Dec 07

The Stanton sweepstakes

From Sports Illustrated today:

Stanton is a definite upgrade in leftfield over the combo of Kiké Hernandez and Joc Pederson, but considering they’ll combine to make around $3–4 million next year, is it worth tacking on Stanton’s contract and potentially hamstringing future offseasons or losing Kershaw to accomplish that?

When it’s put that way, and when I consider that Stanton will be in his thirties for most of the remaining ten years and $275 million of his existing contract, I don’t think I really want him that badly.

Oct 17

NLCS Game Three, 2017

Dodgers at Cubs, 6:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The visiting Dodgers send RHP Yu Darvish (10-12, 3.86 ERA) out to keep the Cubs at bay and take a 3-0 lead in the series. The Cubs counter with RHP Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA). Darvish had a good outing in Game Three of the ALDS against the Diamondbacks, giving up one run on two hits in five innings while striking out seven and not walking anyone. Hendricks had an excellent start against the Nats in Game One of the NLDS when he allowed no runs, but a less-than-stellar one in Game Five when he gave up four runs on nine hits in four innings. He may take some confidence from his two NLCS starts against the Dodgers last year when he gave up only one run on five hits in 12 2/3 innings.

Here are several news items pertaining to the Dodgers and this series: first, from MLB: Memories of last year’s Game Six loss and the subsequent ring ceremonies this year might be a prod for the Dodgers. Second, SI’s Jay Jaffe writes about Yasiel Puig’s discipline and flair. And finally, Rich Hill is known for his curve, but it’s his fastball that’s doing heavy lifting this season.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1978 The Yankees capture their twenty-second and second consecutive World Championship, beating Los Angeles with a 7-2 victory at Dodger Stadium. Playoff hero Bucky Dent, who collects ten hits in the six-game series, is named the the Fall Classic’s Most Valuable Player.

Other historical note: in 1989 as the Giants and A’s get ready to play Game 3 of the World Series, the Bay Area is hit by the massive 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake, which will be responsible for 63 deaths. The Candlestick Park contest is quickly postponed by Commissioner Fay Vincent, and he orders the evacuation of the ballpark.

Lineup:

Puig at cleanup. Pederson, Ethier and Utley starting. Grandal not starting. No siree, no lineup shakeups here.

Oct 14

NLCS Game One, 2017

Cubs at Dodgers, 5:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Dodgers will start LHP Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31 ERA) in tonight’s game. It is still unclear who the Cubs’ starter will be as of Friday evening. It’s likely either John Lackey or Jose Quintana.

Update: It will be Quintana. He started and went 5 2/3 innings in Game Three of the NLDS against the Nats and gave up one unearned run on just two hits. He also threw 12 pitches to four hitters in relief in Game Five.

The Dodgers’ prized shortstop Corey Seager is day-to-day with a back issue, Manager Dave Roberts said.

Update: Seager is not on the official NLCS roster. More here:

“His back’s been barking since that Game 3 in Arizona, so we’re going to have him lay low,” manager Dave Roberts said on Friday. “A lot of what we’ve done even this season, just keep him off the field, helps the elbow and now with the back, so to keep him laying low. But we’re optimistic he’ll be fine day-to-day.”

Obviously that didn’t work. Culberson took his place on the roster, and with Hernandez and Taylor possibly needed to play shortstop as well, the Dodgers added Joc Pederson to the roster for outfield depth.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1969 Thanks to two great catches by Tommy Agee at Shea Stadium, the Mets beat the Orioles to take a 2-1 game lead in the World Series. The center fielder’s outfield heroics save the team at least five runs in the 5-0 victory over Baltimore.
  • 1985 Ozzie Smith provides one of the most memorable moments in Cardinals history by hitting a dramatic homer to win Game 5 of the NLCS. The round-tripper was the first left handed home run of the Wizard’s career, which spans 3009 major league at-bats. (“Go crazy, folks, go crazy!”)

