RHP Merrill Kelly (7-8, 4.00 ERA) makes his 18th big league start after spending four years in the Korean Baseball League, where he compiled a 48-32 record with a 3.86 ERA. Pretty good for a league known more for hitting than pitching. As his W-L record shows, he’s had an up-and-down season thus far. He didn’t face the Dodgers in the D-Backs’ previous three series against them. He’ll face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (8-1, 3.43 ERA), who’s headed for the All Star Game. His last start was awful; he gave up seven runs on 13 hits to the Rockies in 5 2/3 innings. He avoided the loss in that game as the Dodgers came back with four runs in the ninth inning to win.
Here are the Dodgers’ five consecutive walks in the ninth last night to win the game.
This date in Dodgers’ history:
1925 Milt Stock sets a National League mark by having his fourth consecutive four-hit game, going 16-for-23 during the span to compile a .696 batting average. The 31 year-old second baseman’s offensive output, which includes three singles and a triple, helps the Robins beat the Giants at Ebbets Field, 6-3.
1949 En route to a 16-0 shutout of the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds, starting pitcher Monte Kennedy hits a grand slam. Another 51 seasons will pass by before another Giants hurler hits a four-run homer when Shawn Estes accomplishes the feat in 2000.
1958 In their 35th home date in L.A., the transplanted Dodgers reach the one million mark in attendance. Last season, the team drew only 1,028,258 fans, playing in Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field.
2013 Yasiel Puig becomes the first player to be named Player of the Month for the first month he plays in the major leagues in the 55-year history of the award. The Dodger outfielder played in 26 games in June, compiling a .436 batting average, with his 44 base hits being the second-most ever by a first-month player, only behind Joe DiMaggio’s total of 48 in 1936.
The Rockies hand the ball to rookie RHP Peter Lambert (2-0, 6.00 ERA). He’ll face one of the Dodgers’ potential All-Star Game starting pitchers, Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-1, 1.26 ERA). This will be Lambert’s third big league start; his first two were impressive, but the Padres hammered him for nine hits and eight runs in three innings in his last one. Ryu has given up one earned run in 20 innings this month and has only walked five men all year.
Here’s Matt Beaty’s walk-off HR from Friday night’s game:
Take note of Alanna Rizzo’s speed as Beaty is about to be doused with something during his post-game interview.
1936 At Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, Ival Goodman hits an unusual home run when his fifth-inning fly ball lands and stays on top of the scoreboard in right field. With the perched ball considered in play, the three Dodger outfielders watch the Reds’ right fielder round the bases for an easy inside-the park round-tripper in their 7-2 loss to Cincinnati.
1947 After pitching a no-hitter four days ago against the Braves, Reds hurler Ewell Blackwell loses his chance for a second consecutive no-hitter when Dodger second baseman Eddie Stanky singles with one out the ninth inning at Crosley Field.
1959 Sandy Koufax goes the distance, beating Philadelphia at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, 6-2. The Dodger southpaw fans 16 Phillies to set a new record for strikeouts in a night game.
1966 At the Astrodome, Houston sets a home attendance mark which will last for 22 years. Dodger southpaw Sandy Koufax, who tosses a complete game to improve his record to 13-2, beats the hometown team, 5-2, in front of the 50,908 fans attending the Wednesday contest.
RHP Tyler Beede (0-2, 8.06 ERA) will pitch for the Giants tonight, facing RHP Kenta Maeda (7-3, 3.89 ERA) of the Dodgers. Beede’s first outing of the season was awful — 7 ER in 2 1/3 innings — and he’s been trying to bring his ERA down ever since. He had three reasonably good outings in May but he’s regressed in June, giving up 9 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings. Maeda’s last start was a tale of two pitchers — he gave up five runs on 36 pitches in the first inning and then retired the next 13 hitters he faced. That wasn’t enough; he took the loss.
Here’s Verdugo’s game-saving catch yesterday:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1915 Cubs right-hander reliever George Washington Zabel, called into the game with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, throws 18 and 1/3 innings of the Cubs’ 4-3 victory over the Robins at Chicago’s West Side Park. ‘Zip’, establishing the major league record for the longest relief stint in one game, beats Brooklyn starter Jeff Pfeffer, who tosses a 19-inning complete-game. (Pfeffer won 113 games for Brooklyn and lost only 80 in a nine-year career with the Robins.)
1956 Joe Adcock’s ninth-inning home run off Brooklyn right-hander Ed Roebuck, his second round-tripper of the game, proves to be the game winner in the Braves’ 5-4 victory over the Dodgers. The blast to left field, which clears an 83-foot wall at the 350-foot mark, is believed to the only homer ever to land on the roof at Ebbets Field.
1956 Fred Haney, named yesterday to replace Charlie Grimm, wins two games in his managerial debut with the Braves when the team sweeps a doubleheader against the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 5-4 and 3-1, starting a streak of 11 consecutive victories. The club’s former coach will compile a 341-231 (.596) record, guiding Milwaukee to two pennants and a world championship during his four seasons at the helm.
1976 At Shea Stadium, Dave Kingman hits a walk-off homer to give the Mets a 1-0 victory over the Dodgers. Sky King’s game-ending blast comes off Charlie Hough in the 14th inning.
1992 Dodger farmhand Mike Piazza, believing he was low balled in his contract negotiations, takes exception to the team giving a reported bonus of $500,000 to top draft pick Ryan Luzinski, a 220-pound catcher from Holy Cross High in Delran, New Jersey who will never play in a major league game. Next season, Piazza will be selected as the National League’s Rookie of the Year, and will hit .331 in seven seasons for LA.
One more item from the history books: on this date in 1962 Met Marv Throneberry’s apparent first inning triple becomes an out on an appeal play for missing second base in an 8-7 loss to San Francisco at the Polo Grounds. When New York manager Casey Stengel questions the call, he is told by the umpire, according to legend, “Don’t bother arguing Casey, he missed first base, too.”
RHP Tyler Mahle (0-0, 0.82 ERA) goes to the mound for the Redlegs. His opposite number will be RHP Kenta Maeda (2-1, 4.76 ERA). Mahle went five innings and got no decision in his last start, a four-walk two-hit performance against the Marlins which the Reds eventually won. Maeda had a poor showing in his last start, giving up two homers and five runs overall in 5 1/3 innings. He has allowed more home runs this season than he did last year at this point, and he has fewer strikeouts now than he did then as well.
1928 Braves’ pitcher Charlie Robertson has his glove removed from the game by umpire Charley Moran after the Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) complain the ball is acting strangely. The Boston hurler still manages to win, 3-2.
1946 LOCAL NEWSPAPER AD — “An Apology to Braves Fans – The management will reimburse any of its patrons for any expense to which they might have been put for necessary cleansing of clothing as a result of paint damage.” As the result of the newly painted grandstand seats having not yet completely dried, about 5,000 fans attending the Boston’s home opener against the Dodgers left Braves Field with green paint covering much of their clothing. The team took out newspaper ads to apologize to the affected patrons, agreeing to reimburse any expense caused by the mishap, an offer that will cost the team $6,000, after it generates nearly 13,000 claims, including some from as far away as California and Nebraska.
1964 Shea Stadium is christened with Holy Water from the Gowanus Canal, which passes near Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, the Dodgers’ old home, and Holy Water from the Harlem River at the location where it flows past the Polo Grounds, the once longtime ballpark of the Giants and the Mets’ home for the past two seasons. The stadium’s namesake Bill Shea, the lawyer credited with bringing the National League back to New York, pours the water from two bottles, blessing the Flushing Meadows structure on the eve of its debut.
1975 After making the second of his two poor starts for the Dodgers, Juan Marichal, who signed with the team as a free agent, appears in his final major league game. The 37 year-old ‘Dominican Dandy’ finishes his 16-year Hall of Fame career with more complete games (244) than the total of his victories (243).
1983 Steve Garvey appears in his 1,118th straight game, breaking the National League record established by Hall of Fame outfielder Billy Williams playing for the Cubs in 1970. The Padres’ first baseman, who spent 13 seasons with the Dodgers before signing as a free agent with San Diego in the offseason, will see his consecutive game streak end at 1,207, the third-longest span in major league history at the time, due to a dislocated thumb suffered as a result of a collision at home plate during the first game of a doubleheader in 1983.
1988 The Braves establish a National League record for losses at the start of a season by losing their tenth consecutive game. With a 7-4 defeat to the Dodgers, Atlanta surpasses the mark, previously owned by four teams, including the infamous 1919 Braves and the 1962 Mets.
RHP Luis Castillo (1-1, 0.92 ERA) takes the hill for the Reds. He’s had a terrific start to his year, but he’ll be overshadowed tonight by the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, who’s making his first start of the season after suffering shoulder inflammation during the spring.
In case you missed ex-Dodger Manny Machado’s amazing snag and throw from Friday, here it is:
MLB instituted a “Play of the Week” award this season; Machado’s is the third recipient following earlier ones by Lorenzo Cain and Carlos Correa.
1909 On Opening Day, the Superbas are no-hit by the Giants’ Red Ames for 9.1 innings. The Polo Grounds contest will go thirteen innings before Brooklyn defeats the 26 year-old right-hander, 3-0.
1930 On Opening Day, Phillies’ southpaw Les Sweetland throws a three-hitter at Ebbets Field. The 28 year-old southpaw doubles and scores the lone run in the eighth inning of his 1-0 complete-game victory over Brooklyn.
1933 In his major league debut, Tigers rookie Lynwood “Schoolboy” Rowe tosses a six-hitter, blanking the White Sox, 3-0. During his 15-year career, playing also with the Dodgers and Phillies, Rowe will compile a 158-101 record, posting an ERA of 3.87.
1947 A year before President Truman desegregated the military, Jackie Robinson debuts for the Dodgers, becoming the first black player to participate in a major league game this century. In front of 25,623 Ebbets Field fans, the 28 year-old first baseman is hitless in three at-bats, but scores a run in the 5-3 Opening Day victory over the Braves.
1958 On Opening Day, the transplanted New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers play the first major league game on the West Coast. The California contest sees Ruben Gomez blanking Los Angeles and Don Drysdale at San Francisco’s Seals Stadium, 8-0.
1959 Cardinal right-hander Bob Gibson makes his major league debut at LA Memorial Coliseum, tossing the final two innings in a 5-0 loss to the Dodgers. The 23 year-old rookie becomes the first future Hall of Fame hurler to give up a home run to the first batter he faces in the major leagues when third baseman Jim Baxes takes him deep in the seventh inning.
2004 Major league baseball begins the tradition of Jackie Robinson Day, an annual celebration commemorating the day the color line was broken in 1947. At big league venues across the country ceremonies are being held to honor the ground-breaking historic event, including baseball commissioner Bud Selig and Jackie’s widow Rachel Robinson attending the festivities at Shea Stadium.
2005 The Dodgers, to commemorate the 58th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game in the big leagues, wear replicas of the old road uniforms worn by the 1947 team which played in Brooklyn. Right-hander Derek Lowe throws a three-hitter, blanking the Padres in San Diego, 4-0.
2007 To honor Jackie Robinson, some players on each team, including Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter and Braves’ outfielder Andruw Jones, wear the Dodger immortal’s uniform No. 42 on the 60th anniversary of his historic breaking the color barrier in baseball. In the Cardinals and Brewers contest at Busch Stadium, every player and coach on both teams dons Jackie’s revered number.
RHP Ross Stripling (0-0, 2.31 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while RHP Dakota Hudson (0-1, 5.40 ERA) pitches for the Redbirds. Stripling’s opponents are hitting .209 against him in two starts, and while he gave up two HRs his last time out, he retired eight of the last nine men he faced in that game. In his short career he’s 0-2 at Busch Stadium. Hudson made his first MLB start on March 30, going 4 1/3 innings and giving up seven hits and three earned runs while walking two and striking out six. He then made an appearance out of the bullpen, going 2/3 of an inning and earning a save.
From The Athletic, trying to explain Bellinger’s success so far:
Bellinger has swung at a quarter fewer pitches outside the strike zone, according to FanGraphs.com. And he has swung at more pitches inside the strike zone. All together, he is swinging at about the same rate he always has in the major leagues, but he is swinging at pitches that he is more likely to hit and hit hard.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1913 The Phillies spoil the debut of Ebbets Field, beating the Dodgers, 1-0, in front of a small crowd of approximately 10,000 fans, who brave the frigid weather to witness the pitching duel. Given special permission, Brooklyn opens the season a day early to properly inaugurate its new $75,000 Brooklyn ballpark, which took a year to build.
1947 Dodger skipper Leo Durocher, feuding with the Yankees, is suspended for one year by commissioner Happy Chandler for an assortment of actions deemed detrimental to baseball, including association with known gamblers. The Brooklyn and New York clubs are both fined $2,000 and by order of the commissioner are not allowed to discuss the matter.
1966 After sharing space at Wrigley Field in 1961 and Dodger Stadium from 1962-65 during their first five seasons in Los Angeles, the Angels move to nearby Anaheim into their own stadium. The ‘Halos’, now known as the California Angels, host the San Francisco Giants in a pre-season exhibition game in the first contest ever played at Anaheim Stadium.
1981 On Opening Day, Fernando Valenzuela, making his first major league start in place of scheduled starter Jerry Reuss, blanks Houston on five hits at Dodger Stadium, 2-0. During the strike-shortened season, the 20 year-old rookie from Mexico will lead the league in game starts (25), complete games (11), and shutouts (8).
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.
LHP Rich Hill (8-5, 3.88 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and RHP John Gant (7-5, 3.16 ERA) goes for the Redbirds. Hill is 2-0 for September but has a horrific ERA of 6.55 for the month. He’s gone 11 innings and given up eight earned runs in his two starts. Nine of Gant’s last ten appearances have been starts, and he’s not allowed more than two runs in any of his last seven. This will be his first career start against the Dodgers; he’s made two relief appearances against them and given up one run in 2 2/3 innings.
The Dodgers win on Friday was followed shortly thereafter by wins by the Class AA Tulsa Drillers and the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in their respective league championship games.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
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.
The visiting Dodgers send LHP Alex Wood (7-6, 3.60 ERA) to the mound to face the Rangers’ LHP Mike Minor (10-6, 4.40 ERA). Wood was scheduled to start last Sunday and had his turn pushed back. He had a poor start his last time out, giving up three runs on seven hits with two walks in four-plus innings. Minor has won his last four starts, including a scoreless one-hit gem against the As in his latest one.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1939 Wheaties sponsors the first telecast of a baseball game when their ads are aired during the Ebbets Field contest between the Reds and the Dodgers. The commercial broadcast is available only in New York City, where an estimated 500 people own television sets.
1948 Jackie Robinson hits for the backward cycle when he homers in the first inning, triples in the fourth, doubles in the sixth, and completes the rare event with a single in the eighth. In addition to his ten total bases, the Dodger second baseman drives in two runs, scores three times, and steals a base, helping Brooklyn beat the Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park, 12-7.
1951 With his second home run of the game, the sixth time he has accomplished the feat this year, Gil Hodges hits his 36th round-tripper to establish a new franchise record for homers in a season. The Dodger first baseman’s seventh-inning three-run blast in the team’s 13-1 rout of Cincinnati at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field surpasses the mark of 35 set by Babe Herman in 1930.
1989 Giving up just three singles, recently acquired Mets southpaw Frank Viola outduels Orel Hershiser and beats the Dodgers, 1-0. The classic contest between two aces marked the first time in baseball history that the reigning winners of the Cy Young Award have faced one another in the regular season.
Cultural history note: On this date in 1966: On a typically cool night, the Beatles play their final concert at Candlestick Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants. The “Fab Four’s” performance on a five-foot stage, which is located just behind second base surrounded by a six-foot high wire fence, is less than stellar due the ballpark’s inadequate lighting, poor acoustics, and the group’s growing disdain of doing live shows.
The Padres send out the guy on their roster who’s been there longest, LHP Robbie Erlin (3-3, 3.46 ERA). He’s been on the team’s roster since the 2013 season, but it’s only in the last month that’s he’s been a regular in the starting rotation. In fact, he’s only appeared in 33 games in his entire five-year career, starting six. He’s pitched 80 2/3 innings this season, more than he has in any other year in the big leagues. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-1, 2.27 ERA), who’s made two starts since coming off a two-month stint on the DL and has a 2.70 ERA in the ten innings he’s pitched in those games.
Tim Rogers at Dodgers Nation reminds us how the luxury tax works and what limits it places on the Dodgers in particular, now and after the season ends. Thanks to Fred for sending me the link in email.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1939 At Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, NBC televises the first major league game in history on experimental station W2XBS, covering a doubleheader split in which the Reds win the first game, 5-2, and the Dodgers take the nightcap, 6-1. The network employs two cameras, one behind home plate, showing a wide view of the field, and the other on the third base line to capture the plays at first base.
1947 Dan Bankhead becomes the major league’s first black pitcher. The 27 year-old right-hander doesn’t do well in a relief stint, giving up ten hits and six runs in 3.1 innings in a 16-3 loss to the Pirates, but the Dodger rookie hits his only big league home run in his first major league at-bat.
1965 At Shea Stadium, the Mets beat the Dodgers, 5-2, making Tug McGraw (2-2) the first Mets pitcher to defeat Sandy Koufax (21-7). Previously, New York had lost 13 consecutive times to the future Hall of Fame southpaw.
1993 The Mets announce that Vince Coleman will remain on paid administrative leave until the end of the season, effectively ending his playing career with the team. Co-owner Fred Wilpon’s unequivocal decision that the controversial outfielder, who signed a four-year $11.95 million contract before the 1991 season, will not ever put on a Mets uniform again is the result of Coleman admitting to tossing a M-100 firecracker from a Jeep departing from a Dodger Stadium parking lot last month, injuring three people.