He reported late to the Dodgers’ summer camp due to an unexplained absence, but he did reveal that he did not take part in baseball activities for two weeks. He began the season at the team’s alternate site at USC, and when he finally did get called up to the Dodgers, he looked like a mess. In 19 games, Lux had an OPS of .596. He made throwing errors that made it look like he had the yips. He was left off the postseason roster as the Dodgers went on to win the franchise’s first World Series title since 1988.
This year, the Dodgers can make do with some combination of Chris Taylor, Zach McKinstry and Max Muncy at second base in the event that Lux can’t immediately rebound from his disappointing 2020. But he is only 23 years old and can be forgiven for experiencing a lost season during the pandemic.
Cubs star Javier Báez said earlier this week that he simply was not mentally prepared for last season, and here’s betting Lux wasn’t, either. It’s not fair to judge anyone on how well they performed amid COVID-19. And that is why I’m excited to see if Lux can put last year behind him, secure the second base job and rake his way back into the hearts of Dodgers fans.
Today’s lineup, including one Trevor Bauer making his first start in Dodger Blue:
Adam Weinrib of Fansided doesn’t think so. He has the usual suspects in the usual places, although handing left field to A.J. Pollock and leaving Chris Taylor on the bench might be premature.
I agree with Lux at second assuming the season is close to a normal length, which it just might be if the vaccines for COVID-19 really do pan out as effectively as the trials seem to have shown. Lux needs more time to show whether his prospect status was warranted; his 2020 season was horrible (19 Games Played, .175 BA, 3 HR, 8 RBI). He was late reporting to the second training camp before the abbreviated season began and never rounded into the form he’d shown as a September callup in 2019.
This assumes that Turner is awarded a new contract, that Kiké Hernández finds a new home where he can play regularly, and that Taylor and Pederson don’t object to a lot of bench time.
The Dodgers give RHP Walker Buehler the ball for Game One, just as they’ve done for the previous two series. He hasn’t gone past four innings in either of his previous two starts and hasn’t thrown more than 95 pitches in a game since 2019. He’ll face LHP Max Fried, who won Game One of the Wild Card Series for the Braves, beating the Reds, but gave up four runs in four innings against the Marlins in the NLDS. The Braves win behind him, though: they’re 12-1 in his starts this year.
Edwin Ríos and Alex Wood have been added to the 28-man roster for the NLCS. Gavin Lux and Terrance Gore were dropped to make room.
This day in Dodgers’ history:
1916 In front of record crowd of 43,620 fans at Braves Field, Red Sox right-hander Ernie Shore three-hits the Robins in Game 5 of the World Series, 4-1, to capture the team’s fourth World Championship in the 13-year history of the Fall Classic. Boston, as it did last season, plays its Fall Classic home games in their crosstown National League rival’s larger ballpark, which allows more fans to attend the game than if the contest had held at Fenway Park.
1920 At Cleveland’s League Park, the Indians’ hurler Stan Coveleski blanks the Robins, 3-0, to win the 1920 World Series. The Tribe, en route to the franchise’s first World Championship, wins the best of nine series five games to 2.
1948 The Yankees surprise their fans and a skeptical press when they name Casey Stengel to replace Bucky Harris as the team’s manager. In his previous stints as the skipper with the National League’s Braves and Dodgers, the ‘Old Perfesser’ had never finished higher than fifth place.
1949 Vin Scully, working his first broadcast ever, does the play-by-play when Maryland defeats Boston University at Fenway Park, 14-13. The football assignment marks the start of a 67-year career in the broadcast booth for the Hall of Fame baseball announcer, who becomes the iconic voice of the Dodgers.
The Dodgers send RHP Ross Stripling (3-1, 5.46 ERA) to the mound against the Rangers’ RHP Lance Lynn (4-0, 1.59 ERA). Stripling’s first start was excellent (7 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 7 Ks) and he’s been getting progressively worse ever since. In his last start he went just four innings and gave up two runs on six hits. He leads the majors in HRs allowed with 10 in 29 2/3 innings. Lynn has had a great start and is being mentioned as a trade possibility given the woes his Rangers are having. He’s made seven starts against the Dodgers in his career and gone 3-1 with a 3.69 ERA.
Here’s Mitch White’s MLB debut yesterday:
Justin Turner is out today with a hamstring injury, but the #Dodgers have gameplanned all season to make sure his impact is felt in the stretch run; Gavin Lux returns and looks to make his own impact. https://t.co/S8UWVtGmVq
1939 Wheaties sponsors the first telecast of a baseball game when their ads are aired during the Ebbets Field contest between the Reds and the Dodgers. The commercial broadcast is available only in New York City, where an estimated 500 people own television sets.
1948 Jackie Robinson hits for the backward cycle when he homers in the first inning, triples in the fourth, doubles in the sixth, and completes the rare event with a single in the eighth. In addition to his ten total bases, the Dodger second baseman drives in two runs, scores three times, and steals a base, helping Brooklyn beat the Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park, 12-7.
1951 With his second home run of the game, the sixth time he has accomplished the feat this year, Gil Hodges hits his 36th round-tripper to establish a new franchise record for homers in a season. The Dodger first baseman’s seventh-inning three-run blast in the team’s 13-1 rout of Cincinnati at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field surpasses the mark of 35 set by Babe Herman in 1930.
1989 Giving up just three singles, recently acquired Mets southpaw Frank Viola outduels Orel Hershiser and beats the Dodgers, 1-0. The classic contest between two aces marked the first time in baseball history that the reigning winners of the Cy Young Award have faced one another in the regular season.
Cultural history note: On this date in 1966: On a typically cool night, the Beatles play their final concert at Candlestick Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants. The “Fab Four’s” performance on a five-foot stage, which is located just behind second base surrounded by a six-foot high wire fence, is less than stellar due the ballpark’s inadequate lighting, poor acoustics, and the group’s growing disdain of doing live shows.
RHP Dustin May (1-1, 2.79 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers against the Rangers’ LHP Mike Minor (0-5, 6.75 ERA). May has been effective but he’s throwing a lot of pitches, which has kept him from getting as deep in games as desired. He had only one strikeout in his last five-inning outing and he’s got only 20 in the 29 innings he’s thrown in six starts this season. His opponent has thrown the same number of innings in the same number of starts, but he’s given up 23 runs (22 earned) to May’s 9.
Mookie Betts narrates a message for Jackie Robinson Day:
Lux will go back to the taxi squad this weekend. Gonsolin will start Sunday in Texas, with Urías getting pushed back to Tuesday.
1945 A moment in American history takes place in Brooklyn as Branch Rickey meets with Jackie Robinson to share his plans to integrate the major leagues. During the three hour meeting, the Dodgers’ president will shout racial epithets to ‘test’ the 26 year-old ballplayer’s mettle to withstand the abuse which will come with being the first player to cross the color line this century.
1951 The Giants’ 16-game winning streak comes to end when Howie Pollet six-hits the team in the Pirates’ 2-0 victory at the Polo Grounds. The consecutive victories enable Leo Durocher and his club to narrow the Dodgers’ lead from 13.5 to six games.
1967 Giants hurler Gaylord Perry begins the longest consecutive inning scoreless streak in franchise history when he shuts out the Dodgers at Candlestick Park, 7-0. The right-hander will not give up another run over a span of 40 innings, a feat the son of a tenant farmer from North Carolina will repeat three seasons later.
1977 Steve Garvey collects five extra-base hits in one game when he bashes three doubles and two homers, including a grand slam, in the Dodgers’ 11-0 rout over St. Louis at Chavez Ravine. The LA first baseman becomes just the fourth major leaguer to accomplish the feat, joining Lou Boudreau (1946 Indians – HR, four 2B), Joe Adcock (1954 Braves – four HR, 2B), and Willie Stargell (1970 Pirates – two HR, three 2B).
2003 Eric Gagne earns his 44th straight save in the Dodgers’ 6-3 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Los Angeles reliever’s effort establishes a new major league record, surpassing Tom Gordon, who had saved 43 in a row to begin a season with the Red Sox in 1998.
2008 In the 11-2 victory over the Dodgers, Cristian Guzman becomes the second player in Nationals history to hit for the cycle, joining Brad Wilkerson, who accomplished the feat in 2005, the team’s first year in Washington, D.C. The 30 year-old shortstop completes his cycle with an eighth inning triple.
2015 “Vin will be back for one more year (at least). God bless us, everyone” – JIMMY KIMMEL’s cue card message to the crowd.
Team executive Magic Johnson, appearing on the Dodger Stadium video board, introduces Jimmy Kimmel to report “big, breaking news.” The ABC late-night television host, who waves to the fans without saying a word, displays a succession of cue cards, informing the Chavez Ravine crowd the 87 year-old Vin Scully will be returning to broadcast Dodgers games in 2016 for his 67th season.
This doubleheader was necessitated when the Dodgers and Giants players declined to play their scheduled game on August 26 as a protest against the shooting of yet another black man by police, this time in Kenosha, WI. The game was one of three in the major leagues which was postponed; the NBA postponed all three of its scheduled playoff games, Major League Soccer postponed five of six and the WNBA postponed all three of its scheduled games.
The Dodgers have not yet announced which pitcher will start. Update: It’ll be Caleb Ferguson (1-0, 0.71 ERA); the Giants send RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 4.65 ERA) to the mound.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1937 Dodger right-hander Fred Frankhouse holds the Reds hitless for 7.2 innings before a heavy downpour ends the Ebbets Field contest permanently. The right-hander’s 5-0 victory will be one of the 31 “no-no’s” erased when MLB redefines a no-hitter in 1991 as a game in which a pitcher throws nine innings or more without giving up a hit.
1951 Dodger right fielder Carl Furillo, in the top of the third inning in the team’s 5-0 victory over Pittsburgh at Ebbets Field, throws out Mel Queen by two feet at first base, after the Pirates pitcher had apparently singled into right field. The ‘Reading Rifle’ will lead the NL in assists for the second consecutive season, with opponents becoming increasingly more reluctant to challenge the strong arm of the Brooklyn outfielder.
1952 The Dodgers set the National League mark for consecutive games with a double play when they complete a twin killing in their twenty-third straight contest, a 10-5 loss to Chicago at Wrigley Field. The fifth inning 1-4-3 DP, pitcher Clyde King to second baseman Jackie Robinson to first baseman Gil Hodges, leaves Brooklyn two shy of the major league record.
2005 Jeff Kent becomes the first player to hit 300 homers as a second baseman. The Dodger infielder, who surpassed Ryne Sandberg’s total of 277 last September, is the major league leader at this position, with Joe Gordon holding the American League record with 246 round-trippers.
Lineup when available.
Today's Gm. 2 doubleheader will start at 4:40 p.m. PT.
Pitchers: Pedro Báez, Walker Buehler, Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Clayton Kershaw, Ross Stripling, Blake Treinen, Julio Urías, Alex Wood, Brusdar Graterol and Dustin May
Starting depth could be an issue. After losing Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill (68 starts combined last year) over the offseason, the only veteran starters the Dodgers added were Price and Jimmy Nelson, but both are out for the season. That leaves Urías, Wood and youngsters May, Gonzalez and White to pick up those 68 starts.
Will Smith and Austin Barnes are the catchers. Infielders are Enrique Hernández, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Matt Beaty and Edwin Rios. Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Joc Pederson, A. J. Pollack and Chris Taylor are the outfielders.
The Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-5, 2.41 ERA) takes the mound at Oracle Park, facing the Giants’ RHP Logan Webb (2-2, 5.61 ERA). Ryu hit a sour patch in August and has watched his ERA jump a full run since August 23, but his last two outings have been encouraging. He’s gone seven innings in each and surrendered three runs total. Webb is coming off the best outing of his two-month big league career last Sunday; he went six innings and gave up just one run while striking out seven and walking two.
Young Mr. Lux hit his first MLB triple, bouncing it off the wall in right field and caroming back over Mike Yastrzemski’s head.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1924 Rogers Hornsby finishes the season with a .424 batting average to lead the National League. The Cardinal second baseman easily outdistances Zack Wheat, who finishes second in the race, batting .375 for the Dodgers.
1952 On the last day of the season at Ebbets Field, the Braves’ 77 years of representing Boston is extended by three innings when Eddie Mathews’ ninth-inning, two-out double ties the game. The contest is called due to darkness and ends in the 12th inning in a 5-5 tie with the Dodgers.
1955 In the bottom of the second inning, Elston Howard, in his first World Series at-bat, knots the score at 2-2 when he homers off Dodgers’ right-hander Don Newcombe. The round-tripper to deep left field at Yankee Stadium marks the first time a black batter has hit a home run off a black pitcher in the history of the Fall Classic.
1959 The Braves, who ended the National League regular season in a first-place tie with the Dodgers, lose Game 1 of the three-game series, 3-2, in front of a sparse crowd of 18,297 at County Stadium. Milwaukee will lose tomorrow’s game in L.A., spoiling their chance for a three-peat as NL Champs.
1966 At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Larry Jaster throws a four-hitter, blanking Don Sutton and the Dodgers, 2-0. It’s the southpaw’s fifth shutout against LA this season, equaling a post-1900 major league mark held by the Senators’ Tom Hughes (against the Indians in 1905) and Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Phillies (against the Reds in 1916).
1988 In his last start of the regular season, Dodger Orel Hershiser tosses 10 shutout frames to extend his streak to 59, breaking Don Drysdale’s record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings.
1997 With his 40th home run, catcher Mike Piazza sets a single season Los Angeles Dodger record. Duke Snider holds the franchise record, slugging 43 round-trippers for Brooklyn in 1956.
2003 At Turner Field in Atlanta, Jose Reyes becomes the second Mets player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in one game. Lee Mazzilli was the first when he went yard twice against the Dodgers in LA on September 3, 1978.
