LHP Julio Urías (3-3, 2.63 ERA) takes the mound for the Dodgers as they attempt to sweep the three-game series from the Nats, who’ll counter with RHP Erick Fedde (2-3, 4.08 ERA). Urías won his last start, giving up just two hits and no runs in five innings. Fedde last won on May 3; he’s had two no-decisions and a loss since.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1919 Casey Stengel, traded by the Dodgers in the off-season to the Pirates, calls time, steps out of the batter’s box to give the razzing Ebbets Field fans the ‘bird’. The Pittsburgh right fielder doffs his hat, allowing a sparrow to fly out, much to the amazement and amusement of the fans.
2002 With four homers on Thursday (5/23), one on Friday (5/24), and two more on Saturday (5/25), Shawn Green becomes the first major leaguer to hit seven round-trippers in three games. The Dodger outfielder’s nine big flies in a week also breaks a National League record, established by Ralph Kiner with eight and tied by Ted Kluszewski and Nate Colbert.
2002 Getting his 3,509th K, Diamondback southpaw Randy Johnson passes Walter Johnson to become seventh on the all-time career strikeout list. After fanning Shawn Green in the first to catch the ‘Big Train’, Dodger outfielder Brian Jordan swings and misses a 2-2 pitch in the second inning to become the ‘Big Unit’s’ historic victim.
The visiting Dodgers send LHP Julio Urías (2-3, 3.00 ERA) to the Citizens Bank Park hill to face the Phillies’ LHP Ranger Suãrez (4-1, 3.72 ERA). These two pitchers met one another at Dodger Stadium on May 14, and Urías had a horrible game, giving up 8 runs (5 earned) on 8 hits in six innings. Suãrez got the win, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits while going seven innings.
1979 Don Sutton becomes the franchise’s winningest pitcher when he is credited with the victory, tossing eight innings in the Dodgers 6-4 victory over the Reds at Riverfront Stadium. The 34 year-old right-hander’s 210th win surpasses the team mark established in 1969 by Don Drysdale.
The Phillies hand the ball to Ranger Suárez (3-1, 3.68 ERA). He’ll face the Dodgers’ Julio Urías (2-2, 2.10 ERA).
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1956 The Orioles, taking a gamble, purchase sore-armed Billy Loes from the Dodgers for a reported $25,000. The 26 year-old right-hander, who will be selected for American League All-Star team next season, will post a 21-30 (.412) record during his four years with Baltimore.
1981 With a 3-2 win over Montreal in front of the largest Dodger Stadium crowd in seven years, rookie sensation Fernando Valenzuela improves his record to 8-0. The 20 year-old southpaw, who has started the season with five shutouts and a minuscule ERA of 0.50, gets the victory when right fielder Pedro Guerrero hits a leadoff game-ending home run off Steve Ratzer in the bottom of the ninth inning at Chavez Ravine.
2011 For the first time since 1914, the Dodgers are defeated after allowing just one hit, losing to the visiting Diamondbacks,1-0. Chad Billingsley, the hard-luck loser, gives up a leadoff double in the second to Stephen Drew, who scores the game’s only run when shortstop Jamey Carroll fails to cover the bag in an attempted pick-off play.
LHP Julio Urías (2-1, 1.88) pitches for the visiting Dodgers today at PNC Park; he’ll face LHP José Quintana (0-1, 3.38 ERA). Urías’s 1.88 ERA is slightly higher than the combined ERA for all Dodger pitchers; that’s 1.83. Quintana has only given up as many as three runs in one of his five starts; he’s gone as many as five innings in three of them.
This is pretty good company to be in.
Lowest ERA in 1st 100 starts, pitchers to debut since mound lowered (1969):
Dwight Gooden: 2.28 Ron Guidry: 2.48 Vida Blue: 2.55 Walker Buehler: 2.70
1947 Philadelphia manager Ben Chapman, who admits he had been ‘kinda loud’ in leading his team in verbally abusing Jackie Robinson with racial slurs during yesterday’s game, sends word to the Brooklyn clubhouse that he would like to make amends by posing with the Dodger first baseman for the newspaper photographers. The orchestrated gesture, which Robinson agrees to, admitting later that is one of the hardest things he ever had to make himself do, is prompted by the bad press created by the Phillies manager’s intolerance and the wrath of Commissioner Chandler.
Also on this day: In 2015 with runners on second and third, the Pirates turn the first recorded 4-5-4 triple play in baseball history, recording all three outs entirely on the left side of the infield. The oddity occurs when Yadier Molina lines out to second baseman Neil Walker (1), who throws to third baseman Jung Ho Kang to double up Jhonny Peralta (2), who had strayed too far off the third, and then fields the third baseman’s return throw to triple up Jason Heywood at second base (3).
LHP Carlos Rodón (3-0, 1.17 ERA) pitches for the visiting Giants while LHP Julio Urías (1-1, 2.50 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. Rodón has had a very good start to his year; he’s given up just three runs on eleven hits in his four starts, and he’s made it through at least five innings in all of them. Urías’ last three starts have been excellent despite getting just one decision (a win) in them; he’s given up two runs on four hits in those games.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1947 In a controversial move, Branch Rickey trades five Dodgers, including southerner Kirby Higbe, to the Pirates for five-foot, six-inch left-hand-hitting outfielder Al Gionfriddo and $100,000. Some believe ‘the Mahatma’ made the deal to send a message to the team about his commitment to breaking the color barrier and his support of Jackie Robinson, the first black to play in the major leagues this century. It’s a darned good move, considering that Gionfriddo made a game-saving catch of a DiMaggio fly ball in Game 6 of that fall’s World Series.
2004 Similar to last season, the aging outfielder Rickey Henderson re-signs with the Atlantic League’s Bears, hoping for a shot of returning to the big leagues. The 45 year-old future Hall of Famer batted .339, hit eight home runs, drove in 33 runs, scored 52 runs, and stole nine bases for the Newark team last season before joining the Dodgers in July.
2009 Defeating San Diego 2-1 in 10 innings, the Dodgers tie a franchise record, winning their ninth consecutive decision at home from the start of the season. The 1946 club also reeled off nine straight victories at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field at the beginning of the post-war campaign.
The Dodgers hand the ball to LHP Julio Urías (1-1, 3.00 ERA). He’ll face the D-Backs’ RHP Zac Gallen (0-0, 1.00 ERA). Urías’s first start was awful; he only got through two innings and gave up six runs. In his two outings since he’s given up one run on three hits. Gallen went four scoreless innings in his first start and five innings while giving up one run in his next. Today will be his third start.
1981 Fernandomania continues to explode at Chavez Ravine when Dodger rookie sensation Fernando Valenzuela pitches his fourth shutout in five starts. The 20 year-old Mexican southpaw, who is batting over .400, beats the Giants, 5-0, and lowers his ERA to a microscopic 0.20.
2004 At Dodger Stadium, Mike Piazza ties Carlton Fisk for the most career homers by a catcher as he hits Hideo Nomo’s sixth-inning pitch into the stands for his 351st round-tripper as a backstop. The homer, which was his 362nd overall, moves the Mets’ star past Yankees’ Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio on the all-time list.
2007 On the night in which the ceremonial first pitch is thrown by his three sons, Trevor Hoffman is unable to hold on to a two run lead when the Dodgers score three in the ninth and eventually beat the Padres, 6-5. It’s ‘Trevor Time Desk Clock’ Night, and the usually reliable Padres closer blows the save, thanks to some shady defense, for the second consecutive game.
2010 The suddenly streaking Mets win their sixth consecutive game with a doubleheader sweep of the Dodgers, 4-0 and 10-5. The victories mark the first time since August 28, 1971 that the club has taken both ends of a twin bill from L.A.
The Dodgers bus down Interstate 5 to San Diego, where they ask LHP Julio Urías (0-1, 3.86) to continue his bounceback from his first outing. He’ll face the Padres’ RHP Nick Martinez (0-1, 4.50 ERA), whose pattern so far this season is the opposite of Urías’s: he had an excellent first start and a bad second one.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1898 Today marks the first time two no-hitters occur on the same day when Orioles (NL) right-hander Jay Hughes and Reds southpaw Theodore Breitenstein keep their opponents hitless, beating the Beaneaters, 8-0, and the Pirates, 11-0, respectively. A double no-no on the same date will not happen again until June 29, 1990, when A’s Dave Stewart and Dodger Fernando Valenzuela accomplish the feat with gems against the Blue Jays and Cardinals.
2007 The Red Sox become the fifth big-league team to hit four consecutive homers in an inning when Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell, and Jason Varitek go deep with two outs in the third inning at Fenway off Yankee starter Chase Wright. J.D. Drew was also part of the quartet of the 2006 Dodgers, who were the fourth major league team to connect for four straight round-trippers in one frame.
The Dodgers hand the ball to LHP Julío Urías (0-1, 13.50 ERA), who had what Jack Harris of the LA Times termed “a troubling season debut. He suffered a drop in velocity from last season. He failed to strike out a single batter. And he gave up six runs (three earned) in two-plus innings.” Well, yeah, I guess those outcomes qualify as troubling. We’ll see how he does this evening. His opponent will be RHP Hunter Greene (1-0, 5.40 ERA), who won his first start, allowing the Braves four hits and three runs in five innings while striking out seven.
1928 Braves’ pitcher Charlie Robertson has his glove removed from the game by umpire Charley Moran after the Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) complain the ball is acting strangely. The Boston hurler still manages to win, 3-2.
1946 LOCAL NEWSPAPER AD — “An Apology to Braves Fans – The management will reimburse any of its patrons for any expense to which they might have been put for necessary cleansing of clothing as a result of paint damage.” As the result of the newly painted grandstand seats having not yet completely dried, about 5,000 fans attending the Boston’s home opener against the Dodgers left Braves Field with green paint covering much of their clothing. The team took out newspaper ads to apologize to the affected patrons, agreeing to reimburse any expense caused by the mishap, an offer that will cost the team $6,000, after it generates nearly 13,000 claims, including some from as far away as California and Nebraska.
1964 Shea Stadium is christened with Holy Water from the Gowanus Canal, which passes near Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, the Dodgers’ old home, and Holy Water from the Harlem River at the location where it flows past the Polo Grounds, the once longtime ballpark of the Giants and the Mets’ home for the past two seasons. The stadium’s namesake Bill Shea, the lawyer credited with bringing the National League back to New York, pours the water from two bottles, blessing the Flushing Meadows structure on the eve of its debut.
1975 After making the second of his two poor starts for the Dodgers, Juan Marichal, who signed with the team as a free agent, appears in his final major league game. The 37 year-old ‘Dominican Dandy’ finishes his 16-year Hall of Fame career with more complete games (244) than the total of his victories (243).
1983 Steve Garvey appears in his 1,118th straight game, breaking the National League record established by Hall of Fame outfielder Billy Williams playing for the Cubs in 1970. The Padres’ first baseman, who spent 13 seasons with the Dodgers before signing as a free agent with San Diego in the offseason, will see his consecutive game streak end at 1,207, the third-longest span in major league history at the time, due to a dislocated thumb suffered as a result of a collision at home plate during the first game of a doubleheader in 1983.
1988 The Braves establish a National League record for losses at the start of a season by losing their tenth consecutive game. With a 7-4 defeat to the Dodgers, Atlanta surpasses the mark, previously owned by four teams, including the infamous 1919 Braves and the 1962 Mets.
LHP Julio Urías makes his first start of the season for the Dodgers. He’ll face the Rockies’ RHP Antonio Senzatela, who’s doing the same.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1947 During the sixth inning of an exhibition game against their minor league team at Ebbets Field, the Montreal Royals, Dodgers’ president Branch Rickey issues a brief statement to the press. The two sentences will forever change the game when the team announces “The Brooklyn Dodgers today purchased the contract of Jackie Roosevelt Robinson from the Montreal Royals. He will report immediately.”
1962 In front of 52,564 fans, Reds infielder Eddie Kasko doubles off of Johnny Podres in the first ever at-bat at Dodger Stadium, and Duke Snider’s single in the bottom of the second accounts for the home team’s first hit. After playing their first four seasons at the LA Memorial Coliseum, the team drops a 6-3 decision to the Reds in the debut of the new $22 million ballpark in Chavez Ravine, financed with a low two-percent interest loan from the Union Oil Company in exchange for exclusive rights to advertise within the stadium.
1962 Wally Post hits the first home run in Dodger Stadium history, a two-out, three-run shot in the seventh inning off Johnny Podres that proves to be the difference in the Cincinnati’s 6-3 victory. The left fielder’s round-tripper to center field is a fair ball, unlike some others hit in the ballpark where the foul poles are discovered to be positioned in foul territory, requiring special permission from the National League to be recognized as fair during the first year in the team’s new home in Chavez Ravine.
1976 After being granted his free agency in a landmark case which will forever change baseball, Andy Messersmith becomes one of the first major leaguers to use his new status to sign with a team of his choice. The former Dodger right-hander comes to terms with the Braves and will post a 16-15 record during his two-year tenure for his new club.
2012 Vin Scully misses the Dodgers’ home opener for the first time in 35 years when doctors order the 84 year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster to rest as he recovers from a bad cold. The last time the team’s play-by-play announcer was absent from the season’s first home game he was calling the first round of the Masters in 1977.
As if losing Seager and Scherzer and possibly Kershaw aren’t enough, now comes word that the Dodgers tried to extend RHP Walker Buehler’s contract last spring and he turned the offer down. Now, he’s under club control for another three years, hard as that may be to believe, but he’s in line for big raises through arbitration in each of the next two years, and by the time he hits free agency he’ll be about to enter his age-30 season in 2025. What if Turner, Kershaw, Bellinger and Urias are gone by that point? All of them will have completed their current contracts by that season. Will the team want to spend millions on one pitcher if the entire roster has been depleted?
Or maybe their roster will have been reloaded by then, given their Baseball American farm system ranking of #8. But is that a good bet?