Jul 08

Game 89, 2018

Dodgers at Angels, 5:15 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

LHP Alex Wood (5-5, 3.84 ERA) takes the hill for the Dodgers in the rubber match of this three-game series. He’ll face the Angels’ briefly-a-Dodger LHP Andrew Heaney (4-6, 3.94 ERA). Wood has won his last four starts after a three-game slump, while Heaney took the loss in his last start despite giving up only three runs over seven innings to the Mariners. He’s 0-2 with a 6.10 ERA in his only two career starts against the Dodgers.

An aside: I suspect the people who write these previews look up and add the career numbers as filler. Logically, if some pitcher is 12-2 over his lifetime against one team (or 2-12) he’s faced numerous iterations of that team. In these days of nearly-unfettered player movement it might be more useful to look at his career stats against each player he’s expecting to face in the game.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1949 Hank Thompson, who broke into the majors as a member of the St. Louis Browns twelve days after Larry Doby’s American League debut with the Indians in 1947, becomes the first African-American to play for the Giants. When the former Kansas City Monarchs’ standout faces Dodger right-hander Don Newcombe, it marks the first time a pitcher-batter confrontation takes place between black players in the major leagues.

In the “Dubious Moments in Baseball History” column comes this item: in 1979 the Mets announce the selection of Mettle as the name for the team’s new mascot mule. Dolores Mapps of Mercerville, N.J., who submitted the winning entry, believes the moniker captures the team’s “spirit, ardor, stamina, and courage, all of which the Mets have in abundance.”

In a slightly more aesthetic moment, back in 1994 Red Sox shortstop John Valentin snares Marc Newfield’s sixth-inning line drive, steps on second to retire Mike Blowers, and then tags the runner coming from first, Kevin Mitchell, to turn an unassisted triple play. After completing the rare feat, accomplishing a play that has occurred only ten times in major league history, the infielder begins a three-homer outburst by Boston in the bottom of the frame, helping the team defeat the Mariners at Fenway Park, 4-3.

Lineup when available.


Aug 16

Game 119, 2017

White Sox at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-C

The White Sox try to get a split of this series tonight, sending out YALHP Carlos Rodon (1-4, 4.24 ERA) to face the Dodgers’ big (6′ 5″, 220 lbs) trade deadline acquisition, RHP Yu Darvish (8-9, 3.81).

This will be Darvish’s home debut, and if he continues the way he did in his first two starts for the Dodgers he’ll please the crowd, his teammates and management. Since his acquisition he’s 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and has 20 strikeouts to only three walks in 12 innings. He also has finished off a strikeout with 30.3 percent of his two-strike pitches. Rodon’s last start against the Astros was his best of the season. He went 8 innings and gave up just two runs but got no decision for all his work.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1950 At the Polo Grounds, Hank Thompson’s two inside-the-park home runs off Don Bankhead and Carl Erskine contribute to the Giants’ 16-7 drubbing of the Dodgers. The 24 year-old third baseman will hit 129 round-trippers in his 9-year career, three of which will be of the IPHR variety.
  • 1964 St. Louis outfielder Curt Flood collects eight consecutive hits during a doubleheader against Dodgers pitching. The Cardinals split the twin bill in Los Angeles, losing the opener to Sandy Koufax, 3-0, but take the nightcap when Curt Simmons tosses a six hitter to give the Redbirds a 4-0 victory.

Babe Ruth died in New York City on this day in 1948.

Lineup:

I suspect Kiké is in the lineup because he homered twice off Rodon in his only other start against the Dodgers back in July.

Jul 08

Game 89, 2017

Royals at Dodgers, 4:15 PM PT, TV: Fox

RHP Ian Kennedy (3-6, 4.44 ERA) starts for the Royals and RHP Brandon McCarthy (6-3, 3.25 ERA) goes for the Dodgers.

Kennedy has won three straight games after going 0-6 with a 5.40 ERA in his first 11 starts. He’s been prone to the gopher ball, giving up 16 HRs so far this season. He’s also 5-9 against the Dodgers in his career. McCarthy is coming off the 10-day DL; his last start was June 25 when he lost his control and threw three wild pitches against the Rockies while lasting only three innings. He’d been 4-2 with a 1.57 ERA over six starts before that.

To make room for McCarthy the Dodgers optioned Scott Van Slyke to OKC.

Kershaw is an occasional goof.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1949 Hank Thompson, who broke in to the majors as a member of the St. Louis Browns twelve days after Larry Doby’s American League debut with the Indians in 1947, becomes the first African-American to play for the Giants. When the former Kansas City Monarchs’ standout faces Dodger right-hander Don Newcombe, it marks the first time a pitcher-batter confrontation takes place between black players in the major leagues.

Lineup: