Oct 06

Waiting for the NLDS opponent

Turner has laid out the extent of his discussions with the Dodgers on a potential extension. Outside of a brief conversation before last winter’s lockout that didn’t get into specifics, the two sides haven’t had much in terms of talks. Some of that is the Dodgers’ preference and some Turner’s. The Dodgers told Turner shortly before the season they wouldn’t be making him an offer before Opening Day. Turner, who said he was open to talks, stated his preference was to not negotiate during the season.

— The Athletic

Oh, and that “Turner wants to play on the East Coast business?”

There was also a perception that Turner was not happy being sent to the West Coast and would not likely sign a long-term deal to stay out west. A Florida native, Turner played college baseball at North Carolina State where he met his wife, Kristen, who is also an East Coast native.

Turner acknowledges that he helped create that perception.

“I originally said that so I wouldn’t necessarily get traded to certain places. I was trying to control as much as I could – because a lot of it was out of my control,” he said. “Yeah, I’m an East Coast guy. But with free agency, you get a chance to pick and control it as much as you can in your entire career. I’m open to anything really. Everything is in play.

“That was more for a trade and an extension in a place I didn’t really know. I didn’t want to get traded and then get offered an extension right away and not know anything about the city and stuff. … To me, that (decision) would be all based off money and that’s not how I want to make my decision. Obviously, that’s a factor but a lot more goes into it. I think it was more of that.

“Yeah, I’m from the East Coast. Would I like to go back? Sure. But I think L.A.’s been really good to me.”

The Orange County Register

Also from The Athletic:

This much is already clear. The Dodgers made history this season. Regardless of what happens once the Dodgers open the NLDS next Tuesday against either the Mets or the Padres, this group will remain the comparison for the elite clubs should they ever encroach upon such heights.

“Winning 100 games is crazy,” Turner said. “The fact that we won 111 is wild.”

But that legacy will be settled in the crapshoot of October. The 116-win 2001 Mariners got bounced in the ALCS. Cleveland won 111 games in 1954, only to get swept out of the World Series. Those 1906 Cubs? They lost the series in six games. And of the 110-win clubs that wound up raising the trophy, only one — the 1998 Yankees — survived three rounds of the postseason to do so.

That format shifts again this October. Despite their brush with history, the Dodgers entered Wednesday with the third-best odds (14.4 percent) of winning the World Series, according to FanGraphs. Should the Mets advance past the Padres in the new Wild Card Series, the Dodgers will face a 100-win club in the first round for the second consecutive year.

This is the gauntlet ahead, and it’s one Roberts embraces.

“Fans don’t want to hear that,” he said. “Media doesn’t want to hear that. They don’t care if you had to go four rounds or five rounds to get to the World Series. If the Dodgers don’t win this season, there’s a subset that’s going to feel that we choked, we aren’t a good team, it was a lost season. It doesn’t matter. That factual narrative isn’t going to change with some people, but that’s just noise for our guys.

“We can’t change that. We can’t change the structure. The structure is different than it was in the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s. This is where we’re at right now. We have to abide and play. Our guys aren’t going to make excuses. We have to win three series, and that’s what we expect to do.”

That’s the expectation the Dodgers have put on themselves. Questions or concerns about injuries and roster decisions aside, they’ve won the games. They’ve set the records. And once Tuesday arrives at Dodger Stadium, that washes away until it becomes the polish for whatever the end result is.

“First tournament’s over,” Freeman said. “Now the big tournament starts. No one cares what your numbers were or how many wins you have starting Tuesday. It’s the first one to 11 (wins).”

Sep 24

Game 152, 2022

Cardinals at Dodgers , Bally Sports Midwest, SPNLA

The Cardinals’ LHP Jordan Montgomery (8-5, 3.26 ERA) faces the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (9-3, 2.39 ERA).

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1957 Grounding out, Pirates left-handed first baseman Dee Fondy becomes the last player ever to bat in Ebbets Field when the Dodgers blank the Bucs 2-0 in the final major league game ever played in Brooklyn.
  • 1971 Al Downing becomes a 20-game winner when he blanks the Braves at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, 2-0. The Dodger left-hander, best remembered for giving up Hank Aaron’s historic 715th home run, will compile a 123-107 record during his 17-year major league career.
  • 1981 Dodgers 7, Giants 5 at Candlestick. The Dodgers got a three-run homer from Mike Scioscia and two more runs in the third inning to put themselves ahead. The game was — marred? supplemented? — when a fan threw a helmet and — well, here:

    Reggie Smith went into the stands after a fan who had been heckling him during the game; the fan had just thrown a batting helmet into the dugout before Smith climbed into the stands; Smith punched the fan and tried to pull him over the rail onto the field; Dodger teammates grabbed Smith; eight fans were arrested and Smith was ejected by HP umpire Harry Wendelstedt; as two policemen walked with Smith down the RF line to the clubhouse, someone threw a beer bottle and missed.

  • 2001 Batting for reliever Joe Beimel in the bottom of the sixth inning, Craig Wilson drives the first pitch he sees into the seats in left center for his seventh pinch-hit home run, tying the major league mark established last season by Dodger infielder Dave Hansen. The Pirate rookie’s two-run round-tripper sparks a five-run frame, enabling the Bucs to overcome a 5-0 deficit in their eventual 7-6 victory over the Chicago at PNC Park.
  • 2003 Eric Gagne ties John Smoltz’s National League mark for saves with 55 when he helps the Dodgers defeat the Padres, 5-3. The Los Angeles closer equals the NL mark in consecutive opportunities, which is also a record.

Lineups when available.

Freddie Freeman is out with an illness.

Apr 08

Opening Day, Game One, 2022

Dodgers at Rockies, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet RM, SPNLA

After an off-season which induced doubt that this season would begin even close to its scheduled date, here we are. The Dodgers send RHP Walker Buehler to make the first Opening Day start of his career. He’ll face the Rockies’ LHP Kyle Freeland. This is the second year in a row the Dodgers have opened the season on the road in Colorado.

The Dodgers only made one major addition to their starting lineup — Freddie Freeman at first base. He had a slash line of .295/.384/.509 with the Braves last year. The Rockies added Kris Bryant and Randal Grichuk to their outfield. Bryant had a slash line of .265/.353/.481 between the Cubs and Giants in 2021, while Grichuk had a slash line of .241/.281/.423 with the Blue Jays.

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1966 Thanks to the Monsanto chemical company’s experimental nylon playing surface, the Astros and Dodgers play baseball’s first game on synthetic grass. The original plan to play all-dirt field, necessitated by the need to paint the Astrodome’s glass panes to reduce the glare, which prevented natural grass from growing, is alleviated by the use of ‘AstroTurf.’
  • 1974 Braves outfielder Hank Aaron passes Babe Ruth as the all-time home run leader with his 715th, going deep in the fourth inning off Dodger hurler Al Downing in Atlanta’s home opener. ‘Hammerin’ Hank’ equaled the Bambino’s mark on Opening Day in Cincinnati.
  • 1994 Kent Mercker, throwing his first major league complete game, no-hits the Dodgers, 6-0 at Chavez Ravine. The Braves left-hander was one of the three Atlanta pitchers, along with Mark Wohlers and Alejandro Pena, to throw a combined no-no against the Padres in 1991.
  • 1994 Chan Ho Park becomes the first Korean to play in the major leagues when he makes his pitching debut at Chavez Ravine. In one inning of work, the 21-year-old Kongju City native gives up two runs on one hit, walking two and striking out two batters in the Dodgers’ 6-0 loss to Atlanta.
  • 2008 On the last Opening Day in the Queens ballpark, the Mets unveil a disc with William Shea’s name, honoring the namesake of their stadium. The New York attorney played an instrumental role in bringing the National League back to the Big Apple following the Giants and Dodgers’ departure after the 1957 season.
  • 2015 Adrian Gonzalez becomes the first major league player to hit five home runs in the first three games of the season when he goes deep three times in the Dodgers’ 7-4 victory over San Diego at Chavez Ravine. The Los Angeles first baseman joins Carl Furillo (1955) and Jimmy Wynn (1974) as the only players in franchise history to have homered in the first three games of a campaign.
  • 2019 Chris Davis breaks the record for the longest hitless streak in major league history at 0-for-47, surpassing Eugenio Velez’s dubious mark with the Giants and Dodgers in 2010-11. The Baltimore fans, who had begun regularly booing the Orioles outfielder with the $161 million fully guaranteed contract, were very supportive when he lined out to deep left field in the fifth inning in the game against the A’s to take his place in baseball infamy.

In case you missed it:

“I always thought, ‘Of course, Joe Buck’s going to be at Fox forever,’” Davis said. ‘“Joe Buck’s always going to be calling the World Series.’”

But Buck didn’t stay at Fox forever and he won’t call any more World Series. That job, officially as of Friday, belongs to Davis, the Dodgers’ TV play-by-play man. Davis was named to Fox’s lead play-by-play position upon Buck’s departure last month to ESPN. Hall of Famer John Smoltz will be his color analyst.

Lineups:

Dodgers

I wonder if this is the first time Bellinger has hit 8th in the lineup since he got to the major leagues.

Rockies

Jul 05

Festina Lente

Making haste slowly, with setbacks likely.

The Braves’ Freddie Freeman tested positive for COVID-19.

Ten days ago “some number” of Dodger players and/or staff tested positive as well.

The 2020 All-Star Game has been canceled and the 2022 game has been awarded to the Dodgers to make up for it.

From NBC Sports:

…the most shocking part of MLB’s startup of summer training camps this week: Only 1.2 percent of the first 3,185 intake tests of players and other personnel produced positive results — a clear victory for league-wide discipline and apparent respect for safe practices.

On the other hand, those results didn’t include all of the intake testing done during the week. They also didn’t include the positive tests of players and staff that teams already were aware of — including at least 12 from the Phillies more than two weeks ago.

And a cautionary detail of Freeman’s case is that he reportedly tested negative during intake testing — before getting hit “like a ton of bricks” by the virus Thursday, according to his wife’s Instagram post.

Oct 15

NLCS Game Three, 2018

Brewers at Dodgers, 4:39 PDT, TV: FS1

The series is tied at one game apiece, and the next three games will be played at Dodger Stadium. The Brewers send RHP Jhoulys Chacín (15-8, 3.50 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (8-5, 2.62 ERA). Chacín pitched five innings of shutout ball against the Rockies in Game Two of the Brewers’ side of the NLDS, while Buehler had one horrific inning against the Braves in Game Three of the Dodgers’ side of the NLDS, giving up a grand slam after three walks. He avoided the loss when the Dodgers came back to tie, although they lost on a Freddie Freeman home run in the eighth inning.

Today in Brewers’ history:

  • 1982 Willie McGee becomes the third rookie to hit two home runs in the same World Series game. Going deep off Brewers starter Pete Vuckovich in the fifth and seventh innings in Game 3 of the Fall Classic, the Cardinals’ center fielder joins Charlie Keller (1939) and Tony Kubek (1957), who also accomplished the feat in the third game of their respective Fall Classics.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1981 With Dave Righetti, Ron Davis, and Goose Gossage combining to shut out Oakland, 4-0, the Yankees sweep the A’s to capture their thirty-third American League pennant. The Bronx Bombers will face the Dodgers in the World Series for the third time in the past five Fall Classics.
  • 2008 In Game 5 of the NLCS, the visiting Phillies beat the Dodgers, 5-1, to win their first pennant since 1993. Southpaw Cole Hamels, the series MVP, hurls his third postseason gem, and Jimmy Rollins starts the Philadelphia attack with a leadoff home run to start the game.

Lineups when available.

Dodgers’ lineup:


Brewers’ lineup: