Feb 08

Pitchers and catchers report in five days


R.I.P. Frank Robinson. He was a force on the field for the Reds and then for the Orioles. Even at age 36 he had a slash line of .251/.353/.442 with 19 HR and 59 RBI in one season with the Dodgers. I remember hearing Dodgers-Reds games in the early 1960s and worrying when he was about to come up. The 1961 team which won the NL pennant had F Robby, Wally Post and Vada Pinson in the outfield and Joey Jay, Bob Purkey and Jim O’Toole in the rotation with a young fireballer named Jim Maloney in the bullpen where he was joined by wily veteran Jim Brosnan. They were good and Robinson was the best of them.

How tough was he?

Robinson was hit with a pitch 198 times in his career, an outlandish amount for such a great player. Nobody else hit that often ever had even 350 home runs. Aaron was hit only 32 times, Clemente 35 and Mays 44.

He was so much more than just one of the greatest players of his era, though. He was a tough hard-nosed field manager and executive in the Commissioner’s office after his playing days were done. Let this be his epitaph:

Pioneer, Hall of Fame player, manager, executive … yes, Robinson excelled in multiple capacities like very few ever did. His greatest role, however, may have been as a role model in what it means to compete fully and relentlessly. In that vein, Frank Robinson forever is in nobody’s shadow.

May 21

Game 47, 2018

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-RM

The visiting Rockies send RHP German Marquez (2-5, 5.15 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ rookie RHP Walker Buehler (2-1, 2.67 ERA). Marquez has a 2.25 ERA on the road, but he’s also got a 13.50 ERA in first innings so far this season. Buehler’s last outing was his least successful of the year; he gave up five runs in five innings but avoided the loss when the Dodgers rallied to tie the game, which they later lost.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1927 For the second consecutive day, an umpire at Ebbets Field is the target of fan abuse. Arbitrator Frank Wilson needs a police escort after the Robins (Dodgers) drop a twin bill to Cubs.
  • 1952 The Dodgers score a major league record fifteen first-inning runs en route to a 19-1 rout over the Reds at Ebbets Field. After Ewell Blackwell retires the first batter, the next 19 Brooklyn batters reached base (10 hits, 7 walks, and 2 HBP), including Captain Pee Wee Reese getting to first base three times during the frame.
  • 1963 Jim Maloney ties a major league record shared by Max Surkont (1953 Braves) and Johnny Podres (1962 Dodgers) when he strikes out eight consecutive batters, beginning with the last out in the first inning, in the Reds’ 2-0 victory over Milwaukee at County Stadium. The Cincinnati right-hander also equals the franchise mark with 16 strikeouts in one game, established by Noodles Hahn in 1901.
  • 2000 Major League Baseball has its first six grand-slam day less than one year after establishing the mark with five, with Garret Anderson (Angels), J.T. Snow (Giants), Brian Hunter (Phillies), Jason Giambi (A’s), and Adrian Beltre and Shawn Green (Dodgers) all contributing to the record. The NL also set a league record, blasting four of the six base-loaded homers.

Lineup when available.

Apr 18

Game 17, 2018

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Dodgers try to sweep their first series of the year behind RHP Kenta Maeda (1-1, 2.08 ERA). He’ll be opposed by RHP Luis Perdomo (1-1, 4.91 ERA), who’s coming off a five-game suspension for his part in a brawl with the Rockies last week. Maeda had 13 days between starts his last time out, which may have been a factor in his shortest outing ever. He lasted only 2 2/3 innings against Arizona last Friday and walked two of the three leadoff guys he faced. Perdomo is ostensibly a sinker-ball pitcher, but while his strikeouts are up this season his ground-ball rate has fallen.

Roberts and Jansen are both “concerned” about his performance so far.



On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1925 At his Waldorf-Astoria apartment, Dodgers’ owner Charles H. Ebbets dies of a heart attack at the age of 65. Later in the day, his team opens the home season in Brooklyn losing to the Giants at Ebbets Field, 7-0.
  • 1939 In Brooklyn, Red Barber calls the action in the first broadcast of a regular-season Dodger game, a 7-3 loss to New York at Ebbets Field. The future Hall of Fame announcer was brought in from Cincinnati by the team’s new president, Larry MacPhail, who had hired the ‘Ol Redhead’ when he was in a similar post with the Reds.
  • 1947 Dodger president Branch Rickey names team scout Burt Shotton to replace Leo Durocher, who was suspended ten days ago by Commissioner Happy Chandler for acts “unbecoming to a major league manager.” Brooklyn’s new 62 year-old skipper reluctantly takes over the team two games into the season and will manage the club for one year in his street clothes along with wearing the team’s hat and jacket.
  • 1950 Vin Scully calls the first game of his illustrious 67-year career with the Dodgers, detailing Brooklyn’s 9-1 defeat to the Phillies on Opening Day at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park. The 22-year old broadcaster, who will be awarded the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award by Bud Selig in 2014, will become the team’s primary announcer just three seasons later.
  • 1950 The Phillies play their first game with name official changed back from Blue Jays, routing the Dodgers at Shibe Park, 9-1. The team wears red pinstriped uniforms designed by manager Eddie Sawyer that are reminiscent of club’s look in the early 1900s.

  • 1952 On Opening Day in Brooklyn, Willie Mays is knocked unconscious when he smashes into the Ebbets Field wall after chasing pinch hitter Bob Morgan’s seventh-inning, two-out base-loaded line drive into the gap in left field. All three Dodgers base runners cross the plate but do not score when the motionless Giants center fielder comes to his feet and jogs into the dugout, apparently unhurt, having held onto the ball after making a fantastic catch for the third out to end the inning.
  • 1958 At the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of a National League record crowd of 78,672, the Dodgers play their first game in the City of Angels. Carl Erskine gets the win, besting Al Worthington and the Giants, 6-5.
  • 1959 Branch Rickey, former general manager of the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Pirates, is appointed the president of the Continental League. The third potential major league never materializes, but helps to accelerate the expansion of the existing leagues, including putting a National League team in New York to fill the void created by the Giants’ and the Dodgers’ departure to the west coast in 1958.
  • 1964 L.A. southpaw Sandy Koufax throws the second of his two career immaculate innings when he strikes out the side on nine pitches. Although Leo Cardenas, Johnny Edwards, and Jim Maloney all strike out quickly in the top of the third inning, Cincinnati will score all of the game’s runs in the next frame, thanks to a three-run homer hit by Deron Johnson, to beat the Dodgers in the Chavez Ravine contest, 3-0.
  • 1966 Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills singles to center off future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts, becoming the first batter to hit on artificial turf in a major league game. The Astrodome’s new playing surface, called Chemgrass initially by its manufacturer, the Monsanto Company, couldn’t be made quickly enough, so the season begins with the artificial material only on the infield with the outfield remaining painted dirt until July.
  • 2008 The Dodgers announce Joe Beimel has been selected by fans, in an online poll during Spring Training, as the player whose likeness will now be used in an August 12 bobblehead promotion. The 30 year-old southpaw reliever, considered a long shot for the honor, gets the nod due to a strong internet campaign orchestrated by his parents, Ron and Marge.

    Lineup when available.