Sep 26

Game 159, 2019

Dodgers at Padres, 12:40 PM PDT, TV: FSSD, SPNLA

LHP Clayton Kershaw (15-5, 3.15 ERA) tunes up for the playoffs and tries to get his ERA below 3.00. He’ll face LHP Joey Lucchesi (10-9, 4.28 ERA). Kershaw gave up three HRs and four runs in six innings to the Rockies his last time out but still got the win thanks to the Dodgers’ prolific offense. Lucchesi has had two bad outings in a row (11 runs in 7 2/3 innings), but his sophomore season has been otherwise acceptable.

Here’s Rios’s 473-foot HR:

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1908 Cubs right-hander Ed Reulbach pitches two shutouts in the same day, whitewashing the Brooklyn Superbas in the opener 5-0 on a five-hitter and 3-0 on three hits in the nightcap. The entire Washington Park doubleheader takes less than three hours to complete.
  • 1954 Willie Mays, with three hits in the season finale, wins the batting title, finishing the campaign with a .345 average. The ‘Say Hey Kid’ goes third to first in batting average with his performance passing teammate Don Mueller (.342) and Dodger center fielder Duke Snider (341).1975 Burt Hooton sets a Dodger record for starting pitchers by winning his twelfth consecutive game. The 25 year-old right-hander, who was traded to LA in May for Eddie Solomon and Geoff Zahn, accomplishes the feat by beating J.R. Richard and the Astros at Dodger Stadium, 3-2.
  • 1981 Nolan Ryan becomes the first pitcher to throw five no-hitters when the Astros defeat the Dodgers at the Astrodome, 5-0. The Ryan Express, who will finish his 27-year major league career with a record seven no-hitters, previously has thrown hitless gems against the Royals (1973), Tigers (1973), Twins (1974), and Orioles (1975).

  • 1997 Dodger catcher Mike Piazza, in a 10-4 win over the Rockies, hits the longest home run in the history of Coors Field. The 28 year-old backstop’s sixth-inning blast travels 496 feet and hits the left-center field billboard between the scoreboard and the Rockpile.

Lineup when available.

Aug 27

Game 134, 2019

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: FSSD, MLBTV, SPNLA

RHP Walker Buehler (10-3, 3.16 ERA) takes his show on the road, where his ERA is two runs higher than it is at home. He’ll try to reduce that tonight facing RHP Cal Quantrill (6-4, 3.32 ERA), who is Canadian and thus probably not related to William Quantrill of Lawrence Massacre infamy. In Buehler’s last start he went seven scoreless innings against the Blue Jays but got no decision in a game the Dodgers won on a Muncy walk-off HR in the tenth inning. Quantrill has seen both relief and spot start duty this season, but in his last eight starts dating back to June he’s pitched well, posting a 2.22 ERA in those games.

Here’s the error in the sixth inning which gave the Padres the tying runs and led to the winning one:

May should have backed up, but in my view Pollock didn’t throw a fastball to Turner; he should have caught it.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1890 On Labor Day at Brooklyn’s Washington Park, the Bridegrooms, later to be known as the Dodgers, win all three games against Pittsburgh in the first tripleheader ever played. The home team sweeps the visiting Alleghenys, who will be renamed the Pirates next season, 10-9, 3-2, and 8-4.
  • 1953 The Cardinals tie a major league mark, hitting five homers in a 12-5 loss to Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. The solo shots hit by Stan Musial, Harry Elliot, Rip Repulski, and Steve Bilko (2), all off starter Preacher Roe, aren’t enough to offset the Dodgers’ 17-hit attack, which includes six doubles but no round-trippers.
  • 1969 At Dodger Stadium, Willie Davis ties the franchise record by hitting in 29 consecutive games with his second-inning single in LA’s 10-6 victory over New York. The mark was established by Zack Wheat in 1916.

Also, last year on this date the Dodgers acquired David Freese from the Pirates for minor leaguer Jesus Manuel Valdez.

Lineup when available.

Aug 02

Game 112, 2019

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: FSSD, SPNLA

LHP Eric Lauer, (5-8, 4.52 ERA) will face the Dodgers’ highest-ranked pitching prospect, RHP Dustin May (0-0, 0.00 ERA). Lauer has been slumping; he’s 1-4 since June 3. The 21-year-old Mr. May was just called up by the Dodgers from OKC yesterday. It may be the Dodgers are looking at this as an audition for a September call-up. They may wonder how he’ll do against big league competition in case they want to use him in relief in the post-season, or maybe they’re thinking of adding him to the rotation and moving Maeda to the bullpen for the playoffs, where he’s had success. Feel free to speculate.

Here’s young Mr. Smith’s grand slam in Thursday’s game:

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1938 Bright yellow baseballs designed by Frederick Rah, who believes the visibility of the dandelion-hue sphere will help players avoid getting hit by a pitch, are used in the first game of a doubleheader. The one-game experiment draws mixed reactions and the Dodgers complete their sweep of the twin bill from the Cardinals, 6-2 and 9-3, using the traditional white ball in the nightcap.
  • 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.
  • 2017 The Dodgers lost to the Braves, ending their nine-game winning streak. Had they won it would have been the third time that season they’d have won ten straight. The bullpen gave up the go-ahead runs in the eighth inning at Sun Trust Park in Atlanta.

Lineup when available.

Jul 27

Game 106, 2019

Dodgers at Nationals, 1:05 PM PDT, TV: MASN, SPNLA

LHP Clayton Kershaw (8-2, 2.84 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and RHP Joe Ross (0-2, 9.45 ERA) takes the mound for the Nationals. In his last start Kershaw went six scoreless innings and struck out ten, leaving with a six-run lead and then watching the bullpen give up all of it. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Matt Beaty hit a three-run HR in the 8th inning to give the Dodgers the eventual win. Ross will be making his second start of the year; his first was Sunday, July 21. He gave up three runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings in a spot start.

Here’s Turner’s 8th-inning three-run HR which gave the Dodgers a 4-1 lead:

Yesterday was the fourth consecutive day someone had a three-HR game.

The streak began with Robinson Cano of the New York Mets on Tuesday. Paul DeJong of the St. Louis Cardinals and Nelson Cruz of the Minnesota Twins followed up on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, before Betts went deep three times in the first four innings against Yankees starter James Paxton.

Prior to Thursday, it had never actually happened on three straight days in MLB history.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1918 In his major league debut, Robins (Dodgers) starter Harry Heitman, after giving up hits to four consecutive batters in a 22-7 loss to the Cardinals, is pulled from the Ebbets Field contest. The 21 year-old Brooklyn rookie right-hander will never hurl again in the big leagues, ending his career with an ERA of infinity.
  • 1959 The Continental League is formally announced, with franchises located in Denver, Houston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York City, and Toronto. The concept of the new major league is the brainchild of William Shea, an attorney who proposed the idea a year after the Giants and Dodgers left New York City to move to the West Coast.
  • 1966 Sandy Koufax strikes out 16 Phillies and Jim Bunning whiffs 12 Dodgers in the first 11 innings of a pitching duel between future Hall of Famers at Chavez Ravine. With both starters out of the game, Los Angeles beats Philadelphia, 2-1, thanks to an unearned run scored in the bottom of the twelfth inning.
  • 1998 Tony Womack of the Pirates establishes a new major league mark by not grounding out into a double play in 888 consecutive at-bats, breaking the record previously established by Dodger outfielder Pete Reiser in 1946.
  • 2005 Ryan Freel becomes the first player in the Reds’ 136-year history to steal five bases in a game, including two in the ninth that moves him to third base, where he scores the eventual winning run on Felipe Lopez’s sacrifice fly. The Cincinnati second baseman’s thievery contributes to the team’s 7-6 victory over the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. [Note: the Dodgers’ catcher was Jason Phillips, in his only season with the team.]

Lineup when available.

Jun 19

Game 75, 2019

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: ESPN, NBCS BA, SPNLA

LHP Drew Pomeranz (2-6, 6.43 ERA) has adjusted his arm slot (whatever that might be) and pitched 10 consecutive innings without surrendering an earned run in his last two starts. LHP Rich Hill (4-1, 2.60 ERA) gave up two HRs to the Cubs in two-plus innings his last time out and then went the next four innings allowing just one hit to get his third straight win in June.

Kershaw had a good night:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1952 Carl Erskine throws a no-hitter against the Cubs in the Dodgers’ 5-0 victory at Ebbets Field. A third inning walk to the opposing pitcher, which accounts for the only runner to reach base, may have been a result of skipper Chuck Dressen telling the 25 year-old right-hander to speed up his pitches due to an impending storm.
  • 1963 At Yankee Stadium, the Mayor’s Trophy Game is revived, with the cellar-dwelling Mets beating the mighty Yanks, 6-2. Prior to leaving for the West Coast, the Dodgers would play the Bronx Bombers in the annual midsummer exhibition contest to raise money for sandlot baseball teams.
  • 1972 At Three Rivers Stadium, Roberto Clemente hits a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to become the Pirates’ all-time RBI leader. The Pittsburgh right fielder’s three ribbies in the 13-3 drubbing of the Dodgers give the future Hall of Famer a total of 1,274 runs batted in for the Bucs.
  • 1973 In different games, the Reds’ Pete Rose and Dodger Willie Davis both collect their 2,000th career hit. The Cincinnati infielder, known as ‘Charlie Hustle’, reaches the milestone with a single against San Francisco in the Reds’ 4-0 victory at Candlestick Park, and the L.A. outfielder, known as ‘3-Dog’, reaches the plateau in front of the home crowd with a two-run home run in the team’s 3-0 victory over Atlanta.
  • 1990 Gary Carter breaks a National League mark when he catches his 1,862nd career game in the Giants’ 4-3 loss to San Diego. The ‘Kid’ surpasses Al Lopez, who had established the record for backstops in 1946 after playing 18 seasons in the Senior Circuit with the Dodgers, Braves, and Pirates.

Also of note: In 2003 during a College World Series contest against Stanford, a pitch strikes Cal State Fullerton shortstop Justin Turner on the left side of his face as he attempts to bunt. Adding insult to injury, the future Mets and Dodgers infielder also suffers a broken ankle on the play when he unsuccessfully tries to avoid getting hit by the 87-mph fastball thrown by Matt Manship.

Lineup when available.


May 31

Game 58, 2019

Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA

One-time Cubs ace RHP Jake Arrieta (5-4, 3.60 ERA) takes the mound for the Phillies. He’ll face RHP Kenta Maeda (6-2, 3.67 ERA) of the Dodgers. In 8 of his 11 starts this season Arrieta has given up three earned runs or fewer. In his last start Maeda came back from the IL and went five innings, giving up three runs on two HRs to the Pirates but getting the win.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1937 In Game 1 of a Memorial Day doubleheader, Carl Hubbell’s consecutive-game winning streak, compiled over two seasons, ends at 24 when the Dodgers, led by Babe Phelps’ 5-for-6 performance, defeat the Giants at the Polo Grounds, 10-3. ‘King Carl’ is honored between games when the southpaw is presented with the National League’s 1936 MVP Award by Babe Ruth.
  • 1948 Tommy Lasorda, best known as the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame skipper, strikes out 25 batters and collects the game-winning hit when the Schenectady Blue Jays defeat the Amsterdam Rugmakers, 6-5, in 15 innings. The promising southpaw, who goes the distance in the CanAm minor-league contest played in McNearney Stadium, believes he probably threw more than 300 pitches during the game.
  • 1965 For the first time in history, an all-switch-hitting infield starts a big league game. In the nightcap of a twin bill, the Dodgers, with Wes Parker at first base, Jim Lefebvre at second, Maury Wills at shortstop, and Jim Gilliam at third, lose to the visiting Reds, 6-1.
  • 1968 Don Drysdale’s shutout streak stays intact when home plate umpire Harry Wendelstedt rules that Dick Dietz, who is hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, did not make an attempt to get out of the way of the right-hander’s delivery. The Giants catcher finishes the at-bat by popping up, and the next two batters also make outs to give ‘Big D” his fifth straight shutout, tying a major league established by White Sox hurler Doc White in 1904.
  • 2001 The Red Sox finally beat the Yankees in their eighth attempt, and for the first time in over a year since Pedro Martinez scoffed at the ‘Curse’. The right-hander was 7-1 with a 1.44 ERA when he said, “Wake up the Bambino and let me face him — I’ll drill him in the “%#$,” but after the comment he managed only seven more winless starts, making it first time he did not win in seven straight starts since the first seven major league appearances as a rookie with the Dodgers.
  • 2012 With their 6-2 victory, the Brewers beat LA at Chavez Ravine for the fourth consecutive day, making the Brew Crew the first visiting team to sweep a four-game series since the Rockies accomplished the feat in August, 1993. The victories also mark the first time the franchise has ever swept the Dodgers.

Lineup when available.


Hmm. Turner’s hamstring might be a little more painful than expected. What else would explain Muncy at third base and Beaty at first? On the other hand, Beaty has played 165 games at first in the minors, more than at any other position.

May 08

Game 39, 2019

Braves at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSE

The Braves send RHP Mike Foltynewicz (0-1, 5.06 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 2.77 ERA). Foltynewicz missed spring training and most of April with a bone spur in his elbow. He was scheduled to be the Braves’ Opening Day starter. In his return from the IL he had a 6.11 ERA in four Triple-A rehab starts and hasn’t done much better in his first two starts for Atlanta. Kershaw too had a slow start to the season; this will be his fifth start of 2019. He’s averaging six-plus innings per appearance.

Turner had a big night:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1941 An Army-Navy Relief game between New York’s two National League teams raises over $60,000. Dolph Camilli’s homer is the difference in the Ebbets Field exhibition as the Dodgers edge the Giants, 7-6.
  • 2012 Josh Hamilton becomes the 16th major leaguer to hit four home runs in one game when he blasts an 0-2 pitch over the Camden Yards centerfield fence in the eighth inning of the Rangers’ 10-3 victory over Baltimore. The Texas outfielder, who connected each time with a man on base, also hits a double to set the American League’s single-game record for total bases with 18, one shy of Shawn Green’s major league mark of 19 established in 2002 with the Dodgers.

In a sign that the apocalypse cannot be far away, in 2012 the New York State Senate congratulates Mr. Met with a voice approved resolution, honoring the larger-than-life bobblehead for being named the best mascot in the U.S. in a fan survey conducted by the Marketing Arm. The Amazins’ spherical symbol of cheer, who defeated the popular Phillie Phanatic in the poll, is commended by the legislative body for having his legacy serve as “a sterling example for all mascots”.

Lineup when available.


Oct 30

Gather ’round the stove, y’all

We go into the offseason earlier than we hoped and without the ultimate prize, so who’s coming back to ensure we get back to the Series for the third consecutive year?

…the Dodgers retain their nucleus. Hill will return for the final year of a three-year deal he signed after 2016. Justin Turner and Jansen will be back. Max Muncy, this year’s breakout star, will be back and cost-controlled. Seager is expected to be healthy. A young nucleus of position players that includes Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernández and Joc Pederson will also come back, with Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo perhaps ready to take on bigger roles.

Kershaw or not, the rotation could post a combination of Buehler and Julio Urías that is currently a combined 45 years old.

Besides Kershaw, other free agents include Machado, Freese, Dozier, and Grandal. Despite the current dissatisfaction with Grandal,

…only J.T. Realmuto was a more valuable catcher by Baseball Prospectus’ WARP metric, and he is coming off the best offensive season of his career. He will be paid, and handsomely, as the Dodgers will look to find a catching partner to join the light-hitting Austin Barnes.

Beyond Kershaw’s decision, which must be made this week, the biggest question is whether Dave Roberts will manage the team next year. You’d think three consecutive playoff appearances and two trips to the World Series would make that question ludicrous, but baseball owners have done screwier things*.

To win the World Series, the Dodgers would have had to play better than they had for any seven-game stretch all season. Roberts would have had to nail every single decision, which he did not. Puig would have had to throw to the cutoff man, which he did not. Their pitchers would have had to pitch to their strengths, which they did not. Their hitters would have had to, well, hit.

“You have to realize that we are a really good team to get to go to the World Series two years in a row,” Kershaw said. “It might not be a personnel thing. It might just be a ‘play better’ thing.”

So, what’s next? Here are selected events from Major League Baseball’s calendar:

  • Nov. 2, 2018 Deadline for teams to extend qualifying offer to own free agents, 5 p.m. ET
  • Nov. 8-15, 2018 Japan All-Star Tour (including CT3)
  • Nov. 12, 2018 Deadline for players to accept or reject qualifying offer, 5 p.m. ET
  • Nov. 30, 2018 Non-tender deadline
  • Dec. 9-13, 2018 Winter Meetings in Las Vegas
  • Dec. 13, 2018 Rule 5 Draft

*Back in 1964 the Cardinals’ owner Gussie Busch fired the team’s entire senior management in August, leaving field manager Johnny Keane as sole survivor for the time. Shortly after the Cardinals won the World Series, Keane surprised management by resigning (and then being hired by the Yankees, who’d just lost to Keane’s former team).

Aug 02

Game 110, 2018

Brewers at Dodgers, 6:00 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI, Dish455

The Brewers send ace RHP Jhoulys Chacín (10-3, 3.45 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ ace LHP Clayton Kershaw (4-5, 2.52 ERA). Had Kershaw not been on the DL for nearly a month this season I suspect his W-L record would be as scintillating as his ERA is. Chacín has gone 18 innings in his last three starts and given up just three earned runs over that stretch. People are fussing about Kershaw’s lower velocity so far this year, but he’s still getting people out and his strikeouts-per-nine-innings ratio of 9.17 is only one below what he averaged from 2014-2017.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1938 Bright yellow baseballs designed by Frederick Rah, who believes the visibility of the dandelion-hue sphere will help players avoid getting hit by a pitch, are used in the first game of a doubleheader. The one-game experiment draws mixed reactions and the Dodgers complete their sweep of the twin bill from the Cardinals, 6-2 and 9-3, using the traditional white ball in the nightcap.
  • 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.
  • 2017 The Dodgers lost to the Braves, ending their nine-game winning streak. Had they won it would have been the third time that season they’d have won ten straight. The bullpen gave up the go-ahead runs in the eighth inning at Sun Trust Park in Atlanta.

Lineup when available.


Turner’s back from the DL, which moves Machado back to SS. Muncy’s back after a day off and Bellinger moves to CF. That means Kemp and Taylor get the night off unless they’re need for pinch-hitting duties.

Jul 22

Game 99, 2018

Dodgers at Brewers, 11:10 AM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI, Dish455

The Dodgers try to win the rubber match with LHP Alex Wood (5-5, 3.92 ERA) pitching against the Brewers’ LHP Brent Suter (8-6, 4.39 ERA). We’re told Wood has “corrected a mechanical flaw” and is “pitching with more confidence.” He’s won four of his last six starts, averaging six innings in each of them. Suter tied for the team lead in wins at the All Star break with eight, but he’s been slumping. He’s given up 10 runs in 16 innings in his last three starts.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1913 In a game against the Superbas (Dodgers), Slim Sallee becomes the first pitcher in Cardinal history to steal home. In the third inning, the Redbird southpaw scores the first run in St. Louis’s 3-1 victory over Brooklyn at Ebbets Field.
  • 1966 The Mets left fielder learns he is a new dad when the Dodger Stadium scoreboard relays the message, “Congratulations, Ron Swoboda. Your new son is born tomorrow morning”. Cecilia Swoboda gave birth to Chipper, the couple’s first child, at 1:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time, making it the next day on the West Coast.
  • 2005 Yhency Brazoban records his 18th save when he works a perfect ninth inning as the Dodgers beat the Mets, 6-5. The Los Angeles freshman, who is filling in for injured closer Eric Gagne, breaks Steve Howe’s club rookie record for saves established in 1980.

Lineup when available.


Turner is back in the lineup. Whether he’s fully healthy is a different question.