The Dodgers send LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 2.25 ERA) out to face the Padres’ LHP Eric Lauer (2-3, 4.41 ERA) in the opener of a three-game series. While Kershaw’s velocity is down some, his sliders are sharp and he’s been able to vary their speeds. Lauer has been bitten by the “one bad inning” bug, which has precluded him going longer than six innings in any game this season.
Bellinger has evolved into a complete hitter, Matt Kelly of MLB.com says.
Pollock will be out for several months. He’s having surgery to remove hardware left from previous operations from his elbow.
Manager Dave Roberts would not provide an estimated time frame for Pollock’s return, but said it should be this season. Typical hardware removals require one to two months of recovery before a player can return to competition to assure the holes in the bone where the screws were removed are fully healed. Hardware is sometimes left on the bone for added protection, and because removal can be more trouble than it’s worth.
This will be the third operation on Pollock’s right elbow since 2010. The previous two required five-month recoveries, but Roberts said that isn’t expected to be the case this time.
1947 In a controversial move, Branch Rickey trades five Dodgers, including southerner Kirby Higbe, to the Pirates for five-foot, six-inch left-hand-hitting outfielder Al Gionfriddo and $100,000. Some believe ‘the Mahatma’ made the deal to send a message to the team about his commitment to breaking the color barrier and his support of Jackie Robinson, the first black to play in the major leagues this century. It’s a darned good move, considering that Gionfriddo made a game-saving catch of a DiMaggio fly ball in Game 6 of that fall’s World Series.
2004 Similar to last season, the aging outfielder Rickey Henderson re-signs with the Atlantic League’s Bears, hoping for a shot of returning to the big leagues. The 45 year-old future Hall of Famer batted .339, hit eight home runs, drove in 33 runs, scored 52 runs, and stole nine bases for the Newark team last season before joining the Dodgers in July.
2009 Defeating San Diego 2-1 in 10 innings, the Dodgers tie a franchise record, winning their ninth consecutive decision at home from the start of the season. The 1946 club also reeled off nine straight victories at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field at the beginning of the post-war campaign.
LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-1, 2.57 ERA) probably deserved better than he got in his first start of the year against San Diego, but the Padres’ Eric Lauer and bullpen held the Giants scoreless. He’ll try to get his first win again tonight against the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-0, 1.50), who was very good in his first start against the Diamondbacks.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
2003 Todd Zeile homers in his first at-bat as a Yankee, becoming the only major leaguer to hit a home run for ten different teams, surpassing Tommy Davis, who went deep for nine different clubs. In addition to homering with the Bronx Bombers, the infielder has also gone deep for the Cardinals, Cubs, Phillies, Orioles, Dodgers, Marlins, Rangers, Mets, and Rockies.
2007 For only the fourth time in major league history, a hurler under the age of 21 wins an Opening Day assignment when 20 year-old Venezuelan right-hander Felix Hernandez pitches eight strong innings in the Mariners’ 4-0 victory over the A’s at Safeco Field. Fernando Valenzuela of the Dodgers was the last pitcher ‘not of age’ to accomplish the feat, beating the Astros, 2-0, in 1981.
2008 Third base ump Ed Montague tosses Larry Bowa for not staying within the boundaries of the coaching box although he warned the Dodger coach several times to follow the new edict put in place by MLB following the tragic death of Tulsa Drillers’ first base coach Mike Coolbaugh. The former infielder and manager’s behavior will lead to a three-game suspension for “inappropriate and aggressive conduct,” in which he had to be restrained by manager Joe Torre and bench coach Bob Schaefer in the sixth inning of the 3-2 victory over the Giants in Los Angeles.
In non-Dodger history, on this day in 1972 after playing a round of golf in West Palm Beach with his coaches on Easter Sunday, Mets manager and former Dodger Gil Hodges, two days shy of his 48th birthday, suffers a fatal heart attack. The club will name current first base coach and former Yankee skipper Yogi Berra to run the team when the strike-delayed season begins.
Today’s menu has two lefties, Rich Hill (2-3, 4.56 ERA) for the Dodgers and Eric Lauer (4-5, 4.54 ERA) for the Friars. Hill seems to have recovered from his blister problems (knock on wood) and is making his regular turn despite sustaining a stiff neck in a headfirst slide his last time out. Lauer is a rookie who’s 3-2 with a 2.63 ERA since the first of June.
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1943 Some of the Dodgers, led by infielder Arky Vaughan, threaten not to play in today’s game to protest the suspension of their teammate Bobo Newsome by manager Leo Durocher. The Ebbets Field contest begins ten minutes late. Brooklyn plundered the Pirates, 23-6, and in a few days, Newsome, who had argued with his skipper over a pitch selection in a previous game, is traded to the Browns for Archie McKain and Fritz Ostermueller.
1953 With Roy Campanella’s home run off Giants hurler Sal Maglie, the Dodgers establish a National League record, homering in their 24th consecutive game. Campy’s homer is the only run Brooklyn scores as the Giants extend their winning streak to seven with the 6-1 victory.
1979 With his team trailing the Padres 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs at Veterans Stadium, Phillies pinch hitter Del Unser hits a three-run walk-off home run, giving the team a 6-5 comeback victory. The dramatic dinger makes Del Unser only the second player in major league history to hit a homer in three consecutive at bats as a pinch hitter, a feat also accomplished by Lee Lacy of the Dodgers last season.
1984 At San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, Dodger southpaw Fernando Valenzuela and Mets rookie Dwight Gooden combine to strike out six consecutive American League All-Stars on the 50th anniversary of Carl Hubbell’s memorable 1934 Midsummer Classic performance of setting down five future Hall of Famers on strikes. Dwight Gooden, at the age of 19, becomes the youngest player ever to participate in an All-Star Game.
In one of the most famous events in baseball history, at the All Star Game in 1934 in New York’s Polo Grounds, Giants pitcher Carl Hubbell faces a starting lineup comprised of nine eventual Hall of Famers. ‘King Carl’ is up to the unique occurrence in baseball history when he fans five batters in a row after letting the first two hitters reach base: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin.