Aug 25

Game 127, 2017

Brewers at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI

This is the first day of the MLB-promoted “Players Weekend,” so the uniforms are going to look a little different and the names on their backs may look a lot different.

The Brewers send RHP Chase Anderson (7-2, 2.83 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda ((11-5, 3.88 ERA). This will be Anderson’s second start since coming back from the DL for a left oblique strain. In his first one he went five innings and gave up only one run while striking out four Rockies. Maeda has a 3.09 ERA in his four August starts and is 7-2 in his last 10 starts.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1979 In a Hollywood Stars vs. the Media game played at Dodger Stadium, Robin Williams, the star of the hit television series Mork and Mindy, a show in which he plays an alien, runs the bases backwards. The comedian explains circling the bags clockwise is very common on the Planet Ork, his character’s home in the universe.
  • 1995 At Veterans Stadium, Gregg Jefferies hits for the cycle when Philadelphia crushes the Dodgers, 17-4. The Phillies’ first baseman, who has four RBIs and scores four runs, collects all of his extra-base hits off of LA starting pitcher Hideo Nomo.
  • 2008 After being swept in a four-game series earlier in the month in L.A., the Phillies return the favor, beating the Dodgers, 5-0, to complete its own four-game sweep. It is the first time in franchise history that Philadelphia has swept the Dodgers in a four-game series at home.
  • 2009 With a 5-4 win in ten innings over the Dodgers, the Rockies move 18 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history. The wild-card leader, winning 52 of their last 74 games, the latest on a Troy Tulowitzki bases-loaded single, has cut LA’s Western Division lead from 15.5 games on June 3 to just two games.
  • 2012 In nine-player blockbuster trade, the Dodgers obtain Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto, and cash considerations for James Loney, Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, Jr., and two players to be named later (Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands). The deal gives the new Dodgers ownership an opportunity to show their fans they are serious about making a run for the postseason, while giving an under-performing Boston team more financial flexibility in the offseason.

    Lineup when available.

Jun 18

Game 70, 2017

Dodgers at Reds, 10:10 AM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-O

The Dodgers hope to sweep the series with this game, and they’ll send RHP Kenta Maeda (4-3, 4.95 ERA) out to try to win it. He’ll face old acquaintance Bronson Arroyo (3-5, 7.01 ERA).

Maeda has struggled this season, with only two quality starts in the ten games he’s started, but his last outing was a four-inning save against the Reds on June 9. If he pitches to that level again he may rejoin the Dodgers’ starting rotation.

Arroyo never threw a pitch for the Dodgers, but he came over from the Braves in the July 2015 trade in which they acquired Alex Wood, Mat Latos, Luis Avilan, Jose Peraza and Jim Johnson. He was injured at the time and the Braves were dumping his salary. He was granted free agency in November of that year and landed with the Reds. He may not last very long if his performance doesn’t improve, because Homer Bailey and Brandon Finnegan can come off the DL by the end of June.


Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has been clobbering the ball in June. On Tuesday, he became the fastest player to record at least four multihomer games. According to Statcast, as of Saturday, Bellinger is fifth in MLB in barrel rate (23.5 percent) and currently leads left-handed batters in hard contact rate against left-handed pitchers this season. His teammate Corey Seager ranks second in hard contact rate. Bellinger hit his 19th homer on Saturday.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1938 After accepting GM Larry MacPhail’s offer to coach first base, Babe Ruth wears a Dodger uniform for the first time as a coach and takes batting practice with the team. The ‘Bambino’ will quit at the end of the season, ending his ties with major league baseball.
  • 1940 Dodger Ducky Medwick, acquired in a trade less than a week ago, is beaned by former Cardinal teammate Bob Bowman and needs to be carried off the field on a stretcher. Brooklyn president Lee MacPhail accuses the St. Louis pitcher of deliberately hitting Medwick in the head because the two had quarreled in a hotel elevator prior to the game.
  • 1996 Brant Brown hits the first three home runs of his career on the same day. The 25 year-old rookie goes deep as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning off Chan Ho Park in a 9-6 loss to the Dodgers in the opener of a Wrigley Field twin bill, but his two additional round-trippers contribute to Chicago’s 7-4 victory in the nightcap.
  • 2014 With the only batter reaching base as a result of a throwing error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the seventh inning, Clayton Kershaw no-hits the Rockies at Dodger Stadium, striking out a career-high 15 batters. The left-hander’s teammate Josh Beckett also threw a no-hitter 24 days ago, making it the shortest span between no-hitters by a team since the Reds’ Johnny Vander Meer accomplished it in consecutive starts, four days apart, in 1938.

Vinnie calls Kershaw’s no-hitter:

Lineup when available.

Jun 28

Game 77, 2015

Dodgers at Marlins, 10:10AM PT, TV: SPNLA

Zack Greinke (5-2, 1.70 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts, but he hasn’t gotten a win in either game. The Dodgers’ offense remains mired in a team-wide slump, at least when Kershaw and Greinke start. The Marlins send rookie Jose Urena to the hill. He’s 1-3 with a 4.34 ERA, but 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA at home.

The Marlins have their own scoring problems, now that it’s known they won’t have Major League home run leader Giancarlo Stanton for about a month due to a broken bone in his wrist.

The Marlins have declared it Josh Beckett Appreciation Day. Beckett pitched the last three injury-plagued seasons of his career with the Dodgers, but he broke in with the Marlins in 2001 and pitched the next four seasons for them, including their 2003 World Series-winning season when he was named MVP of the Fall Classic.

Lineup when available.

Oct 07

Who might go?

In end-of-the-season news, Josh Beckett announced his retirement after the game. He did better for the team than most of us anticipated he would, I think: 6-6 with a 2.88 ERA and a no-hitter before going down for the year with a torn labrum in his hip.

The Dodgers have a passel of free agents led by Hanley Ramirez. The team has until five days after the World Series to extend what’s called a Qualifying Offer of $15.3M (a number set by the Basic Agreement as the average of the 125 highest contracts by average annual value). That ensures that the Dodgers would get a compensating draft pick if Ramirez rejects the offer and goes elsewhere. On the other hand, he could accept it. If so, he and the Dodgers would be committed to one another for next year.

Other free agents: Chad Billingsley (team option of $14M or a $3M buyout — after two surgeries the Dodgers may elect to buy him out); Paul Maholm, Roberto Hernandez, Kevin Correia and Jamey Wright. Dan Haren has earned a $10M player option but even after Tuesday’s game said he remained undecided whether to play or retire. Brian Wilson has a $10M option he’s expected to accept.

Sep 05

How many innings can one arm throw?

According to Beckett is thinking about retirement.

Beckett needs surgery to repair a torn labrum and a lesion in his left hip, whether he pitches again or not.


He’s a high-mileage 34-year-old, having thrown 2,051 innings in 13 big league seasons.

I don’t doubt Beckett might decline a four-month rehab, as the article suggests is needed. He hurts, he’s made more than $116M in his career and has a couple of small kids, so why not retire? Other than the no-hitter this year I suspect he hasn’t had much fun this season. He even says “It takes four hours of [therapy] work to do two hours on the field.”

I think baseball may have seen the last of Josh Beckett as a player. But that bit about his innings pitched raised a question for me — is 2,051 IP high-mileage? Over 13 years he’s averaged 209 IP over a 162-game period. He was a full-time starter when he was 22 years old. Among Dodger starters:

  • Dan Haren is 33 and has thrown 2,202 innings in 12 MLB seasons for a 162-game average of 215 IP.
  • Kevin Correia is 34 but has thrown only 1,397 MLB innings for a 162-game average of 168 IP in 12 seasons.
  • Roberto Hernandez is 34 with 1,248 MLB innings for a 162-game average of 190 IP over 9 seasons.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu is 27, has 7 years of Korean League experience and 1,269 innings there in addition to the 336 he’s got in the big leagues, averaging roughly 178 IP (the Korean Leagues throw off the 162-game calculation).
  • Chad Billingsley is 30 and has 1,175 MLB innings for a 162-game average of 195 IP over 7 seasons (and 12 innings).
  • Kershaw, believe it or not, is 27 but has 1,349 MLB innings himself and has averaged 223 IP over a 162-game period in 7 seasons.

