I imagine MLB hoped that the Giants and Dodgers would be fighting it out for the NL West title when they scheduled this series. They got it half-right. The Dodgers need to win all three games and hope the Nationals can take two of three from the Rockies if they hope to win the division. Otherwise it’s a cat’s cradle of possibilities with wild card games, tiebreakers to get into wild card games, and who knows what else.
Tonight the Dodgers ask LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-3, 2.00 ERA) to keep them in the game until they can either get to LHP Madison Bumgarner (6-6, 3.20 ERA) or knock him out. Both of these pitchers have spent lengthy amounts of time on the disabled list this season, and Ryu has done better since his return than has Bumgarner. Ryu has given up no more than three unearned runs in any of his fourteen starts this year including eight since his recovery. Bumgarner has a 1-1 record with a 5.48 ERA for the month of September.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1924 Rogers Hornsby finishes the season with a .424 batting average to lead the National League. The Cardinal second baseman easily outdistances Zack Wheat, who finishes second in the race, batting .375 for the Dodgers.
1952 On the last day of the season at Ebbets Field, the Braves’ 77 years of representing Boston is extended by three innings when Eddie Mathews’ ninth-inning, two-out double ties the game. The contest is called due to darkness and ends in the 12th inning in a 5-5 tie with the Dodgers.
1955 In the bottom of the second inning, Elston Howard, in his first World Series at-bat, knots the score at 2-2 when he homers off Dodgers’ right-hander Don Newcombe. The round-tripper to deep left field at Yankee Stadium marks the first time a black batter has hit a home run off a black pitcher in the history of the Fall Classic.
1959 The Braves, who ended the National League regular season in a first-place tie with the Dodgers, lose Game 1 of the three-game series, 3-2, in front of a sparse crowd of 18,297 at County Stadium. Milwaukee will lose tomorrow’s game in L.A., spoiling their chance for a three-peat as NL Champs.
1966 At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Larry Jaster throws a four-hitter, blanking Don Sutton and the Dodgers, 2-0. It’s the southpaw’s fifth shutout against LA this season, equaling a post-1900 major league mark held by the Senators’ Tom Hughes (against the Indians in 1905) and Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Phillies (against the Reds in 1916).
1988 In his last start of the regular season, Dodger Orel Hershiser tosses 10 shutout frames to extend his streak to 59, breaking Don Drysdale’s record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings.
1997 With his 40th home run, catcher Mike Piazza sets a single season Los Angeles Dodger record. Duke Snider holds the franchise record, slugging 43 round-trippers for Brooklyn in 1956.
2003 At Turner Field in Atlanta, Jose Reyes becomes the second Mets player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in one game. Lee Mazzilli was the first when he went yard twice against the Dodgers in LA on September 3, 1978.
2006 At Coors Field in Colorado, James Loney collects four hits, including two homers, and drives in nine runs in the Dodgers’ 19-11 victory over the Rockies. The rookie first baseman, who had one homer and eight runs batted in in 93 previous at-bats with the team, ties the franchise RBI mark set by Gil Hodges in his 1950 four-homer game for Brooklyn and breaks the Los Angeles club mark held by Ron Cey.
The Dodgers have to shake off Saturday night’s ninth-inning walk-off calamity and win this game to gain a split in the series against a team that’s only 1 1/2 games behind them in the hunt for first place in the NL West. To do so they’ll give LHP Rich Hill (5-4, 3.62 ERA) the ball. He’s 4-1 in his last seven games with a 2.41 ERA over those 37 1/3 innings. He’ll face RHP Chad Bettis (5-2, 5.62 ERA) of the Rockies. He’s made one start since returning from the disabled list where he’d been with a right middle finger blister, and that didn’t go well. He gave up nine runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Pirates.
Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling move to the bullpen for now. One wonders how the current relievers feel about that.
This day in Dodgers’ history:
1984 Former Dodgers Don Drysdale and Pee Wee Reese, along with Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew, American League hurler Rick Ferrell, and perennial All-Star shortstop Luis Aparicio are inducted into the Hall of Fame.
