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: