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.
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.
LHP Rich Hill (4-1, 2.68 ERA) tries to come back from his spell on the IL and the torn scar tissue in his knee which forced him out of his last start in the first inning. He’ll be wearing a knee brace. His opponent will be rookie RHP Ronald Bolaños (0-1, 5.79), who’s made just three big league appearances, all this month. Two of those were starts in which he went a total of 11 innings and gave up seven runs on ten hits, walking six and striking out ten.
Here is Ryu’s first career home run:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1957 Grounding out, Pirates left-handed first baseman Dee Fondy becomes last player ever to bat in Ebbets Field when the Dodgers blank the Bucs, 2-0, in the final major league game ever played in Brooklyn.
1971 Al Downing becomes a 20-game winner when he blanks the Braves at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, 2-0. The Dodger left-hander, best remembered for giving up Hank Aaron’s historic 715th home run, will compile a 123-107 record during his 17-year major league career.
1981Dodgers 7, Giants 5 at Candlestick. The Dodgers got a three-run homer from Mike Scioscia and two more runs in the third inning to put themselves ahead. The game was — marred? supplemented? — when a fan threw a helmet and — well, here:
Reggie Smith went into the stands after a fan who had been heckling him during the game; the fan had just thrown a batting helmet into the dugout before Smith climbed into the stands; Smith punched the fan and tried to pull him over the rail onto the field; Dodger teammates grabbed Smith; eight fans were arrested and Smith was ejected by HP umpire Harry Wendelstedt; as two policemen walked with Smith down the RF line to the clubhouse, someone threw a beer bottle and missed.
2001 Batting for reliever Joe Beimel in the bottom of the sixth inning, Craig Wilson drives the first pitch he sees into the seats in left center for his seventh pinch-hit home run, tying the major league mark established last season by Dodger infielder Dave Hansen. The Pirate rookie’s two-run round-tripper sparks a five-run frame, enabling the Bucs to overcome a 5-0 deficit in their eventual 7-6 victory over the Chicago at PNC Park.
2003 Eric Gagne ties John Smoltz’s National League mark for saves with 55 when he helps the Dodgers defeat the Padres, 5-3. The Los Angeles closer equals the NL mark in consecutive opportunities, which is also a record.
RHP Antonio Senzatela (10-10, 6.83 ERA) takes the mound for the Rockies and LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-5, 2.35 ERA) does so for the Dodgers. Senzatela has had some hard luck this season but hasn’t helped himself much; he’s given up 147 hits in 114 innings, striking out 66 but walking 52. Ryu hasn’t picked up a win since August 11, but the Dodgers hope his last start put him back on track after three straight losses.
I heard some speculation on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball a week ago that Kiké Hernandez had the best arm of any Dodgers’ outfielder. I thought that was nonsense considering Bellinger and Verdugo play out there, but I gotta admit the throw he made on Saturday was brilliant:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1925 Robins starter Burleigh Grimes accounts for seven outs in just three plate appearances in the team’s 3-2 loss to Chicago, a 12-inning game played at Cubs Park. The Brooklyn right-hander follows grounding into two double plays by hitting into a 6-4-3-2 triple play.
1926 At Ebbets Field, the aging 18-year veteran outfielder Zack Wheat hits his last homer as a Dodger, but severely pulls a muscle nearing second. The future Hall of Famer needs to rest nearly five minutes before completing his trip to home plate, making it the longest home run trot in major league history.li>strong>1947 On an off day, the Dodgers clinched the National League pennant when Chicago takes the nightcap of the twin bill against St. Louis. Although it is past midnight when the good news about their beloved team reaches the borough, Brooklynites begin to gather on Flatbush Avenue for an impromptu celebration.
1954 Karl Spooner, in his major league debut, blanks the Giants at Ebbets Field 3-0. The 23 year-old Dodger southpaw fans 15 batters, including six straight, recording the most strikeouts in a first appearance by a rookie.
1957 Duke Snider, with his second round-tripper in the Dodgers’ 7-3 victory over Philadelphia, hits his 40th home run, tying Ralph Kiner’s National League record of five consecutive seasons with forty or more homers. The Duke of Flatbush’s seventh-inning homer off future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts will prove to be the last one ever hit at Ebbets Field.
1976 Right-hander Don Sutton goes the distance to become a twenty-game winner for the first and last time when the Dodgers beat the Giants at Candlestick Park, 3-1. The future Hall of Famer will compile a 324-256 (.559) record during his 23-year career in the bigs.
1986 Dodger hurler Fernando Valenzuela (20-10) two-hits Houston en route to a 9-2 victory at the Astrodome. The 25 year-old southpaw becomes the first Mexican to win 20 games in the major leagues.
The Rays send out LHP Blake Snell (6-7, 4.28 ERA) to make his first start since undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove “loose bodies” from his left elbow on July 25. The Rays probably won’t let him go more than two or three innings. He’ll face the Dodgers’ RHP Ross Stripling (4-4, 3.40 ERA), who’s made 14 starts and 15 relief appearances this year. He last started six days ago against the Orioles; he went three innings, giving up three hits and one run.
Here’s Gyorko’s go-ahead single in the 9th inning on Sunday:
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 Jacob 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.
RHP Walker Buehler (13-3, 3.14 ERA) comes off one of his best games of the year, a four-hit, eleven-strikeout gem over seven shutout innings which pushed the Dodgers over the line to win the Division Championship on Tuesday. He’ll face the Mets’ RHP Zack Wheeler (11-7, 4.21 ERA), who’s been on a roll recently, posting a 1.50 ERA over his last three starts despite opponents hitting .300 against him during that stretch.
Here’s Muncy’s slide to first base after Ramos hit the ball off Ryu’s back:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1946 In Brooklyn, a giant swarm of gnats engulfs Ebbets Field at the end of the fifth inning of the second game of a doubleheader. The nightcap is called due to the bothersome insects and the impending darkness, resulting in a 2-0 Dodger victory over the Cubs.
1950 At Ebbets Field, Cardinal starter Cloyd Boyer hurts his arm while warming up and is replaced by Red Munger. The reliever goes the distance, beating the Dodgers, 6-2, getting credit for a complete game, but not for a game started.
1978 Don Sutton, in front of 47,188 fans at Dodger Stadium, throws a six-hitter to beat Atlanta, 5-0. Los Angeles, with tonight’s attendance, becomes the major league first team in history to draw three million fans at home.
1995 Ozzie Smith takes part in the 1,554th twin killing of his career to set a new big league record for double plays. The Cardinals’ shortstop’s wizardry isn’t enough to prevent the Redbirds’ 7-6 loss to the Dodgers at Busch Stadium.
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.
RHP Antonio Senzatela (8-9, 6.95 ERA) goes for the Rockies. He’ll face the Dodgers’ suddenly-mortal LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-5, 2.35 ERA). Senzatela got half his wins this season in one month (June) and has been struggling the rest of the year. Ryu has hit a rough patch, going 0-3 with an 11.05 ERA in his last three starts and giving up five of the 15 HRs he’s surrendered all year in those games. The Dodgers need him to recover his form soon.
Here are the back-to-back HRs by “the old guys” which gave the Dodgers the lead in yesterday’s game:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1924 The Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) take a twin bill from the Braves, sweeping their fourth doubleheader in four consecutive days. Between September 1-3, the Brooks beat the Phillies six times.
1966 The Dodgers become the first team to draw two million fans at home and two million on the road as 18,670 Crosley Field patrons watch Los Angeles beat their hometown Reds, 8-6.
1969 After thirty-one games, the third longest consecutive game hitting streak in National League history ends as Dodger Willie Davis is stopped by Dick Kelley and Gary Ross in a 3-0 loss to the Padres.
2017 J.D. Martinez becomes the 18th major leaguer, joining Reds utilityman Scooter Gennett as the second player this season, to hit four home runs in one game when he goes deep in the top of the ninth inning In the Diamondbacks’ 13-0 rout of the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. The Arizona outfielder, who was acquired in a trade from the Tigers in July, has one more home run than the opponent’s total amount of hits.
LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-4, 2.00 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers against RHP Merrill Kelly (9-13, 4.86 ERA) of the D=Backs. Ryu has faltered in his last two starts, giving up 5 home runs and lasting just 4 1/3 innings in his latest one. The Dodgers might have him on a shorter leash just to reduce fatigue. Kelly pitched credibly against the Dodgers in July, giving up three runs in six innings. He’s won two of his last three starts after losing the previous six.
Kiké scores the go-ahead run in the 10th inning on a throwing error by the Padres’ shortstop:
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
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.
LHP James Paxton (9-6, 4.53 ERA) takes the hill for the Bronx Bombers while LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-3, 1.64 ERA) does the same for the Dodgers. Paxton has won all four of his starts this month and has averaged a below-4.00 ERA in each of his six MLB seasons, although he’s never reached double digits in wins. Ryu is having a Cy Young-caliber year. He did give up back-to-back HRs in his last start, only the third time all year he’s given up more than one home run in a start.
Here’s the Dodgers’ ninth-inning rally last night:
Dodgers – Yankees history via WBBsAs in comments to the previous post:
1958 Gil Hodges hits his 14th career grand slam in the Dodgers’ 10-1 victory over Milwaukee at LA Memorial Coliseum. The first baseman’s bases-full round-tripper establishes a new National League record, but is far fewer than Lou Gehrig’s major league mark of 23.
1989 In the 11th frame of an eventual 22-inning 1-0 loss, the Expos’ Youppi! becomes the first mascot to be thrown out of a game when Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda complains to the umpires about the hairy orange giant’s behavior at Olympic Stadium. The L.A. skipper takes exception to the loud noise caused by the hairy creature’s running leap onto the visitors’ dugout before sneaking back into a front row seat.
1989 In that same game, the second-longest shutout in big league history ends when Rick Dempsey hits a home run in the top of the 22nd inning, giving the Dodgers an eventual 1-0 victory over the Expos at Olympic Stadium. The Astros blanked the Mets for 24 frames en route to a 1-0 win at the Astrodome in 1968.
2000 Team president Bob Graziano apologizes to a female couple who were asked to leave Dodger Stadium on August 8th because the two shared a kiss during a game. The pair felt the action of the eight security guards was discriminatory because the couple’s friends, a man and a woman, also kissed but were not ejected.
2013 At a Dodger Stadium press conference, LA announces Vin Scully will continue to broadcast Dodgers’ games for his 65th consecutive season. Some of the historic moments the Hall of Fame broadcaster has called include Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, 19 no-hitters, including four thrown by Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, and Kirk Gibson’s dramatic walk-off in the 1988 Fall Classic.