The Cubbies send wily veteran LHP Jon Lester (5-4, 3.56 ERA) to the hill against the Dodgers’ own wily veteran LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-1, 3.00 ERA). Lester had a strong outing on June 3 against the Angels but in his next start he gave up four first-inning runs to the Cardinals, although he went five scoreless innings after that blip. Kershaw had won every time out until his last start, when he went seven innings and gave up two runs to the Giants. His teammates could only get one run against four San Francisco pitchers and Kershaw took the loss.
The Dodgers put Corey Seager on the IL and activated IF Matt Beaty from the same list.
It was initially thought he had suffered a Grade 2 strain, which usually requires four to six weeks to fully heal. But the club said that an MRI on Wednesday revealed a strain “between Grade 1 and Grade 2,” less severe than Tuesday night’s initial exam indicated. The Dodgers have not placed a timetable on his return.
The Dodgers are pursuing LHP closer Brad Hand of the Indians, if USA Today’s Bob Nightengale is to be believed.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1957 In a game which features the ejection of Johnny Logan and Don Drysdale, Clem Labine loses for the first time in ten months and 38 relief appearances when the Braves beat Brooklyn, 8-5. The Milwaukee shortstop charged the mound after getting drilled in the ribs by the Dodger right-hander, resulting in banishment for both players.
1973 The Dodgers infield, a quartet which will be together eight and a half years, setting a major league record for longevity, plays together for the first time. First baseman Steve Garvey, second baseman Davey Lopes, third baseman Ron Cey, and shortstop Bill Russell are in the lineup in the 16-3 defeat to the Phillies.
1998 The first triple play ever completed at Dodger Stadium is turned by Darren Dreifort (p), Eric Young (2b), Jose Vizcaino (ss), and Bobby Bonilla (3b). With Colorado runners on first and second base, the 1-6-4 double play becomes a triple killing when Jamey Wright is thrown out at third base by the LA second baseman, who covered first base for the second out.
2010 The Angels, with their first sweep at Dodger Stadium, complete their 14-game road trip with 11 victories, the most for the team on a single trip since 1962. In the 6-5 decision over their crosstown rivals, Halo hurler Jered Weaver strikes out his older brother, Jeff, who came into the game as a long reliever in the third inning, for the first time since they were kids.
As we all know by now, the only time these teams have met in a World Series was way back in 1916, when the Dodgers’ stars were named Zach Wheat, Casey Stengel, Jake Daubert, Rube Marquard, Nap Rucker and Chief Meyers. They also employed Fred Merkle (yes, that Fred Merkle). The Red Sox had guys named Babe Ruth, Ernie Shore, Carl Mays, Duffy Lewis and Harry Hooper.
Today’s game will pit the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw and the Red Sox’ LHP Chris Sale against one another. This will be Kershaw’s second appearance in the World Series (2017) and Sale’s first. Kershaw is a year older than Sale and started in the big leagues in 2008; he’s got a career record of 153-69 with a 2.39 ERA. Sale started in the big leagues two years later and has a career record of 103-62 with a 2.89 ERA.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1945 Dodger President Branch Rickey announces that the team has signed two black players, shortstop Jackie Robinson and pitcher Johnny Wright, to play with Brooklyn’s Triple A team in Montreal. The 26 year-old Negro League infielder will be the first black player to play in organized baseball since 1884.
1951 The Associated Press selects Giants skipper Leo Durocher as the Manager of the Year. Under his leadership, the Giants rallied from a 13 1/2-game deficit in mid-August to win the pennant, beating the Dodgers in a three-game playoff series best remembered for Bobby Thomson’s fabled home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the deciding game at the Polo Grounds.
1993 Mike Piazza, the sixty-second round pick of the 1988 draft, is the BBWAA’s unanimous choice for the Rookie of the Year award in the National League. The Dodger catcher is the first player to hit over .300 (.318), connect for more than 30 homers (35), and drive in at least 100 runs (112) in the Senior Circuit as a freshman since Wally Berger accomplished the feat in his initial major league season with the Braves in 1930.
1998 Davey Johnson is hired to manage the second-place Dodgers, taking over the reins from Bill Russell. The former Mets, Reds, and Orioles skipper, who has finished first with every team he has ever led, will see his streak end in LA when he compiles a 163- 161 (.503) record.
Today in Red Sox’ history:
1986 In Game 5 of the World Series played at Fenway Park, Bruce Hurst throws a complete game to beat the Mets, 4-2, earning his second victory of the Fall Classic and bringing the team within one victory of ending their 68-year World Championship drought. New York will dash the Red Sox Nation’s hopes with two come-from-behind victories at Shea Stadium.
2004 The Red Sox begin a four-game sweep of the Cardinals in the World Series with an 11-9 win.
2013 The Red Sox win Game One of a World Series in which they’ll defeat the Cardinals in six games behind Jon Lester’s 7 2/3 innings of scoreless five-hit ball.
The Cubs at least got to sleep in their own beds after losing their tiebreaker game to the Brewers yesterday. After losing yesterday’s tiebreaker to the Dodgers, the Rockies had to get on an airplane and fly to Chicago from Los Angeles, after flying from Denver to LA Sunday night.
The visiting Rockies send LHP Kyle Freeland (17-7, 2.85 ERA) to the mound for his third career start against the Cubs. He’ll face LHP Jon Lester (18-6, 3.32 ERA), who will be making his 22nd postseason appearance and second Wild Card Game start.
Today in Cubs’ history:
1932 The Yankees win their 12th consecutive World Series game and sweep the Fall Classic for the third time. At Wrigley Field, the Bronx Bombers bang out 19 hits as they club the Cubs, 13-6.
1940 The Sullivans become the first father and son to have played in a World Series when Billy Jr. is the Tigers backstop in Game 1 of the Fall Classic at Crosley Field. The Detroit catcher’s dad, Bill Sr., appeared in the postseason in 1906, playing the same position for the White Sox when he went 0-for-21 in the Hitless Wonders’ six-game triumph over the Cubs.
1952 Carl Erskine strikes out 14 Yankees in Game 3 to establish a new World Series mark. The Dodger hurler’s performance bests the record of A’s Howard Ehmke, who struck out 13 Cubs in Game 1 of 1929 Fall Classic.
2001 Slugging Sammy Sosa becomes the first player in baseball history to slug 60 home runs in three seasons. The Cubs’ outfielder connects off Lance Davis in the first inning of the team’s 5-4 loss to Cincinnati at Wrigley Field to reach the milestone.
2006 Chicago’s veep and GM Jim Hendry announces that the Cubs have declined to renew Dusty Baker’s contract to return as the team’s manager. During his four-year reign in the northside dugout, the 57-year-old skipper compiled a 322-326 record, including a 66-96 campaign last season.
2012 In a matchup of 100-loss teams, only the second occurrence in major league history, the Astros (55-105) beat the Cubs (60-100) at Wrigley Field, 3-0. In 1962, the woeful 58-101 Chicago club played host to the expansion Mets, sporting a 39-118 record en route to setting the all-time modern era record for futility.
It’s a clash of potential All Stars as the Baby Bruins send LHP Jon Lester (9-2, 2.10 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ RHP Ross Stripling (6-2, 1.99 ERA). Lester threw 119 pitches in his team’s win against the Dodgers last Wednesday and gave up only five hits and no runs while doing so. He’s gotten through the sixth inning in seven consecutive starts. The Cubs ended Stripling’s six-game win streak in the game Lester pitched, in which Stripling went six innings, gave up eight hits and three runs.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1944 At the Polo Grounds with over 50,000 fans looking on, the New York major league teams face each other in a six inning three-team game (a team played consecutive innings against the other two teams then sat out an inning) to raise money for war bonds. The charity contest, billed as the Tri-Cornered Baseball Game, ends with the final score of Dodgers 5, Yankees 1, Giants 0.
1968 Cardinals right-hander Bob Gibson tosses his fifth consecutive shutout as he blanks the Pirates, 3-0, in the first game of a doubleheader played at Busch Stadium. The future Hall of Famer’s accomplishment is one shy of the major league mark, set earlier in the month by Don Drysdale of the Dodgers.
1999 At Candlestick Park, Todd Hundley’s second homer of the day, a ninth inning three-run shot to deep right field off Giants’ closer Robb Nen, sparks the Dodgers’ 7-6 comeback win. Ellis Burks had put San Francisco ahead in the bottom of the eighth, 6-4, with a three-run homer off Alan Mills.
2011 Three days after Jim Riggleman’s sudden resignation, the Nationals name senior advisor Davey Johnson as the team’s manager for the remainder of the season. The 68 year-old former skipper compiled an 1148-888 (.564) record during his 14 years in the dugout with the Mets, Dodgers, Reds, and Orioles, finishing lower than third place on only three occasions.
Things of no great import that are nonetheless interesting, Number 317: In 1995 Before rejoining the Yankees to make a start in Chicago, Columbus Clipper starter Mariano Rivera pitches a five-inning no-hitter against the International League’s Rochester Red Wings in Ohio’s Cooper Stadium. During his tenure in the minor leagues, Mo, the future major league leader in career saves, is used primarily as a starter, starting 68 games, including seven complete contests, en route to compiling a 27-18 record along with a 2.35 ERA.
I had no clue Rivera had been a starter and that he was that good at it.
Lineup when available.
Still no Taylor:
Cubs: Zobrist 2B Heyward RF Baez 3B Rizzo 1B Contreras C Schwarber LF Happ CF Russell SS Lester P
Dodgers: Hernandez SS Turner 3B Kemp LF Muncy 1B Forsythe 2B Bellinger CF Puig RF Barnes C Stripling P
Two grizzled lefties have at one another in Game Two: 33-year-old Jon Lester (13-8, 4.33 ERA) for the Cubbies and 37-year-old Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32 ERA) for the Dodgers. Lester is the active leader in postseason innings pitched with 143 1/3. He worked 9 2/3 innings in the NLDS against the Nationals, making one start and giving up only two runs for a 1.86 ERA. He’s 2-3 with a 3.89 ERA in seven career starts against the Dodgers. Hill gave up two runs on three hits in four innings against the D-Backs in Game Two of the NLDS. He’s only faced the Cubs twice in his career, once in 2011 and once last year in Game Three of the NLCS when he went six scoreless innings.
Today in baseball history:
1946 In Game 7 of the World Series, the Cardinals beat the Red Sox, 4-3, when Enos Slaughter streaked home from first on Harry Walker’s single. The play surprises everyone, including cut-off man shortstop Johnny Pesky who hesitates, as legend has it, throwing the ball home.
1970 Brooks Robinson is selected as the World Series Most Valuable Player after batting .429 (9/21) and driving in six runs during the five-game set against Cincinnati. The Orioles’ third baseman becomes the first player to be named the MVP in the Fall Classic, an All-Star game (1966), and for his league (AL-1964).
1988 In his only plate appearance in the Fall Classic, a limping Kirk Gibson, appearing as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers in the ninth inning of Game 1, sends a two-out, 3-2 back-door slider from the A’s relief ace Dennis Eckersley over the right field fence. It’s the first time a World Series game is ever decided on a come-from-behind home run in the final inning.
The visiting Cubs trot out veteran (133 2/3 playoff innings!) LHP Jon Lester (13-8, 4.33 ERA), who made two starts against the Nats this season and came away with no decisions but a 2.84 ERA. He’ll face LHP Gio Gonzalez (15-9, 2.86 ERA), who saw the Nationals just once this year; he gave up two hits and five walks over six innings and took the loss in June.
The D-Backs send LHP Robbie Ray (15-5, 2.89 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers, three days after pitching 2 1/3 innings of relief and making 34 pitches in the Wild Card game. He’ll face LHP Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32 ERA), who was 0-3 with a 5.03 ERA in four starts against the D-Backs this season. That ERA was skewed by one bad game in which they scored six runs in 3 2/3 innings against him.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1952 In the decisive Game 7, the Yankees beat the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 4-2, to win their fourth consecutive World Championship. Gil Hodges finishes the Fall Classic hitless in twenty-one at-bats, which had prompted some Brooklyn fans to gather at local churches asking for divine help for their beloved first baseman.
1977 In Game 3 of the NLCS, the Dodgers rally for three runs with none on and two outs in the top of the ninth inning to take a one-run lead in their eventual 6-5 victory over the Phillies at Veterans Stadium. The game appeared to be over when LA’s Davey Lopes is picked off first base for the final out, but a throwing error by Gene Garber advances him to second base, from where he will score the decisive run on Bill Russell’s single.
1978 In Game 4 of the NLCS, Ron Cey scores in the 10th inning on Bill Russell’s two-out game winning single, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Phillies and their second consecutive National League pennant. Cey, who walked after the first two batters were retired, advanced into scoring position when Garry Maddox misplayed Dusty Baker’s fly ball in center field.
2001 Barry Bonds extends his major league record for home runs in a season to 73 as he drives a 3-2 first inning knuckleball off Dodger Dennis Springer over the right field fence. The blast also secures two more major league records for the Giants’ left fielder when he surpasses Babe Ruth (1920 – .847) with a .863 season slugging percentage and bests Mark McGwire (1998 – one HR every 7.27 AB) by homering in every 6.52 at-bats.
2006 The Mets defeat Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, 9-5, to complete a three-game sweep in the NLDS. The Dodgers have won only one postseason game in 13 attempts since beating the A’s in the 1988 World Series.
Two lefties go at one another in a Sunday afternoon game: Jon Lester (3-2, 3.19 ERA) of the Cubs faces Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.01 ERA) of the Dodgers. The last six times the Dodgers have beaten the Cubs they’ve shut them out.
Lester pitched a four-hit complete game against the Giants his last time on the mound, giving up one run, striking out ten and still keeping his pitch count at 99. Kershaw didn’t get a decision in his last outing against the Cardinals despite going nine innings and giving up only one run and three hits with a pitch count of 104.
Numerology: “Kershaw has a 2.18 ERA vs. the Cubs and has limited Chicago batters to a .218 batting average.”
This day in Dodgers’ history:
1957 Walter O’Malley and Horace Stoneham are given permission by the National League to negotiate deals with cities on the West Coast, with the proviso that the future location of their respective clubs, the Dodgers and the Giants, be known by October 1. The Brooklyn and New York owners both deny there is any significance to the unanimous vote other than being given an opportunity to explore all the available options for their possible relocation of their clubs.
1988 The Expos scored a run in the 10th off Jay Howell in Montreal as the Dodgers wasted a nine-inning five-hitter from Fernando Valenzuela.
2001 In an 11-inning slugfest with Colorado, LA catcher Paul Lo Duca goes 6-for-6 in the team’s 11-10 victory at Dodger Stadium. The backstop’s five singles and a three-run homer tie a National League record for hits in an extra-inning game.
Lineup when available.
Today's Dodger lineup vs. Cubs: Forsythe 3B Seager SS Taylor CF Gutierrez LF Hernández 2B Barnes C Bellinger 1B Eibner RF Kershaw P pic.twitter.com/uSlC41hrQy
It’ll be lefty Alex Wood (0-0, 0.00 ERA) making the start for the Dodgers, replacing Rich Hill (on the 10-day DL with a blister). Wood has made one appearance this year, against the Padres April 5. He threw two scoreless innings in relief of Hill in the Dodgers’ 3-1 win that day.
He’ll face lefty Jon Lester (0-0, 1.80 ERA), who went five-plus innings on Opening Day against the Cardinals in a game the Cubs eventually lost 4-3. Lester’s only 33, but it feels like he’s been around forever. He’s 2-2 with a 3.06 ERA in five career regular-season starts against the Dodgers.
The Cubs get their World Series rings and the Championship banner today, and that’s nice, but Dave Roberts is less than enthusiastic:
“Is it inspiring to see? No,” he said. “I think it’s great for the Cubs and great for their fans, and it’s been a long time coming. But for our guys to be on the line for 45 minutes to watch the rings when it’s 40 degrees, I don’t know how inspiring that will be.”
Lineup when available.
Dodgers lineup vs. LHP Lester: Forsythe 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gutierrez LF Puig RF Gonzalez 1B Grandal C Pederson CF Wood P
On paper the pitching matchup looks to favor the Cubs; LHP Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA) faces RHP Kenta Maeda (16-11, 3.48 ERA). Lester has pitched 14 innings in the playoffs and given up just one run; Maeda hasn’t made it into the fifth inning in either playoff start and has a 9.00 ERA over the seven cumulative innings he’s pitched.
Said in Chris Berman’s affected voice: “That’s why they play the games.”
#Dodgers NLCS Game 5 lineup: Hernández 2B Turner 3B Seager SS Ruiz C Kendrick LF González 1B Puig RF Pederson CF Maeda P
I’m pretty sure when RHP Kenta Maeda (16-11, 3.48 ERA) signed with the Dodgers last off-season he didn’t expect to be starting Game One of the NLCS. Nonetheless, that’s what he’s doing. He’ll face LHP Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA) of the Cubs. Yes, another lefty. Maeda started Game Three against the Nats in the NLDS and gave up four runs on five hits in three innings. Lester started Game One of the other NLDS against the Giants and threw eight shutout innings to pick up the win.
We all know the history here: the Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since 1988, but that pales in comparison to the Cubs, who haven’t made it to a Series since 1945 and haven’t won one since 1908. What more needs to be said?
In case you missed it, yesterday Orel Hershiser posted this: