LHP Clayton Kershaw makes his third start of the season and second against the Giants. He’s 0-2 for the first time since 2009 and has lost his first two starts for the first time ever. His ERA is still a tidy 2.25, however. In a rematch of Opening Day he’ll face the Giants’ LHP Ty Balch, who’s 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1966 At the Astrodome, the Astros and Dodgers play baseball’s first game on synthetic grass. Thanks to the Monsanto chemical company, who proposed using an experimental playing surface of nylon grass, the plan to play on an all-dirt field, necessitated by the need to paint the dome’s glass panes to reduce the glare which prevented natural grass from growing, was alleviated by the use of ‘AstroTurf’.
1974 Braves outfielder Hank Aaron passes Babe Ruth as the all-time home run leader with his 715th, going deep in the fourth inning off Dodger hurler Al Downing in Atlanta’s home opener. ‘Hammerin’ Hank’ equaled the Bambino’s mark on Opening Day in Cincinnati.
1994 Kent Mercker no-hits Los Angeles, 6-0 at Dodger Stadium. The Braves left-hander was one of the three Atlanta pitchers, along with Mark Wohlers and Alejandro Pena, in 1991 to also no-hit the Padres, but this victory is his first complete game in the major leagues.
1994 Chan Ho Park becomes the first Korean to play in the major leagues when he makes his pitching debut at Chavez Ravine. In one inning of work, the 21 year-old Kongju City native gives up two runs on one hit, walking two and striking out two batters in the Dodgers’ 6-0 loss to Atlanta.
2015 Adrian Gonzalez becomes the first major league player to hit five home runs in the first three games of the season when he goes deep three times in the Dodgers’ 7-4 victory over San Diego at Chavez Ravine. The Los Angeles first baseman joins Carl Furillo (1955) and Jimmy Wynn (1974) as the only players in franchise history to have homered in the first three games of a campaign.
Lineup when available.
Today’s Dodger lineup at Giants: Taylor CF Seager SS Puig RF Hernández 1B Grandal C Kemp LF Forsythe 3B Barnes 2B Kershaw P pic.twitter.com/CG4uNBXRZo
The Dodgers field a patchwork lineup with the loss of Bellinger to food poisoning, which also got Alex Wood. According to Ken Gurnick Wood will get an extra day to recover and Ryu will start Tuesday. Maeda won’t relieve today, and will start one of next weekend’s games.
The Dodgers are up three games in the win column over the Indians for the best record in baseball (and home field advantage through the playoffs and World Series if they get that far) with four games left to play.
The Padres send LHP Clayton Richard (8-14, 4.63 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (11-8, 3.50 ERA).
These pitchers have faced their respective opposing teams before this season:
Hill will be making his final tuneup ahead of a probable start in Game 3 of the NL Division Series. The southpaw is 2-0 in four starts vs. the Padres this season, owning 1.50 ERA to go along with 25 strikeouts. Richard is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts at Dodger Stadium this season. The southpaw is 3-4 with a 3.61 ERA over his last 11 starts.
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1936 Replacing Johnny Mize, tossed by an ump for arguing, Cardinal rookie first baseman Walter Alston makes an error in handling two chances and strikes out in his only major league at-bat. ‘Smokey’ will, however, win seven pennants and four World Series in his 23-year Hall of Fame career as Dodger manager from 1954 to 1976.
1951 Bill Sharman, recently called up from Fort Worth, is one of 15 Dodgers who are ejected by umpire Frank Dascoli for bench jockeying after a close call at home plate. The future basketball Hall of Famer will never play in the big leagues, and thus he will become the only player to be ejected from a major league game without ever appearing in one.
1960 Ryne Duren makes his first start in two years memorable when he strikes out the first five batters he faces in the Yankees’ 5-1 victory over Washington. The feat ties a modern major league record shared by Lefty Gomez (Yankees), Dazzy Vance (Dodgers), and Walter Johnson (Senators).
1961 Sandy Koufax breaks the National League mark for strikeouts in a season, surpassing Christy Mathewson’s mark of 267 established in 1903. Unlike the turmoil caused by commissioner Ford Frick’s edict of having to hit 61 homers by the 154th game in the extended 162-game schedule to break Babe Ruth’s single season home run record, little is made that the Dodgers southpaw’s 268th punch-out occurs in the 151st game of the season, compared to the 142-game sked played early in the century.
1964 The Houston Colt .45’s play their final game in Colt Stadium, the team’s home ballpark since joining the National League in 1962. The future Astros beat the Dodgers in the 12th inning, 1-0, when Jimmy Wynn’s single plates Bob Aspromonte.
1993 In a 7-3 victory over the Dodgers, Cubs’ reliever Randy Myers becomes the first National League pitcher to record 50 saves in a season.
1993 Mike Piazza, who broke the major league rookie record for home runs by a catcher earlier in the month, sets another mark for round-trippers when he hits his 34th, surpassing the previous L.A. Dodger mark shared by Steve Garvey (1977) and Pedro Guerrero (1985). Duke Snider established the franchise record with 43 homers playing with Brooklyn in 1956.
2000 The United States Olympic team, managed by former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda, stuns the world, beating the much-favored Cuban team to win the country’s first gold medal in its national pastime. Ben Sheets ends Cuba’s 21-game Olympic winning streak with a 4-0 shutout.
2011 After giving up five runs in the top of the tenth inning, the Diamondbacks score six times in the bottom of the frame in an amazing 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the Dodgers. Arizona infielder Ryan Roberts delivers the decisive blow in the Chase Field contest, a walk-off grand slam with two outs.
In their Opening Day game the Dodgers came back to win a game, something they had a terrible time doing last year. Better, they won it on the strength of a home run from one of their newcomers, Jimmy Rollins. Rollins went 2 for 4 on the day. Another Jimmy, Mr. Wynn, started his Dodger career the same way, going 3 for 5 with a home run in his first game in Blue back in 1974.
Today’s pitching matchup pits Zack Greinke for the Dodgers versus Tyson Ross (isn’t that name better suited for a prizefighter?) for the Padres. Greinke is 4-0 with a 1.84 ERA in his career against the Padres, while Ross was 0-4 against the Dodgers in four starts last year, albeit with a 2.67 ERA. He didn’t get a lot of help from his offense, obviously. Overall, Ross had a good year on a bad team. He was 13-14 with a 2.81 ERA. He struck out one batter per inning and gave up 30 fewer hits than innings pitched.