Sep 30

Game 162, 2018

Dodgers at Giants, 12:05 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS Bay Area

There’s a lot at stake in this game. If the Dodgers win and the Rockies lose, the Dodgers win the division title and get a few days off before the start of the NLDS on Thursday. If both teams win, they’ll have to play a tiebreaker on Monday to see who wins the division. The loser of that game plays in the Wild Card game. I think. Ah, I’m right.

Should the Dodgers and Rockies finish tied atop the NL West,a one-game playoff would be held Monday in Los Angeles, with the winner advancing to the NL Division Series and [the] loser playing Tuesday in the single-elimination wild-card game.

Assuming that Andy McCullough’s story remains accurate, the Dodgers will ask their 24-year-old rookie righthander Walker Buehler (7-5, 2.76 ERA) to do what the Dodgers must do to clinch the division — win Game 162 against the bitterest of all rivals. The Giants, wanting nothing more than to spoil the Dodgers’ chances, will send out LHP Andrew Suárez (7-12, 4.22 ERA). Suárez has gone 1-3 in September with a 4.38 ERA and may be getting tired; he threw 155 innings in the minors last year and has thrown 181 1/3 innings with three different teams this year, 158 of them at the big league level.

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 ‘Stick’. 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 161, 2018

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS Bay Area, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Giant killer LHP Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 2.53 ERA) goes for his tenth win. He hasn’t had a single-digit win season since 2009. He’s 6-1 with a 2.36 ERA over his last 12 starts, and he’s 22-10 against the Giants overall, 13-4 with a 1.20 ERA at their ball park. He’ll face rookie RHP Dereck Rodríguez (6-4, 2.50 ERA), who made his first big league start in May and has had a good first year. He needs to work on his control; he’s got a 2.67 K/BB ratio.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1951 Don Newcombe becomes the first black pitcher 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.

Lineup when available.


Sep 28

Game 160, 2018

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBC-Bay Area, MLBN (out-of-market only)

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.

Lineup when available.


No Bellinger? No Puig?

Sep 12

Game 146, 2018

Dodgers at Reds, 9:35 AM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FS-O

The Dodgers send RHP Ross Stripling (8-3, 2.61 ERA) to the mound for his second appearance after coming off the DL where he’d been for a sore back. He’s expected to pitch only 3 innings or 45 pitches. He’ll face RHP Anthony DeSclafani (7-4, 4.56 ERA), who had a good August but has been pulled by the fourth inning in each of his last two starts. The Reds won his last outing 12-6 despite his giving up eight hits and four runs in four 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 their 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 140, 2018

Mets at Dodgers, 4:35 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, SNY

Zach Wheeler (9-7, 3.37 ERA) goes for the Metsies and Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1, 2.24 ERA) goes for the Dodgers in this getaway game. Since June 21 Wheeler is 7-1 with a 1.83 ERA. Ryu has come back from the DL pretty strongly. In his last start he went seven innings, allowing just a two-run HR to Paul Goldschmidt, which is no disgrace.

On this date 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.
  • 1978 On a night the Dodgers and Angels are scheduled to play at home on the same date, which is a rare occurrence, each team has their game rained out, another oddity in Los Angeles. The second time both clubs home contests will be washed out on the same day in the City of Angels will take place late in the season in 1986.
  • 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 125, 2018

Dodgers at Mariners, 1:00 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTNW

It’s a matchup of lefties today. Clayton Kershaw (5-5, 2.47 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and Roenis Elias (2-0, 2.88 ERA) takes the hill for the Mariners. Kershaw’s last start was his best of the season; he went eight innings and gave up just one run against the Giants in a game the Dodgers lost in the ninth. Elias has been on the DL all of August; his last start was July 24 when he went 3 2/3 innings, coincidentally against the Giants. The 30-year-old has been used as a spot starter this season.

On this date 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.


Lineup:


Aug 09

Game 116, 2018

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATTSportsNet-RM

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.

Lineup when available.


Jul 12

Game 93, 2018

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

Freshly appointed to his first All Star Game, RHP Ross Stripling (7-2, 2.22 ERA) takes the hill at Petco Park this evening to face RHP Tyson Ross (5-7, 4.41 ERA). Stripling allowed the Angels no hits during his last start; he did give up three to Mike Trout, but he got the win anyway. Ross has seen his ERA jump a full point in his last two starts. The speculation is his slider has temporarily deserted him.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1949 The first All-Star Game which includes black players is played at Ebbets Field. The Dodgers’ Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson, and Don Newcombe represent the National League in an 11-7 loss to Larry Doby and his AL teammates.
  • 1966 The National League All-Stars edge the AL, 2-1, in a game played at the newly-built Busch Stadium when hometown favorite Tim McCarver scores the winning run on Dodger shortstop Maury Wills’s tenth-inning walk-off single, with Giants hurler Gaylord Perry getting the victory by tossing a scoreless ninth and tenth inning. The 105-degree weather, 113 degrees on the playing surface, results in nearly 150 people needing treatment for heat exhaustion.

This is notable: In 1949 the major league owners agree to install warning tracks made of cinder in front of outfield fences before the start of next season. The origin of the concept began at Yankee Stadium, where an actual running track, used in the ballpark’s track and field events, helped fielders know their proximity to the outfield fence when attempting to make a play. One wonders if that might have saved Pete Reiser’s career. Reiser “was taken off the field on a stretcher a record 11 times.”

Lineup:


Jul 09

Game 90, 2018

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers have beaten the Padres in six of nine meetings so far this season. Today they’ll send LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-4, 2.86 ERA) to the mound in hopes he’ll continue to recover from his two stints on the disabled list. He’ll face the Padres’ RHP Luis Perdomo (1-2, 6.86 ERA), who has made one start since coming back from a two-month stay in AAA El Paso with the Chihuahuas.


The Dodgers and Yankees are promoting Muncy and Giancarlo Stanton as candidates for the ASG Final Vote.

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 Mike Piazza, who will be named the All-Star Game’s MVP, hits a moon shot into the upper-deck at Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium. The Dodger backstop also strokes an RBI double, helping the National League to beat the AL, 6-0.

Lineup when available.

As expected, Puig (probably) to DL. Toles in CF, Kemp in RF, Joc in LF.


Jul 08

Game 89, 2018

Dodgers at Angels, 5:15 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

LHP Alex Wood (5-5, 3.84 ERA) takes the hill for the Dodgers in the rubber match of this three-game series. He’ll face the Angels’ briefly-a-Dodger LHP Andrew Heaney (4-6, 3.94 ERA). Wood has won his last four starts after a three-game slump, while Heaney took the loss in his last start despite giving up only three runs over seven innings to the Mariners. He’s 0-2 with a 6.10 ERA in his only two career starts against the Dodgers.

An aside: I suspect the people who write these previews look up and add the career numbers as filler. Logically, if some pitcher is 12-2 over his lifetime against one team (or 2-12) he’s faced numerous iterations of that team. In these days of nearly-unfettered player movement it might be more useful to look at his career stats against each player he’s expecting to face in the game.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1949 Hank Thompson, who broke into 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.

In the “Dubious Moments in Baseball History” column comes this item: in 1979 the Mets announce the selection of Mettle as the name for the team’s new mascot mule. Dolores Mapps of Mercerville, N.J., who submitted the winning entry, believes the moniker captures the team’s “spirit, ardor, stamina, and courage, all of which the Mets have in abundance.”

In a slightly more aesthetic moment, back in 1994 Red Sox shortstop John Valentin snares Marc Newfield’s sixth-inning line drive, steps on second to retire Mike Blowers, and then tags the runner coming from first, Kevin Mitchell, to turn an unassisted triple play. After completing the rare feat, accomplishing a play that has occurred only ten times in major league history, the infielder begins a three-homer outburst by Boston in the bottom of the frame, helping the team defeat the Mariners at Fenway Park, 4-3.

Lineup when available.