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.

Sep 23

Game 155, 2017

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

Two lefties have at one another. Madison Bumgarner (3-9, 3.48 ERA) pitches for the Giants and Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-7, 3.46 ERA) goes for the Dodgers.

Bumgarner has had a season to forget. His dirt bike accident cost him roughly three months and he was already 0-3 at the time of the crash on April 20. Ryu has been pretty solid for the Dodgers since June, going 3-1 with a 2.62 ERA. His postseason status is unclear; his next start would be his 24th, the most since he made 26 in 2014, his second year in the American big leagues, and his ability to warm up quickly as required in the bullpen is uncertain.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1901 The Superbas establish a new franchise record for runs scored in a game when they rout the Reds, 25-6. Brooklyn tallies 11 times in the fifth inning during the League Park contest played in Cincinnati.
  • 1916 Allowing only just one walk during a twin bill with the Cincinnati Reds, Grover Alexander of the Phillies wins both ends of a doubleheader, 7-3 and 4-0,to establish a National League record. The future Hall of Famer will repeat the feat on September 3, 1917 against the Brooklyn Robins at Ebbets Field.
  • 1939 In the first game of a twin bill, Brooklyn’s third baseman Cookie Lavagetto reaches base seven consecutive times as the Dodgers rout the Phillies, 22-4. The 26-run Shibe Park contest takes only two hours and five minutes to complete.
  • 1947 Prior to a game against the Giants in a sold-out Ebbets Field, the Dodgers staged Jackie Robinson Day. The Brooklyn rookie, who endured much grief this season as the game’s first black player in modern times, is moved when his teammates crowd around home plate to take part of the ceremony.
  • 1956 Due to the enforcement of a curfew, the Sunday contest between the Dodgers and Pirates is postponed with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, sending the 44,932 fans, the largest crowd in Forbes Field’s history, home. The game will be completed tomorrow with Brooklyn maintaining their 8-3 advantage over Pittsburgh.
  • 1969 In his last major league at-bat, John Miller homers, making the Dodger the only player in history to have hit a home run in his first and last plate appearance in the major leagues. In 1966, as a Yankee, he went deep in the first of only 61 big league career at-bats in which he would collect only 10 hits, including the two memorable round-trippers to start and end his 32-game career.
  • 1986 Astros rookie starter Jim Deshaies sets a major league record by striking out the first eight batters he faces. The young left-hander will finish with a two-hitter and ten strikeouts, beating the Dodgers, 4-0.
  • 1992 Lead-off hitter Bip Roberts ties the National league record with his 10th consecutive hit, a first-inning single in the Reds’ 3-0 victory over Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine. The Cincinnati left fielder’s streak ends when he grounds out in the fifth inning, facing Dodger starter Pedro Astacio.
  • 2006 With one home game left on the schedule, the Dodgers break their single-season attendance record established in 1982 as the team sells 3,708,723 tickets to its games played in Chavez Ravine. The previous record of 3,608,881 was determined by former National League rules which counted fans by turnstile count.
  • 2009 Trailing 8-0 at Dodger Stadium, the Giants take the lead, scoring nine runs in the top of the seventh inning. Although L.A. will come back twice to tie the score with clutch two-out hits in the eighth and ninth, San Francisco tallies four runs in the top of the tenth frame for the 14-10 victory.

Also, in 1908 Fred Merkle’s failure to touch second after an apparent game-winning hit by Bridwell scoring McCormick from third costs the Giants a 2-1 win over the Cubs when the ump calls him out and rules the game a tie. Merkle’s ‘boner’ will eventually cost the Giants the flag.

Lineup when available.

Hmm. Not quite the “B” Team, but maybe the “A-” team.

Sep 17

Game 149, 2017

Dodgers at Nationals, 5:00 PM PT, TV: ESPN

The Dodgers send LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-7, 3.59 ERA) to the hill to face the Nats’ RHP Stephen Strasburg (13-4, 2.64 ERA).

The Dodgers held Ryu out of his last scheduled start as they juggle six pitchers in the rotation. He pitched well in his last game, holding Arizona to one run in six innings. Strasburg is on a 34-inning scoreless streak. How has each pitcher done against the opponent?

Strasburg has a 2.82 ERA in six career starts against the Dodgers and a 0.94 WHIP, allowing two earned runs or fewer in five of the starts. Ryu has made only one start against Washington, a loss when he allowed four runs in seven innings at home earlier this season.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1912 Casey Stengel of the Dodgers makes an impressive major league debut against the Pirates. The likable Brooklyn outfielder from Kansas City collects four hits, drives in two runs, and swipes a pair of bases.
  • 1963 Dodger ace Sandy Koufax tosses a four-hitter, blanking St. Louis at Sportsman’s Park, 4-0. The southpaw’s scoreless effort establishes a National League record for shutouts thrown by lefties in a season with 11, five shy of Grover Cleveland Alexander’s major league mark set in 1916 with the Phillies.
  • 1981 Dodgers southpaw Fernando Valenzuela ties White Sox freshman Ewell Russell’s 1913 rookie record when he hurls his eighth shutout of the season, blanking Atlanta on three hits. The 20 year-old Mexican’s 2-0 victory breaks the previous National League mark shared by Irving Young (Braves, 1905), Grover Cleveland Alexander (Phillies, 1911), and Jerry Koosman (Mets, 1968).
  • 1996 Dodger right-hander Hideo Nomo no-hits the Rockies, 9-0, at Coor Field, becoming the only big league hurler to accomplish the feat in the thin air of Denver. Tornado Boy’s performance in Colorado is the best-attended no-no and is the only hitless game with a paid attendance of more than 50,000 fans.

  • 2010 Joe Torre, who will compile a 2326-1997 (.538) managerial record during his 30 seasons as a skipper with the Mets, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees, and Dodgers, announces he will be retiring at the end of the month. Los Angeles immediately hires the team’s hitting coach Don Mattingly to replace the 70 year-old.
  • 2014 Jason DeGrom strikes out the first eight batters he faces in the Mets’ 6-5 loss in Miami, tying the modern-day major league mark to start a game. The Amazins’ rookie right-hander now shares the record with Jim Deshaies, who struck out the first eight Dodgers he faced with the Astros in a 1986 contest.

A whole lot of interesting things happened on this date in baseball history; take a look.

Lineup:

Sep 05

Game 138, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

The D-Backs send ex-Dodger Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.08 ERA) out to extend their winning streak to twelve, while Hyun-Jin Ryu tries to stop the Dodgers’ losing streak at four.

Greinke has not been as good on the road this year as at home; he’s got a 3-5 record with a 4.28 ERA away from Chase Field. Ryu has had a good second half if you take away his last outing against Arizona, when he gave up six runs and eight hits including three HRs in a 6-4 loss last Wednesday.

Pederson and Thompson have been recalled from OKC.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1908 Superbas southpaw Nap Rucker strikes out 14 Doves en route to tossing a no-hitter in the team’s 6-0 victory over Boston at Washington Park. The only runners to get on base off the talented left-handed redhead come as a result of three Brooklyn errors.
  • 1938 For the third time this season, Dodger catcher Babe Phelps breaks a bone in his throwing hand. Although the injuries will limit his playing time to only 66 games and 208 at-bats this season, the southpaw-swinging backstop will hit .308 and was named to the National League All-Star team, the first of three consecutive games he’ll play in the Mid-summer classic.
  • 1955 In an 11-4 win over the Phillies, Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe hits his seventh homer, establishing a National League record for home runs by a pitcher in a season. The victory is Newk’s 20th of the season.
  • 1998 Barry Bonds sets a new National League mark, reaching base in 15 consecutive plate appearances. The Giants outfielder’s five singles, two doubles, two homers, and six walks during the streak break Dodger Pedro Guerrero’s mark of 14 established in 1983.

Lineup when available.

Aug 30

Game 131, 2017

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 3:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN

Ryu v. Ray. Sounds like an MMC card, doesn’t it? Nope, it’s the Dodgers’ lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-6, 3.34 ERA) going up against the D-Backs’ LHP Robbie Ray (10-5, 3.06 ERA).

In his last nine starts Ryu is 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA and 49Ks. He held the Pirates to one run over six innings in his last start and was rewarded with the win. Ray’s last start was his first in a month; he gave up one run to the Mets in five innings and got a win. He’d been on the DL since July 28 with a concussion and related symptoms.

Where do Ryu and Kenta Maeda fit in the post season? Eric Stephen has thoughts.

Curtis Granderson’s foundation is donating 25K to the Houston Food Bank.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1918 At the Polo Grounds, the Giants beat the Dodgers, 1-0, on an unearned run in the bottom in the ninth in a contest that takes only fifty-six minutes to complete. Pete Compton’s base hit off Jack Combs plates Larry Doyle, who had singled to lead off the frame and moved to third on Ollie O’Mara’s errant throw on a sacrifice bunt.
  • 1952 Nine-time All-Star infielder Arky Vaughan drowns with a friend when their boat capsized while fishing in a volcanic lake near Eagleville, CA. The former shortstop and third baseman, who compiled a .318 batting average and a .406 on-base percentage playing with the Pirates and Dodgers, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.
  • 1966 Sandy Koufax, in his final decision facing the Mets, lasts only two innings, losing to Bob Friend at Shea Stadium, 10-4. The Dodgers Hall of Fame southpaw has compiled a 17-2 record against the lowly expansion team since their inception in 1962.
  • 2000 Earning his 1,600th victory, Braves’ manager Bobby Cox passes former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda on the career list for most managerial victories. His 5-2 victory over the Reds puts him 14th on the all-time list.
  • 2015 The NL’s eventual 2015 Cy Young Award recipient Jake Arrieta, needing just 116 pitches, beats Los Angeles, 2-0, tossing the 12th no-hitter ever thrown at the Chavez Ravine ballpark, and the 13th no-no in Cubs history. The contest marks the second time in ten games the Dodgers has been unable to get a hit, after being held hitless by Astros right-hander Mike Fiers on August 21.

Lineup when available.

Note Bellinger’s return to the lineup at 1B. To make room for him the Dodgers optioned Kyle Farmer back to OKC. Seager is still nursing his elbow, I imagine.

Aug 24

Game 126, 2017

Dodgers at Pirates, 1:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-PIT

Dodger lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-6, 3.45 ERA) will face the Pirates’ RHP Chad Kuhl (6-8, 4.52 ERA) in a day game at PNC Park. Ryu seems to have gotten on track after his two-year recovery from injuries: he’s 2-0 with a 2.22 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings in his last eight starts. Kuhl has pitched much better since July 1, posting a 3.21 ERA. In his first 15 starts of the season before that he had a 5.58 ERA.

Yu Darvish and Kenta Maeda will meet and greet the Japanese Little League team before the game.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1941 During a double-header against the Cardinals, a rag tag group of five ‘musicians’, dubbed the Dodger SymPhony by announcer Red Barber, makes their Ebbets Field’s debut. This band, in which none of the members can read music, performs their zany antics at all evening and weekend games.
  • 1955 A telegram sent to Brooklyn president Walter O’Malley by the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce offers the team “thirty acres or more of dry flat land in open country in the heart of Long Island’s densest Dodger fan concentration.” The village’s attempt to attract the fleeing franchise to the south shore of Suffolk County will not materialize, and the club, after exploring many different venues as an alternative to Ebbets Field, will leave the East Coast in 1958 to play in Los Angeles.
  • 1957 The Dodgers, in a 13-3 loss to Milwaukee at Ebbets Field, use eight pitchers in one game, tying a major league record. Johnny Podres gives up three home runs in the fourth frame when Nippy Jones, Hank Aaron, and Andy Pafko all go deep off the Brooklyn starter.
  • 1960 During a dull game, Vin Scully, the play-by-play voice of the Dodgers, knowing that many fans in the stands follow the game on transistor radios, asks his listeners to help him surprise third base umpire Frank Secory. His ballpark audience responds when the veteran broadcaster tells them, “Let’s have some fun. As soon as the inning is over I’ll count to three, and on three everybody yell, ‘Happy birthday, Frank!'”
  • 1974 Davey Lopes steals five bases, tying a National League record established in 1904 by Giants first baseman Dan McGann. The Dodger second baseman’s quintet of stolen bags adds to the team’s franchise mark of eight stolen bases in their 3-0 victory over the Redbirds at Chavez Ravine.
  • 1975 Davey Lopes steals his major league record 38th consecutive base, but the streak will be stopped by Montreal backstop Gary Carter when he attempts to swipe another base in the Dodger Stadium contest. The second baseman will be thrown out in the 12th inning of the team’s 5-3 loss in fourteen innings.
  • 2014 Joc Pederson becomes the fourth player in the history of the Pacific Coast League to have a 30-30 season, and the first to accomplish the feat in 80 years, when he steals his 30th base for the Isotopes. The 22 year-old Albuquerque slugger, who has 32 home runs and a .432 slugging percentage in 116 games this season, will join the Dodgers when rosters expand next week.

Lineup when available.

Yes, that is a birthday cake for Kiké. No, I did not add it. The Dodgers’ Twitter person did.

Aug 19

Game 121, 2017

Dodgers at Tigers, 1:05 PM PT, TV: FS-D, FS1, SPNLA

The Dodgers send lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-6, 3.63 ERA) to the hill to face the Tigers’ RHP Michael Fulmer (10-10, 3.78 ERA). The Dodgers are 6-1 in Ryu’s last seven starts (five of which ended before the sixth), and he’s got a 2.50 ERA in those games. Fulmer has lost four starts in a row and put up a 7.89 ERA in those games.

The Dodgers acquired Curtis Granderson from the Mets for the proverbial player-to-be-named-later or cash. This may have an impact on Joc Pederson’s playing time, and it’s hard to see what they do with André Ethier when he presumably returns from his injuries in September. “The Dodgers designated pitcher Dylan Floro for assignment to make room for Granderson on the 40-man roster. They will have to make a corresponding transaction to make room on the active roster once Granderson joins the team.”

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1955 For the sixth consecutive season, Robin Roberts is a 20-game winner. The Phillies right-hander, who will finish the season with a 23-14 record, beats Don Newcombe and the first place Dodgers at Connie Mack Stadium, 3-2.
  • 1957 Citing poor attendance as the reason, Giants’ president Horace Stoneham, ignoring baseball’s edict of banning announcements about relocation of franchises until after the World Series, informs the press the club has signed a lease to play its home games in San Francisco next season. The club’s Board of Directors voted 8-1 approving the shift to the West Coast, with the only dissenting vote cast by M. Donald Grant, who will become the chairman of the Mets, an expansion team located in New York to fill the National League void created by the departure of the Giants and Dodgers to California.
  • 2004 Pitching a perfect bottom of the ninth inning, John Smoltz establishes the franchise record with his 142nd save in a Braves uniform. The right-handed reliever surpasses Gene Garber as Atlanta beat the Dodgers in Los Angeles, 6-5.
  • 2008 The Dodgers reacquired Greg Maddux (6-9, 3.99) from the Padres for cash and two minor leaguers to be named or an additional monetary sum. The 42 year-old future Hall of Fame right-hander, obtained to help the club down the stretch run, played in LA for part of the 2006 season, winning six of nine decisions.

On this day in 1951 Forty-three inch tall Eddie Gaedel walks on four pitches in his only major league appearance. Bill Veeck’s idea of playing the midget was legal at the time but is later outlawed.

Lineup when available.

Huh. Granderson’s arrival allows movement all over the lineup. I hope it works.

Aug 12

Game 116, 2017

Padres at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Padres’ RHP Jhoulys Chacin (11-8, 4.15 ERA) faces the Dodgers’ LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6, 3.53 ERA). Chacin pitched 5 shutout innings against the Dodgers in Petco Park on July 2; he’s had his road troubles (7.36 ERA) but in his last 12 starts he’s put up a 3.21 ERA overall. Ryu’s last start was his best of the year, and in fact he’s thrown 15 straight scoreless innings and is 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA in his last six appearances.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1984 Former Dodgers Don Drysdale and Pee Wee Reese, along with Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew, American League hurler Rick Ferrell, and perennial All-Star shortstop Luis Aparicio are inducted into the Hall of Fame.

In a great moment of fan history, in 2014 Tim Pinkard, attending his first game at Minute Maid Park, catches two home run balls, both off the bat of the Astros’ DH Chris Carter. In the third inning of Houston’s 10-4 victory over Minnesota, the Springfield (VA) resident gets his first souvenir of the night when the ball rebounds off a sign in left field, and then in the fifth frame, against astronomical odds, catches the second round-tripper stroked by the same batter, which is a laser shot hit directly to his seat.

Lineup when available.

Aug 06

Game 111, 2017

Dodgers at Mets, 5:00 PM PT, TV: ESPN

If the Dodgers win they’ll sweep the season series with the Metropolitans.

A win on Sunday would also give the Dodgers their first sweep in New York since July 20-22, 2012, and would give them their first season sweep of the Mets ever. The Dodgers took five of six games from New York in 1981, 2009, and 2013, and won 16 of 18 in 1962 and 1963, but have never dropped a seasonal bagel on the Big Apple.

The Dodgers send LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6, 3.83 ERA) to the mound to face LHP Steven Matz (2-4, 5.30 ERA). Ryu has been very good in his last four starts, giving up just six runs and striking out 23. He has been far better at home than on the road, however; he’s got a 4.25 ERA and opponents are hitting .295 against him in their own parks. Matz is 0-2 with a 12.21 ERA in four starts after the All-Star break.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1981 The players approved a split-season format necessitated by the seven-week strike. The Yankees, A’s, Phillies, and Dodgers are declared the first-half champions and will be automatically qualified for the divisional series.

Great moments in labor-management relations: In 1908 Detroit outfielder Ty Cobb gets married, having departed the Tigers three days ago to participate in the ceremony without the team’s permission. The 21 year-old Georgia Peach’s six-day defection during a pennant race will be described by club co-owner Frank Navin as the most arrogant act he had ever heard of in baseball. (Note: The Tigers got to the World Series anyway. They lost to the Cubs, the last time the Chicago team would win a World Series until 2016.)

Lineup:

Jul 30

Game 105, 2017

Giants at Dodgers, 5:00 PM PT, TV: ESPN

The Giants try to salvage the final game of the series on national TV by sending LHP Madison Bumgarner (1-4, 3.38 ERA) to the mound. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6, 4.17 ERA).

Neither pitcher has had the year he hoped or expected to have. Bumgarner missed months after famously injuring himself in a dirt-bike accident and just got his first win of the year last Tuesday. In his career he’s 8-6 with a 2.56 ERA at Dodger Stadium. Ryu has had trouble getting past the fifth inning, doing so in only 4 of 14 starts, and he hasn’t won since June 17. He’s made ten starts in his career against the Giants and gone 4-5 with a 3.79 ERA.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2004 In a blockbuster trade, the Marlins deal Brad Penny, the winner of two World Series games last season, first baseman Hee Seop Choi, and southpaw prospect Bill Murphy (will be traded to the Diamondbacks tomorrow) to the Dodgers for backstop Paul Lo Duca, relief pitcher Guillermo Mota, and much-traveled outfielder Juan Encarnacion.
  • 1987 Although the Bulova company had promised a free watch to any player who hit their clock located high above the Ebbets Field scoreboard, Bama Rowell didn’t receive the timepiece after his 1946 blast. The injustice is corrected more than 40 years later when the former Braves’ outfielder receives his wristwatch from Bulova on ‘Bama Rowell’ Day in Citronelle, Alabama, the honoree’s hometown. The home run is said to be the inspiration for Roy Hobbs smashing a glass-shattering homer off the light tower in Bernard Malamud’s novel “The Natural.”

Lineup when available.