Oct 21

World Series Game Two, 2020

Rays vs Dodgers, 5:00 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The visiting Rays send 2018 Cy Young winner LHP Blake Snell to the mound to face what’s expected to be a parade of Dodger relievers beginning with RHP Tony Gonsolin. Snell is 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA this postseason; he hasn’t gone past the fifth inning since the Rays’ Wild Card series against the Blue Jays. Gonsolin started and lost Game Two of the NLCS, giving up five runs on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. Entering in the second inning of Game Seven of that series in relief of Dustin May he went two innings, giving up two runs on two hits in a game the Dodgers subsequently won on Bellinger’s HR and Julio Urias’s brilliant three closing innings.

How was your day, Mookie Betts?

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2009 In Game 5 of the NLCS, the Phillies defeat the Dodgers, capturing their second straight pennant. Philadelphia, with their 10-4 victory at Citizens Bank Park, becomes the first National League team to repeat the feat since the Braves won consecutive flags in 1995-96.

Lineups:

Rays:

Dodgers:

Oct 18

NLCS Game Seven, 2020

Braves vs Dodgers, 5:15 PM PDT, TV: Fox, FS1

When the Braves send RHP Ian Anderson to the mound this evening he’ll be the sixth-youngest pitcher ever to start a postseason elimination game. He’s made three starts in the playoffs, going 15 2/3 innings without allowing a run, including four innings against the Dodgers in Game Two of this series. The Dodgers failed to take advantage of the five walks he issued during that outing and lost the game. It seems unlikely he’ll be that generous again, but if he is they’ve got to score those runners.

The Dodgers have not yet announced who’s gonna start, but Gonsolin seems to be the likely choice. He could go deep into the game or, if he falters, he could be pulled quickly. The Dodgers have several fairly well-rested arms in the bullpen, although they may be well-rested because they’re not entirely trusted. Who knows?

Update: In a surprise to me, RHP Dustin May is going to start for the Dodgers. He went two innings in the Dodgers’ 7-3 win in Game Five, starting the game and giving up three hits and two runs.

Please, Roberts, do not be tempted to use Clayton Kershaw on short rest. He is no longer the 22-year-old wunderkind of ten years ago. He’s a guy with 2,300 innings of major league baseball under his belt. Asking him to do anything in today’s game would be setting him up to fail in the postseason again, and he deserves better from his bosses.

The catch didn’t steal a homer, but it would have scored a run and put Ozuna on 2nd or 3rd. It was Betts’ reaction after he caught it that really amused me, though:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1977 In the Yankees’ 8-4 victory over the Dodgers in Game 6 of the Fall Classic, Reggie Jackson, who also homered in his last at-bat in the previous contest, hits three more home runs, each on the first pitch of the at-bat, giving the New York slugger three homers on three consecutive pitches, after drawing a base-on-balls in his first plate appearance. ‘Mr. October’s heroics in the Bronx ballpark assures the team of their twenty-first World Championship and first since 1962.

  • 2013 The Cardinals advance to their second World Series in three seasons, routing the Dodgers, 9-0, in Game 6 of the NLCS. St. Louis, behind the timely hitting of Carlos Beltran and the strong pitching performance of rookie right-hander Michael Wacha, beats Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83) for the fourth time this season, including a pair of victories in this round of the postseason.

Lineups when available.

Braves:

Dodgers:

Oct 16

NLCS Game Five, 2020

Dodgers vs Braves, 6:08 PM PDT, TV: FS1

The Braves have a 3-1 lead in the series. They send LHP A.J. Minter to “open” the game. He’ll be followed by several other bullpen pitchers. The Dodgers ask RHP Dustin May to hold the Braves down and hope their offense, which has been mostly absent in three of the first four games, can get untracked and send the series to a Game Six.

Today in Braves’ history:

  • 2001 Diamondback southpaw Randy Johnson strikes out 11 batters en route to throwing a three-hitter, beating Greg Maddux and the Braves 2-0 in Game 1 of the NLCS. The matchup at Bank One Ballpark matchup features starters who have combined for 457 career victories and have collectively won seven Cy Young Awards.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1949 Brooklyn does not renew Branch Rickey’s contract as president of the Dodgers. The ‘Mahatma’ will join the Pirates as the team’s executive vice president and general manager, with his son, Branch Jr., assuming the post of Pittsburgh’s vice president and farm system director.
  • 1985 In Game 6 of the NLCS, Cardinal first baseman Jack Clark’s dramatic come-from-behind two-out, three-run home run in the ninth inning stuns a sold-out Dodger Stadium. St. Louis wins the game, 7-5, and captures the National League flag.

  • 1988 At Dodger Stadium, Don Baylor becomes the first player to participate in three consecutive World Series for three different teams when he pinch-hits in the eighth inning of the A’s 6-0 loss to L.A. in the second game of the Fall Classic. The 39 year-old veteran played with the pennant-winning Red Sox in 1986 and the World Champion Twins in 1987.

Lineups:

Braves:

Dodgers:

Sep 22

Game 55, 2020

Athletics at Dodgers, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: ESPN (out-of-market only), NBCSCA, SPNLA

RHP Frankie Montas (3-4, 5.86 ERA) pitches for the visiting As. He’ll be opposed by RHP Dustin May (1-1, 2.68 ERA) of the Dodgers. This will be Montas’s first start in nine days; he was off for paternity leave (Congrats and best wishes!). In his last five starts he’s gone no longer than 5 1/3 innings and has a horrid 10.80 ERA in those appearances. May is coming off a 5 1/3 inning relief stint in a game in which he was announced as the starter. Instead he came in in the third inning and got credit for a hold in the Dodgers’ 7-5 win.

Here are Gonsolin’s ten Ks in Sunday’s loss:

Obligatory “if the playoffs began today” feature.

Wild Card Series (begin Sept. 29)
Best-of-three format, with higher seed serving as the home team for all three games

AL matchups
No. 8 Blue Jays vs. No. 1 Rays
No. 7 Indians vs. No. 2 White Sox
No. 6 Astros vs. No. 3 A’s
No. 5 Yankees vs. No. 4 Twins

NL matchups
No. 8 Phillies vs. No. 1 Dodgers
No. 7 Reds vs. No. 2 Cubs
No. 6 Cardinals vs. No. 3 Braves
No. 5 Marlins vs. No. 4 Padres

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 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 Avenue 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.

Joc Pederson is back from emergency leave and DHing tonight.

Sep 17

Game 51, 2020

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

The Dodgers send LHP Julio Urias (3-0, 3.53 ERA) to the Coors Field mound to face the Rockies’ LHP Kyle Freeland (2-1, 3.54 ERA). Urias gave up one run in six innings against the Astros last Saturday. This will be Freeland’s second start this year against the Dodgers; on August 22 he gave up three runs on four hits in six-plus innings.

Dustin May went 5 1/3 innings after Graterol and Kolarek went the first two innings and struck out six in the process.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1912 Casey Stengel of the Dodgers makes an impressive major league debut against the Pirates. The likable Brooklyn outfielder from Kansas City collects four hits, drives in two runs, and swipes a pair of bases.
  • 1963 Dodger ace Sandy Koufax tosses a four-hitter, blanking St. Louis at Sportsman’s Park, 4-0. The southpaw’s scoreless effort establishes a National League record for shutouts thrown by lefties in a season with 11, five shy of Grover Cleveland Alexander’s major league mark set in 1916 with the Phillies.
  • 1981 Dodgers southpaw Fernando Valenzuela ties White Sox freshman Ewell Russell’s 1913 rookie record when he hurls his eighth shutout of the season, blanking Atlanta on three hits. The 20 year-old Mexican’s 2-0 victory breaks the previous National League mark shared by Irving Young (Braves, 1905), Grover Cleveland Alexander (Phillies, 1911), and Jerry Koosman (Mets, 1968).
  • 1996 Dodger right-hander Hideo Nomo no-hits the Rockies, 9-0, at Coor Field, becoming the only big league hurler to accomplish the feat in the thin air of Denver. Tornado Boy’s performance in Colorado is the best-attended no-no and is the only hitless game with a paid attendance of more than 50,000 fans.

  • 2010 Joe Torre, who will compile a 2326-1997 (.538) managerial record during his 30 seasons as a skipper with the Mets, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees, and Dodgers, announces he will be retiring at the end of the month. Los Angeles immediately hires the team’s hitting coach Don Mattingly to replace the 70 year-old.
  • 2014 Jacob DeGrom strikes out the first eight batters he faces in the Mets’ 6-5 loss in Miami, tying the modern-day major league mark to start a game. The Amazins’ rookie right-hander now shares the record with Jim Deshaies, who struck out the first eight Dodgers he faced with the Astros in a 1986 contest.

A whole lot of interesting things happened on this date in baseball history; take a look.

Lineup:

Sep 10

Game 45, 2020

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

RHP Dustin May (1-1, 2.88 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 8.44 ERA) takes the mound for just the second time since coming off the IL, where he’d been since August 9 with a mid-back strain. May seems to have developed a slurve to use when his sinker isn’t doing what he likes, MLB says. Bumgarner gave up two runs on three hits in four innings in his first post-injury start against the Giants.

If there are no fans allowed into the stadium anyway, I guess it doesn’t matter where the World Series and Championship Series games are held, although rewarding Texas Rangers ownership for extorting a new taxpayer-funded ball park sticks in my craw, although the team seems to have absorbed more than half the cost.

How is Charlie Steiner broadcasting the Dodgers’ games from home? Like this.

RHP Joe Kelly off IL and up, RHP Walker Buehler back on IL. Kelly’s five-game suspension begins tonight.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1992 Cardinals vice chairman Fred Kuhlman tells reporters that a “security check” had revealed serious issues involving the two out-of-state investors, Vince Piazza and Vincent N. Tirendi, part of the six-man group trying to buy the Giants and move the franchise to Florida. The candid reply to the press will cost baseball more than $6 million to settle a suit that includes a letter of apology from acting Commissioner Bud Selig to Vince Piazza, whose son Mike started his major league career with the Dodgers nine days before his father’s rejection by the MLB owners.
  • 1974 Lou Brock ties and then breaks Maury Wills’s 12 year-old single season stolen base record with his 104th and 105th swipes. The Cardinal left fielder’s thievery against the Phillies doesn’t help when the Redbirds drop the Busch Stadium contest, 8-2.

Lineup when available.

No Twitter explanation of Mookie’s appearance at 2B, but maybe Joe and Orel or Rick and Charlie will know.

Update: He’s starting at second just to gain some game-level experience.

Betts, traditionally the starting right fielder, came up as a middle infielder but has played the outfield throughout his major league career. Thursday’s game, the finale of a three-game road series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, will mark Betts’ first start at second base since he played 14 games there with the Boston Red Sox in 2014. Betts also moved to second base from right field early in a game on Aug. 3, 2018.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Betts takes ground balls in the infield on a daily basis. A couple of weeks ago, the two talked about the unforeseen circumstances in a short playoff series that might prompt Roberts to pinch hit one of his outfielders in the early innings and might force Betts to play second base. Betts embraced the idea.

Sep 04

Game 40, 2020

Rockies at Dodgers, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet-RM, SPNLA

RHP Antonio Senzatela (3-1, 3.32 ERA) takes the mound for the visiting Rockies against the Dodgers’ RHP Dustin May (1-1, 2.83 ERA). Senzatela threw seven scoreless innings against the Padres in his last start. Against the Dodgers on August 23 he gave up four home runs in 5 1/3 innings. May has gotten into the sixth inning in three of his last five starts and in his last one he denied the Rangers a home run, the first start since July 29 he’d done so.

Kershaw’s milestone strikeouts:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1924 The Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) take a twin bill from the Braves, sweeping their fourth doubleheader in four consecutive days. Between September 1-3, the Brooks beat the Phillies six times.
  • 1966 The Dodgers become the first team to draw two million fans at home and two million on the road as 18,670 Crosley Field patrons watch Los Angeles beat their hometown Reds, 8-6.
  • 1969 After thirty-one games, the third longest consecutive game hitting streak in National League history ends as Dodger Willie Davis is stopped by Dick Kelley and Gary Ross in a 3-0 loss to the Padres.
  • 2017 J.D. Martinez becomes the 18th major leaguer, joining Reds utilityman Scooter Gennett as the second player this season, to hit four home runs in one game when he goes deep in the top of the ninth inning In the Diamondbacks’ 13-0 rout of the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. The Arizona outfielder, who was acquired in a trade from the Tigers in July, has one more home run than the opponent’s total amount of hits.

Lineup when available.

Sep 01

Game 37, 2020

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, SPNLA

With six days rest LHP Julio Urias (2-0, 3.67 ERA) goes for the home team. He’ll face the D-Backs’ LHP Alex Young (1-1, 4.70 ERA), who will be making his fourth start as the replacement for an injured Madison Bumgarner. Urias has been “throwing his fastballs slower and his offspeed pitches faster than last year,” says MLB. In Young’s last start he gave up three runs on five hits over five innings.

The D-Backs traded their crusty relief pitcher Archie Bradley to the Reds over the weekend, so the Dodgers won’t have to face him anytime soon.

Here are the three home runs which the Dodgers hit on Sunday to set the NL record for most dingers in a month:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1890 On Labor Day at Brooklyn’s Washington Park, the Bridegrooms, later to be known as the Dodgers, win all three games against Pittsburgh in the first tripleheader ever played. The home team sweeps the visiting Alleghenys, who will be renamed the Pirates next season, 10-9, 3-2, and 8-4.
  • 1953 The Cardinals tie a major league mark, hitting five homers in a 12-5 loss to Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. The solo shots hit by Stan Musial, Harry Elliot, Rip Repulski, and Steve Bilko (2), all off starter Preacher Roe, aren’t enough to offset the Dodgers’ 17-hit attack, which includes six doubles but no round-trippers.
  • 1969 At Dodger Stadium, Willie Davis ties the franchise record by hitting in 29 consecutive games with his second-inning single in LA’s 10-6 victory over New York. The mark was established by Zack Wheat in 1916.

Lineup when available.

Aug 28

Game 34, 2020

Dodgers at Rangers, 5:05 PM PDT, TV: FSSW, SPNLA

RHP Dustin May (1-1, 2.79 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers against the Rangers’ LHP Mike Minor (0-5, 6.75 ERA). May has been effective but he’s throwing a lot of pitches, which has kept him from getting as deep in games as desired. He had only one strikeout in his last five-inning outing and he’s got only 20 in the 29 innings he’s thrown in six starts this season. His opponent has thrown the same number of innings in the same number of starts, but he’s given up 23 runs (22 earned) to May’s 9.

Mookie Betts narrates a message for Jackie Robinson Day:

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1945 A moment in American history takes place in Brooklyn as Branch Rickey meets with Jackie Robinson to share his plans to integrate the major leagues. During the three hour meeting, the Dodgers’ president will shout racial epithets to ‘test’ the 26 year-old ballplayer’s mettle to withstand the abuse which will come with being the first player to cross the color line this century.
  • 1951 The Giants’ 16-game winning streak comes to end when Howie Pollet six-hits the team in the Pirates’ 2-0 victory at the Polo Grounds. The consecutive victories enable Leo Durocher and his club to narrow the Dodgers’ lead from 13.5 to six games.
  • 1967 Giants hurler Gaylord Perry begins the longest consecutive inning scoreless streak in franchise history when he shuts out the Dodgers at Candlestick Park, 7-0. The right-hander will not give up another run over a span of 40 innings, a feat the son of a tenant farmer from North Carolina will repeat three seasons later.
  • 1977 Steve Garvey collects five extra-base hits in one game when he bashes three doubles and two homers, including a grand slam, in the Dodgers’ 11-0 rout over St. Louis at Chavez Ravine. The LA first baseman becomes just the fourth major leaguer to accomplish the feat, joining Lou Boudreau (1946 Indians – HR, four 2B), Joe Adcock (1954 Braves – four HR, 2B), and Willie Stargell (1970 Pirates – two HR, three 2B).
  • 2003 Eric Gagne earns his 44th straight save in the Dodgers’ 6-3 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Los Angeles reliever’s effort establishes a new major league record, surpassing Tom Gordon, who had saved 43 in a row to begin a season with the Red Sox in 1998.
  • 2008 In the 11-2 victory over the Dodgers, Cristian Guzman becomes the second player in Nationals history to hit for the cycle, joining Brad Wilkerson, who accomplished the feat in 2005, the team’s first year in Washington, D.C. The 30 year-old shortstop completes his cycle with an eighth inning triple.
  • 2015 “Vin will be back for one more year (at least). God bless us, everyone” – JIMMY KIMMEL’s cue card message to the crowd.

    Team executive Magic Johnson, appearing on the Dodger Stadium video board, introduces Jimmy Kimmel to report “big, breaking news.” The ABC late-night television host, who waves to the fans without saying a word, displays a succession of cue cards, informing the Chavez Ravine crowd the 87 year-old Vin Scully will be returning to broadcast Dodgers games in 2016 for his 67th season.

Lineup when available.

Aug 22

Game 29, 2020

Rockies at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet RM, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

LHP Kyle Freeland (2-1, 2.56 ERA) goes for the visitors and RHP Dustin May (1-1, 3.00 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. Freeland has a 3.96 ERA in his five career starts at Dodger Stadium, but his walks there equal his strikeouts (14). May has made it into the sixth inning only twice in his five starts this season. In 24 innings this year he’s given up 25 hits; all eight of his runs allowed were earned.

Here’s Joc Pederson’s nice running catch in the sixth inning of yesterday’s game:

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1917 In a 22-inning contest against the Dodgers, Pirates’ outfielder Carson Bigbee sets a major-league record with 11 at-bats. The game was also the fourth straight extra-inning game played by Pittsburgh (total of 59 innings), which sets a National League record.
  • 1965 Juan Marichal thinks Johnny Roseboro throws too close to his head returning the ball to Sandy Koufax and attacks the Dodger catcher with his bat. The Los Angeles backstop suffers cuts on the head during the 14-minute brawl.
  • 2000 Hitting a solo blast and a three-run round-tripper during a nine-run sixth inning of a 14-6 victory over the Expos, Dodger first baseman Eric Karros becomes the first player in the 111-year franchise history to hit two homers in an inning.

Lineup when available.