Sep 29

Game 162, 2019

Dodgers at Giants, 12:05 PM PDT, TV: NBCS BA, SPNLA

Every game in baseball begins at the same time today. I’m sure MLB is hoping for a repeat of the events of September 28, 2011, when within thirty minutes two teams were eliminated from the playoffs after leading in their respective games. There are two games which are important today, but neither has quite the same amount of weight as those games eight years ago:

The Cardinals’ magic number to win the NL Central is one. That means a St. Louis win or Milwaukee loss Sunday would make the Cardinals division champs, while a Brewers win and Cardinals loss would force a tiebreaker Monday at Busch Stadium (3:09 p.m ET on ESPN) to determine the division winner. If both teams win Sunday, the Cardinals win the NL Central.

The Dodgers will make the last game of the season a bullpen game, starting LHP Rich Hill (4-1, 2.59 ERA) but not allowing him to go more than three innings, I imagine, thanks to his balky knee. The Giants have changed their minds; Madison Bumgarner was originally scheduled to start but was scratched by manager Bruce Bochy after Friday night’s game. Instead they’ll give RHP Dereck Rodríguez (6-10, 5.27 ERA) his 16th start of the season. He’s 0-1 with an 11.32 ERA in four lifetime appearances against the Dodgers.

Here’s Mr. Ryu’s excellent game Saturday: seven strikeouts, an RBI base hit, seven scoreless innings and the NL ERA title.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1951 Don Newcombe becomes the first black pitcher to win twenty games in a season. In a must-win for the Dodgers, the right-hander bests Robin Roberts, also a 20-game-winner, when he blanks the Phillies at Shibe Park, 5-0.
  • 1959 At the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the Dodgers capture the NL flag with a dramatic 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Braves, taking the first two games of the three-game playoff necessitated by the teams being tied on the last day of the season. The deciding run comes in the bottom of the 12th inning, after the first two batters make outs, when Gil Hodges walks and scores on singles by Joe Pignatano and Carl Furillo.
  • 1976 Tommy Lasorda is named to succeed Walter Alston as Dodger manager. ‘Smokey’ compiled a 2040-1613 record (.558), during his 23-year tenure with the club, winning seven pennants and four world championships.
  • 1979 Manny Mota sets a major league record with his 146th career pinch hit, a single to right field, in LA’s 6-2 victory over Chicago at Dodger Stadium. The Dominican Republic native surpasses the all-time record set by Smoky Burgess, who collected his last hit as a pinch-hitter in 1967.
  • 2000 Gary Sheffield ties the Dodgers’ franchise single-season home run record when he goes deep off Woody Williams in the team’s 3-0 victory over San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium. The left fielder, with his career best 43rd round tripper, now shares the team mark with Duke Snider, who established the record in 1956 when he played for Brooklyn.

Lineup when available.

Sep 07

Game 144, 2019

Giants at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: KTLA, MLBN (out-of-market only), NBCS BA, SPNLA

RHP Tyler Beede (3-9, 5.61 ERA) goes for the San Franciscans while RHP Tony Gonsolin (2-1, 2.89 ERA) pitches for the Angelenos. The Giants have lost each of Beede’s last eight starts, and he’s given up 18 first-inning runs in his 18 starts. Gonsolin has given up four runs in his last four starts and had a 1.80 ERA in the 20 innings he threw in August.

Here are Pollock’s three HRs from yesterday’s game (all solo shots, more’s the pity):

From a story at The Athletic analyzing which players are providing the most bang for the least bucks:

Three of the Dodgers’ best players — Cody Bellinger (No. 1 on the list), Walker Buehler (No. 6) and Max Muncy (No. 9) — are also their least expensive. (All three earn a little over $1.5 million combined.)

