Oct 03

Wild Card Games, 2017

Tuesday, October 3: Twins at Yankees, 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, TV & Radio: ESPN

I think it’s fair to say the Twins are the surprise team in these playoffs. The Yankees beat them 4-2 in the season series, including a three-game sweep two weeks ago. But as the prospectuses tell us, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results,” so the Twins and Yankees have an equal chance of winning a single game against one another. Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of the two teams.

The Twins probably feel good about pitching RHP Ervin Santana (16-8, 3.28 ERA) since he’s had eight previous post-season appearances including two starts. On the other hand, the most recent of those was in 2009 with the Angels. The Yankees counter with RHP Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA), who’s in his third year in the big leagues but his first postseason at any level.

Wednesday, October 4: Diamondbacks at Rockies, 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, TV: TBS; Radio: ESPN

These two teams have been locked into the Wild Card game since midsummer when it became apparent they’d be chasing the Dodgers for the NL West title all season. There were only two other teams who came close to catching them, the Brewers and the Cardinals, falling short by one and four games respectively. It’s astonishing to note that the NL only had seven teams finish above .500 — the three division leaders, the Rockies, D-backs, Brewers and Redbirds.

Pitching for the Diamondbacks in Coors Field will be RHP Zack Greinke (17-7, 3.20 ERA), one of five 17-game winners in the big leagues this season (there were four 18-game winners; no one won more). His opponent will be RHP Jon Gray (10-4, 2.67 ERA). Greinke is 3-3 with a 3.55 ERA in nine postseason appearances; this will be Gray’s first. Gray’s on a 13-game run of allowing three runs or fewer and has gone 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA in his last five starts. Greinke is 1-1 with a 3.90 ERA over his last five.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1947 In Game 4 of the Fall Classic, Bill Bevens comes within one out of pitching the first no-hitter in World Series history. The Yankee hurler loses his claim to fame and the game when Cookie Lavagetto, pinch-hitting for Eddie Stanky, hits a two-out ninth-inning double, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 victory.
  • 1951 In Game 3 of National League play-off series at the Polo Grounds, Bobby Thomson’s one-out three-run homer beats the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4, and the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant. The round-tripper, better known as the ‘shot heard around the world’, becomes one of the famous home runs in baseball history.

  • 1962 At Dodger Stadium, the Giants beat Los Angeles, 6-4, to take the rubber game of the best-of-three National League playoffs, clinching the National League pennant. LA shortstop Maury Wills sets a major league record for the most games played in a season, appearing in all of his team’s 165 games.
  • 1972 Surpassing Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente appears in his 2,433rd game for the most ever played by a Pirate. Sadly, it will be the last regular season game the Pittsburgh outfielder will ever play as he will be killed in a plane crash during the off-season.
  • 1976 After being at the Dodger’s helm for 23 years, Walter Alston’s managerial career comes to an end when the team drops a 3-2 decision to the Padres, finishing the campaign 10 games behind the Reds. During his tenure, which began in Brooklyn in 1954, the skipper known as Smokey to his players compiles a 2040-1613 (.523) record en route to capturing seven pennants and four World Series titles.

There are a lot of other things that happened on this day in baseball history; you can see the rest at National Pastime.

Jul 26

Game 102, 2017

Twins at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSNO

RHP Ervin Santana (11-7, 3.26 ERA) goes for the Twins and RHP Brock Stewart (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes a spot start for the Dodgers.

Santana has hit a rough patch in his last five outings, going 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA while walking 11 batters. He only got through 3 1/3 innings last Friday against the Tigers and gave up five runs. Stewart, 25, has been used out of the bullpen this season, appearing in six games and throwing 13 innings. He’s filling in for Kershaw and McCarthy, who are both on the DL. He made five starts for the Dodgers in 2016, going 2-2 with a 5.79 ERA in 28 innings. He’s on a 50-60 pitch limit.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1900 In Brooklyn, a sheriff seizes the St. Louis share of gate receipts to reimburse Gus Weyhing, recently released by the Cardinals after posting a 3-4 record in eight starts with the team, who claims to have been cheated out of ten days of pay. Next week, the right-hander, known as Cannonball by his teammates, will sign with the Superbas as a free agent.
  • 1948 Former Dodger skipper Leo Durocher, who left the team ten days ago, makes his first appearance at Ebbets Field since taking over the Giants. The return of ‘the Lip’ is less-than-triumphant when his new team drops a 13-4 decision to Brooklyn.
  • 1951 In a 9-1 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, Jim Russell becomes the first player in major league history to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in a game in two different games. The Dodger outfielder’s accomplishment will be surpassed in 1956 when Yankee slugger Mickey Mantle goes deep both right and left-handed in the same game for a third time.
  • 1960 The Phillies end their scoreless streak of thirty-eight consecutive innings when Johnny Callison plates Tony Gonzalez with a sixth-inning single in the team’s 4-3 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Philadelphia’s drought began when the team failed to score in the last six frames of a 3-0 win against the Giants, and continued when they were shutout in three straight games ( 2-0, 2-0, and 9-0) by the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
  • 1991 Mark Gardner no-hits the Dodgers for nine innings, but Los Angeles wins the game in the bottom of the tenth on two singles off the Expos’ starter and Darryl Strawberry’s RBI single off reliever Jeff Fassero. It’s the first time the Dodgers had been held hitless at home for nine innings since Johnny Vander Meer’s second straight no-hitter in 1938.


Aug 13

Game 122, 2014

Dodgers at Braves, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Hyun-Jin Ryu goes for the Dodgers. He’s 13-5 with a 3.21 ERA coming off a seven-inning two-hit performance against the Angels Thursday night. His opponent will be Ervin Santana, who’s 11-6 with a 3.69 ERA. His last outing wasn’t so scintillating: he was sailing along against the Nationals until the sixth inning when he gave up four runs, three on a dinger by Anthony Rendon (who?).

In off-the-field news, the Dodgers asked for waivers on Chone Figgins for purposes of giving him his unconditional release. They also announced that minor-league reliever Colt Hynes, who had been designated for assignment by the Dodgers, has been claimed by the Blue Jays. Lastly, the team announced that Stephen Fife will undergo Tommy John surgery today. It will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Lineup when available.

Jan 22


Now that Tanaka-san decided to try his luck with the Yankees, what do the Dodgers do? Do they really need another starter?

Yes, yes: “You can never have too much pitching.” And it’s true that after Kershaw, Greinke and Ryu the Dodgers have questions. Will Haren return to his earlier form, or is he now a .500 pitcher? Will Beckett and Billingsley recover fully from their respective injuries? Who knows?

Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza and Bronson Arroyo, among others, remain unsigned. Santana and Jimenez received qualifying offers, which means that landing them would cost the Dodgers a draft pick. That seems unlikely, given the team’s imperative to rebuild the farm system gutted by Frank McCourt. Neither Garza nor Arroyo received qualifying offers, which could put them in play.

I dunno. I think they need to get Hanley Ramirez’s contract extended before offering more money to any of those guys.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN both Tweet that the Dodgers have signed ex-Angel Chone Figgins to a minor league contract and invited him to camp as a non-roster guy. If he’s got anything at all left (he sat out last year and is 36 years old) he could be one of the utility guys the Dodgers desperately need.