Jul 13

Game 94, 2019

Dodgers vs. Red Sox, 4:15 PM PDT, TV: Fox

RHP Ross Stripling (3-3, 3.79 ERA) makes his fourth start replacing the injured Rich Hill. He hasn’t been really successful as a starter yet this season; he’s not gotten past the fifth inning in any start and he’s given up four runs in each of the last two. He’ll face LHP Chris Sale (3-8, 4.04 ERA), who’s not been his usual ace-like self this year. In fact, he gave up five runs in each of his last two starts prior to the All Star break.

In about the only Dodger highlight of Friday’s game, Alex Verdugo curls a home run around the Pesky Pole in right field:

This has nothing to do with the Dodgers or the Red Sox, but I found it interesting: a history of the walk-up song.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1939 The Red Sox send 21 year-old farmhand Pee Wee Reese to the Dodgers for $35,000 and a player to be named later (Red Evans), along with three minor leaguers due to a less-than-enthusiastic scouting report filed by Joe Cronin, the team’s current player-manager, who deliberately downplayed the prospect’s talent to keep his own job in the Boston infield. The Louisville Colonels regular shortstop, a future Hall of Famer, will become a crowd favorite, helping Brooklyn to win seven pennants during his 16 seasons with the team.
  • 1949 Jackie Robinson testifies in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, reading a carefully worded statement put together with the help of Dodger GM Branch Rickey. The Brooklyn second baseman’s statement makes it clear he disagrees with singer and actor Paul Robeson’s belief that American Negroes would refuse to fight in any war against Russia due to the country’s racial discrimination toward blacks.

Lineup when available.


Jul 05

Game 90, 2019

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: FSSD, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

The Padres’ LHP Eric Lauer (5-7, 4.22 ERA) will face LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 3.23 ERA) of the Dodgers. Lauer has a 1.46 ERA in four starts against the Dodgers in his career. Kershaw is 19-6 with a 2.02 ERA lifetime against the Padres, but this year he’s made two starts and given up six runs in 13 innings against them, getting one win and one no-decision.


Here’s Bellinger’s 30th HR of the season. extending his franchise record for most home runs before the All Star break:

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1935 The Cuccinellos become the third pair of brothers, following the Waners (2) and Ferrells, and the first on opposing teams to homer in the same game when Al goes deep in the bottom of the ninth in the Giants’ 14-4 loss to Brooklyn at the Polo Grounds. The New York’s third baseman’s sibling, Tony, playing second base for the Dodgers, had homered in the previous inning.
  • 1952 In their final season in Boston, the Braves play in front of the largest home crowd of the season when 13,405 fans watch Brooklyn beat their team for the 12th consecutive time, a 5-3 complete-game victory by Carl Erskine. The most memorable moment of the contest occurs in the second inning when the game is delayed because a small dog has to be escorted off the field by Dodger outfielders Carl Furillo and Duke Snider.
  • 1961 Cardinals first baseman Bill White collects 14 total bases when he hits three home runs and a double. The 27 year-old infielder’s offensive output helps the Redbirds rout the Dodgers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 9-1.
  • 2004 At Dodger Stadium, Diamondback third baseman Chad Tracy’s ninth inning run-scoring single on an 0-2 changeup ends Eric Gagne’s record streak of 84 consecutive saves. The new mark established by the Los Angeles closer is 30 more than the prior mark set by Tom Gordon for the Red Sox in 1999.
  • 2007 At Dodger Stadium, Chipper Jones’ two solo home runs are the difference in the Braves’ 8-6 victory over Los Angeles. With his pair of round-trippers, the team’s third baseman surpasses Dale Murphy for the Atlanta team record of 372 homers.

Today is also the anniversary of the first game Larry Doby played for the Indians, integrating the American League. He ended up with 1,515 hits, only three behind Jackie Robinson. Also on this date in 1953, Robin Roberts pitched his 28th consecutive complete game, shutting out Pittsburgh at Forbes Field, 2-0. Twenty-eight straight complete games! We’ll never see that again!

Lineup when available.


Jun 24

Game 80, 2019

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, SPNLA

Dodgers’ lefty Kershaw (7-1, 2.85 ERA) versus D-Backs’ righty Greinke (8-3, 2.91 ERA). Kershaw is 16-9 with a 2.59 ERA in his career against the Diamondbacks, 6-8 and 3.70 ERA at Chase Field. Greinke is 7-6 with a 4.28 ERA lifetime against the Dodgers.

Here’s young Mr Smith’s walk-off HR yesterday:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 At Forbes Field, Jackie Robinson steals home in the Dodgers’ 4-2 victory over the Pirates. It is the Brooklyn infielder’s first theft of the dish, something the rookie will accomplish 19 times during his ten-year career.

Lineup when available.


Jun 07

Game 64, 2019

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 PM PDT, TV: NBC Bay Area, SPNLA

LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-0, 3.20 ERA) goes to the mound for the Dodgers against the Giants’ LHP Drew Pomeranz (1-6, 8.08 ERA). Kershaw has gone at least six innings in each of his nine starts this season and the Dodgers have won all nine. He’s 22-10 in his career against the Giants with a 1.70 ERA. Pomeranz is having the worst season of his nine-year career; he’s given up 35 earned runs in 39 innings. He faced the Dodgers twice in April and got a no-decision and a loss.

MLB’s Richard Justice has a column titled “7 trades that make perfect sense,” and one of them is:

6. Brad Hand to the Dodgers

You’re probably looking at the Dodgers and thinking, “Do they really need anything?” Sure, they do. Every team needs something, and around the Trade Deadline, an impact acquisition can energize the clubhouse. Hand is about as close to unhittable as any reliever in the game (1.05 ERA), and would combine with Kenley Jansen to make the Dodgers’ bullpen the NL’s best. Along with Bauer, a shrewd Hand trade can really help the Indians rebuild their system.

Potential trade pieces: This one won’t be simple. Yes, the Dodgers have a deep system. Yes, Hand potentially is signed through 2021 at a reasonable rate. But Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is extremely protective of his best young prospects. Outfielders DJ Peters (L.A.’s No. 10 prospect) and Jeren Kendall (No. 15) would make some sense. So would any of three Dodgers catching prospects, possibly Diego Cartaya (No. 9).

I gotta say, I like anything that shores up the bullpen, which currently has a 4.63 ERA, 11th in the National League. Their strikeout rate ranks 14th.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1954 Dodger catcher Roy Campanella steals home in the top of the 12th inning in a 7-5 victory over St. Louis at Sportsman’s Park. Campy had added an insurance run with an eighth inning round-tripper, but the Redbirds scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score.
  • 1957 Howard University awards honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and recently retired Dodgers infielder Jackie Robinson. In the coming years, the former baseball great and the Baptist minister will often appear together at Civil Rights rallies, fundraising events, and demonstrations.

    Jackie Robinson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • 1982 Joining Lou Gehrig, Everett Scott, Billy Williams, and Joe Sewell, Dodger infielder Steve Garvey becomes only the fifth player in major league history to play in 1,000 consecutive games. The first baseman, establishing a National League record, will appear in 1207 consecutive games, before the streak ends next season when he breaks his thumb in a collision at home plate, playing for the Padres.

Lineup when available.


Jun 04

Game 62, 2019

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, SPNLA

The Dodgers’ LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (8-1, 1.48 ERA) is having a season for the ages so far. He’ll face the D-Backs’ RHP Taylor Clarke (1-1, 4.67 ERA), who will be making his fifth big league appearance and fourth start. Ryu made six starts in May and had a 0.59 ERA for the month. Clarke gave up five runs on four hits in two innings in his last start against the Rockies.

In case you missed this:


This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1957 At a seventy-five minute show-down meeting at City Hall with Walter O’Malley and Horace Stoneham, the club presidents of the Dodgers and Giants, respectively, Mayor Robert Wagner is told by the owners neither club has a commitment to move out of New York – and none to stay in the Big Apple. The teams, who have been given permission by the National League to explore the possibility of moving their franchises to the West Coast, are assured by His Honor that the city will be of assistance in replacing the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field, the aging ballparks the clubs call home.
  • 1964 At Connie Mack Stadium, Sandy Koufax throws his third no-hitter in three years, blanking the Phillies 3-0. The Dodgers’ southpaw, who will add a perfect game to his resume next season, joins Bob Feller as the only other modern major leaguer to pitch three career hitless games.
  • 1968 Don Drysdale, pitching his sixth consecutive shutout, defeats the Pirates, 5-0. The Dodger right-hander will extend his major league record scoreless streak to 58.2 innings before yielding a run in his next start. Later that evening at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Robert Kennedy, giving his victory speech for his win in the California primary before being fatally shot, tells his followers in the packed ballroom, “I’d like to express my high regard to Don Drysdale, who pitched his sixth straight shutout tonight.”
  • 1972 The Dodgers retire Roy Campanella’s uniform number 39. Campy, who won the MVP three times catching for Brooklyn in the fifties, joins Jackie Robinson (42) and Sandy Koufax (32) to be honored in this manner.
  • 1976 In an 11-0 victory at Dodger Stadium, Mets right fielder Dave Kingman hits three home runs. Sky King’s two-run dinger and two three-run round trippers drive in eight runs, a new club record.
  • 1990 En route to a 6-0 complete-game victory, 22 year-old Dodger right-hander Ramon Martinez limits Atlanta to three hits. Pedro’s older brother, who will finish the season with a 20-6 record, strikes out 18 batters during the contest.
  • 1998 The Dodgers trade the 1995 National League Rookie of the Year Hideo Nomo (2-7 with a 5.05 ERA) and reliever Brad Clontz to the Mets for pitchers Dave Mlicki and Greg McMichael.

Lineup when available.


Jun 01

Game 59, 2019

Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: KTLA, MLBN (out-of-market only), NBCSP, SPNLA

The Fightin’ Phils ask LHP José Álvarez (0-1, 3.92 ERA) to make his first start of the season after 22 relief appearances, and he gets to face future Hall-of-Famer LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-0, 3.46 ERA) for his sins. Álvarez hasn’t gone longer than two innings all year, so don’t expect him to be around long. In contrast, Kershaw hasn’t gone less than six innings in any of his eight starts this season. The Phillies are the only team that has a winning record (5-3) against him.

Rich Hill is now MLB’s oldest pitcher and hopes to go a lot longer. Here’s something I hadn’t realized:

Because of his earlier injuries and his years as a reliever, he has thrown only 911⅔ major-league innings and 1,705 professional innings. Clayton Kershaw, eight years his junior, has thrown 2,148⅓ major-league innings and 2,397 professional innings.

“You think about the mileage on Kersh, who is 31 years old, versus Rich, who battled through independent ball and all that stuff and doesn’t have as many innings,” Stripling said. “That helps. Also, the fact that he went through that is probably what motivates him.”

Friday night’s home run barrage:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1955 Duke Snider blasts three home runs in the Dodgers’ 11-8 win over Milwaukee. Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, and Roy Campanella also go deep in the Ebbets Field’s contest, helping Brooklyn set a franchise record with six home runs.
  • 1962 In the nightcap of a twin bill at Shibe Park, Don Drysdale beats the Phillies for the 13th consecutive time, continuing a streak which started in 1958. The Dodger right-hander, however, will drop his next seven decisions against Philadelphia after today’s victory.
  • 1997 When Wilton Guerrero scurries to pick up pieces of his shattered bat after grounding out to start the game, home plate ump Steve Ripley becomes suspicious and discovers that the rookie used an altered bat. The Dodgers second baseman is immediately ejected from the game by crew chief Bruce Froemming, and the 21 year-old infielder will also receive an eight-day suspension and a $1,000 fine for his use of a corked bat.

Lineup when available.


May 24

Game 51, 2019

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05 PM PDT, ATT Sportsnet PIT, SPNLA

RHP Walker Buehler (4-1, 3.83 ERA) takes the mound in Steel City at the confluence of the Allegheny, Ohio and Monongahela rivers. His opponent will be the dreaded TBD. Buehler went six strong innings his last time out but took the loss as the Dodgers couldn’t score a run. TBD is RHP Michael Feliz (2-0, 4.63 ERA), who’s not made a start all year and whose longest stint in any of his 11 appearances is 1 2/3 innings.

Kyle Garlick has been recalled and Joe Kelly has been placed on the bereavement list.

Speaking of Kelly, here’s some analysis of his difficulties so far this season from the LA Times. In another article about a member of the bullpen, Pedro Baez discusses his newly-found confidence in his changeup and what it’s done for his effectiveness.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1941 ‘Big Poison’ Paul Waner is signed by the Braves after being released by Brooklyn. The former Dodger joins his brother ‘Little Poison’ Lloyd on the Boston roster.
  • 1947 Carl Furillo hits a three-run homer as a pinch-hitter in the first frame of the Dodgers’ 4-3 ten-inning loss to Philadelphia at Ebbets Field. The unusual substitution occurs when Phillies manager Ben Chapman uses his right-handed starter Al Jurisch to pitch only to Brooklyn’s first two hitters, Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson, and then brings in southpaw Oscar Judd, who had been warming up from the start of the game, to face the next three lefty hitters, Pete Reiser, Dixie Walker, and Gene Hermanski, the batter replaced by Furillo.
  • 1973 In a 19-inning marathon, LA outfielder Willie Davis collects six hits in a 7-3 loss to the Mets at Dodger Stadium. The two clubs establish a National League mark by hitting into a combined nine double plays.
  • 2000 Sixteen Dodger players and three coaches are suspended by the commissioner’s office for going into the stands during the Wrigley Field scuffle with fans on May 16. The suspensions totaling 60 games for players and 24 games for coaches is the harshest penalty ever handed down by major league baseball.

Lineup when available.



May 17

Game 46, 2019

Dodgers at Reds, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: FS-O, SPNLA

LHP Rich Hill (0-1, 4.20 ERA) was pushed back from the Padres’ series in order to face the lefty-dominant Reds for this reason: lefties are hitting .445 OPS against him while righties are at 1.069 OPS. The Reds give the ball to RHP Anthony DeSclafani (2-1, 4.17 ERA), whose first two outings in May were strong but whose last start was short (4 innings) and unpleasant (eight hits, four runs).

The Dodgers’ management and catchers seem to be frustrated by Kenley Jansen’s insistence on throwing a cutter which isn’t as effective as it once was while his slider has been very effective indeed.

Jansen, 31, has already surrendered as many runs this season as he did in 2017, when he used his signature cutter 85 percent of the time to great success. He is using it just as often in 2019, but the pitch is no longer as dominant.

[snip]

This season, hitters have slugged better than .500 against it, more than two hundred points greater than in 2017. Yet after Tuesday’s save, he had thrown the cutter roughly 300 times this season, and he had thrown the slider only 22 times. Hitters had swung at it 13 times and missed it six times. They had not registered a hit against it.

[snip]

“Kenley obviously knows what he wants to do,” Roberts said. “He can be stubborn at times. He can be convicted at times. We’ve gotta work things out, as far as what we’re trying to do to get Kenley and the catchers on the same page.”

That page, Roberts allowed, covers how best to attack hitters.

“I think that, right now, he can do some different things,” Roberts said.

Which team’s uniforms are the best? MLB polled 85 players and got a tie at the top: the Dodgers and Yankees each received 10 votes.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 At Forbes Field, Hank Greenberg asks Jackie Robinson if the Dodger infielder was hurt in a collision with him at first base earlier in the game and then tells the embattled Brooklyn rookie, “Stick in there. You’re doing fine. Keep your chin up.” Jackie will remark to the writers a few days later that his “diamond hero” is Hank Greenberg, knowing that the Pirates’ first baseman, who due to the bigotry endured as a Jew, can appreciate his difficulty of facing racial injustice every day as the first black player in the major leagues this century.
  • 1978 Pinch-hitting for Davey Lopes in the Los Angeles 10-1 rout of the Pirates, Lee Lacy goes deep in the bottom of the eighth inning off Will McEnaney at Dodger Stadium. The utility player becomes the first player in major league history to homer in three consecutive at-bats as a pinch hitter.
  • 1992 Using only 21 dates, the Blue Jays reach the one-million mark in attendance sooner than any team in major league history. The 1991 Blue Jays and the 1981 Dodgers shared the previous record.

Lineup when available.


May 09

Game 40, 2019

Nationals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: MASN, SPNLA

LHP Patrick Corbin (2-1, 3.71 ERA) makes his first start against the Dodgers as a member of the Nats. As a Diamondback last season he was 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in 23 1/3 innings against them. His opponent will be LHP Rich Hill, (0-0, 3.60 ERA), who’ll be making just his third start. He was sharp in his first one against the Pirates but went only four innings in the second start against the Padres, giving up three runs on two HRs by Manny Machado.

Here is the latest speculation about free agent Craig Kimbrel. The Dodgers could see a need for him if Kenley Jansen can’t stop giving up HRs.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 Philadelphia manager Ben Chapman, who admits he had been ‘kinda loud’ in leading his team in verbally abusing Jackie Robinson with racial slurs during yesterday’s game, sends word to the Brooklyn clubhouse that he would like to make amends by posing with the Dodger first baseman for the newspaper photographers. The orchestrated gesture, which Robinson agrees to, admitting later that is one of the hardest things he ever had to make himself do, is prompted by the bad press created by the Phillies manager’s intolerance and the wrath of Commissioner Chandler.

Also on this day: In 2015 with runners on second and third, the Pirates turn the first recorded 4-5-4 triple play in baseball history, recording all three outs entirely on the left side of the infield. The oddity occurs when Yadier Molina lines out to second baseman Neil Walker (1), who throws to third baseman Jung Ho Kang to double up Jhonny Peralta (2), who had strayed too far off the third, and then fields the third baseman’s return throw to triple up Jason Heywood at second base (3).

Lineup when available.


May 06

Game 37, 2019

Braves at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: FSSE, SPNLA

RHP Kevin Gausman (1-2, 4.83 ERA) takes the hill for the Braves. He’ll face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (3-0, 5.22 ERA). Gausman started last Friday but was tossed from the game for “intentionally throwing” behind Jose Urena of the Marlins after only 28 pitches. His short stint between starts pushes the Braves’ rotation back a day. Buehler’s ERA and WHIP (1.193) are both up while his strikeouts are down from last year, but he’s still winning.

It wasn’t just the Padres’ Renfroe hitting a grand slam yesterday. There were four other ones hit on Sunday as well.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1937 Dodgers and Giants fans attending afternoon ball games at both the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field are thrilled to have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Hindenburg when the passenger airship appears over New York, nearing the end of its maiden voyage of the season from Germany. A few hours later, the majestic German zeppelin will explode on a landing strip in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 36 of its passengers.
  • 1947 In a small office high up behind home plate at Ebbets Field, National League president Ford Frick meets with seven Cardinal players individually, revealing he is aware of their secret plan to strike as a protest to Jackie Robinson playing for the Dodgers. The usually non-confrontational leader of the Senior Circuit makes his position clear about their planned boycott, telling the Redbird conspirators they will encounter quick retribution from his office that will include suspensions from baseball.
  • 1978 After going deep as a pinch hitter on May 2, Lee Lacy becomes the first major leaguer to pinch-hit home runs in consecutive at-bats. The Dodgers’ super sub will make it three in a row on May 17.
  • 2009 With a 10-3 victory over Washington, the Dodgers break the major league mark for consecutive victories at home to open a season with their 13th straight win in L.A. The previous record of 12 was established in 1911 by the Tigers.
  • 2015 Bob Uecker, along with fellow broadcasters Joe Block and Jeff Levering, longtime engineer Kent Sommerfeld, and his assistant, Mary Burns, become trapped for several innings as the result of a broken lock on the Miller Park’s radio broadcast booth door. A crew of workmen, using a ladder positioned on the loge level, climbed into the booth to remove the door from its hinges, while the announcers’ play-by-play continued to detail the action of Brewers and Dodgers game on the field.

    “People who are listening to the ballgame, I know what you’re thinking. He’s ready for the home. He’s cooked. It’s finally happened. He’s seeing ladders and doors without handles.” – BOB UECKER, explaining being trapped for several innings by a broken lock on the radio broadcast booth’s door.

Lineup: