Adam Weinrib of Fansided doesn’t think so. He has the usual suspects in the usual places, although handing left field to A.J. Pollock and leaving Chris Taylor on the bench might be premature.
I agree with Lux at second assuming the season is close to a normal length, which it just might be if the vaccines for COVID-19 really do pan out as effectively as the trials seem to have shown. Lux needs more time to show whether his prospect status was warranted; his 2020 season was horrible (19 Games Played, .175 BA, 3 HR, 8 RBI). He was late reporting to the second training camp before the abbreviated season began and never rounded into the form he’d shown as a September callup in 2019.
This assumes that Turner is awarded a new contract, that Kiké Hernández finds a new home where he can play regularly, and that Taylor and Pederson don’t object to a lot of bench time.
RHP Frankie Montas (3-4, 5.86 ERA) pitches for the visiting As. He’ll be opposed by RHP Dustin May (1-1, 2.68 ERA) of the Dodgers. This will be Montas’s first start in nine days; he was off for paternity leave (Congrats and best wishes!). In his last five starts he’s gone no longer than 5 1/3 innings and has a horrid 10.80 ERA in those appearances. May is coming off a 5 1/3 inning relief stint in a game in which he was announced as the starter. Instead he came in in the third inning and got credit for a hold in the Dodgers’ 7-5 win.
Wild Card Series (begin Sept. 29)
Best-of-three format, with higher seed serving as the home team for all three games
No. 8 Blue Jays vs. No. 1 Rays
No. 7 Indians vs. No. 2 White Sox
No. 6 Astros vs. No. 3 A’s
No. 5 Yankees vs. No. 4 Twins
No. 8 Phillies vs. No. 1 Dodgers
No. 7 Reds vs. No. 2 Cubs
No. 6 Cardinals vs. No. 3 Braves
No. 5 Marlins vs. No. 4 Padres
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.
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.
Lineup when available.
Joc Pederson is back from emergency leave and DHing tonight.
LHP Framber Valdez (3-3, 3.61 ERA) goes to the mound for the visiting Astros. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Julio Urías (3-0, 3.86 ERA). Valdez has been an innings-eater for the Astros — he’s gone at least seven innings in five of his last six starts. His last one was horrendous, though: he gave up eight runs on 11 hits to the Angels in seven innings (four of those runs were in the seventh, which explains why he wasn’t pulled long before that inning). Urías has struggled with his consistency all year; he gave up four runs in two of his last three starts.
Seager and Pollock go back-to-back in the third inning of Thursday’s game:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1930 The last major league bounced home run is hit by Dodger catcher Al Lopez at Ebbets Field as the NL joins the American League, which had enacted the rule change in 1929. The player who hits the ball over the wall on a bounce will now be awarded a ground-rule double.
1932 In the bottom of the ninth, Johnny Frederick hits his major league record-setting sixth pinch-homer of the season, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Cubs. The Brooklyn outfielder’s major league mark will not be broken for 68 years until another Dodger, Dave Hansen, strokes seven round-trippers coming off the bench in 2000.
1953 The Dodgers clinch a pennant at the earliest date ever in baseball history with a 5-2 victory over the Braves at County Stadium. Carl Erskine gets the win when Brooklyn, who clinches consecutive titles for the first time in franchise history, goes up 13 games up on Milwaukee with 12 left to play.
1962 One game behind the front running Dodgers, the Giants lose Willie Mays, their All-Star center fielder, when he is hospitalized for nervous exhaustion. The ‘City by the Bay’ will drop six games in a row, but will recover along with ‘Say Hey Kid’ in time to beat Los Angeles in a playoff to win the National league pennant.
“I look up into the stands, and it looks like Ebbets Field. The Mets are wonderful, but you can’t take the Dodger out of Brooklyn” – DUKE SNIDER, – addressing the Mets fans on his special night at the Polo Grounds.
In a pregame ceremony with his former Dodgers teammates, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, and Ralph Branca in attendance, Duke Snider is honored by the Mets with a special ‘night’ at the Polo Grounds, which coincidentally marks the last time the Giants, now located in San Francisco, will ever play in their once long-time home in Harlem. The ‘Silver Fox’, obtained by the last-place expansion team in April, has recently requested to be traded to a contender.
1995 During a WGN pre-game radio broadcast at Wrigley Field, Cubs announcer Harry Caray remarks to the team’s skipper Jim Riggleman, “Well, my eyes are slanty enough, how ’bout yours?”, referring to Hideo Nomo, the Japanese rookie hurler scheduled to start for the Dodgers. The veteran announcer, known for not backing off for his on-the-air off-handed comments, does issue an apology, calling the incident “unfortunate.”
2000 On the same date the mark was established 68 years ago, Dave Hansen breaks Johnny Frederick’s 1932 record for pinch-hit home runs in a single season with his seventh round-tripper coming off the bench. The Dodger pinch-hitter’s historic homer, a seventh-inning three-run blast off Diamondback right-hander Curt Schilling, isn’t enough to prevent the team’s 5-4 loss to Arizona at Bank One Ballpark.
RHP Tony Gonsolin (0-0, 0.51 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while RHP Germán Márquez (2-5, 4.88 ERA) pitches for the Rockies. Gonsolin’s last start was only three innings, the shortest he’s gone all year, but it was a bullpen game in which Scott Alexander got credit for the win. Márquez is slumping; in his last three starts he’s given up 18 earned runs in 16 innings and the opponents are hitting a cool .348 against him.
Here are Pollock’s, Betts’ and Pederson’s late home runs in yesterday’s game:
On this date 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.
1978 On a night the Dodgers and Angels are scheduled to play at home on the same date, which is a rare occurrence, each team has their game rained out, another oddity in Los Angeles. The second time both clubs’ home contests will be washed out on the same day in the City of Angels will take place late in the season in 1986.
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.
LHP Kyle Freeland (2-1, 2.56 ERA) goes for the visitors and RHP Dustin May (1-1, 3.00 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. Freeland has a 3.96 ERA in his five career starts at Dodger Stadium, but his walks there equal his strikeouts (14). May has made it into the sixth inning only twice in his five starts this season. In 24 innings this year he’s given up 25 hits; all eight of his runs allowed were earned.
Here’s Joc Pederson’s nice running catch in the sixth inning of yesterday’s game:
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1917 In a 22-inning contest against the Dodgers, Pirates’ outfielder Carson Bigbee sets a major-league record with 11 at-bats. The game was also the fourth straight extra-inning game played by Pittsburgh (total of 59 innings), which sets a National League record.
1965 Juan Marichal thinks Johnny Roseboro throws too close to his head returning the ball to Sandy Koufax and attacks the Dodger catcher with his bat. The Los Angeles backstop suffers cuts on the head during the 14-minute brawl.
2000 Hitting a solo blast and a three-run round-tripper during a nine-run sixth inning of a 14-6 victory over the Expos, Dodger first baseman Eric Karros becomes the first player in the 111-year franchise history to hit two homers in an inning.
Pitchers: Pedro Báez, Walker Buehler, Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Clayton Kershaw, Ross Stripling, Blake Treinen, Julio Urías, Alex Wood, Brusdar Graterol and Dustin May
Starting depth could be an issue. After losing Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill (68 starts combined last year) over the offseason, the only veteran starters the Dodgers added were Price and Jimmy Nelson, but both are out for the season. That leaves Urías, Wood and youngsters May, Gonzalez and White to pick up those 68 starts.
Will Smith and Austin Barnes are the catchers. Infielders are Enrique Hernández, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Matt Beaty and Edwin Rios. Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Joc Pederson, A. J. Pollack and Chris Taylor are the outfielders.
RHP Dustin May (1-2, 4.26 ERA) makes his third start for the Dodgers in his ongoing audition for the post-season roster. He’ll face LHP Eric Lauer (6-8, 4.47 ERA), who’s made six starts against the Dodgers in his two-year career and has four wins, no losses and a 1.72 ERA to show for them.
The Dodgers’ only offensive highlight of yesterday’s game was Joc Pederson’s leadoff HR in the bottom of the first inning:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1939 At Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, NBC televises the first major league game in history on experimental station W2XBS, covering a doubleheader split in which the Reds win the first game, 5-2, and the Dodgers take the nightcap, 6-1. The network employs two cameras, one behind home plate, showing a wide view of the field, and the other on the third base line to capture the plays at first base.
1947 Dan Bankhead becomes the major league’s first black pitcher. The 27 year-old right-hander doesn’t do well in a relief stint, giving up ten hits and six runs in 3.1 innings in a 16-3 loss to the Pirates, but the Dodger rookie hits his only big league home run in his first major league at-bat.
1965 At Shea Stadium, the Mets beat the Dodgers, 5-2, making Tug McGraw (2-2) the first Mets pitcher to defeat Sandy Koufax (21-7). Previously, New York had lost 13 consecutive times to the future Hall of Fame southpaw.
1993 The Mets announce that Vince Coleman will remain on paid administrative leave until the end of the season, effectively ending his playing career with the team. Co-owner Fred Wilpon’s unequivocal decision that the controversial outfielder, who signed a four-year $11.95 million contract before the 1991 season, will not ever put on a Mets uniform again is the result of Coleman admitting to tossing a M-100 firecracker from a Jeep departing from a Dodger Stadium parking lot last month, injuring three people.
Unless these two teams meet in the World Series, this will be the Yankees’ retiring LHP CC Sabathia’s (5-7, 5.01 ERA) last appearance at Dodger Stadium. He has made two other appearances at Chavez Ravine, going 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA. In his last start he went just three innings, giving up four runs on four hits in his return from a month on the IL. Sabathia will face the Dodgers’ RHP Tony Gonsolin (1-1, 3.00 ERA), who bobbed and weaved for four innings in his last start against Atlanta but gave up only one run.
The Dodgers have recalled Austin Barnes and placed Russell Martin on the bereavement list.
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.
RHP Cal Quantrill (4-2, 3.57 ERA) pitches for the Padres. RHP Walker Buehler (9-2, 3.38 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. Quantrill has made three starts and five relief appearances since June 23 and put up a 1.67 ERA while doing so. In his last start Buehler was saddled with his first loss in two months by the Nationals, who after four scoreless innings knocked him out in the sixth inning, by which time he’d given up eight hits and seven runs (only four of which were earned).
The fact that the four best relievers rumored to be on the market — the Giants’ Will Smith, the Padres’ Kirby Yates, Vázquez and the Mets’ Edwin Diaz — were not moved should tell us that the asking prices for all four were astronomical and/or those teams are hanging on to the delusion that they, too, could win a World Series this year (they can’t). The Yankees needed a starting pitcher as badly as I need traffic in Los Angeles to disappear forever. Unlike me, they could wave a magic wand and make their dream happen, but they chose not to. It is very obvious that sellers in this market were infected by a madness that convinced them they weren’t sellers.
“We focused on the top four or five guys and, after that, we weren’t just gonna bring a guy in just to bring a guy in,” Friedman said.
In other words, the Dodgers weren’t going to trade for Shane Greene, Mark Melancon and Chris Martin like the Braves did, or Sam Dyson and Sergio Romo like the Twins did, or Hunter Strickland, Roenis Elías and Daniel Hudson like the Nationals did. And that might be because they believe their own minor leaguers, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, are better than all of them.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1959 In the second All-Star Game played this summer, Yogi Berra’s two-run home run off Dodgers right-hander Don Drysdale in the third inning at the LA Memorial Coliseum proves to be the difference in the American League’s 5-3 victory over the Senior Circuit. The home run will be the last one hit by a Bronx Bomber in a Mid-Summer Classic game for 41 years until Derek Jeter goes deep in 2001.
1995 Making his first start for the Rockies since being acquired from the Mets, Brett Saberhagen gives up 13 hits and walks three batters, but gets the win in the team’s 9-4 win over the Dodgers. The sellout crowd gives their new hurler an enthusiastic standing ovation when he departs the game with one out in the seventh inning.
1997 Jeromy Burnitz, coming off the bench in the Brewers’ 6-5 loss to Seattle at County Stadium, homers as a pinch hitter for the second consecutive time, tying an American League record. The major league mark for consecutive pinch-hit appearances with a home run is three, shared by Lee Lacy (Dodgers – May 2, 6, and 17, 1978) and Del Unser (Phillies – June 30, July 5 and 10, 1979).
2013 The first-place Dodgers set a franchise record, winning their 13th consecutive game on the road with their 3-0 victory over the Cubs in Chicago. The Giants established the National League mark in 1916 when the team won 17 straight games away from the Polo Grounds.