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1903 A year before the first subway line is completed, the Brooklyn Superbas, later to be known as the Dodgers, play their cross-town rivals in a two-stadium, same-day doubleheader. The first game played in Washington Park begins at 10:30 am with 9,300 fans watching the visiting Giants win the opener, 6-4, and later that afternoon in front of 23,623 patrons at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, Brooklyn wins the second game, 3-0.
  • 1916 The Giants defeat the Dodgers 4-1 to start their major league record 26-game winning streak. The ‘Jints’ start the span two games under .500 and make up nine games in the standings, but remain in fourth place during the entire streak.
  • 1962 With four steals in a 10-1 loss to the Pirates, Dodger Maury Wills breaks the modern National League record for stolen bases in a season with his 82nd swipe. Bob Bescher established the mark in 1911, playing left field for Cincinnati.
  • 1964 At Connie Mack Stadium, a Labor Day crowd of 26,390 fans watches the first-place Phillies split a doubleheader with the Dodgers. The attendance for the twin bill brings the season’s total to 1,224,172 patrons, breaking the all-time franchise home attendance record established by the Whiz Kids in 1950.
  • 2001 Shawn Green breaks a franchise record for homers in a season with his 44th home run, the first of two dingers the Dodger right fielder will hit off Dustin Hermanson in the team’s 7-1 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The previous mark had been shared by Duke Snider (1956) and Gary Sheffield (2000).

Lineup when available.

May 22

Game 50, 2019

Dodgers at Rays, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: Fox Sports Sun, SPNLA

The Dodgers send LHP Rich Hill (1-1, 3.00 ERA) to the mound to face RHP Ryne Stanek (0-1, 3.70 ERA). Hill’s last start was brilliant: he retired the first ten batters, gave up two hits over six innings and struck out ten. Stanek has filled the Rays new role of “Opener” to perfection, but it sure looks weird in the stats: 12 starts, 24 1/3 innings. His last outing wasn’t good, though: he gave up three runs in 1/3 of an inning against the Yankees.

Sports Illustrated’s Jon Tayler writes about Bellinger’s assault on .400.

In writing about the challenge of hitting .400, Miller noted that the ideal candidate would virtually never strike out, hit a ton of homers, and maintain a high BABIP. That’s a hard combo to find: Power hitters invariably strike out a lot, and high-contact/low-strikeout guys often don’t hit for much power. But in Bellinger, this mythical player actually exists—or at least has for the last two months.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1998 The Mets trade Preston Wilson, Geoff Goetz, and Ed Yarnell to the Marlins for Mike Piazza. Florida had acquired the All-Star catcher last week from the Dodgers along with Todd Zeile in exchange for Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios.
  • 1999 Mark McGwire becomes the third player to launch a ball out of Dodger Stadium when one of his two home runs travels 483 feet in the Cardinals’ 10-7 victory at Chavez Ravine. The slugging first baseman joins Willie Stargell, who accomplished the feat twice in 1969 and 1973, and Mike Piazza, whose Ruthian blast cleared the ballpark two seasons ago.

Lineup when available.


May 15

Game 45, 2019

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

Lefty Matt Strahm (1-2, 3.00 ERA) goes for the Padres and RHP Kenta Maeda (4-2, 4.03 ERA) does the same for the Dodgers. Strahm has been converted to full-time starter this season and has done well: he had a rough first outing but has a 1.98 ERA in the six starts since. Maeda had his best start of the season his last time out, giving up just one hit over six innings. He faced the Padres on May 5 and gave up four runs in six innings, including three who’d gotten on base via a walk.

Here’s Bellinger’s two-run HR (15) yesterday:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 After 12 scoreless innings at Ebbets Field, the Reds score ten runs in the 13th inning to beat Al Mamaux and the Dodgers, 10-0. Cincinnati starter Hod Eller, who tossed a no-hitter in his previous start, is the beneficiary of the blowout.
  • 1956 Sal Maglie, obtained on waivers by Cleveland last season from the Giants, is shipped to the Dodgers for a hundred dollars after impressing Brooklyn in an exhibition game. The ‘Barber’ will post a 13-5 record along with a 2.89 ERA for the eventual NL Champs, finishing second to teammate Don Newcombe in the balloting for both the Cy Young and MVP awards.
  • 1998 On the day the Marlins trade Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios to the Dodgers for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile, the team hangs on to beat the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, 8-7. In the first inning, the Fish connect for nine consecutive hits, a franchise record, and score seven runs, all without the help of their recently departed teammates.