2006 At Coors Field in Colorado, James Loney collects four hits, including two homers, and drives in nine runs in the Dodgers’ 19-11 victory over the Rockies. The rookie first baseman, who had one homer and eight runs batted in in 93 previous at-bats with the team, ties the franchise RBI mark set by Gil Hodges in his 1950 four-homer game for Brooklyn and breaks the Los Angeles club mark held by Ron Cey.
RHP Peter Lambert (3-6, 6.98 ERA) takes a slightly less elevated hill than the one in Denver for the Rockies. He’ll face LHP Clayton Kershaw (14-5, 3.05 ERA) of the Dodgers. Lambert has had a rough first season, walking 35 and giving up 113 hits in 86 innings while striking out 54. He’s faced the Dodgers twice this year, Kershaw has been nearly as good as ever, although he uncharacteristically lost three games in a row before winning his last one.
The Dodgers named Gavin Lux and Josiah Gray prospects of the year for 2019. Lux we are familiar with; Gray was acquired in the trade which sent Puig, Kemp, Wood and Farmer to the Reds last off-season.
Food for thought: the Dodgers hit high-velocity fastballs better than any other team. Will that matter? Does it even mean anything? Sam Miller asks and attempts to answer those questions.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1907 At Exposition Park in Pittsburgh, Nick Maddox no-hits the Dodgers, 2-1. At the age of 20 years and ten months, the Pirates hurler becomes the youngest pitcher and the second rookie to throw a no-hitter.
1911 Bill Bergen ends his major league career with the lowest lifetime batting average for a position player in major league history by hitting an anemic .170 during his 11-year tenure with the Reds and Superbas. The 33 year-old backstop, who had only one year of batting above .200, also holds the records for lowest season batting average for a regular season (.139 in 1909) and the longest streak of at-bats without a hit (45 in 1909; since surpassed by the Orioles Chris Davis, who went 0 for 54 over 2018-2019).
1954 The Giants clinch the pennant when they beat the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 7-1. The National League champs, finishing the season five games ahead of second-place Brooklyn, will go on to sweep Cleveland in the Fall Classic.
1959 The San Francisco Giants, bowing to the Dodgers, 8-2, play their last game at Seals Stadium. The transplanted New York team, who compiled a 163-145 record in their two-year stay in the former PCL park, will move to the newly constructed Candlestick Park next season.
1961 In a 13-inning contest, Sandy Koufax goes the distance, beating the Cubs, 3-2, in the last regular season game to be played at the LA Memorial Coliseum, which was originally built for the 1932 Olympics. The Dodgers are leaving the only home they have known since moving from Brooklyn four seasons ago to play in a brand new stadium in Chavez Ravine, located a few miles from downtown Los Angeles.
2011 Clayton Kershaw becomes the Dodgers’ first 20-game winner since Ramon Martinez accomplished the feat in 1990. Allowing just one run in 7 1/3 innings, the southpaw gets the victory when LA beats the visiting Giants, 2-1.
2012 Washington secures a playoff spot when they beat the Dodgers at Nationals Park, 4-1. The last time there was postseason baseball in the nation’s capital occurred 79 years ago, when player-skipper Joe Cronin and the Senators lost to the Giants in five games in the 1933 World Series.
The Dodgers send out LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-5, 2.45 ERA), hoping that skipping a turn will help him get back on the Cy Young track he’d been on until his last four starts. In those starts he’s put up an unsightly 9.95 ERA while giving up 36 hits, five HRs, and seven walks in 19 innings. His opponent will be RHP Jacob deGrom (9-8, 2.70 ERA), last year’s Cy Young winner, whose won-loss record belies the way he’s pitched this season.
Here’s Gavin Lux’s go-ahead HR off the original outfield wall in Friday’s game:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1951 Preacher Roe wins his 20th game of the season when the Dodgers beat the Pirates at Forbes Field, 3-1. The 36 year-old southpaw will finish the season with a 22-3 record.
2002 Chin-Feng Chen becomes the first Taiwan-born player to appear in the major leagues as he walks and scores as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers against the Rockies. The 24 year-old first baseman-outfielder played for the 1990 Taiwan team which won the Little League World Series.
2008 Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, with his eighth-inning thievery in a 7-4 loss to the Braves at Shea Stadium, becomes the first player to have four straight seasons of 50 or more stolen bases playing for a New York area team, which also includes Yankees, Dodgers, and Giants. The accomplishment extends the infielder’s own record, as he is also the only Gotham major leaguer to achieve the feat for three consecutive years.
Also, in 1990 Mariner Ken Griffey and his son, Junior, become the first father and son to hit homers in the same major league game. The back-to-back blasts are given up by Angel hurler Kirk McCaskill.