It’s a clash of potential All Stars as the Baby Bruins send LHP Jon Lester (9-2, 2.10 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ RHP Ross Stripling (6-2, 1.99 ERA). Lester threw 119 pitches in his team’s win against the Dodgers last Wednesday and gave up only five hits and no runs while doing so. He’s gotten through the sixth inning in seven consecutive starts. The Cubs ended Stripling’s six-game win streak in the game Lester pitched, in which Stripling went six innings, gave up eight hits and three runs.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1944 At the Polo Grounds with over 50,000 fans looking on, the New York major league teams face each other in a six inning three-team game (a team played consecutive innings against the other two teams then sat out an inning) to raise money for war bonds. The charity contest, billed as the Tri-Cornered Baseball Game, ends with the final score of Dodgers 5, Yankees 1, Giants 0.
1968 Cardinals right-hander Bob Gibson tosses his fifth consecutive shutout as he blanks the Pirates, 3-0, in the first game of a doubleheader played at Busch Stadium. The future Hall of Famer’s accomplishment is one shy of the major league mark, set earlier in the month by Don Drysdale of the Dodgers.
1999 At Candlestick Park, Todd Hundley’s second homer of the day, a ninth inning three-run shot to deep right field off Giants’ closer Robb Nen, sparks the Dodgers’ 7-6 comeback win. Ellis Burks had put San Francisco ahead in the bottom of the eighth, 6-4, with a three-run homer off Alan Mills.
2011 Three days after Jim Riggleman’s sudden resignation, the Nationals name senior advisor Davey Johnson as the team’s manager for the remainder of the season. The 68 year-old former skipper compiled an 1148-888 (.564) record during his 14 years in the dugout with the Mets, Dodgers, Reds, and Orioles, finishing lower than third place on only three occasions.
Things of no great import that are nonetheless interesting, Number 317: In 1995 Before rejoining the Yankees to make a start in Chicago, Columbus Clipper starter Mariano Rivera pitches a five-inning no-hitter against the International League’s Rochester Red Wings in Ohio’s Cooper Stadium. During his tenure in the minor leagues, Mo, the future major league leader in career saves, is used primarily as a starter, starting 68 games, including seven complete contests, en route to compiling a 27-18 record along with a 2.35 ERA.
I had no clue Rivera had been a starter and that he was that good at it.
Lineup when available.
Still no Taylor:
Cubs: Zobrist 2B Heyward RF Baez 3B Rizzo 1B Contreras C Schwarber LF Happ CF Russell SS Lester P
Dodgers: Hernandez SS Turner 3B Kemp LF Muncy 1B Forsythe 2B Bellinger CF Puig RF Barnes C Stripling P
The Rangers ask LHP Cole Hamels (3-6, 3.86 ERA) to put a halt to their 5-game losing streak. He’ll face the Dodgers’ RHP Kenta Maeda (4-4, 3.61 ERA), newly activated from the disabled list where he’d been with a strained right hip. Hamels has been on a downward slide recently: he’s 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA in his last three starts. Maeda was pitching very well before his injury; unfortunately the Dodgers’ offense wasn’t producing the way it has been recently or he’d have more wins.
Here’s an article from The Athletic offering up blue-sky predictions of what MLB expansion might look like. It’s fun and thought-provoking.
Today 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.
Coming off a 5-1 road trip the Dodgers send young righthander Walker Buehler (3-1, 2.74 ERA) out to face old friend RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 4.83 ERA), who has nearly equaled his win total of last year for the Dodgers already. Buehler has made four starts at home this season and is 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA and 27 Ks in 25 innings. McCarthy has been healthy so far, which is the biggest difference between last season and this. He missed two months of the Dodgers’ 2017 season with a blister on his right hand, one of three disabled list stints on the season for McCarthy.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1952 Prior to the start of a twin bill against the Reds, Dodger manager Chuck Dressen tells Cal Abrams if he wants to stay with the team that the benchwarmer will need to verbally taunt the skipper of the opposing club. Much to his chagrin, the spare outfielder, who spends the entire first game of a double-header severely heckling his opponents and their leader, is informed between games he has been traded to Cincinnati, effective tomorrow, and will need to report to his new field boss, one very angry Roger Hornsby.
1955 After only eight games and 13 innings of work, the Dodgers option rookie left-handed pitcher Tom Lasorda to Montreal to make room for a bonus baby who is also a southpaw. Sandy Koufax, who had injured his ankle, comes off the 30-day disabled list.
1968 Dodger right-hander Don Drysdale’s scoreless streak ends at a record 58 2/3 consecutive innings when Tony Taylor is driven in by Howie Bedell’s sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. It will be the Phillies outfielder’s only RBI for the season.
2007 With their 3-0 victory over Detroit at Comerica Park, the Mets begin a span of 18 games to become the first team in baseball history to play six consecutive series against six different clubs that all participated in the playoffs the previous season. New York will compile an 8-10 record during the stretch playing against the Tigers, Dodgers, Yankees, Twins, A’s, and the Cardinals.
2012 Six Mariners pitchers combine to hurl the franchise’s third no-hitter when starter Kevin Millwood leaves the game with an injury and five relievers, Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League, and Tom Wilhelmsen, keep the Dodgers hitless in the team’s 1-0 victory at Safeco Field. Brian Runge, the home plate umpire, was also behind the dish for Philip Humber’s perfect game, making him the first ump to call balls and strikes for two no-hitters in one season since Drew Coble accomplished the feat in 1990.
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup vs. Braves: Pederson CF Muncy 3B Kemp LF Bellinger 1B Puig RF Grandal C Hernández SS Forsythe 2B Buehler P pic.twitter.com/H2aDcaIbxk
The Dodgers embark on a six-game road trip by playing the Rockies at Coors Field this evening. They’ll ask LHP Scott Alexander (1-0, 4.05 ERA) to start for the injured Kenta Maeda. Alexander has been in 20 games this season, completing 20 innings. All of them have been in relief. In fact, this is his first start in the big leagues, and it comes in his 100th MLB appearance. He’ll face the Rockies’ LHP Tyler Anderson (3-1, 4.72 ERA), who’s spent his entire three-year MLB career as a starter and has thrown 55 1/3 innings in 11 games this season.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1955 Duke Snider blasts three home runs in the Dodgers’ 11-8 win over Milwaukee. Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, and Roy Campanella also go deep in the Ebbets Field’s contest, helping Brooklyn set a franchise record with six home runs.
1962 In the nightcap of a twin bill at Shibe Park, Don Drysdale beats the Phillies for the 13th consecutive time, continuing a streak which started in 1958. The Dodger right-hander, however, will drop his next seven decisions against Philadelphia after today’s victory.
1997 When Wilton Guerrero scurries to pick up pieces of his shattered bat after grounding out to start the game, home plate ump Steve Ripley becomes suspicious and discovers that the rookie used an altered bat. The Dodgers second baseman is immediately ejected from the game by crew chief Bruce Froemming, and the 21 year-old infielder will also receive an eight-day suspension and a $1,000 fine for his use of a corked bat.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup at Rockies: Taylor SS Turner 3B Kemp LF Hernández CF Muncy 1B Forsythe 2B Barnes C Puig RF Alexander P pic.twitter.com/6gbYESsXuf
The Phillies send RHP Aaron Nola (6-2, 2.27 ERA) to face the Dodgers’ fresh-off-the-DL lefty Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.86 ERA). Nola threw 6 2/3 innings of no-hit ball against the Blue Jays his last time out before tiring. He ended up with no decision. Kershaw’s been on the disabled list with left biceps tendinitis for nearly a month; his last start was May 1. In order to make room for him the Dodgers optioned Pat Venditte to Oklahoma City.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1937 In Game 1 of a Memorial Day doubleheader, Carl Hubbell’s consecutive-game winning streak, compiled over two seasons, ends at 24 when the Dodgers, led by Babe Phelps’ 5-for-6 performance, defeat the Giants at the Polo Grounds, 10-3. ‘King Carl’ is honored between games when the southpaw is presented with the National League’s 1936 MVP Award by Babe Ruth.
