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.
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.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup at Rockies: Granderson CF Seager SS Turner 3B Bellinger 1B Puig RF Ethier LF Grandal C Forsythe 2B Ryu P
The Dodgers are up three games in the win column over the Indians for the best record in baseball (and home field advantage through the playoffs and World Series if they get that far) with four games left to play.
The Padres send LHP Clayton Richard (8-14, 4.63 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (11-8, 3.50 ERA).
These pitchers have faced their respective opposing teams before this season:
Hill will be making his final tuneup ahead of a probable start in Game 3 of the NL Division Series. The southpaw is 2-0 in four starts vs. the Padres this season, owning 1.50 ERA to go along with 25 strikeouts. Richard is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts at Dodger Stadium this season. The southpaw is 3-4 with a 3.61 ERA over his last 11 starts.
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1936 Replacing Johnny Mize, tossed by an ump for arguing, Cardinal rookie first baseman Walter Alston makes an error in handling two chances and strikes out in his only major league at-bat. ‘Smokey’ will, however, win seven pennants and four World Series in his 23-year Hall of Fame career as Dodger manager from 1954 to 1976.
1951 Bill Sharman, recently called up from Fort Worth, is one of 15 Dodgers who are ejected by umpire Frank Dascoli for bench jockeying after a close call at home plate. The future basketball Hall of Famer will never play in the big leagues, and thus he will become the only player to be ejected from a major league game without ever appearing in one.
1960 Ryne Duren makes his first start in two years memorable when he strikes out the first five batters he faces in the Yankees’ 5-1 victory over Washington. The feat ties a modern major league record shared by Lefty Gomez (Yankees), Dazzy Vance (Dodgers), and Walter Johnson (Senators).
1961 Sandy Koufax breaks the National League mark for strikeouts in a season, surpassing Christy Mathewson’s mark of 267 established in 1903. Unlike the turmoil caused by commissioner Ford Frick’s edict of having to hit 61 homers by the 154th game in the extended 162-game schedule to break Babe Ruth’s single season home run record, little is made that the Dodgers southpaw’s 268th punch-out occurs in the 151st game of the season, compared to the 142-game sked played early in the century.
1964 The Houston Colt .45’s play their final game in Colt Stadium, the team’s home ballpark since joining the National League in 1962. The future Astros beat the Dodgers in the 12th inning, 1-0, when Jimmy Wynn’s single plates Bob Aspromonte.
1993 In a 7-3 victory over the Dodgers, Cubs’ reliever Randy Myers becomes the first National League pitcher to record 50 saves in a season.
1993 Mike Piazza, who broke the major league rookie record for home runs by a catcher earlier in the month, sets another mark for round-trippers when he hits his 34th, surpassing the previous L.A. Dodger mark shared by Steve Garvey (1977) and Pedro Guerrero (1985). Duke Snider established the franchise record with 43 homers playing with Brooklyn in 1956.
2000 The United States Olympic team, managed by former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda, stuns the world, beating the much-favored Cuban team to win the country’s first gold medal in its national pastime. Ben Sheets ends Cuba’s 21-game Olympic winning streak with a 4-0 shutout.
2011 After giving up five runs in the top of the tenth inning, the Diamondbacks score six times in the bottom of the frame in an amazing 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the Dodgers. Arizona infielder Ryan Roberts delivers the decisive blow in the Chase Field contest, a walk-off grand slam with two outs.
The Padres start RHP Dinelson Lamet (7-7, 4.45 ERA) against the Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (15-3, 2.71 ERA).
This is Lamet’s rookie season and it’s been a pretty good one. In his last 11 starts, he’s had a 3.08 ERA with 70 strikeouts. Wood has had a bit of a rocky road in his last few starts, but his last two have been excellent.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1908 Cubs right-hander Ed Reulbach pitches two shutouts in the same day, whitewashing the Brooklyn Superbas in the opener 5-0 on a five-hitter and 3-0 on a three hits in the nightcap. The entire Washington Park doubleheader is played in less than three hours.
1954 Willie Mays, with three hits in the season finale, wins the batting title, finishing the campaign with a .345 average. The ‘Say Hey Kid’ goes third to first in batting average with his performance passing teammate Don Mueller (.342) and Dodger center fielder Duke Snider (341).
1975 Burt Hooton sets a Dodger record for starting pitchers by winning his twelfth consecutive game. The 25 year-old right-hander, who was traded to LA in May for Eddie Solomon and Geoff Zahn, accomplishes the feat by beating J.R. Richard and the Astros at Dodger Stadium, 3-2.
1981 Nolan Ryan becomes the first pitcher to throw five no-hitters when the Astros defeat the Dodgers at the Astrodome, 5-0. The Ryan Express, who will finish his 27-year major league career with a record seven no-hitters, previously has thrown hitless gems against the Royals (1973), Tigers (1973), Twins (1974), and Orioles (1975).
1997 Dodger catcher Mike Piazza, in a 10-4 win over the Rockies, hits the longest home run in the history of Coors Field. The 28 year-old backstop’s sixth-inning blast travels 496 feet and hits the left center field billboard between the scoreboard and the Rockpile.
Tonight's Dodger lineup vs. Padres: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Bellinger CF Grandal C Puig RF González 1B Ethier LF Wood P pic.twitter.com/VEZC5zs3jc
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
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.
“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.
Tonight's Dodger lineup at Giants: Taylor CF Seager SS Turner 3B Bellinger 1B Puig RF Granderson LF Grandal C Utley 2B Kershaw P
History says the Dodgers are still in good shape despite the current 1-11 stretch.
The only reason the Dodgers’ situation looks more dire than it actually is? Because as they’ve stumbled, the D-backs have surged. How do you surrender 9 1/2 games in the standings in two weeks? Lose 11 of 12, while the second-place team wins 13 in a row. That’s what happened this time, but such extreme polarity is rare and impossible to sustain on either end.
Save us, Clayton! Dodger fans could be forgiven if that’s what they mutter as tonight’s game begins with the Dodgers’ ace Kershaw (16-2, 1.95 ERA) facing RHP Jon Gray (6-4, 4.26 ERA) at Dodger Stadium. Gray has made seven starts against the Dodgers in his career and put up a 3.75 ERA against them. He got no decision in his only start against them this season, going five innings and giving up just one run on four hits. Kershaw is making his second start after coming off the DL with back troubles; in his first one he went six scoreless innings, struck out seven and didn’t walk anybody.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1903 A year before the first subway line is completed, the Brooklyn Superbas, later to be known as the Dodgers, play their cross-town rivals in a two-stadium, same-day doubleheader. The first game played in Washington Park begins at 10:30 am with 9,300 fans watching the visiting Giants win the opener, 6-4, and later that afternoon in front of 23,623 patrons at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, Brooklyn wins the second game, 3-0.
1916 The Giants defeat the Dodgers 4-1 to start their major league record 26-game winning streak. The ‘Jints’ start the span two games under .500 and make up nine games in the standings, but remain in fourth place during the entire streak.
1962 With four steals in a 10-1 loss to the Pirates, Dodger Maury Wills breaks the modern National League record for stolen bases in a season with his 82nd swipe. Bob Bescher established the mark in 1911, playing left field for Cincinnati.
1964 At Connie Mack Stadium, a Labor Day crowd of 26,390 fans watches the first-place Phillies split a doubleheader with the Dodgers. The attendance for the twin bill brings the season’s total to 1,224,172 patrons, breaking the all-time franchise home attendance record established by the Whiz Kids in 1950.
2001 Shawn Green breaks a franchise record for homers in a season with his 44th home run, the first of two dingers the Dodger right fielder will hit off Dustin Hermanson in the team’s 7-1 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The previous mark had been shared by Duke Snider (1956) and Gary Sheffield (2000).
Tonight's Dodger lineup vs. Rockies: Taylor SS Granderson LF Bellinger 1B Grandal C Puig RF Pederson CF Forsythe 3B Utley 2B Kershaw P pic.twitter.com/nUuYNKCGUF
The D-Backs send RHP Zack Godley (3-2, 2.67 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ unbeaten LHP Alex Wood (9-0, 1.83 ERA).
Godley lost for the first time in a month last week when he gave up three runs in seven innings to the Cardinals. Wood hasn’t lost yet this year, obviously, and he’s 8 1/3 innings shy of qualifying for the league lead in ERA. His last time out he went six innings and gave up one run to the Padres while getting a win.
This date in Dodgers’ history:
1935 The Cuccinellos become the third pair of brothers, following the Waners (2) and Ferrells, and the first on opposing teams to homer in the same game when Al goes deep in the bottom of the ninth in the Giants’ 14-4 loss to Brooklyn at the Polo Grounds. The New York’s third baseman’s sibling, Tony, playing second base for the Dodgers, had homered in the previous inning.
1952 In their final season in Boston, the Braves play in front of the largest home crowd of the season when 13,405 fans watch Brooklyn beat their team for the 12th consecutive time, a 5-3 complete-game victory by Carl Erskine. The most memorable moment of the contest occurs in the second inning when the game is delayed because a small dog has to be escorted off the field by Dodger outfielders Carl Furillo and Duke Snider.
1961 Cardinals first baseman Bill White collects 14 total bases when he hits three home runs and a double. The 27 year-old infielder’s offensive output helps the Redbirds rout the Dodgers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 9-1.
2004 At Dodger Stadium, Diamondback third baseman Chad Tracy’s ninth inning run-scoring single on an 0-2 changeup ends Eric Gagne’s record streak of 84 consecutive saves. The new mark established by the Los Angeles closer is 30 more than the prior mark set by Tom Gordon for the Red Sox in 1999.
2007 At Dodger Stadium, Chipper Jones’ two solo home runs are the difference in the Braves’ 8-6 victory over Los Angeles. With his pair of round-trippers, the team’s third baseman surpasses Dale Murphy for the Atlanta team record of 372 homers.
Today is also the anniversary of the first game Larry Doby played for the Indians, integrating the American League. He ended up with 1,515 hits, only three behind Jackie Robinson. Also on this date in 1953, Robin Roberts pitched his 28th consecutive complete game, shutting out Pittsburgh at Forbes Field, 2-0. Twenty-eight straight complete games! We’ll never see that again!
Dodgers at Cardinals, 10:45 AM PT (that’s 7:45PM CEST for Bob Hendley), TV: MLBN (out-of-market only), ESPN, SPNLA, FS-M
RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-1, 3.28 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and RHP Adam Wainwright (5-3, 4.20 ERA) will go for the Cards. McCarthy left his last start against the Cubs after six scoreless innings, complaining of knee tendinitis, which he says he’s had since spring training. Wainwright has made three consecutive quality starts, giving up just one run in his last 20 1/3 innings. This will be his 331st game in a Cardinals uniform, which moves him past Larry Jackson into 10th place on the all time games-pitched list for the Redbirds.
This day 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 bat has been altered. The rookie 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.
Lineup when available.
Today's Dodger lineup at Cardinals: Taylor CF Seager SS Bellinger LF González 1B Utley 2B Hernández 3B Barnes C Puig RF McCarthy P pic.twitter.com/gOJRKumGTI