Sep 30

Game 161, 2017

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT Sportsnet RM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

LHP Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.21 ERA) tunes up for the postseason against RHP German Marquez (11-7, 4.38 ERA), who’s trying to clinch the second Wild Card spot for his team. Since the Brewers are the team to beat for that position and they play the Cardinals earlier in the day, the Rockies might know by game time whether they’re in before the first pitch is thrown.

Kershaw is chasing a 4th Cy Young Award and will probably pitch no more than five innings, or so it’s been suggested by Dodgers’ manager Roberts. Marquez may be tiring; he’s had a poor September (1-2, 5.47 ERA) which has detracted a little from an otherwise excellent rookie year.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1923 It’s Zack Wheat Day at Ebbets Field, and the retiring Dodger outfielder collects two hits and is given an automobile. Cy Williams of the Phillies spoils the special day as he ties the score in the seventh inning with his 39th homer and his 40th in the 12th frame gives Philadelphia the victory, 6-4.
  • 1933 At Sportsman’s Park in a 12-2 Cubs rout of the Cardinals, Babe Herman hits for the cycle, becoming the first player in baseball history to do it three times. The Chicago outfielder, playing for the Dodgers, also accomplished the feat on two other occasions in 1931.
  • 1947 Ralph Branca becomes the youngest player to start a World Series opener. At Yankee Stadium, the 21-year and 9 months old right hander and the Dodgers lose to the Bronx Bombers, 5-1.
  • 1951 Knowing the Giants have won their game in Boston, the Dodgers rally from a five-run deficit to beat Philadelphia in 14 innings, 9-8, forcing a three-game playoff for the National League pennant. After Jackie Robinson makes a game-saving catch in the thirteenth to preserve an 8-8 tie, he hits a home run in the next frame that proves to be the difference in Brooklyn’s victory at Shibe Park.
  • 1953 George Shuba, best known as the Montreal Royal teammate who shook Jackie Robinson’s hand after the rookie had homered, becomes the third major leaguer and the first National League player to pinch hit a home run in the World Series when he goes deep off Allie Reynolds in the Dodgers’ 9-5 Game 1 loss at Yankee Stadium. ‘Shotgun’ joins Yogi Berra (1947) and Johnny Mize (1952), who both accomplished the feat playing for the Bronx Bombers.
  • 1956 Don Newcombe, a three-time twenty-game winner, goes the distance to earn his major-league leading 27th victory when the Dodgers beat Pittsburgh at Forbes Field, 8-6, on the last day of the campaign. Newk’s win is the most ever in a season by an African-American pitcher.
  • 1962 On the last day of the season, Gene Oliver’s eighth-inning homer off Johnny Podres proves to be the difference in St. Louis’ 1-0 victory over the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. The loss to the Cardinals forces Los Angeles into a best-of-three-game playoff with the Giants for the National League pennant, a series the team will lose to San Francisco.
  • 1999 The largest regular-season crowd in Candlestick Park history, 61,389 fans, watches the Dodgers beat the home team, 9-4 in the last baseball game to ever be played at the ‘Point’. Giant greats help mark the occasion with Juan Marichal tossing out the ceremonial first pitch before the game and Willie Mays throwing out the ballpark’s final pitch after the game.

Lineup when available.

Sep 29

Game 160, 2017

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT Sportsnet RM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Why are baseball games always scheduled to start at five or ten minutes after the hour?

The Dodgers open their final series of the 2017 season with LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-8, 3.47 ERA) pitching in the rarefied air of Coors Field against RHP Chad Bettis (1-4, 5.72 ERA).

Ryu has been very good since the All Star break, going 2-2 in ten starts with a 2.42 ERA. He’s in a tussle with Alex Wood for a spot in the post-season rotation. Bettis had a good outing his last time out, giving up just one run on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings last weekend in San Diego. He’s battling for a spot on the Rockies’ post-season roster if they get in. The Rockies have a two-game lead over the Brewers for the second National League Wild Card spot. If they win and a Brewers lose tonight they’ll clinch it.

The Dodgers select IF/OF Tim Locastro’s contract from OKC.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1951 Don Newcombe becomes the first African-American to win twenty games in a season. In a must win for the Dodgers, the right-hander bests Robin Roberts, also a 20-game-winner, when he blanks the Phillies at Shibe Park, 5-0.
  • 1959 At the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the Dodgers capture the NL flag with a dramatic 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Braves, taking the first two games of the three-game playoff necessitated by the teams being tied on the last day of the season. The deciding run comes in the bottom of the 12th inning, after the first two batters make outs, when Gil Hodges walks and scores on singles by Joe Pignatano and Carl Furillo.
  • 1976 Tommy Lasorda is named to succeed Walter Alston as Dodger manager. ‘Smokey’ compiled a 2040-1613 record (.558), during his 23-year tenure with the club, winning seven pennants, and four world championships.
  • 1979 Manny Mota sets a major league record with his 146th career pinch hit, a single to right field, in LA’s 6-2 victory over Chicago at Dodger Stadium. The Dominican Republic native surpasses the all-time record set by Smoky Burgess, who collected his last hit as a pinch-hitter in 1967.
  • 2000 Gary Sheffield ties the Dodgers’ franchise single-season home run record when he goes deep off Woody Williams in the team’s 3-0 victory over San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium. The left fielder, with his career best 43rd round tripper, now shares the team mark with Duke Snider, who established the record in 1956 when he played for Brooklyn.

Today is also the anniversary of The Catch (the Willie Mays one, not the Dwight Clark one):

Lineup when available.

Sep 12

Game 145, 2017

Dodgers at Giants, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS-BA, KTLA

It’s LHP Clayton Kershaw (16-3, 2.15 ERA) for the Dodgers and RHP Johnny Cueto (7-7, 4.43 ERA) for the Giants.

Both former All-Stars made their returns Sept. 1. Cueto has had more success than Kershaw since returning, posting a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings. Kershaw, who was bumped up a day from his scheduled Wednesday start, has a 3.72 ERA in 9 2/3 innings.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1930 The last major league bounced home run is hit by Dodger catcher Al Lopez at Ebbets Field as the NL joins the American League, which had enacted the rule change in 1929. The player who hits the ball over the wall on a bounce will now be awarded a ground-rule double.
  • 1932 In the bottom of the ninth, Johnny Frederick hits his major league record-setting sixth pinch-homer of the season, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Cubs. The Brooklyn outfielder’s major league mark will not be broken for 68 years until another Dodger, Dave Hansen, strokes seven round-trippers coming off the bench in 2000.
  • 1953 The Dodgers clinch a pennant at the earliest date ever in baseball history with a 5-2 victory over the Braves at County Stadium. Carl Erskine gets the win when Brooklyn, who clinches consecutive titles for the first time in franchise history, goes up 13 games up on Milwaukee with 12 left to play.
  • 1962 One game behind the front running Dodgers, the Giants lose Willie Mays, their All-Star center fielder, when he is hospitalized for nervous exhaustion. The ‘City by the Bay’ will drop six games in a row, but will recover along with ‘Say Hey Kid’ in time to beat Los Angeles in a playoff to win the National league pennant.
  • 1963

    “I look up into the stands, and it looks like Ebbets Field. The Mets are wonderful, but you can’t take the Dodger out of Brooklyn” – DUKE SNIDER, – addressing the Mets fans on his special night at the Polo Grounds.

    In a pregame ceremony with his former Dodgers teammates, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, and Ralph Branca in attendance, Duke Snider is honored by the Mets with a special ‘night’ at the Polo Grounds, which coincidentally marks the last time the Giants, now located in San Francisco, will ever play in once long-time home in Harlem. The ‘Silver Fox’, obtained by the last-place expansion team in April, has recently requested to be traded to a contender.

  • 1995 During a WGN pre-game radio broadcast at Wrigley Field, Cubs announcer Harry Caray remarks to the team’s skipper Jim Riggleman, “Well, my eyes are slanty enough, how ’bout yours?”, referring to Hideo Nomo, the Japanese rookie hurler scheduled to start for the Dodgers. The veteran announcer, known for not backing off for his on-the-air off-handed comments, does issue an apology, calling the incident “unfortunate.”
  • 2000 On the same date the mark was established 68 years ago, Dave Hansen breaks Johnny Frederick’s 1932 record for pinch-hit home runs in a single season with his seventh round-tripper coming off the bench. The Dodger pinch-hitter’s historic homer, a seventh-inning three-run blast off Diamondback right-hander Curt Schilling, isn’t enough to prevent the team’s 5-4 loss to Arizona at Bank One Ballpark.

Lineup when available.

Sep 05

Game 138, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

The D-Backs send ex-Dodger Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.08 ERA) out to extend their winning streak to twelve, while Hyun-Jin Ryu tries to stop the Dodgers’ losing streak at four.

Greinke has not been as good on the road this year as at home; he’s got a 3-5 record with a 4.28 ERA away from Chase Field. Ryu has had a good second half if you take away his last outing against Arizona, when he gave up six runs and eight hits including three HRs in a 6-4 loss last Wednesday.

Pederson and Thompson have been recalled from OKC.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1908 Superbas southpaw Nap Rucker strikes out 14 Doves en route to tossing a no-hitter in the team’s 6-0 victory over Boston at Washington Park. The only runners to get on base off the talented left-handed redhead come as a result of three Brooklyn errors.
  • 1938 For the third time this season, Dodger catcher Babe Phelps breaks a bone in his throwing hand. Although the injuries will limit his playing time to only 66 games and 208 at-bats this season, the southpaw-swinging backstop will hit .308 and was named to the National League All-Star team, the first of three consecutive games he’ll play in the Mid-summer classic.
  • 1955 In an 11-4 win over the Phillies, Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe hits his seventh homer, establishing a National League record for home runs by a pitcher in a season. The victory is Newk’s 20th of the season.
  • 1998 Barry Bonds sets a new National League mark, reaching base in 15 consecutive plate appearances. The Giants outfielder’s five singles, two doubles, two homers, and six walks during the streak break Dodger Pedro Guerrero’s mark of 14 established in 1983.

Lineup when available.

Aug 19

Game 121, 2017

Dodgers at Tigers, 1:05 PM PT, TV: FS-D, FS1, SPNLA

The Dodgers send lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-6, 3.63 ERA) to the hill to face the Tigers’ RHP Michael Fulmer (10-10, 3.78 ERA). The Dodgers are 6-1 in Ryu’s last seven starts (five of which ended before the sixth), and he’s got a 2.50 ERA in those games. Fulmer has lost four starts in a row and put up a 7.89 ERA in those games.

The Dodgers acquired Curtis Granderson from the Mets for the proverbial player-to-be-named-later or cash. This may have an impact on Joc Pederson’s playing time, and it’s hard to see what they do with André Ethier when he presumably returns from his injuries in September. “The Dodgers designated pitcher Dylan Floro for assignment to make room for Granderson on the 40-man roster. They will have to make a corresponding transaction to make room on the active roster once Granderson joins the team.”

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1955 For the sixth consecutive season, Robin Roberts is a 20-game winner. The Phillies right-hander, who will finish the season with a 23-14 record, beats Don Newcombe and the first place Dodgers at Connie Mack Stadium, 3-2.
  • 1957 Citing poor attendance as the reason, Giants’ president Horace Stoneham, ignoring baseball’s edict of banning announcements about relocation of franchises until after the World Series, informs the press the club has signed a lease to play its home games in San Francisco next season. The club’s Board of Directors voted 8-1 approving the shift to the West Coast, with the only dissenting vote cast by M. Donald Grant, who will become the chairman of the Mets, an expansion team located in New York to fill the National League void created by the departure of the Giants and Dodgers to California.
  • 2004 Pitching a perfect bottom of the ninth inning, John Smoltz establishes the franchise record with his 142nd save in a Braves uniform. The right-handed reliever surpasses Gene Garber as Atlanta beat the Dodgers in Los Angeles, 6-5.
  • 2008 The Dodgers reacquired Greg Maddux (6-9, 3.99) from the Padres for cash and two minor leaguers to be named or an additional monetary sum. The 42 year-old future Hall of Fame right-hander, obtained to help the club down the stretch run, played in LA for part of the 2006 season, winning six of nine decisions.

On this day in 1951 Forty-three inch tall Eddie Gaedel walks on four pitches in his only major league appearance. Bill Veeck’s idea of playing the midget was legal at the time but is later outlawed.

Lineup when available.

Huh. Granderson’s arrival allows movement all over the lineup. I hope it works.

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:

Jul 09

Game 90, 2017

Royals at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSKC

The Royals try to salvage one game of what’s been an unsatisfying return to Dodger Stadium for the first time since 2003. The trouble is they have to get past Clayton Kershaw (13-2, 2.19 ERA) to do it. They’ll ask LHP Danny Duffy (5-4, 3.51 ERA) to shut the high-powered Dodgers’ offense down while they try to put together some hits and runs against the Dodgers’ ace.

Duffy has made one start since returning from the disabled list and he did pretty well, going 5 2/3 innings against the Mariners, giving up two runs and five hits in a 7-3 win. Kershaw went seven shutout innings against the D-Backs Tuesday and gave up just two hits in a game the Dodgers held on to win 4-3 despite a three-run HR off Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning.

The Dodgers won their 60th game last night, becoming just the 4th team in 40 years to do that before the All Star break.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1956 The BBWAA, by a narrow margin of 14-12, votes to establish the Cy Young Award to honor the major leagues’ most outstanding pitcher. Commissioner Ford Frick initiated the idea because he felt hurlers were not recognized in the MVP voting, but ironically the first recipient of the Cy Young Award, Dodger Don Newcombe, also won the Most Valuable Player Award.
  • 1996 In Philadelphia, Dodger backstop Mike Piazza hits a moon shot into the upper-deck at Veterans Stadium and also bangs a RBI double, helping the NL to blank the AL, 6-0, in All-Star action.

In non-Dodger history, it seems fitting that in 1968, the Year of the Pitcher, the All Star Game would play out this way: In the first All-Star game played indoors, American Leaguers are held to just three hits in the Astrodome, with the National League winning the first Mid-Summer Classic to end with a score of 1-0. The contest’s lone tally comes in the bottom of the first frame when Willie Mays, who had been picked off but stayed on the bases due to Luis Tiant’s throwing error, scores an unearned run on a double play ball.

Lineup:

Jul 08

Game 89, 2017

Royals at Dodgers, 4:15 PM PT, TV: Fox

RHP Ian Kennedy (3-6, 4.44 ERA) starts for the Royals and RHP Brandon McCarthy (6-3, 3.25 ERA) goes for the Dodgers.

Kennedy has won three straight games after going 0-6 with a 5.40 ERA in his first 11 starts. He’s been prone to the gopher ball, giving up 16 HRs so far this season. He’s also 5-9 against the Dodgers in his career. McCarthy is coming off the 10-day DL; his last start was June 25 when he lost his control and threw three wild pitches against the Rockies while lasting only three innings. He’d been 4-2 with a 1.57 ERA over six starts before that.

To make room for McCarthy the Dodgers optioned Scott Van Slyke to OKC.

Kershaw is an occasional goof.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1949 Hank Thompson, who broke in to the majors as a member of the St. Louis Browns twelve days after Larry Doby’s American League debut with the Indians in 1947, becomes the first African-American to play for the Giants. When the former Kansas City Monarchs’ standout faces Dodger right-hander Don Newcombe, it marks the first time a pitcher-batter confrontation takes place between black players in the major leagues.

Lineup:

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.

Lineup:

May 15

Game 39, 2017

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS-BA, MLBN (out-of-market only)

RHP Brandon McCarthy (3-0, 3.10 ERA) takes on RHP Matt Cain (2-1, 4.54 ERA) at AT&T Park this evening. We learn now that the unspecified injury which put McCarthy on the 10-day DL was a dislocated shoulder. He threw a 4-inning 60 pitch simulated game on Wednesday and is “chomping at the bit,” says his manager Dave Roberts. Cain did well in April, posting a 2.30 ERA in five starts, but has struggled so far in May, giving up 12 runs (11 earned) in two starts spanning 8 1/3 innings for an 11.88 ERA.

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1919 After 12 scoreless innings at Ebbets Field, the Reds score 10 runs in the 13th inning to beat Al Mamaux and the Dodgers, 10-0. Cincinnati starter Hod Eller, who tossed a no-hitter in his previous start, is the beneficiary of the blowout.
  • 1956 Sal Maglie, obtained on waivers by Cleveland last season from the Giants, is shipped to the Dodgers for a hundred dollars after impressing Brooklyn in an exhibition game. The ‘Barber’ will post a 13-5 record along with a 2.89 ERA for the eventual NL Champs, finishing second to teammate Don Newcombe in the balloting for both the Cy Young and MVP awards.

The Dodgers made room for McCarthy by optioning Brett Eibner back to Oklahoma City. Poor guy. He hits the longest HR any Dodger has this year, and that’s the recognition he gets.

Lineup when available.