  • 2003 Holding a 3-0 lead and needing only five more outs to go the World Series for the first time since 1945, the Cubs give up eight runs on five hits, three walks, and an error to the Marlins. The team appears to come apart after a fan, later identified as Steve Bartman, sitting along the left-field line at Wrigley Field, tries to catch a foul ball that was about to be caught by Chicago outfielder Moises Alou for the second out of the inning.

Lineup:

Sep 05

Game 138, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

The D-Backs send ex-Dodger Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.08 ERA) out to extend their winning streak to twelve, while Hyun-Jin Ryu tries to stop the Dodgers’ losing streak at four.

Greinke has not been as good on the road this year as at home; he’s got a 3-5 record with a 4.28 ERA away from Chase Field. Ryu has had a good second half if you take away his last outing against Arizona, when he gave up six runs and eight hits including three HRs in a 6-4 loss last Wednesday.

Pederson and Thompson have been recalled from OKC.

Today 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.
  • 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.

Lineup when available.

Aug 24

Game 126, 2017

Dodgers at Pirates, 1:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-PIT

Dodger lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-6, 3.45 ERA) will face the Pirates’ RHP Chad Kuhl (6-8, 4.52 ERA) in a day game at PNC Park. Ryu seems to have gotten on track after his two-year recovery from injuries: he’s 2-0 with a 2.22 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings in his last eight starts. Kuhl has pitched much better since July 1, posting a 3.21 ERA. In his first 15 starts of the season before that he had a 5.58 ERA.

Yu Darvish and Kenta Maeda will meet and greet the Japanese Little League team before the game.

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.

Lineup when available.

Yes, that is a birthday cake for Kiké. No, I did not add it. The Dodgers’ Twitter person did.

Aug 19

Game 121, 2017

Dodgers at Tigers, 1:05 PM PT, TV: FS-D, FS1, SPNLA

The Dodgers send lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-6, 3.63 ERA) to the hill to face the Tigers’ RHP Michael Fulmer (10-10, 3.78 ERA). The Dodgers are 6-1 in Ryu’s last seven starts (five of which ended before the sixth), and he’s got a 2.50 ERA in those games. Fulmer has lost four starts in a row and put up a 7.89 ERA in those games.

The Dodgers acquired Curtis Granderson from the Mets for the proverbial player-to-be-named-later or cash. This may have an impact on Joc Pederson’s playing time, and it’s hard to see what they do with André Ethier when he presumably returns from his injuries in September. “The Dodgers designated pitcher Dylan Floro for assignment to make room for Granderson on the 40-man roster. They will have to make a corresponding transaction to make room on the active roster once Granderson joins the team.”

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1955 For the sixth consecutive season, Robin Roberts is a 20-game winner. The Phillies right-hander, who will finish the season with a 23-14 record, beats Don Newcombe and the first place Dodgers at Connie Mack Stadium, 3-2.
  • 1957 Citing poor attendance as the reason, Giants’ president Horace Stoneham, ignoring baseball’s edict of banning announcements about relocation of franchises until after the World Series, informs the press the club has signed a lease to play its home games in San Francisco next season. The club’s Board of Directors voted 8-1 approving the shift to the West Coast, with the only dissenting vote cast by M. Donald Grant, who will become the chairman of the Mets, an expansion team located in New York to fill the National League void created by the departure of the Giants and Dodgers to California.
  • 2004 Pitching a perfect bottom of the ninth inning, John Smoltz establishes the franchise record with his 142nd save in a Braves uniform. The right-handed reliever surpasses Gene Garber as Atlanta beat the Dodgers in Los Angeles, 6-5.
  • 2008 The Dodgers reacquired Greg Maddux (6-9, 3.99) from the Padres for cash and two minor leaguers to be named or an additional monetary sum. The 42 year-old future Hall of Fame right-hander, obtained to help the club down the stretch run, played in LA for part of the 2006 season, winning six of nine decisions.

On this day in 1951 Forty-three inch tall Eddie Gaedel walks on four pitches in his only major league appearance. Bill Veeck’s idea of playing the midget was legal at the time but is later outlawed.

Lineup when available.

Huh. Granderson’s arrival allows movement all over the lineup. I hope it works.

Aug 02

Game 107, 2017

Dodgers at Braves, 4:35 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSE

The Dodgers have won nine in a row. They have already had two 10-game winning streaks this year; only two teams have had three since 1913.

The visiting Dodgers give RHP Brock Stewart (0-0, 0.00 ERA) the ball and ask him to hold off the hometown Braves, who counter with RHP Julio Teheran (7-9, 5.09 ERA).

Stewart went only 3 2/3 innings against the Twins last Wednesday, but all five of the runs scored on him were unearned and he got off the hook when the Dodgers rallied to win 6-5. Teheran has lost three straight games and posted a 6.88 ERA since the All Star break. It doesn’t get any easier: Corey Seager is 3-for-9 against Teheran, all of them home runs. Yasiel Puig (5-for-10, HR), Chase Utley (7-for-28, HR), Logan Forsythe (3-for-5, HR), Yasmani Grandal (6-for-13, three doubles) and Joc Pederson (4-for-13) have been successful against him as well.

Yu Darvish has been activated. To make room, Josh Ravin was optioned to OKC.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1938 As an experiment, bright yellow baseballs are used in the first game of a doubleheader. The teams go back to the traditional white ball in the nightcap as the Dodgers swept the twin bill from the Cardinals, 6-2 and 9-3.
  • 1982 During a ceremony held in Cooperstown, NY, the United States Postal Service unveils a 20-cent stamp commemorating baseball great Jackie Robinson as part of its annual Black Heritage series. The Dodger infielder becomes the first individual baseball player to be depicted on a U.S postage stamp.

  • 2002 Reds general manager Jim Bowden is fined by commissioner Bud Selig for the comments he made to reporters prior to yesterday’s game against the Dodgers comparing a baseball strike with the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Quickly realizing the use of such analogy was inappropriate and insensitive, the Cincinnati GM issues an immediate apology after the game.
  • 2008 In the first game after the Manny Ramirez trade to the Dodgers, the Fenway Faithful enthusiastically welcome Jason Bay, the player replacing the Boston icon. The former Pirates outfielder doesn’t disappoint, tripling and scoring the winning run in the 12th inning of the Red Sox’s 2-1 victory over the A’s.

In non-Dodgers history of note, in 1921 with the jurors lifting the men onto their shoulders, the eight White Sox players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series are acquitted by the jury. The next day, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis will say the overwhelming evidence clearly shows the Black Sox fixed the games with gamblers, and all involved will be banned from playing professional baseball again.

Lineup:

Jun 29

Game 81, 2017

Dodgers at Angels, 7:07 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-W, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers trot out LHP Clayton Kershaw (11-2, 2.47 ERA) to face the Angels’ RHP JC Ramirez (7-5, 4.38 ERA).

Kershaw’s given up a career high 17 HRs but has otherwise been his usual superb self this season. Against the Angels he has a career 5-2 record, 2.69 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. Ramirez is a converted reliever; this is his 13th career start. In his last one he went six innings and gave up only one run against the Red Sox.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1960 The Phillies strike out a dozen times in each end of a doubleheader when they are swept by the Dodgers at Connie Mack Stadium, 6-3 and 5-2. The 24 K’s tie a major league record for strikeouts in a twin bill. Surprise! Drysdale started the first game and Koufax started the nightcap. Neither of them finished their games.
  • 1990 For the first time since 1917 (Hippo Vaughan and Fred Toney), two no-hitters are thrown on the same day when the A’s Dave Stewart shuts out the Jays 5-0 and the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela blanks the Cardinals, 6-0.
  • 2012 In the Diamondbacks’ 9-3 victory over Milwaukee at Miller Park, Aaron Hill becomes the first modern-era player to hit for the cycle twice in one season since Babe Herman accomplished the feat with the Brooklyn Robins in 1931. Eleven days ago in Seattle, the Arizona second baseman also collected a single, double, triple, and home run in the game.
  • 2015 Joc Pederson becomes the third rookie in major league history to hit 20 home runs before July when he goes deep off Allen Webster in the Dodgers’ 10-6 loss to Arizona at Chase Field. The 23 year-old center fielder joins Wally Berger (Braves, 1930) and Albert Pujols (Cardinals, 2001) in accomplishing the feat as a freshman. He has since been joined in that company by current Dodger Cody Bellinger.

Lineup when available.

Jun 22

Game 74, 2017

Mets at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, SNY, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Mets send YALHP Steven Matz (1-1, 3.21 ERA) out to try to salvage one game in this four-game series. His Dodgers opponent will be LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6, 4.35 ERA).

Matz is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two career starts in Dodger Stadium. He’s gone seven innings in each of his last two starts. Ryu has made seven starts since coming off the DL in May and gotten into the sixth inning in only two of them. This probably has something to do with that: “Batters are 31-for-75 (.413) with nine home runs and are slugging .867 against Ryu’s four-seam fastball this season.”

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1936 At Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, Ival Goodman hits an unusual home run when his fifth-inning fly ball lands and stays on top of the scoreboard in right field. With the perched ball considered in play, the three Dodger outfielders watch the Reds’ right fielder round the bases for an easy inside-the park round-tripper in their 7-2 loss to Cincinnati.
  • 1947 After pitching a no-hitter four days ago against the Braves, Reds hurler Ewell Blackwell loses his chance for a second consecutive no-hitter when Dodger second baseman Eddie Stanky singles with one out the ninth inning at Crosley Field.
  • 1959 Sandy Koufax goes the distance, beating Philadelphia at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, 6-2. The Dodger southpaw fans 16 Phillies to set a new record for strikeouts in a night game.
  • 1966 At the Astrodome, Houston sets a home attendance mark which will last for 22 years. Dodger southpaw Sandy Koufax, who tosses a complete game to improve his record to 13-2, beats the hometown team, 5-2, in front of the 50,908 fans attending the Wednesday contest.

Lineup when available.

Taylor and Pederson get the night off.

Jun 21

Game 73, 2017

Mets at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, SNY, ESPN (out-of-market only)

The Mets ask RHP Tyler Pill (0-2, 3.75 ERA) to take the hill tonight. They’d originally planned that Rafael Montero would start this game, but he had to throw 3 2/3 innings of long relief Monday night. LHP Rich Hill (3-3, 5.14 ERA) will get the start for the Dodgers.

PIll, a San Dimas native, made two starts earlier this season, posting a 3.48 ERA despite a fastball that averages less than 90 mph. His manager says he has to change speeds or he won’t be effective. Hill is coming off his worst start of the year; he gave up seven runs in four innings against the Indians last week. He has yet to record an out in the sixth inning this season.

Even more astonishing, perhaps, is that the guys holding down positions 2 and 3 are not only active but are in tonight’s lineup: Seager and Pederson each hit 26 in their respective rookie years.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1957 In his first major league start, Von McDaniel‚ who graduated from Oklahoma’s Hollis High School last month, two-hits the Dodgers at Busch Stadium‚ 2-0. Brooklyn does not get a hit off the 18 year-old bonus baby until the sixth inning.
  • 1998 Bill Russell is released as Dodger manager and is replaced in the dugout by Glenn Hoffmann. In the front office, Tommy Lasorda assumes the general manager duties of the third-place club from Fred Claire.
  • 2016 Dean Kremer becomes the first-ever Israeli to sign a contract with a Major League baseball team when he comes to terms with the Dodgers, after being selected in the annual amateur draft earlier this month. The 20-year-old right-hander, who won Europe’s Most Valuable Pitcher award in both 2014 and 2015, has hurled for Israel’s national baseball team for the past three seasons. (Note: Kremer is currently 1-3 with a 6.69 ERA for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Dodgers’ Advanced A team in the California League)

Lineup when available.