Apr 17

Game 16, 2018

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Dodgers ask LHP Alex Wood (0-2, 5.09 ERA) to keep up the good work their last two starters have done in this mini-winning streak. He’ll face RHP Brian Mitchell (0-2, 5.27 ERA), who hasn’t yet achieved the potential the Padres hoped he would when they acquired him in December. His control has been poor: he’s walked 14 in 12 2/3 innings. Wood’s last start was hindered by the lingering effects of food poisoning, the Dodgers think. He only lasted 3 2/3 innings against Oakland on April 11, giving up seven runs on seven hits. More concerning than that start is his velocity, which is several notches below what it was last season.

On this date in Dodgers history:

  • 1955 Roberto Clemente singles off Dodger pitcher Johnny Podres in his first major league at-bat. The Pirates’ rookie, who will die in a plane crash attempting to bring relief aid to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua in 1972, will collect exactly 3,000 hits during his 18-year major league career, all with Pittsburgh.
  • 1956 Luis Aparicio, Don Drysdale, and Frank Robinson play in their first major league games, respectively, for the White Sox, Dodgers, and Reds. The trio of debuts marks the first time that three future Hall of Famers have made their initial appearance on the same day.
  • 1988 The Braves beat the Dodgers, 3-1, after breaking the National League record with ten losses to start the season. The team will drop 27 of its first 39 decisions, costing Chuck Tanner his job as the Atlanta manager.
  • 2013 Clayton Kershaw becomes the second fastest Dodger to strike out 1,000 batters when he throws a second-inning 93-mph fastball past San Diego first baseman Yonder Alonso. The 25 year-old southpaw reaches the milestone in 970 career innings, 15.2 more than needed by Hideo Nomo, who established the team mark in 2003.

Also in baseball history on this day: in 1969 Bill Stoneman pitched a no-hitter for the Expos in the ninth game of their existence, and in 1976 Mike Schmidt hit four consecutive home runs in a ten-inning 18-16 Phillies’ win over the Cubs.

Lineup when available.

Oct 09

NLDS Games Three, 2017

First game: Nationals at Cubs, 1:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The series is tied at one. Today the Nationals send last year’s Cy Young winner RHP Max Scherzer (16-6, 2.51 ERA) to the hill to face the Cubs’ LHP Jose Quintana (11-11, 4.15 ERA). Scherzer’s first postseason appearance this year has been delayed while his right hamstring healed, but he and the doctors say he’s healthy now. He’s got a 2.92 ERA in six career starts against the Cubs. Quintana came over from the crosstown White Sox in July and was 7-3 with a 3.74 ERA in 14 starts for his new team. This will be his first postseason start and the first time he’ll face the Nats. Scherzer has made 14 appearances in the postseason (12 starts) but only two for the Nationals.

Second game: Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 7:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Dodgers acquired RHP Yu Darvish (10-12, 3.86 ERA) with the postseason in mind, and now it’s here. He’ll face ex-Dodger now D-Back RHP Zack Greinke (17-7, 3.20 ERA). Darvish was 6-4 with a 2.44 ERA on the road this season, while Greinke was 13-1 with a 2.87 ERA at home. Darvish has made two postseason appearances in his career, both with Texas, and is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA. Greinke has made ten postseason appearances and is 3-3 with a 3.92 ERA.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1949 During the ninth inning of the Dodgers’ 10-8 loss to the Yankees in Game 5, the Ebbets Field lights are turned on, making it the first time a World Series game has been played under artificial lights. The first scheduled Fall Classic night game will not take place until 1971, when the Pirates host Baltimore for Game 4 at Three Rivers Stadium.
  • 1966 For the second consecutive day, the Orioles win a World Series game, 1-0, in a contest decided by a home run when Frank Robinson takes a Don Drysdale pitch deep over the left field fence in the fourth inning. With the lone run being scored on a homer, for only the fifth time in the history of the Fall Classic, and the complete-game shutout thrown by Dave McNally, Baltimore completes a four-game sweep over the Dodgers.

Also, this is the anniversary of the Jeffrey Maier game in 1996 when he leaned over the wall and caught a Derek Jeter fly ball. It was ruled a home run despite clear evidence that he interfered with Baltimore outfielder Tony Tarrasco’s attempt to catch it.

In 2005 the Astros won the longest postseason game in history, beating the Braves in 18 innings on a Chris Burke walkoff home run to take the NLDS and advance to the NLCS.

Lineup when available.

Sep 11

Game 144, 2017

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS BA

RHP Kenta Maeda (12-6, 4.02 ERA) takes the mound against RHP Chris Stratton (2-3, 4.10 ERA) in San Francisco.

Maeda allowed one unearned run over five innings on Wednesday against the D-backs. He’s 3-1 with a 4.58 ERA in four career starts against the Giants. Stratton has both started and relieved this season; he’s been much better as a starter. He’s got an 8.59 ERA in relief. As a starter he’s made five starts and has gone 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA since the All Star break.

A sad note: former Dodger (and nine other teams’) scout Mel Didier died Sunday night at home in Phoenix. He was 90 years old. His most memorable find was probably his analysis which showed that the Athletics’ Dennis Eckersley liked to throw backdoor sliders when the count was full and first base was open. He told the Dodgers’ hitters that before Game One of the 1988 World Series. What was the count to Kirk Gibson when he hit that game-winning home run? 3-2. What was the pitch? A backdoor slider.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 The Dodgers end Elroy Face’s consecutive win streak at 22 with a 5-4 victory over the Pirates. The reliever, who will end the season with an 18-1 record, is beaten by Chuck Churn, the winner of only three major league career victories.
  • 1966 In his first major league at-bat, John Miller homers off Lee Stange in the second inning of the Yankees’ 4-2 victory over Boston at Fenway Park. The 22 year-old left fielder, whose total of 10 hits in his 32-game career will include just two round-trippers, will become the only player to hit home runs in his first and last major league plate appearance when he goes deep as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers in his final turn at bat in 1966.
  • 1998 Kevin Malone is named as the Dodgers’ general manager, replacing Tommy Lasorda, who is promoted to Senior Vice President of the team. The “new sheriff in town” tenure in Los Angeles will be marked by the signing of high profile players to huge contracts, including Kevin Brown’s seven-year deal making the right-hander the first $100 million man in baseball.

Historical note of more than passing interest to Cody Bellinger fans: today in 1956 Frank Robinson ties Wally Berger’s 1930 National League record for home runs by a rookie for home runs with his 38th in the Reds’ 11-5 victory over the Giants at Polo Grounds. A’s first baseman Mark McGwire established the major league mark for freshman homers with 49 round-trippers in 1989. Bellinger has 36 with 18 games to go in the season.

Lineup when available.

Granderson again? Why not Ethier in LF? And since A-Gon had to have an epidural shot four days ago, why not Cody at 1B?

Roberts, I’m beginning to question your judgment.

Apr 15

Game 12, 2017

Wait a minute. After 11 games of the season Andrew Toles and Yasiel Puig lead the Dodgers in home runs with three each?

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Lefty Patrick Corbin (1-1, 1.80 ERA) goes for the D-Backs and righty Kenta Maeda (1-1, 6.30 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. In Corbin’s last appearance he went six scoreless innings and gave up just four hits against the Indians. Maeda hasn’t gotten past the fifth inning in either of his outings so far this season but got the win last time out despite giving up four runs.

Today’s big event won’t be the ball game, really. It will be the unveiling of a statue of Jackie Robinson at the Left Field Reserve Plaza entrance, where nearly 20% of all fans enter the stadium.

Jackie’s widow, Rachel, and children, Sharon and David, will attend the ceremony. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson will also be there, along with Dodgers icons Tommy Lasorda, Sandy Koufax, Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin.

Lineup when available.