Lineup when available.


Sep 29

Game 161, 2018

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS Bay Area, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Giant killer LHP Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 2.53 ERA) goes for his tenth win. He hasn’t had a single-digit win season since 2009. He’s 6-1 with a 2.36 ERA over his last 12 starts, and he’s 22-10 against the Giants overall, 13-4 with a 1.20 ERA at their ball park. He’ll face rookie RHP Dereck Rodríguez (6-4, 2.50 ERA), who made his first big league start in May and has had a good first year. He needs to work on his control; he’s got a 2.67 K/BB ratio.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1951 Don Newcombe becomes the first black pitcher to win twenty games in a season. In a must-win for the Dodgers, the right-hander bests Robin Roberts, also a 20-game-winner, when he blanks the Phillies at Shibe Park, 5-0.
  • 1959 At the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the Dodgers capture the NL flag with a dramatic 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Braves, taking the first two games of the three-game playoff necessitated by the teams being tied on the last day of the season. The deciding run comes in the bottom of the 12th inning, after the first two batters make outs, when Gil Hodges walks and scores on singles by Joe Pignatano and Carl Furillo.
  • 1976 Tommy Lasorda is named to succeed Walter Alston as Dodger manager. ‘Smokey’ compiled a 2040-1613 record (.558), during his 23-year tenure with the club, winning seven pennants, and four world championships.
  • 1979 Manny Mota sets a major league record with his 146th career pinch hit, a single to right field, in LA’s 6-2 victory over Chicago at Dodger Stadium. The Dominican Republic native surpasses the all-time record set by Smoky Burgess, who collected his last hit as a pinch-hitter in 1967.
  • 2000 Gary Sheffield ties the Dodgers’ franchise single-season home run record when he goes deep off Woody Williams in the team’s 3-0 victory over San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium. The left fielder, with his career best 43rd round tripper, now shares the team mark with Duke Snider, who established the record in 1956 when he played for Brooklyn.

Lineup when available.


Sep 07

Game 141, 2018

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet RM

LHP Clayton Kershaw (6-5,2.40 ERA) pitches for the second-place Dodgers tonight and Jon Gray (11-7, 4.70 ERA) goes for the first-place Rockies. Kershaw pitched well in his last start against the D-Backs but came out before Matt Kemp hit a 3-run HR in the 8th inning to pull the game out for the Dodgers. Gray was sent to Albuquerque in June to regain his form and it seems to have worked. He’s 4-0 with a 3.08 ERA in his nine starts since returning to the big club. In an odd coincidence, these same two pitchers faced one another on this date a year ago at Dodger Stadium.

This is too cute for words.


Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1903 A year before the first subway line is completed, the Brooklyn Superbas, later to be known as the Dodgers, play their cross-town rivals in a two-stadium, same-day doubleheader. The first game played in Washington Park begins at 10:30 am with 9,300 fans watching the visiting Giants win the opener, 6-4, and later that afternoon in front of 23,623 patrons at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, Brooklyn wins the second game, 3-0.
  • 1916 The Giants defeat the Dodgers 4-1 to start their major league record 26-game winning streak. The ‘Jints’ start the span two games under .500 and make up nine games in the standings, but remain in fourth place during the entire streak.
  • 1962 With four steals in a 10-1 loss to the Pirates, Dodger Maury Wills breaks the modern National League record for stolen bases in a season with his 82nd swipe. Bob Bescher established the mark in 1911, playing left field for Cincinnati.
  • 1964 At Connie Mack Stadium, a Labor Day crowd of 26,390 fans watches the first-place Phillies split a doubleheader with the Dodgers. The attendance for the twin bill brings the season’s total to 1,224,172 patrons, breaking the all-time franchise home attendance record established by the Whiz Kids in 1950.
  • 2001 Shawn Green breaks a franchise record for homers in a season with his 44th home run, the first of two dingers the Dodger right fielder will hit off Dustin Hermanson in the team’s 7-1 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The previous mark had been shared by Duke Snider (1956) and Gary Sheffield (2000).

Lineup:


Aug 08

Game 115, 2018

Dodgers at Athletics, 7:05 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBCSCA, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Lefty Clayton Kershaw (5-5, 2.55 ERA) has reached the .500 mark much later this season than he or the Dodgers anticipated, but he appears to have hit his stride after multiple trips to the disabled list. He gave up two runs in six innings in his last start. He’ll face the Athletics’ newly-acquired Mike Fiers, who’ll make his debut for Oakland after arriving from the Tigers last week. He was 7-6 with a 3.48 ERA for Detroit, which was pretty good for a team that’s 20 games under .500 this year.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1903 In the third inning of the 4-3 nightcap loss to New York at the Polo Grounds, Dodger starter Henry Schmidt is thrown out of the game after he throws the baseball out of the park. The Brooklyn hurler became very angry when opposing pitcher Joe McGinnity dashed home from third base while his infielders were arguing the close call at the bag.
  • 1954 Gil Hodges comes to bat three times in the eighth inning when the Dodgers score 13 runs en route to a 20-7 rout of the Reds at Ebbets Field. The first baseman will go 1-for-3 in the frame with a leadoff triple, but will be responsible for all three outs when he hits into a double play and flies out to centerfield to end the Brooklyn barrage.
  • 1957 Club President Walter O’Malley makes it official, announcing the Dodgers will play in Los Angeles next season. The club’s departure from Brooklyn corresponds with the massive social shift taking place in the borough that finds many of its former residents leaving for the suburbs of Long Island.
  • 2000 Cubs hurler Phil Norton becomes the 18th pitcher in major league history to give up four homers in one inning in the Dodgers’ 7-5 victory at Chavez Ravine. Kevin Elster, Darren Dreifort, Gary Sheffield, and Shawn Green all take the 24 year-old southpaw deep in the bottom of the fourth inning.
  • 2000 Darren Dreifort hits two home runs and gets the win in the Dodgers’ 7-5 victory over the Cubs. The starting pitcher, who hurls 6.2 innings, goes deep in the bottom of the fourth and fifth frames.
  • 2000 After kissing one another in the seventh inning, a female couple is abruptly asked to leave Dodger Stadium immediately and are told never to “set foot back on the premises” for “lewd behavior”. The pair had planned to sue the organization, but ended up not doing so after the team apologized, promising to contribute 5,000 tickets to LGBT organizations and continue sensitivity training for all its employees. [Note: The Dodgers held their sixth annual LGBT Night in 2018.]

Lineup when available.


May 22

Game 48, 2018

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-RM

The Rockies send RHP Chad Bettis (4-1, 3.27 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ RHP Brock Stewart (0-0, 3.18 ERA). Bettis has kept the Rockies in the games he’s started: they’ve won six of those nine. Stewart was recalled from AAA for the fourth time this season (and third this month). He started five days ago for the OKC Dodgers and went three innings, giving up three hits but no runs. This will be his first MLB start of 2018.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1998 The Mets trade Preston Wilson, Geoff Goetz, and Ed Yarnell to the Marlins for Mike Piazza. Florida had acquired the All-Star catcher last week from the Dodgers, along with Todd Zeile in exchange for Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios.
  • 1999 Mark McGwire becomes the third player to launch a ball out of Dodger Stadium when one of his two home runs travels 483 feet in the Cardinals’ 10-7 victory at Chavez Ravine. The slugging first baseman joins Willie Stargell, who accomplished the feat twice in 1969 and 1973, and Mike Piazza, whose Ruthian blast cleared the ballpark two seasons ago.

Lineup when available.

May 15

Game 41, 2018

Dodgers at Marlins, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FS-F

LHP Alex Wood (0-3, 3.60 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers against the Marlins’ LHP Wei-Yin Chen (1-2, 10.22 ERA). This will be Wood’s ninth start. He has pitched better than his record indicates as opponents are hitting only .219 against him. Chen has been far better at home than on the road this year, which bodes well for him this evening.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 After 12 scoreless innings at Ebbets Field, the Reds score ten runs in the 13th inning to beat Al Mamaux and the Dodgers, 10-0. Cincinnati starter Hod Eller, who tossed a no-hitter in his previous start, is the beneficiary of the blowout.
  • 1956 Sal Maglie, obtained on waivers by Cleveland last season from the Giants, is shipped to the Dodgers for a hundred dollars after impressing Brooklyn in an exhibition game. The ‘Barber’ will post a 13-5 record along with a 2.89 ERA for the eventual NL Champs, finishing second to teammate Don Newcombe in the balloting for both the Cy Young and MVP awards.
  • 1998 On the day the Marlins trade Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios to the Dodgers for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile, the team hangs on to beat the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, 8-7. In the first inning, the Fish connect for nine consecutive hits, a franchise record, and score seven runs, all without the help of their recently departed teammates.

Turner and Forsythe both return. I hope they’re both fully recovered and not trying to come back too soon.

Lineup when available.


Sep 29

Game 160, 2017

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT Sportsnet RM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Why are baseball games always scheduled to start at five or ten minutes after the hour?

The Dodgers open their final series of the 2017 season with LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-8, 3.47 ERA) pitching in the rarefied air of Coors Field against RHP Chad Bettis (1-4, 5.72 ERA).

Ryu has been very good since the All Star break, going 2-2 in ten starts with a 2.42 ERA. He’s in a tussle with Alex Wood for a spot in the post-season rotation. Bettis had a good outing his last time out, giving up just one run on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings last weekend in San Diego. He’s battling for a spot on the Rockies’ post-season roster if they get in. The Rockies have a two-game lead over the Brewers for the second National League Wild Card spot. If they win and a Brewers lose tonight they’ll clinch it.

The Dodgers select IF/OF Tim Locastro’s contract from OKC.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1951 Don Newcombe becomes the first African-American to win twenty games in a season. In a must win for the Dodgers, the right-hander bests Robin Roberts, also a 20-game-winner, when he blanks the Phillies at Shibe Park, 5-0.
  • 1959 At the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the Dodgers capture the NL flag with a dramatic 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Braves, taking the first two games of the three-game playoff necessitated by the teams being tied on the last day of the season. The deciding run comes in the bottom of the 12th inning, after the first two batters make outs, when Gil Hodges walks and scores on singles by Joe Pignatano and Carl Furillo.
  • 1976 Tommy Lasorda is named to succeed Walter Alston as Dodger manager. ‘Smokey’ compiled a 2040-1613 record (.558), during his 23-year tenure with the club, winning seven pennants, and four world championships.
  • 1979 Manny Mota sets a major league record with his 146th career pinch hit, a single to right field, in LA’s 6-2 victory over Chicago at Dodger Stadium. The Dominican Republic native surpasses the all-time record set by Smoky Burgess, who collected his last hit as a pinch-hitter in 1967.
  • 2000 Gary Sheffield ties the Dodgers’ franchise single-season home run record when he goes deep off Woody Williams in the team’s 3-0 victory over San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium. The left fielder, with his career best 43rd round tripper, now shares the team mark with Duke Snider, who established the record in 1956 when he played for Brooklyn.

Today is also the anniversary of The Catch (the Willie Mays one, not the Dwight Clark one):

Lineup when available.