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.
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.
Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBC Bay Area, MLB.TV (free game of the day)
The Giants ask RHP Jeff Samardzija (9-14, 4.42 ERA) to keep the Dodgers and LHP Rich Hill (10-8, 3.60 ERA) from clinching the NL West title in tonight’s game.
Samardzija’s 14 losses are a career high (low?), but the Giants are 13-17 in his starts this year, which isn’t all that bad considering their overall W-L record. Hill pitched five innings of one-hit one-run ball against the Nationals his last time out but got lifted for a pinch hitter in hopes of adding some runs. That didn’t work, but the Dodgers won 3-2 anyway.
1925 Robins starter Burleigh Grimes accounts for seven outs in just three plate appearances in the team’s 3-2 loss to Chicago, a 12-inning game played at Cubs Park. The Brooklyn right-hander follows grounding into two double plays by hitting into a 6-4-3-2 triple play.
1926 At Ebbets Field, the aging 18-year veteran outfielder Zack Wheat hits his last homer as a Dodger, but severely pulls a muscle nearing second. The future Hall of Famer needs to rest nearly five minutes before completing his trip to home plate, making it the longest home run trot in major league history.
1947 On an off day, the Dodgers clinched the National League pennant when Chicago takes the nightcap of the twin bill against St. Louis. Although it is past midnight when the good news about their beloved team reaches the borough, Brooklynites begin to gather on Flatbush for an impromptu celebration.
1954 Karl Spooner, in his major league debut, blanks the Giants at Ebbets Field 3-0. The 23 year-old Dodger southpaw fans 15 batters, including six straight, recording the most strikeouts in a first appearance by a rookie.
1957 Duke Snider, with his second round-tripper in the Dodgers’ 7-3 victory over Philadelphia, hits his 40th home run, tying Ralph Kiner’s National League record of five consecutive seasons with forty or more homers. The Duke of Flatbush’s seventh-inning homer off future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts will prove to be the last one ever hit at Ebbets Field.
1976 Right-hander Don Sutton goes the distance to become a twenty-game winner for the first and last time when the Dodgers beat the Giants at Candlestick Park, 3-1. The future Hall of Famer will compile a 324-256 (.559) record during his 23-year career in the bigs.
1986 Dodger hurler Fernando Valenzuela (20-10) two-hits Houston en route to a 9-2 victory at the Astrodome. The 25 year-old southpaw becomes the first Mexican to win 20 games in the major leagues.
Lineup when available.
Taylor CF Seager SS Bellinger 1B Granderson RF Ethier LF Grandal C Utley 2B Forsythe 3B Hill P
The Dodgers currently lead the Nationals by five games in the race for best record in the National League.
LHP Alex Wood (14-3, 2.81 ERA) starts for the Dodgers. He’ll face RHP Edwin Jackson (5-5, 4.14 ERA), now on his twelfth team since he was drafted by the Dodgers in 2001.
Wood’s pitching has deteriorated in the second half of the season after an All-Star performance in the first half. In his last two starts he’s given up nine runs in eleven innings. He’s had a sternum injury, but I wonder if his arm is tired. He’s thrown 134 innings this season after only 60 the year before when he was recovering from elbow surgery mid-season. Jackson has made 10 starts for the Nats after coming over from the Orioles (short distance between moves, anyway) and has a 3.88 ERA in that stretch. His last two outings have been shaky: he’s given up nine earned runs in nine innings.
1946 In Brooklyn, a giant swarm of gnats engulfs Ebbets Field at the end of the fifth inning of the second game of a doubleheader. Due to the bothersome insects and the impending darkness, the game is called, resulting in a 2-0 victory for the Dodgers over the Cubs.
1950 At Ebbets Field, Cardinal starter Cloyd Boyer hurts his arm while warming up and is replaced by Red Munger. The reliever goes the distance, beating the Dodgers, 6-2, getting credit for a complete game, but not for a game started.
1978 Don Sutton, in front of 47,188 fans at Dodger Stadium, throws a six-hitter to beat Atlanta, 5-0. Los Angeles, with tonight’s attendance, becomes the major league first team in history to draw three million fans at home.
1995 Ozzie Smith takes part in the 1,554th twin killing of his career to set a new big league record for double plays. The Cardinals’ shortstop’s wizardry isn’t enough to prevent the Redbirds’ 7-6 loss to the Dodgers at Busch Stadium.
Today's Dodger lineup at Nationals: Taylor CF Seager SS Turner 3B Bellinger 1B Puig RF Utley 2B Grandal C Ethier LF Wood P pic.twitter.com/gh468ROAm5
The visiting Dodgers try to finish a sweep of the Tigers in a day game from Comerica Park. They’ll send RHP Kenta Maeda (11-4, 3.76 ERA) to the mound to face 2011 Cy Young Award winner RHP Justin Verlander (8-8, 4.11 ERA).
Maeda is on a hot streak. He’s gone 5-0 with a 1.95 ERA in his last six starts. He’s never faced the Tigers. Verlander gave up three HRs in a loss to the Rangers on Tuesday. He’s certainly not having a year even close to his standards.
Potential milestones: Verlander is looking for his 30th interleague win. He’s gone a gaudy 29-5 with a 2.94 ERA in 41 career regular-season starts against National League teams, but he hasn’t victimized the Dodgers much. His only start against the Dodgers was a home victory on July 8, 2014. Adrian González needs two hits to reach 2,000 for his career, but Verlander’s not the guy he’d like to face to get there. He’s 3-17 lifetime against the Tigers’ pitcher.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1945 Dodger shortstop Tommy Brown becomes the youngest player (17 years, 8 months, and 14 days) in major league history to hit a home run. The round-tripper by ‘Buckshot’, who started his career as a 16 year-old high school student, will be the only run Brooklyn scores off 30 year-old Pirates southpaw Preacher Roe, who goes the distance in the 11-1 rout of the home team at Ebbets Field.
1974 In an 18-8 rout of the Cubs, the Dodgers collect 24 hits and set a club record with 48 total bases, including Davey Lopes’ three home runs, double, and single. The Dodger second baseman’s 15 total bases are the most ever for a leadoff hitter.
1978 In the visitors’ clubhouse at Shea Stadium, Dodger Blue becomes black and blue when Steve Garvey confronts teammate Don Sutton about a Washington Post story in which the pitcher is critical of him. After the right-hander confirms he had made the comments, the argument becomes physical when an inappropriate remark is made about the first baseman’s wife.
I remember lying on a couch in my relative’s home while on vacation in Santa Maria listening to Scully and Doggett tell me about this one: in 1961 in the second game of a doubleheader the Phillies snap a 23-game losing streak by beating the Braves, 7-4. The victory establishes a new record for the most consecutive losses by a major league team.
Lineup when available.
Today's Dodger lineup at Tigers: Granderson LF Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Puig RF Utley DH Forsythe 2B Barnes C Hernández CF (Maeda P) pic.twitter.com/wUdoiTnj1R
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.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup at D-backs: Taylor LF Seager SS Turner 3B Bellinger 1B Forsythe 2B Hernández RF Barnes C Pederson CF Darvish P pic.twitter.com/2vkl9Kz1Zi
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.
Today's Dodger lineup at Mets: Taylor LF Seager SS Turner 3B Bellinger 1B Pederson CF Forsythe 2B Grandal C Puig RF Hill P pic.twitter.com/bP8EthZObG
RHP Kenta Maeda (7-4, 4.38 ERA) makes his 14th start of the year. He’s only gone past five innings in three of those fourteen, but he’s won three of his last four decisions. He’ll be opposed by YALHP Carlos Rodon (1-2, 4.32 ERA), who made only one start in Spring Training before going on the DL with left biceps bursitis and has made three starts since coming off it on June 28.
Many an uncommon man and woman have read it in performances with proper forceful meaning during the history of Copland’s stirring patriotic justification of the American ideal, a 15-minute oration for narrator and orchestra written in early 1942 in the wake of Pearl Harbor.
Not a word has gone out of date. But ours is such a fragmented whom-do-you-trust age, even Lincoln can be readily and shamelessly misinterpreted. So it proved an inspiration for Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic to invite the most trusted voice in all of L.A. to recite “Lincoln Portrait” at the Hollywood Bowl on Thursday night. The one person we can all agree about. Vin Scully.
1977 Pitcher Don Sutton wins All-Star MVP honors after helping the National League to a 7-5 victory over the American League. Sutton is the N.L.’s starting pitcher at Yankee Stadium and delivers three scoreless innings of work. He becomes only the third player in franchise history to be named All-Star MVP. Garvey also contributes to the N.L.’s victory with a home run in the third inning.
1993 Outfielder Raul Mondesi makes his major league debut and singles in his first at-bat. He goes on to bat .291 with four home runs and 10 RBI in 42 games. The following season, he is named National League Rookie of the Year after batting .306 with 16 homers and 56 RBI.
Tonight's Dodger lineup: Taylor LF Seager SS Turner DH Bellinger 1B Forsythe 2B Barnes C Hernández 3B Puig RF Thompson CF (Maeda P) pic.twitter.com/FE0njEXXp1
RHP Dan Straily (1-3, 3.56 ERA) goes for the Marlins against LHP Julio Urias (0-1, 3.343 ERA) of the Dodgers. Straily took a line drive off his right forearm in his last start but hasn’t let that stop him. He hasn’t allowed more than four hits in any of his last seven starts and averages an NL-leading 5.02 hits per nine innings. Urias had a terrible experience in Denver his last time out when he gave up six runs in four innings, which ballooned his ERA from 1.06 to 3.43. This will be his first start against the Marlins.
This day in Dodgers history:
The Dodgers did nothing very interesting on this date in baseball history, unless you count Don Sutton being knocked out in the first inning of a game against the Pirates in 1966. He gave up hits to Alou, Clemente, Stargell, Clendenon and Pagan with a walk to Alley thrown in and was relieved by Bob Miller.
Tonight's Dodger lineup vs. Marlins: Utley 2B Seager SS Bellinger LF Grandal C González 1B Taylor 3B Pederson CF Hernández RF Urias P pic.twitter.com/8UeeuQNCdE