1948 Tommy Lasorda, best known as the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame skipper, strikes out 25 batters and collects the game-winning hit when the Schenectady Blue Jays defeat the Amsterdam Rugmakers, 6-5, in 15 innings. The promising southpaw, who goes the distance in the CanAm minor-league contest played in McNearney Stadium, believes he probably threw more than 300 pitches during the game.
1965 For the first time in history, an all-switch-hitting infield starts a big league game. In the nightcap of a twin bill, the Dodgers, with Wes Parker at first base, Jim Lefebvre at second, Maury Wills at shortstop, and Jim Gilliam at third, lose to the visiting Reds, 6-1.
1968 Don Drysdale’s shutout streak stays intact when home plate umpire Harry Wendelstedt rules that Dick Dietz, who is hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, did not make an attempt to get out of the way of the right-hander’s delivery. The Giants catcher finishes the at-bat by popping up, and the next two batters also make outs to give ‘Big D” his fifth straight shutout, tying a major league established by White Sox hurler Doc White in 1904.
2001 The Red Sox finally beat the Yankees in their eighth attempt, and for the first time in over a year since Pedro Martinez scoffed at the ‘Curse’. The right-hander was 7-1 with a 1.44 ERA when he said, “Wake up the Bambino and let me face him — I’ll drill him in the “%#$,” but after the comment he managed only seven more winless starts, making it first time he did not win in seven straight starts since the first seven major league appearances as a rookie with the Dodgers.
2012 With their 6-2 victory, the Brewers beat LA at Chavez Ravine for the fourth consecutive day, making the Brew Crew the first visiting team to sweep a four-game series since the Rockies accomplished the feat in August, 1993. The victories also mark the first time the franchise has ever swept the Dodgers.
Today’s Dodger lineup vs. Phillies: Pederson LF Muncy 1B Turner 3B Grandal C Bellinger CF Puig RF Valera 2B Hernández SS Kershaw P pic.twitter.com/jVsnyWXsuq
The Dodgers send hard-luck lefty Alex Wood (0-4, 3.35 ERA) to the hill to face the Nationals’ righthander Stephen Strasburg (5-3, 3.28 ERA). Wood has a 1.06 WHIP, 47 strikeouts and only 8 walks in 51 innings of work this season, but he has yet to get a win. He scattered six hits and two runs over six innings in a game against the Nats on April 22. Strasburg went seven innings, struck out ten, gave up two runs to the Dodgers and took the loss on April 21.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1979 Don Sutton becomes the franchise’s winningest pitcher when he is credited with the victory, tossing eight innings in the Dodgers 6-4 victory over the Reds at Riverfront Stadium. The 34 year-old right-hander’s 210th win surpasses the team mark established in 1969 by Don Drysdale.
The Dodgers ask LHP Alex Wood (0-2, 5.09 ERA) to keep up the good work their last two starters have done in this mini-winning streak. He’ll face RHP Brian Mitchell (0-2, 5.27 ERA), who hasn’t yet achieved the potential the Padres hoped he would when they acquired him in December. His control has been poor: he’s walked 14 in 12 2/3 innings. Wood’s last start was hindered by the lingering effects of food poisoning, the Dodgers think. He only lasted 3 2/3 innings against Oakland on April 11, giving up seven runs on seven hits. More concerning than that start is his velocity, which is several notches below what it was last season.
1955 Roberto Clemente singles off Dodger pitcher Johnny Podres in his first major league at-bat. The Pirates’ rookie, who will die in a plane crash attempting to bring relief aid to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua in 1972, will collect exactly 3,000 hits during his 18-year major league career, all with Pittsburgh.
1956 Luis Aparicio, Don Drysdale, and Frank Robinson play in their first major league games, respectively, for the White Sox, Dodgers, and Reds. The trio of debuts marks the first time that three future Hall of Famers have made their initial appearance on the same day.
1988 The Braves beat the Dodgers, 3-1, after breaking the National League record with ten losses to start the season. The team will drop 27 of its first 39 decisions, costing Chuck Tanner his job as the Atlanta manager.
2013 Clayton Kershaw becomes the second fastest Dodger to strike out 1,000 batters when he throws a second-inning 93-mph fastball past San Diego first baseman Yonder Alonso. The 25 year-old southpaw reaches the milestone in 970 career innings, 15.2 more than needed by Hideo Nomo, who established the team mark in 2003.
Also in baseball history on this day: in 1969 Bill Stoneman pitched a no-hitter for the Expos in the ninth game of their existence, and in 1976 Mike Schmidt hit four consecutive home runs in a ten-inning 18-16 Phillies’ win over the Cubs.
The D-Backs go for a second consecutive sweep of a series against the Dodgers this season, putting RHP Zach Godley (2-0, 0.64 ERA) on the mound against the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (0-2, 1.89 ERA). Godley went seven innings against the Giants his last time out, giving up four hits and no runs. Kershaw went seven innings, also against the Giants, and gave up one run on six hits in a game the Dodgers won in ten innings.
ESPN reports that Forsythe left the game with shoulder discomfort and will have an MRI Sunday. Kiké Hernandez and Kyle Farmer are expected to play third until that’s resolved. On Saturday Justin Turner “played catch while wearing a glove on his right hand as he assisted with infield practice.” There’s no timetable for his return yet, Manager Roberts said.
1909 On Opening Day, the Superbas are no-hit by the Giants’ Red Ames for 9.1 innings. The Polo Grounds contest will go thirteen innings before Brooklyn defeats the 26 year-old right-hander, 3-0.
1930 On Opening Day, Phillies’ southpaw Les Sweetland throws a three-hitter at Ebbets Field. The 28 year-old southpaw doubles and scores the lone run in the eighth inning of his 1-0 complete-game victory over Brooklyn.
1933 In his major league debut, Tigers rookie Lynwood “Schoolboy” Rowe tosses a six-hitter, blanking the White Sox, 3-0. During his 15-year career, playing also with the Dodgers and Phillies, Rowe will compile a 158-101 record, posting an ERA of 3.87.
1947 A year before President Truman desegregated the military, Jackie Robinson debuts for the Dodgers, becoming the first black player to participate in a major league game this century. In front of 25,623 Ebbets Field fans, the 28 year-old first baseman is hitless in three at-bats, but scores a run in the 5-3 Opening Day victory over the Braves.
1958 On Opening Day, the transplanted New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers play the first major league game on the West Coast. The California contest sees Ruben Gomez blanking Los Angeles and Don Drysdale at San Francisco’s Seals Stadium, 8-0.
1959 Cardinal right-hander Bob Gibson makes his major league debut at LA Memorial Coliseum, tossing the final two innings in a 5-0 loss to the Dodgers. The 23 year-old rookie becomes the first future Hall of Fame hurler to give up a home run to the first batter he faces in the major leagues when third baseman Jim Baxes takes him deep in the seventh inning.
2004 Major league baseball begins the tradition of Jackie Robinson Day, an annual celebration commemorating the day the color line was broken in 1947. At big league venues across the country ceremonies are being held to honor the ground-breaking historic event, including baseball commissioner Bud Selig and Jackie’s widow Rachel Robinson attending the festivities at Shea Stadium.
2005 The Dodgers, to commemorate the 58th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game in the big leagues, wear replicas of the old road uniforms worn by the 1947 team which played in Brooklyn. Right-hander Derek Lowe throws a three-hitter, blanking the Padres in San Diego, 4-0.
2007 To honor Jackie Robinson, some players on each team, including Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter and Braves’ outfielder Andruw Jones, wear the Dodger immortal’s uniform No. 42 on the 60th anniversary of his historic breaking the color barrier in baseball. In the Cardinals and Brewers contest at Busch Stadium, every player and coach on both teams dons Jackie’s revered number.
Lineup when available.
Today's Dodger lineup vs. D-backs: Taylor CF Seager SS Kemp LF Bellinger 1B Puig RF Barnes C Utley 2B Hernández 3B Kershaw P pic.twitter.com/TeaLO9o0PV
In their second try at playing the eighth game of the year, the Dodgers switch pitchers. It’ll be LHP Rich Hill (1-0, 0.00 ERA) against the Giants’ RHP Chris Stratton (0-1, 5.06 ERA). Hill went six scoreless innings against Stratton and the Giants last Sunday. Stratton went 5 1/3 innings and gave up five hits and three runs to the Dodgers that day.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1969 After throwing just two pitches to start the season, Don Drysdale finds himself and his team trailing by two runs when Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan hit back-to-back homers. The 32 year-old right-hander settles down, and the Dodgers come back to win the Crosley Field contest, 3-2.
1969 Bill Singer becomes the first major league reliever to officially record for a save, a new stat which will be kept starting this season, in the Dodgers’ 3-2 win over Cincinnati in the season-opener at Crosley Field. The ‘Singer Throwing Machine’ does not allow a hit, hurling three scoreless innings en route to saving Don Drysdale’s victory.
1977 Gary Thomasson starts the game by walloping the first pitch in the Dodgers’ opener for a home run off Don Sutton, who had apparently thrown a gopher ball. Unbeknownst to the Giants’ leadoff hitter, the ball was to be taken for a pitch and handed to the home plate umpire to be sent to Cooperstown.
1977 Frank Sinatra keeps his promise to Tommy Lasorda by singing the Star-Spangled Banner on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium. ‘Old Blue Eyes’ had told the team’s new skipper he would perform the National Anthem if his friend ever became the L.A. manager.
2012 Octavio Dotel, playing for his 13th team, breaks a major league record he previously shared with Mike Morgan, Matt Stairs, and Ron Villone. The 39 year-old Tiger reliever, who throws 1.1 scoreless innings against Boston, has also appeared with the Mets, Astros, A’s, Yankees, Royals, Braves, White Sox, Pirates, Dodgers, Rockies, Blue Jays, and Cardinals.
Lineup when available.
Today's Dodger lineup at Giants: Taylor CF Seager SS Puig RF Bellinger 1B Forsythe 3B Pederson LF Barnes C Utley 2B Hill P pic.twitter.com/jtiYqZCDpU
It’ll be LHP Ty Blach for the visiting Giants and LHP Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers. Blach has been very good at Dodger Stadium in his four appearances: he’s got a 1.38 ERA. Kershaw will be making his eighth Opening Day start for the Dodgers, a new franchise record. He had previously shared the record of seven with Don Drysdale and Don Sutton. This will be Kershaw’s 41st career start against the Giants: he’s 22-9 with a 1.60 ERA in the first 40.
The Dodgers are virtually the same team as the NL Champions of last year, albeit temporarily without third baseman and team leader Justin Turner. They do have a left-field platoon which includes prodigal Matt Kemp; I think it’s fair to say most fans didn’t expect to see him still here on Opening Day. And I wonder: Andre Ethier is still a free agent and would have been cheaper to keep than Kemp is.
This is the 12th season opener between the clubs since they moved west in 1958. The Giants have won 6 of the previous 11.
An Opening Day Quiz from George Will at the Washington Post. I started off like a house afire and faded in the later innings. I scored 21 of 41.