In 2006 the Portland Beavers honor Rodney McCray, the former Vancouver Canadian who gain everlasting notoriety in 1991 when he literally ran through the right field plywood fence trying to catch Chip Hale’s fly ball in Portland’s Civic Stadium. The PCL team commemorates the memorable play with a bobble head promotion which features the moment of impact and renames the right field area of their current ballpark “McCray Alley.”
In a great moment of fan history, in 2014 Tim Pinkard, attending his first game at Minute Maid Park, catches two home run balls, both off the bat of the Astros’ DH Chris Carter. In the third inning of Houston’s 10-4 victory over Minnesota, the Springfield (VA) resident gets his first souvenir of the night when the ball rebounds off a sign in left field, and then in the fifth frame, against astronomical odds, catches the second round-tripper stroked by the same batter, which is a laser shot hit directly to his seat.
In the third game of this four-game set the Dodgers send out their rookie RHP Walker Buehler (4-4, 3.65 ERA) to face the Rockies’ LHP Kyle Freeland (10-7, 3.04 ERA). In his last start Buehler gave up a leadoff HR to George Springer (that’s not unusual) but recovered, pitched into the sixth inning and got a win against the Astros. Freeland threw seven shutout innings against the Pirates in his last start; he started against the Dodgers on May 23, giving up three runs in 6 1/3 innings and taking the loss.
This day in Dodgers’ history:
1946 Sweeping a doubleheader, the Phillies end the Dodgers’ 18-game winning streak, a major league record, in Philadelphia. The Dodgers hadn’t lost in the City of Brotherly Love since May 5, 1945.
1950 Vern Bickford, throwing just 97 pitches, no-hits the Dodgers at Braves’ Field, 7-0. The 29 year-old right-hander hurls the first hitless game for Boston since Jim Tobin accomplished the feat, also against Brooklyn, on April 27, 1944.
1951 WCBS-TV televises the first baseball game broadcast in color, a Braves’ 8-1 victory over the hometown Dodgers in the first game of a twin bill at Ebbets Field. Brooklyn’s announcers Red Barber and Connie Desmond provide the play-by-play commentary.
1969 Don Drysdale announces his retirement. The last Dodger to have played in Brooklyn, Drysdale will be elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984.
2015 The Blue Jays, Rays, Marlins, Mets, Indians, Cubs, Royals, White Sox, Twins, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mariners, Padres, Dodgers, and Giants all win, making it the first time in the live ball era that every contest is won by the home team in a full slate of games. The unique occurrence became a reality when the two last games to finish end in extra innings, with the host clubs enjoying a walk-off victory.
Rockies lineup watchers take note: on this day in 2016 Rockies rookie outfielder David Dahl singles to right field off Rangers starter Lucas Harrell, giving him a hit in 17 straight games to start his big league career. The 22 year-old freshman’s streak, in which he is batting .365 (23-of-63), equals the mark established by Reds third baseman Chuck Aleno, who also hit in his first major league 17 games in May of 1941. The streak ended the next day.
There were some nice compliments for Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser from various folks on Twitter, including one from old friend Brandon McCarthy.
The Dodgers send RHP Kenta Maeda (7-7, 3.73 ERA) to the mile-high mound at Coors Field tonight to face the Rockies’ Jon Gray (9-7, 4.73 ERA). Maeda’s ERA since the All Star break is 6.88 due mostly to four homer runs allowed, two of them three-run shots. Gray had a two-start trip to Albuquerque (it still seems weird to have a AAA team in that city that’s not affiliated with the Dodgers) and since his return has posted a 1.52 ERA in four starts.
This date in Dodgers’ history:
1979 Dodger hurler Don Sutton sets a franchise record with his 50th shutout, blanking San Francisco at Candlestick Park, 9-0. The 34 year-old right-hander has previously shared the mark with Don Drysdale. (Ed. note: 50! In his eleventh year Clayton Kershaw has a career total of 15!)
1995 The first forfeit in the majors in sixteen years occurs when the fans for the third time during the night throw promotional souvenir baseballs onto the Dodger Stadium field. At the time of the decision to halt the game, Los Angeles is trailing the Cardinals, 2-1 with one out in the bottom of the ninth.
August 10 is a good day for pitchers: in 1971 at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, Juan Marichal records his 50th career shutout as the Giants blank the Expos, 1-0. The Dominican hurler’s ninth inning double helps to build the winning run.
RHP Ross Stripling (8-3, 2.68 ERA) comes off the DL where he’s been with a big toe injury just in time to take Alex Wood’s spot in the rotation; Wood has been placed on the DL with tendinitis in his left hip. Let’s hope Stripling’s toe was the cause of his dramatic fall-off since the All Star game; he had an ERA of 2.08 before the break but it’s 9.35 in his appearances since then. He’ll face the Rockies’ LHP Tyler Anderson (6-4, 4.05 ERA), who’s made two starts against the Dodgers and gone 1-0, although he gave up five runs in five innings on June 1 at Coors Field.
To make room for Stripling the Dodgers optioned Pat Venditte to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
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.
Also on this date, in 2013 Dan Haren becomes the thirteenth pitcher in history to record a victory over all 30 major league franchises when he hurls seven solid innings in the Nationals’ 9-2 win over Philadelphia. The 32 year-old right-hander joins Al Leiter, Randy Johnson, Barry Zito, A.J. Burnett, Kevin Brown, Terry Mulholland, Curt Schilling, Woody Williams, Jamie Moyer, Javier Vazquez, Vicente Padilla, and Derek Lowe in accomplishing the feat.
The Astros try to sweep this series with RHP Gerrit Cole (10-3, 2.55 ERA) taking the mound against the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (4-4, 3.65 ERA). The last time Cole pitched in Dodger Stadium was August of 2016; he was a Pirate then. He had an excellent June but a so-so July. Buehler spent time on the DL with a microfractured rib (is that what we used to call a cracked rib?) and hadn’t had a really good outing since he came back until his last start on July 31, when he went seven innings, gave up one earned run, struck out seven and walked none. He still got the loss as the Dodgers couldn’t score a single run in that game against the Brewers.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1954 Stan Musial, in a 13-4 rout of the Dodgers in Brooklyn, paces the Cardinals attack, hitting two homers and driving in seven runs. The defeat is Preacher Roe’s first loss to St. Louis at Ebbets Field in four years.
1969 With a titanic blast that clears the right-field pavilion, Willie Stargell becomes the first player to hit a home run completely out of Dodger Stadium. The 506-foot round-tripper helps the Pirates defeat LA, 11-3.
1979 Don Sutton, surpassing Don Drysdale, becomes the Dodgers’ all-time strikeout leader with 2,487 when he fans six in an 8-1 victory over San Francisco at Chavez Ravine. After establishing the mark, and receiving a two-minute standing ovation that he acknowledges by tipping his cap, the right-hander is charged with an automatic ball due to running his fingers across his lips while thanking the crowd.
1979 Outfielders Willie Mays (Giants, Mets) and Hack Wilson (Giants, Cubs, Dodgers, and Phillies) are enshrined into the Hall of Fame. Baseball administrator Warren Giles, who served as the president of the National League from 1951 to 1969, is also inducted during the Cooperstown ceremony.
Obviously this is a rematch of last year’s World Series, won by the Astros in seven games. RHP Justin Verlander (10-6, 2.24 ERA) starts for the Astros and LHP Alex Wood (7-5, 3.68 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. Verlander started Games 2 and 6 last fall and went six innings each time, giving up a total of five runs. Wood pitched twice as well, starting in one game and relieving in another. He gave up just one run in 7 2/3 innings. Verlander is 1-4 with a 3.54 ERA in his last eight starts, while Wood is 6-0 in his last eight decisions with a 2.61 ERA over that stretch.
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1959 In the second All-Star Game played this summer, Yogi Berra’s two-run home run off Dodgers right-hander Don Drysdale in the third inning at the LA Memorial Coliseum proves to be the difference in the American League’s 5-3 victory over the Senior Circuit. The home run will be the last one hit by a Bronx Bomber in a Mid-Summer Classic game for 41 years until Derek Jeter goes deep in 2001.
1995 Making his first start for the Rockies since being acquired from the Mets, Brett Saberhagen gives up 13 hits and walks three batters, but gets the win in the team’s 9-4 win over the Dodgers. The sellout crowd gives their new hurler an enthusiastic standing ovation when he departs the game with one out in the seventh inning.
1997 Jeromy Burnitz, coming off the bench in the Brewers’ 6-5 loss to Seattle at County Stadium, homers as a pinch hitter for the second consecutive time, tying an American League record. The major league mark for consecutive pinch-hit appearances with a home run is three, shared by Lee Lacy (Dodgers – May 2, 6, and 17, 1978) and Del Unser (Phillies – June 30, July 5 and 10, 1979).
2013 The first-place Dodgers set a franchise record, winning their 13th consecutive game on the road with their 3-0 victory over the Cubs in Chicago. The Giants established the National League mark in 1916 when the team won 17 straight games away from the Polo Grounds.
Today the Dodgers celebrate Andre Ethier, who announced his retirement last month. Here’s a summary of his career from the official Dodgers blog.
If any member of either team is awake enough to play well behind the two rested starting pitchers I’ll be surprised. The Dodgers send out their young righthander Walker Buehler (4-2, 3.45 ERA) to face the Phillies’ righty Jake Arrieta (7-6, 3.47 ERA). Buehler arrived in Philadelphia from Oklahoma City Tuesday. He’d been sent there as a roster move before the All Star break but didn’t pitch an inning for the team there on this latest visit. Arrieta started the year with two good months, going 5-2 in April and May. His June was awful: he lost four out of five starts. He’s bounced back in July to win two games and lose none so far.
Manager Dave Roberts says he expects Buehler “to stick around for a while.”
Injury updates were announced before Tuesday’s marathon. Tom Koehler is done for the year without throwing a pitch for the Dodgers. Puig and Baez are rehabbing in OKC and will be back for Thursday’s game in Atlanta, and Ryu is about to start rehabbing in the minors. The Dodgers expect him to make at least four starts before returning to the big club.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1962 At Sportsman’s Park, Stan Musial surpasses Giants’ legend Mel Ott as the National League’s all-time RBI leader. ‘Stan the Man’s’ two-run home run off Don Drysdale in a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers gives the Cardinals’ right fielder 1,862 career runs batted in with the Redbirds.
2017 The Dodgers defeat the Minnesota Twins to run their record to 70-31. Kenta Maeda gets his ninth win of the season and Josh Ravin posts his first save.
Hoping to complete the sweep, the Rockies send RHP Chad Bettis (5-1, 5.07 ERA) out to duel with the Dodgers’ RHP Ross Stripling (6-2, 1.98 ERA). Bettis allowed the Giants just two runs over 6 1/3 innings last Tuesday; prior to that he’d given up at least five runs in each of his previous five starts. Stripling went five innings against the Cubs in his last start and gave up just one run but got a no-decision for his efforts.
Today 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 Dee Gordon, in the seventh inning of a 5-0 inter-league victory over the Angels in Anaheim, 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.
The Cubs send out LHP José Quintana (6-6, 4.26 ERA) to face LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.94 ERA) in his second start back from the disabled list. While Quintana got beaten his last time out, giving up four earned runs in five innings while walking two and striking out only three, he’s made two starts against the Dodgers in his career and hasn’t given up a run in the 14 innings he’s pitched against them. Kershaw showed the rust in his last outing, giving up two runs on five hits in just three innings. He threw just 55 pitches in that game.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1969 After ending an 11-game losing streak in their previous contest, the expansion Padres are the victims of a 19-0 shutout for the second time this season when Dodgers right-hander Don Drysdale equals the National League-record for the largest margin of victory in a shutout. L.A. will score more than half of their runs when they tally ten times in the third inning.
2000 The Rockies draw their 20 millionth fan to one ballpark faster than any other team in major league history. Taking less than six years, Colorado eclipses the Dodgers’ mark of taking nine years in two stadiums to reach the milestone.
2008 In Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers, without the benefit of a hit for the entire game, defeat the Angels, 1-0. The combined losing effort of Halo hurlers Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo isn’t considered officially as a no-hitter because the home team didn’t have to bat in the ninth (a nitpick if I ever heard one).