May 30

Game 57, 2019

Mets at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: KTLA, SNY, SPNLA

LHP Jason Vargas (1-2, 5.22 ERA) pitches in the final game of this four-game series against the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu (7-1, 1.65 ERA). Vargas’ ERA is slightly misleading: he was pretty bad in two of his first three starts this season. After three games his ERA was 14.21. It’s dropped steadily after every outing since. He’s given up no more than one run in four of his last five starts. Ryu wasn’t up to his usual standards in his last start; he scattered ten hits in six innings but gave up just two runs and got the win anyway.

Bellinger is on track for possibly the best season ever by Wins Above Replacement. Don’t believe that? Look at the numbers. He’s got 5.4 WAR through one-third of a season.

Here’s a brief list of the things that Bellinger leads the Majors in, just to remind you how great his season is going.

• First in batting average (.382, a 44-point lead over Josh Bell’s .338 mark)
• First in on-base percentage (.469)
• First in slugging percentage (.770)
• First in RBIs (51)
• First in OPS (1.239)
• First in OPS+ (223)
• First in Weighted On-Base Average (.503)
• First in Weighted Runs Created Plus (218)
• First in Wins Above Replacement (5.4)
• First in Defensive Runs Saved (15)
• First in Five-Star Plays on defense (3, tied with Byron Buxton)
• First in defensive Wins Above Replacement (1.4, tied with Lorenzo Cain)
• First in average home-to-first time (3.89 seconds)
• First in Sprint Speed among Dodgers (29.2 ft/sec), and third among MLB RF

In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers’ ninth-inning comeback in yesterday’s game:


Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1946 In Boston’s 10-8 victory over the Dodgers, Bama Rowell’s long drive hits the Bulova clock located above the right field scoreboard, making the left-fielder the first major leaguer to reach the famous landmark at Ebbets Field. The crushing four-bagger, that shatters the face of the clock causing glass to cascade onto Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker, is believed to be the inspiration for author Bernard Malamud having Roy Hobbs, the hero of his 1952 novel “The Natural,” belt a similar home run, which also rains glass over the diamond.
  • 1962 Frank Thomas strokes a double off Sandy Koufax in the Mets’ 13-6 loss to Los Angeles, extending his franchise mark of consecutive games with a hit to 18 for the expansion team. The streak, which will be only one shy of Maury Wills’ league-leading total for the season, is halted when the New York left fielder goes 0-for-4 in the nightcap of the Dodgers’ sweep at the Polo Grounds.
  • 1986 In a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium, future home run king Barry Bonds goes 0-for-5 in his major league debut. The Pirates center fielder, batting leadoff, strikes out three times.

Lineup when available.


May 30

Game 55, 2018

Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBCSP

RHP Zach Eflin (1-1, 3.27 ERA) goes for the Phillies while RHP Ross Stripling (2-1, 1.74 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. This will be Eflin’s fifth start in the big leagues. He gave up only one run in his first 12 2/3 innings, but he hasn’t gotten past the fifth in his last two starts. Stripling has filled both the long relief and spot-start roles for the Dodgers this season and done both equally well.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1946 In Boston’s 10-8 victory over the Dodgers, Bama Rowell’s long drive hits the Bulova clock located above the right field scoreboard, making the left-fielder the first major leaguer to reach the famous landmark at Ebbets Field. The crushing four-bagger, that shatters the face of the clock causing glass to cascade onto Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker, is believed to be the inspiration for author Bernard Malamud having Roy Hobbs, the hero of his 1952 novel, The Natural, belt a similar home run, which also rains glass over the diamond.
  • 1962 Frank Thomas strokes a double off Sandy Koufax in the Mets’ 13-6 loss to Los Angeles, extending his franchise mark of consecutive games with a hit to 18 for the expansion team. The streak, which will be only one shy of Maury Wills’ league-leading total for the season, is halted when the New York left fielder goes 0-for-4 in the nightcap of the Dodgers’ sweep at the Polo Grounds.
  • 1986 In a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium, future home run king Barry Bonds goes 0-for-5 in his major league debut. The Pirates center fielder, batting leadoff, strikes out three times.

Lineup:


May 30

Game 53, 2017

Dodgers at Cardinals, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ESPN, FS-M, MLBN free game of the day in non-blackout regions

RHP Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.08 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. He hopes his second start against the Cardinals within a week goes as well as the first, when he gave up three runs in the first but righted the ship, went five innings and got the win. RHP Michael Wacha (2-2, 3.66 ERA), on the other hand, wants to improve on his performance last Thursday against the Dodgers, when he went only four innings, allowed seven hits, six earned runs, two walks and lost the game.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1946 In Boston’s 10-8 victory over the Dodgers, Bama Rowell’s long drive hits the Bulova clock located above the right field scoreboard, making the left-fielder the first major leaguer to reach the famous landmark at Ebbets Field. The crushing four-bagger that shatters the face of the clock causing glass to cascade onto Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker is believed to be the inspiration for author Bernard Malamud having Roy Hobbs, the hero of his 1952 novel, The Natural, belt a similar home run, which also rains glass over the diamond.
  • 1962 Frank Thomas strokes a double off Sandy Koufax in the Mets’ 13-6 loss to Los Angeles, extending his franchise mark of consecutive games with a hit to 18 for the expansion team. The streak, which will be only one shy of Maury Wills’ league-leading total for the season, is halted when the New York left fielder goes 0-for-4 in the nightcap of the Dodgers’ sweep at the Polo Grounds.
  • 1986 In a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium, future home run king Barry Bonds goes 0-for-5 in his major league debut. The Pirates center fielder, batting leadoff, strikes out three times.
  • 1930 Not Dodgers’ history, but for the economists among us, get a load of this prize: Rogers Hornsby receives his MVP award and is given a thousand gold coins by National League president John Heydler at a ceremony at home plate prior to the Cubs’ contest against St. Louis. Ironically, the ‘Rajah’ will break his ankle while advancing to third base during the Wrigley Field contest and will not play again until the middle of August. Ah, when there was a gold standard! (For the record, the price of an ounce of gold was pegged at $20.67 in 1930. If each coin weighed an ounce that was $20,670, not an insignificant amount of cash in that Depression year)

Early returns from this year’s All Star Game voting: Seager at the top, Turner and A-Gon in top five at their respective positions.

Lineup:

Jan 07

Principled stand or an idiotic one?

The Hall of Fame election results will be announced tomorrow. The Dodgers’ MLB.com beat writer, Ken Gurnick, has a ballot. Here’s how he voted and why:

Morris

Morris has flaws — a 3.90 ERA, for example. But he gets my vote for more than a decade of ace performance that included three 20-win seasons, Cy Young Award votes in seven seasons and Most Valuable Player Award votes in five. As for those who played during the period of PED use, I won’t vote for any of them.

Personally, I think that’s blackballing, tarring with a broad brush, and being sanctimonious as hell. There has never been any suggestion that Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas or Craig Biggio used PEDs that I’m aware of, and there have only been unsubstantiated rumors about Jeff Bagwell.

Gurnick can leave Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro, Sosa, McGwire and the other confirmed steroid users off his ballot and get no argument from me, but his “none of the above” stance is too sweeping as far as I’m concerned.

Update: Cliff Corcoran has even stronger words for Gurnick in his column at SI.com.

Update: ESPN has released the votes of all 17 of its employees who have them.