’s debut. This band, in which none of the members can read music, performs their zany antics at all evening and weekend games.
  • 1955 A telegram sent to Brooklyn president Walter O’Malley by the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce offers the team “thirty acres or more of dry flat land in open country in the heart of Long Island’s densest Dodger fan concentration.” The village’s attempt to attract the fleeing franchise to the south shore of Suffolk County will not materialize, and the club, after exploring many different venues as an alternative to Ebbets Field, will leave the East Coast in 1958 to play in Los Angeles.
  • 1957 The Dodgers, in a 13-3 loss to Milwaukee at Ebbets Field, use eight pitchers in one game, tying a major league record. Johnny Podres gives up three home runs in the fourth frame when Nippy Jones, Hank Aaron, and Andy Pafko all go deep off the Brooklyn starter.
  • 1960 During a dull game, Vin Scully, the play-by-play voice of the Dodgers, knowing that many fans in the stands follow the game on transistor radios, asks his listeners to help him surprise third base umpire Frank Secory. His ballpark audience responds when the veteran broadcaster tells them, “Let’s have some fun. As soon as the inning is over I’ll count to three, and on three everybody yell, ‘Happy birthday, Frank!'”
  • 1974 Davey Lopes steals five bases, tying a National League record established in 1904 by Giants first baseman Dan McGann. The Dodger second baseman’s quintet of stolen bags adds to the team’s franchise mark of eight stolen bases in their 3-0 victory over the Redbirds at Chavez Ravine.
  • 1975 Davey Lopes steals his major league record 38th consecutive base, but the streak will be stopped by Montreal backstop Gary Carter when he attempts to swipe another base in the Dodger Stadium contest. The second baseman will be thrown out in the 12th inning of the team’s 5-3 loss in fourteen innings.
  • 2014 Joc Pederson becomes the fourth player in the history of the Pacific Coast League to have a 30-30 season, and the first to accomplish the feat in 80 years, when he steals his 30th base for the Isotopes. The 22 year-old Albuquerque slugger, who has 32 home runs and a .432 slugging percentage in 116 games this season, will join the Dodgers when rosters expand next week.

Lineup when available.

Yes, that is a birthday cake for Kiké. No, I did not add it. The Dodgers’ Twitter person did.

Aug 20

Game 122, 2017

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

The visiting Dodgers try to finish a sweep of the Tigers in a day game from Comerica Park. They’ll send RHP Kenta Maeda (11-4, 3.76 ERA) to the mound to face 2011 Cy Young Award winner RHP Justin Verlander (8-8, 4.11 ERA).

Maeda is on a hot streak. He’s gone 5-0 with a 1.95 ERA in his last six starts. He’s never faced the Tigers. Verlander gave up three HRs in a loss to the Rangers on Tuesday. He’s certainly not having a year even close to his standards.

Potential milestones: Verlander is looking for his 30th interleague win. He’s gone a gaudy 29-5 with a 2.94 ERA in 41 career regular-season starts against National League teams, but he hasn’t victimized the Dodgers much. His only start against the Dodgers was a home victory on July 8, 2014. Adrian González needs two hits to reach 2,000 for his career, but Verlander’s not the guy he’d like to face to get there. He’s 3-17 lifetime against the Tigers’ pitcher.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1945 Dodger shortstop Tommy Brown becomes the youngest player (17 years, 8 months, and 14 days) in major league history to hit a home run. The round-tripper by ‘Buckshot’, who started his career as a 16 year-old high school student, will be the only run Brooklyn scores off 30 year-old Pirates southpaw Preacher Roe, who goes the distance in the 11-1 rout of the home team at Ebbets Field.
  • 1974 In an 18-8 rout of the Cubs, the Dodgers collect 24 hits and set a club record with 48 total bases, including Davey Lopes’ three home runs, double, and single. The Dodger second baseman’s 15 total bases are the most ever for a leadoff hitter.
  • 1978 In the visitors’ clubhouse at Shea Stadium, Dodger Blue becomes black and blue when Steve Garvey confronts teammate Don Sutton about a Washington Post story in which the pitcher is critical of him. After the right-hander confirms he had made the comments, the argument becomes physical when an inappropriate remark is made about the first baseman’s wife.

I remember lying on a couch in my relative’s home while on vacation in Santa Maria listening to Scully and Doggett tell me about this one: in 1961 in the second game of a doubleheader the Phillies snap a 23-game losing streak by beating the Braves, 7-4. The victory establishes a new record for the most consecutive losses by a major league team.

Lineup when available.

Aug 09

Game 113, 2017

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

Two thirteen-game winners face off tonight at Chase Field: the Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (13-1, 2.33 ERA) against the D-Backs’ RHP Zack Greinke (13-4, 3.10 ERA). Wood cited fatigue as a reason for a drop in his velocity (his fastball had a 90.8-mph average, lowest of the year) in his last start but says a change in mechanics has resolved that. Greinke saw his ERA jump nearly a full point from 2.12 to 3.10 after he gave up six earned runs in six innings in his last start.

Wood needs to be careful with A.J. Pollock; he has a .462 batting average and two homers in 13 career at-bats against the Dodgers’ lefty.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1975 At Shea Stadium, Davey Lopes steals his 32nd consecutive base without being caught, breaking Max Carey’s 1922 record in the Dodgers’ 2-0 victory over New York. The Dodger second baseman’s mark will be broken by Vince Coleman in 1989.
  • 1976 John Candelaria becomes the first Pirate since 1907 to throw a no-hitter in Pittsburgh. Nick Maddox threw the first and only Buc home no-hitter until the ‘Candyman’ beat the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium. (There was never a no-hitter pitched in the 61-year history of spacious Forbes Field.)
  • 2001 Mike Hampton ties the National League record for pitchers with his seventh homer when he goes deep off Felix Heredia in the Rockies’ 14-5 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Colorado southpaw equals the mark established by Dodger hurlers Don Drysdale (1958, 1965) and Don Newcombe (1955), and two shy of the major league standard set by Wes Ferrell, playing for the Indians in 1931.
  • 2013 The Dodgers rally for four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, overcoming a six-run, seventh-inning deficit, for their fifth walk-off victory of the season. The team’s 7-6 victory over Tampa Bay is their 11th consecutive win in a one-run games, a span in which they have defeated ten different clubs.


Jul 24

Game 100, 2017

Twins at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSNO

The Twins’s newly-signed RHP Bartolo Colon (2-9, 8.19 ERA) will face the Dodgers’ LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6, 4.21 ERA).

Colon was released by the Braves at the end of June. The Twins are his tenth MLB team; he’s 235-171 with a 4.02 ERA in his 20-year career, all but 4 years of it in the American League. Ryu is coming off the DL where he’s been for three weeks with a bruised foot.

Kershaw may be out 4-6 weeks, says a “baseball source” inside MLB. However, it’s also reported that there won’t be a firm time frame until the Dodgers’ go-to back specialist, Dr. Robert Watkins, has examined Kershaw. Presumably that will happen/has happened today.

Kershaw isn’t the only Dodger pitcher headed for the DL; Brandon McCarthy is as well. He’s got a blister. Kenta Maeda will take his start Tuesday night.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1909 At Washington Park, the Superbas sweep a twin bill from the visiting Cardinals with identical 1-0 scores. Brooklyn’s southpaw Nap Rucker, who will finish second in the NL with 200 strikeouts, whiffs 16 Redbirds in one of the contests.
  • 1931 For the second time in ten days, Babe Herman hits for the cycle. The Dodger outfielder joins “Long John” Reilly and Bob Meusel as one of only three ‘tricyclists’ to have accomplished the feat of collecting a single, double, triple, and home run in one game three times.
  • 1965 Unbeknownst to him at the time, 75 year-old Mets skipper Casey Stengel, who compiled a managerial record of 1,905-1,842 with the Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, and Mets, manages his final baseball game, a 5-1 loss to Philadelphia at Shea Stadium. After leaving a party after midnight at Toots Shor’s, the ‘Old Perfesser’ loses his balance and fractures his left hip, resulting in the unexpected retirement with the team.
  • 1968 ChiSox reliever Hoyt Wilhelm breaks Cy Young’s record when he makes his 907th career appearance, pitching a third of an inning in which he gives up a run on two hits to be on the short-side of the team’s 3-2 loss to Oakland. The 45 year-old knuckleballer, who will retire in 1972 after pitching in 1,070 games, will finish his 21-year major league career with a 143-122 (.540) won-loss record and 228 saves, hurling for the Giants, Cardinals, Indians, Orioles, White Sox, Angels, Braves, Cubs, and Dodgers.
  • 1970 Tommy Agee steals home with two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning, giving the Mets a 2-1 walk-off victory over the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, the New York center fielder stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, before scoring the winning run with his thievery of home plate.
  • 1977 After his two-out foul pop-up is dropped by Mets’ right fielder Bruce Boisclair, Davey Lopes responds with a game-ending three-run home run off Bob Apodaca. The L.A. second baseman’s ninth inning dramatics provide the Dodgers with a 5-3 win, and spoils the opportunity for a victory for Nino Espinosa, who left the game needing just one more out for a complete-game victory.
  • 1993 In a 5-4 loss to the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, Mets right-hander Anthony Young extends his record losing streak to 27 games. The latest defeat is the result of the hard-luck hurler walking Dave Hansen in with the winning run with two outs in the 10th inning.
  • 1993 Following the game at Dodger Stadium, Vince Coleman tosses a M-80 from a car, resulting in reported injuries to three fans in the Chavez Ravine parking lot, including an 11 year-old boy and a two year-old girl. The Mets’ player was a passenger in the 1991 Jeep Cherokee driven by LA outfielder Eric Davis, who acknowledges Coleman flipped the firecracker out of his vehicle as a ‘joke’, but not into a crowd of people.

Non-Dodger history of note: today is the anniversary of The Pine Tar Incident with George Brett.

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.

Jun 09

Game 62, 2017

Reds at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-O

The Reds have lost their last six games at Dodger Stadium, their last five series there and were swept in last year’s three-game series for the first time since 2009.

YALHP Amir Garrett (3-4, 7.17 ERA) pitches for the Redlegs and Rich Hill (2-2, 4.15 ERA) goes for the Dodgers.

Garrett has been hit hard in his last three starts (21 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings). He spent time on the 10-day DL and came back off just to get lit up by the Braves, lasting only 2 2/3 innings while giving up nine runs (eight earned). Hill has had trouble with finger blisters and with control: his strikeout-to-walk ratio is 1.44 (Kershaw’s is 7.2; McCarthy’s is 3.4). Hill’s WHIP has jumped from 0.79 in his six starts for the Dodgers last season to 1.54 in six this season.

Is this the year Kershaw surpasses Koufax?

Meanwhile, if the arguments about Koufax and Kershaw right now are too close to call, this is probably the last year we can have that debate, if it’s not too late already. Because Kershaw shows no sign of slowing down, and with each passing season he sets a new standard for Dodgers pitchers. In fact, among pitchers with at least 1,500 innings, Kershaw’s 160 ERA+ is the best of all time.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 Dodger standout pitcher Rube Marquard breaks his leg running the bases, ending his season with a record of 3-3. The hard-throwing southpaw will finish his 18-year Hall of Fame career in 1925, after compiling a 201-177 record along with an ERA of 3.08.
  • 1973 Rightfielder Rusty Staub becomes the pivot man in a very unusual double play during a 4-2 Mets victory against the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. Racing in from the outfield, ‘Le Grand Orange’ gets a throw near second base from first baseman John Milner and tags Davey Lopes, who was picked-off from first, and then throws home to nail Tom Paciorek trying to score from second during the P-1B-SS-1B-2B-1B-2B-RF-C rundown.
  • 1990 Eddie Murray ties Mickey Mantle’s major league mark, hitting a homer from both sides of the plate for the tenth time in his career. The switch-hitting first baseman’s second home run of the game, batting left-handed against Eric Show, proves to be the eventual winning run in the Dodgers’ 5-4 victory over San Diego in the 11th inning at Jack Murphy Stadium.

That action enable the following lineup to be put forward.

Lineup when available.

May 29

Game 52, 2017

Dodgers at Cardinals, 11:15 AM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-M

Rich Hill (1-2, 4.76 ERA) for the Dodgers, Mike Leake (5-2, 1.91 ERA) for the Cardinals.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1905 According to legend, Dodger hurler Elmer Stricklett introduces the spitball, helping Brooklyn to beat the Giants, 4-3. Prior to the the 1921 season, the spitball will be totally banned except for 17 existing spitballers who are allowed to keep throwing the slippery pitch legally until they are retired, including including Burleigh Grimes, who will be the last player to legally throw a doctored pitch before retiring in 1934.
  • 1928 At Ebbets Field, Bill Terry hits for the cycle to pace the Giants to a 12-5 victory over the Robins (Dodgers). The New York first baseman is the first player in major league history to include a grand slam as part of the cycle.
  • 1956 In a 10-1 loss to the Dodgers at Forbes Field, Dale Long is held hitless by Don Newcombe, ending his consecutive-game home run streak. The Pirates’ first baseman had established a new major league mark by homering in the last eight Pittsburgh contests.
  • 1979 At Dodger Stadium, Dusty Baker, Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Garvey, Gary Thomasson, Derrel Thomas, Joe Ferguson, and Davey Lopes set a team record by hitting seven home runs as the Dodgers crush the Reds, 17-6.
  • 2000 At the age of 104, Fred Roberts, the oldest living Dodger fan, makes his first visit to Dodger Stadium. Wearing a jersey with the number 104, the World War I veteran cheers as Shawn Green’s sixth inning grand slam helps to beat Al Leiter and the Mets, 4-1.

Alex Wood to the 10-day DL with shoulder joint inflammation.


May 17

Game 41, 2017

Dodgers at Giants, 12:45 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS BA, MLBN (out-of-market only)

LHP Clayton Kershaw (6-2, 2.43 ERA) goes for his 20th career win against the Giants. His opponent will be RHP Johnny Cueto (4-2, 4.15 ERA), who’s already pitched against the Dodgers twice this year, winning once and giving up three runs each time.

The Dodgers have lost three straight and the Giants have won five straight.

This day in Dodgers history:

  • 1947 At Forbes Field, Hank Greenberg asks Jackie Robinson if the Dodger infielder was hurt in a collision with him at first base earlier in the game and then tells the embattled Brooklyn rookie, “Stick in there. You’re doing fine. Keep your chin up.” Jackie will remark to the writers a few days later that his “diamond hero” is Hank Greenberg, knowing that the Pirates’ first baseman, who due to the bigotry endured as a Jew, can appreciate his difficulty of facing racial injustice every day as the first black player in the major leagues this century.
  • 1978 Pinch hitting for Davey Lopes in the Los Angeles 10-1 rout of the Pirates, Lee Lacy goes deep in the bottom of the eighth inning off Will McEnaney at Dodger Stadium. The utility player becomes the first player in major league history to homer in three consecutive at bats as a pinch hitter.

Lineup when available.

May 23

Game 46, 2016

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

Clayton Kershaw (6-1, 1.67 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and Brandon Finnegan (1-2, 4.44 ERA) goes for the Reds.

The Reds can be excused if they feel overmatched: in his last six starts Kershaw’s had at least 10 strikeouts and one walk or fewer. The left-handed Finnegan has struggled in his last three starts, not getting past the sixth inning in any of them while posting a 5.52 ERA over 14 2/3 innings.

Tsao has been placed on the 15-day DL with a right triceps strain retroactive to 5/23. Bolsinger and Avilan have been recalled from Oklahoma City.

Lineup when available.

Fourteen years ago today Shawn Green hit four home runs, went 6-for-6 and amassed 19 total bases against the Brewers: