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 Royals try to salvage one game of what’s been an unsatisfying return to Dodger Stadium for the first time since 2003. The trouble is they have to get past Clayton Kershaw (13-2, 2.19 ERA) to do it. They’ll ask LHP Danny Duffy (5-4, 3.51 ERA) to shut the high-powered Dodgers’ offense down while they try to put together some hits and runs against the Dodgers’ ace.
Duffy has made one start since returning from the disabled list and he did pretty well, going 5 2/3 innings against the Mariners, giving up two runs and five hits in a 7-3 win. Kershaw went seven shutout innings against the D-Backs Tuesday and gave up just two hits in a game the Dodgers held on to win 4-3 despite a three-run HR off Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning.
The Dodgers won their 60th game last night, becoming just the 4th team in 40 years to do that before the All Star break.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1956 The BBWAA, by a narrow margin of 14-12, votes to establish the Cy Young Award to honor the major leagues’ most outstanding pitcher. Commissioner Ford Frick initiated the idea because he felt hurlers were not recognized in the MVP voting, but ironically the first recipient of the Cy Young Award, Dodger Don Newcombe, also won the Most Valuable Player Award.
1996 In Philadelphia, Dodger backstop Mike Piazza hits a moon shot into the upper-deck at Veterans Stadium and also bangs a RBI double, helping the NL to blank the AL, 6-0, in All-Star action.
In non-Dodger history, it seems fitting that in 1968, the Year of the Pitcher, the All Star Game would play out this way: In the first All-Star game played indoors, American Leaguers are held to just three hits in the Astrodome, with the National League winning the first Mid-Summer Classic to end with a score of 1-0. The contest’s lone tally comes in the bottom of the first frame when Willie Mays, who had been picked off but stayed on the bases due to Luis Tiant’s throwing error, scores an unearned run on a double play ball.
Today's Dodger lineup vs. Royals: Forsythe 2B Taylor LF Turner 3B Bellinger 1B Barnes C Hernández SS Puig RF Thompson CF Kershaw P pic.twitter.com/5crO3x84By
Lefty Clayton Kershaw (4-2, 2.61 ERA) twirls for the Dodgers and lefty Clayton Richard (2-3, 4.29 ERA) goes for the Friars. Kershaw beat the Padres on April 3, giving up only a solo HR to Ryan Schimpf over seven innings. Richard shut the Dodgers out for eight innings on April 4.
Both pitchers have done well against the opposing team: Kershaw is 15-6 lifetime against San Diego with a 2.03 ERA in 30 starts; Richard is 7-4 with a 1.93 ERA against the Dodgers in 20 games.
On this day in Dodgers history:
1937 Dodgers and Giants fans attending afternoon ball games at both the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field are thrilled to have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Hindenburg when the passenger airship appears over New York, nearing the end of its maiden voyage of the season from Germany. A few hours later, the majestic German zeppelin will explode on a landing strip in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 36 of its passengers.
1947 In a small office high up behind home plate at Ebbets Field, National League president Ford Frick meets with seven Cardinal players individually, revealing he is aware of their secret plan to strike as a protest to Jackie Robinson playing for the Dodgers.
1978 After going deep as a pinch hitter on May 2, Lee Lacy becomes the first major leaguer to pinch-hit home runs in consecutive at-bats. The Dodgers’ super sub will make it three in a row on May 17.
2009 With a 10-3 victory over Washington, the Dodgers break the major league mark for consecutive victories at home to open a season with their 13th straight win in L.A. The previous record of 12 was established in 1911 by the Tigers.
More Dodgers history of a sort: Here’s Bill Shaikin’s column about Vin Scully’s induction into the Dodgers’ Ring of Honor.
Lineup when available.
Taylor 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gutierrez LF Bellinger 1B Hernandez CF Puig RF Barnes C Kershaw P