Oct 09

NLDS Games Three, 2017

First game: Nationals at Cubs, 1:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The series is tied at one. Today the Nationals send last year’s Cy Young winner RHP Max Scherzer (16-6, 2.51 ERA) to the hill to face the Cubs’ LHP Jose Quintana (11-11, 4.15 ERA). Scherzer’s first postseason appearance this year has been delayed while his right hamstring healed, but he and the doctors say he’s healthy now. He’s got a 2.92 ERA in six career starts against the Cubs. Quintana came over from the crosstown White Sox in July and was 7-3 with a 3.74 ERA in 14 starts for his new team. This will be his first postseason start and the first time he’ll face the Nats. Scherzer has made 14 appearances in the postseason (12 starts) but only two for the Nationals.

Second game: Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 7:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Dodgers acquired RHP Yu Darvish (10-12, 3.86 ERA) with the postseason in mind, and now it’s here. He’ll face ex-Dodger now D-Back RHP Zack Greinke (17-7, 3.20 ERA). Darvish was 6-4 with a 2.44 ERA on the road this season, while Greinke was 13-1 with a 2.87 ERA at home. Darvish has made two postseason appearances in his career, both with Texas, and is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA. Greinke has made ten postseason appearances and is 3-3 with a 3.92 ERA.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1949 During the ninth inning of the Dodgers’ 10-8 loss to the Yankees in Game 5, the Ebbets Field lights are turned on, making it the first time a World Series game has been played under artificial lights. The first scheduled Fall Classic night game will not take place until 1971, when the Pirates host Baltimore for Game 4 at Three Rivers Stadium.
  • 1966 For the second consecutive day, the Orioles win a World Series game, 1-0, in a contest decided by a home run when Frank Robinson takes a Don Drysdale pitch deep over the left field fence in the fourth inning. With the lone run being scored on a homer, for only the fifth time in the history of the Fall Classic, and the complete-game shutout thrown by Dave McNally, Baltimore completes a four-game sweep over the Dodgers.

Also, this is the anniversary of the Jeffrey Maier game in 1996 when he leaned over the wall and caught a Derek Jeter fly ball. It was ruled a home run despite clear evidence that he interfered with Baltimore outfielder Tony Tarrasco’s attempt to catch it.

In 2005 the Astros won the longest postseason game in history, beating the Braves in 18 innings on a Chris Burke walkoff home run to take the NLDS and advance to the NLCS.

Lineup when available.

Oct 06

NLDS Games One

First Game:Cubs at Nationals, 4:30 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Cubs’ RHP Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA) faces off against RHP Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 2.52 ERA) of the Nationals. Hendricks started Games Three and Seven of last year’s World Series. In the final game he went 4 2/3 innings, gave up four hits and two runs and left without the decision. Strasburg didn’t pitch last postseason and famously sat out the 2012 playoffs as well. He made his only playoff start in 2014.

Second Game: Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:30 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Diamondbacks used both of their aces in the Wild Card Game, so they’ll ask RHP Taijuan Walker (9-9, 3.49 ERA) to get them of on the right foot against the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31). Walker was 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA against the Dodgers this season in three starts. Kershaw was 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA against the D-Backs this year. This will be Kershaw’s 18th playoff appearance; it will be Walker’s first.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1941 In Game 5 of the Fall Classic, Tiny Bonham goes the distance, limiting the Dodgers to just four hits to give the Yankees their 12th World Championship in franchise history. In one inning during the Bronx Bombers’ 3-1 victory at Ebbets Field, the New York fireballing right-hander will need just three pitches to retire the side.
  • 1949 In Game 2 of the World Series, only one run is scored again, but Preacher Roe and the Dodgers win this contest at Yankee Stadium, 1-0. Gil Hodges’ second inning single drives in Jackie Robinson to even up the Fall Classic at a game apiece.
  • 1959 The largest crowd ever to attend a major league game, 92,706 fans, watches a nail biter as White Sox hurler Bob Shaw beats Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers, 1-0, in Game 5 of the Fall Classic.
  • 1963 The Dodgers complete a four-game World Series sweep of the Yankees as Sandy Koufax wins his second game, 2-1. Frank Howard leads the offense with a home run and a single, the only two hits Whitey Ford gives up, and New York’s first baseman Joe Pepitone’s error (loses a thrown ball in the white-shirted crowd) leads to the decisive run in the seventh inning.
  • 1965“Hey, skip, bet you wish I was Jewish today, too.” – Don Drysdale, commenting after the game about his poor performance on the mound with manager Walt Alston. Sandy Koufax declines to pitch the first game of the World Series against the Twins because the game is scheduled on Yom Kippur, the most sacred of the Jewish holidays. As the Dodger southpaw attends shul and fasts on the Day of Atonement, Don Drysdale gives up seven runs in three innings in the team’s 8-2 loss at Minnesota’s Metropolitan Stadium.
  • 1966 Jim Palmer becomes the youngest player to pitch a shutout in the World Series when the 20 year-old Oriole right-hander blanks Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers, 6-0. The contest will become more memorable next month when Koufax surprises the baseball world by announcing his retirement, making this game his last major league appearance.
  • 1966 In the same Game Two loss to the Orioles at Dodger Stadium, Willie Davis establishes a World Series record by committing three errors in one game. The center fielder’s blunders come on two consecutive plays in the fifth inning, the first by losing a fly ball in the sun, then by dropping the next fly ball, followed by overthrowing third base.
  • 1980 In the 163rd game of the season, 35 year-old knuckleballer Joe Niekro earns his 20th victory, going the distance to defeat the Dodgers, 7-1, in the winner-take-all contest for the NL West. With the win, the Astros hold on to capture their first title in the 19-year history of the franchise after losing a season-ending three game series to LA, (3-2, 2-1, and 4-3) that forced the one-game playoff.

Lineup when available.

Aug 12

Game 116, 2017

Padres at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Padres’ RHP Jhoulys Chacin (11-8, 4.15 ERA) faces the Dodgers’ LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6, 3.53 ERA). Chacin pitched 5 shutout innings against the Dodgers in Petco Park on July 2; he’s had his road troubles (7.36 ERA) but in his last 12 starts he’s put up a 3.21 ERA overall. Ryu’s last start was his best of the year, and in fact he’s thrown 15 straight scoreless innings and is 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA in his last six appearances.

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 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.

Lineup when available.

Aug 10

Game 114, 2017

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

The Dodgers send Yu Darvish (7-9, 3.81 ERA) to make his second start in the NL; his first was a rousing success. He’ll face YALHP Anthony Banda (1-1. 3.86 ERA), who got his first big league win in his most recent start.

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 tenth 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.

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.

Lineup:

Aug 05

Game 110, 2017

Dodgers at Mets, 1:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, SNY, FS1

The Dodgers send July’s NL Pitcher of the Month Rich Hill (8-4, 3.35 ERA) to the mound to face RHP Seth Lugo (5-3, 4.53 ERA).

Hill has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 12 of his 15 starts, and he went 4-0 with a 1.45 ERA in July. Lugo was 2-2 with a 5.29 ERA in July. He’s gone 3-0 against NL West teams this year, albeit with a rather unsightly 4.91 ERA.

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.

Lineup when available.

Aug 03

Game 108, 2017

Dodgers at Braves, 4:35 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSE

LHP Alex Wood (12-1, 2.38 ERA) won his last start after taking his first loss of the season (to the Braves, no less) in his previous one. He’ll face rookie LHP Sean Newcomb (1-5, 4.50 ERA).

Wood has had two poor starts in a row, giving up 13 runs in 11 2/3 innings. Newcomb has a 4.96 ERA in his last three starts and has walked three or more batters in five of his nine starts.

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, Bret 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.

Lineup:

Jul 25

Game 101, 2017

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

The Twins trot out RHP Jose Berrios (9-3, 3.50 ERA) to face the Dodgers’ RHP Kenta Maeda (8-4, 4.23 ERA). Berrios is 2-2 in his last five outings, logging a 5.26 ERA. Maeda has gone 7-2 with one save in his last 13 appearances, posting a 3.09 ERA while holding batters to a .227 average and striking out 61 against just 17 walks.

Which Dodgers have been hit-by-pitch the most? Alex Cora’s rank on this list surprised me, but I’d forgotten he spent five full years with the Dodgers and parts of two others early in his career.

Chris Taylor is hitting .318, which puts him seventh among National League batting leaders. Justin Turner remains atop the list at .369.

This date 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. (Ed. — He’s still seventh on the all-time list, behind Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Cap Anson, Barry Bonds and Lou Gehrig)

Non-Dodgers history which amuses me as a lapsed guitarist: 2010 The Baseball Hall of Fame honors John Fogerty for his classic rock song “Centerfield”. At the induction ceremonies, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer performs his 1985 hit and then donates his baseball bat shaped-guitar to the Cooperstown museum. Here’s that song with the man playing that guitar, which I’d never seen before.

Lineup when available.

Jul 10

All Star Break Post

Home Run Derby rules

All Star Game players

Venezuelan ballplayers move to Miami for safety.

USA Today picks its best All Star Game performers at each position. Garvey and Drysdale make the cut.

Miami is home to passionate players as well as fans.

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.