Of the three guys who are the same age as Beckett, Haren’s the closest in hard use. He’s always been a starter. Correia pitched his first five years in relief and as a spot starter. Hernandez was a full-time starter in his second year in the bigs.

If Beckett is high-mileage, then Haren, averaging 215 IP, and Kershaw, averaging 223 IP, are the two guys who could also be classified as such. We can only hope Kershaw doesn’t injure himself throwing that many innings every year.

Aug 08

Game 117, 2014

Dodgers at Brewers, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

The Dodgers will trot out their brand-new pitcher Roberto Hernandez, who’s been pretty good lately: he’s won his past three decisions, pitching at least seven innings in three of his past five starts. He admits to butterflies:

“It’s the first time that I’ve been traded,” Hernandez said through a translator. “Obviously it’s a nice feeling going to a team that has a chance. I’m really nervous right now. I wasn’t expecting this. I’m excited, but at the same time, I’m nervous.”

The Brewers counter with Kyle Lohse, who lasted only four innings Saturday against the Cardinals, giving up nine runs. Overall he’s 11-6 with a 3.40 ERA.

It may be a surprise, but this is a series between two first-place teams. The Dodgers lead the Giants by 3 1/2 games in the NL West, as you know, but the Brewers lead the Cardinals by a game in the NL Central.

Update: SI has a discussion of the Dodgers’ rotation with the loss of Beckett and Maholm as well as Haren’s recent troubles and the loss to the DL of Chris Perez and Paco Rodriguez.

Lineup when available.

I am amused that our second baseman’s name is now Dee rather than Gordon.

Aug 03

Game 112, 2014

Cubs at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Josh Beckett (6-5, 2.74 ERA) tries to recover his early-season form for the Dodgers. Ex-Dodger (and half-a-dozen other teams) Edwin Jackson has had a poor year so far (5-11, 5.79 ERA) and is hoping to press reset himself.


Jul 28

Game 107, 2014

Braves at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN

Josh Beckett goes back to the hill for the Dodgers, hoping his hip impingement has healed up and he can get back to the form which has him at 6-5 with a 2.52 ERA on the year. Getting back to the way he was the day he pitched his no-hitter is probably too much to ask for.

Beckett will face old friend Aaron Harang, who has been a savior for the Braves this season. He was signed only a week before the season started, and he’s got a 9-6 record with a 3.31 ERA, with 18 quality starts in 21 tries. In 16 of those starts he’s allowed two earned runs or fewer.

Lineup when available.

Jul 22

Game 102, 2014

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Josh Beckett has come off the 15-day DL and will pitch tonight, no matter that his hip has a torn labrum and two cysts. He’s making a bid for the National League’s Comeback Player of the Year with a record of 6-5 (okay, not real impressive) and an ERA of 2.26 (very impressive) and his first career no-hitter. He’ll face Vance Worley, who is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Worley started off in the Pirates’ rotation in June with three good starts, but he’s gotten out of whack in his last three appearances: his ERA in those games is 5.79 and opponents hit .298 over that stretch.

Puig and Ramirez each had follow-up X-rays on their hands yesterday and they came back negative, showing no breaks. The speculation is that Puig is closer to returning than Ramirez.

Lineup when available.

Jul 08

Game 92, 2014

News of the day: the Dodgers have placed Josh Beckett on the 15-day DL. By doing it now he may only miss one start. Pedro Baez has been called up from the Isotopes to fill Beckett’s roster spot.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports says Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies may ask for a trade to a contender, but not until after this season is done. Rosenthal thinks there’s no way Colorado’s GM would trade him within the division, so even though the Dodgers would love to replace the older and often-banged up Hanley Ramirez, it seems unlikely to him.

Dodgers at Tigers, 4:08PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN

Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-4, 3.08 ERA) will pitch for the Dodgers. The Tigers send out Justin Verlander, who’s having a very un-Verlander-like season: 7-7 with a 4.71 ERA. Given this: “Verlander is 22-2 with a 2.56 ERA in his career against National League teams,” one hopes his poor luck this year continues for today.