Jun 19

Game 72, 2018

Dodgers at Cubs, 5:05 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ABC 7

For the Dodgers it’ll be LHP Rich Hill (1-2, 6.20 ERA) in the nightcap of this forced doubleheader. He has had a rough start to 2018, starting just six games and lasting just 24 2/3 innings in the first 2 1/2 months of the season. He’s been on the DL twice, first with a cracked fingernail and then with a blister. Mike Montgomery (2-2, 3.31 ERA) will start for the Cubs. This will be his 23rd appearance. The first 18 were in relief, but he’s started in his last four games. He’s got an impressive 1.14 ERA over those starts in 23 2/3 innings, too.


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 15

Game 41, 2018

Dodgers at Marlins, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FS-F

LHP Alex Wood (0-3, 3.60 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers against the Marlins’ LHP Wei-Yin Chen (1-2, 10.22 ERA). This will be Wood’s ninth start. He has pitched better than his record indicates as opponents are hitting only .219 against him. Chen has been far better at home than on the road this year, which bodes well for him this evening.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 After 12 scoreless innings at Ebbets Field, the Reds score ten runs in the 13th inning to beat Al Mamaux and the Dodgers, 10-0. Cincinnati starter Hod Eller, who tossed a no-hitter in his previous start, is the beneficiary of the blowout.
  • 1956 Sal Maglie, obtained on waivers by Cleveland last season from the Giants, is shipped to the Dodgers for a hundred dollars after impressing Brooklyn in an exhibition game. The ‘Barber’ will post a 13-5 record along with a 2.89 ERA for the eventual NL Champs, finishing second to teammate Don Newcombe in the balloting for both the Cy Young and MVP awards.
  • 1998 On the day the Marlins trade Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios to the Dodgers for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile, the team hangs on to beat the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, 8-7. In the first inning, the Fish connect for nine consecutive hits, a franchise record, and score seven runs, all without the help of their recently departed teammates.

Turner and Forsythe both return. I hope they’re both fully recovered and not trying to come back too soon.

Lineup when available.


Apr 15

Game 14, 2018

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

The D-Backs go for a second consecutive sweep of a series against the Dodgers this season, putting RHP Zach Godley (2-0, 0.64 ERA) on the mound against the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (0-2, 1.89 ERA). Godley went seven innings against the Giants his last time out, giving up four hits and no runs. Kershaw went seven innings, also against the Giants, and gave up one run on six hits in a game the Dodgers won in ten innings.

ESPN reports that Forsythe left the game with shoulder discomfort and will have an MRI Sunday. Kiké Hernandez and Kyle Farmer are expected to play third until that’s resolved. On Saturday Justin Turner “played catch while wearing a glove on his right hand as he assisted with infield practice.” There’s no timetable for his return yet, Manager Roberts said.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1909 On Opening Day, the Superbas are no-hit by the Giants’ Red Ames for 9.1 innings. The Polo Grounds contest will go thirteen innings before Brooklyn defeats the 26 year-old right-hander, 3-0.
  • 1930 On Opening Day, Phillies’ southpaw Les Sweetland throws a three-hitter at Ebbets Field. The 28 year-old southpaw doubles and scores the lone run in the eighth inning of his 1-0 complete-game victory over Brooklyn.
  • 1933 In his major league debut, Tigers rookie Lynwood “Schoolboy” Rowe tosses a six-hitter, blanking the White Sox, 3-0. During his 15-year career, playing also with the Dodgers and Phillies, Rowe will compile a 158-101 record, posting an ERA of 3.87.
  • 1947 A year before President Truman desegregated the military, Jackie Robinson debuts for the Dodgers, becoming the first black player to participate in a major league game this century. In front of 25,623 Ebbets Field fans, the 28 year-old first baseman is hitless in three at-bats, but scores a run in the 5-3 Opening Day victory over the Braves.
  • 1958 On Opening Day, the transplanted New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers play the first major league game on the West Coast. The California contest sees Ruben Gomez blanking Los Angeles and Don Drysdale at San Francisco’s Seals Stadium, 8-0.
  • 1959 Cardinal right-hander Bob Gibson makes his major league debut at LA Memorial Coliseum, tossing the final two innings in a 5-0 loss to the Dodgers. The 23 year-old rookie becomes the first future Hall of Fame hurler to give up a home run to the first batter he faces in the major leagues when third baseman Jim Baxes takes him deep in the seventh inning.
  • 2004 Major league baseball begins the tradition of Jackie Robinson Day, an annual celebration commemorating the day the color line was broken in 1947. At big league venues across the country ceremonies are being held to honor the ground-breaking historic event, including baseball commissioner Bud Selig and Jackie’s widow Rachel Robinson attending the festivities at Shea Stadium.
  • 2005 The Dodgers, to commemorate the 58th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game in the big leagues, wear replicas of the old road uniforms worn by the 1947 team which played in Brooklyn. Right-hander Derek Lowe throws a three-hitter, blanking the Padres in San Diego, 4-0.
  • 2007 To honor Jackie Robinson, some players on each team, including Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter and Braves’ outfielder Andruw Jones, wear the Dodger immortal’s uniform No. 42 on the 60th anniversary of his historic breaking the color barrier in baseball. In the Cardinals and Brewers contest at Busch Stadium, every player and coach on both teams dons Jackie’s revered number.

Lineup when available.


Mar 29

Opening Day, 2018

Giants at Dodgers, 4:08 PM PDT, ESPN

It’ll be LHP Ty Blach for the visiting Giants and LHP Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers. Blach has been very good at Dodger Stadium in his four appearances: he’s got a 1.38 ERA. Kershaw will be making his eighth Opening Day start for the Dodgers, a new franchise record. He had previously shared the record of seven with Don Drysdale and Don Sutton. This will be Kershaw’s 41st career start against the Giants: he’s 22-9 with a 1.60 ERA in the first 40.

The Dodgers are virtually the same team as the NL Champions of last year, albeit temporarily without third baseman and team leader Justin Turner. They do have a left-field platoon which includes prodigal Matt Kemp; I think it’s fair to say most fans didn’t expect to see him still here on Opening Day. And I wonder: Andre Ethier is still a free agent and would have been cheaper to keep than Kemp is.

This is the 12th season opener between the clubs since they moved west in 1958. The Giants have won 6 of the previous 11.

An Opening Day Quiz from George Will at the Washington Post. I started off like a house afire and faded in the later innings. I scored 21 of 41.

Lineup when available.

Kiké hitting cleanup. O-o-o-kay.

Mar 19

Turner breaks wrist, out weeks

This is a fine how-do-you-do.

Dodgers All-Star third baseman Justin Turner suffered a small non-displaced fracture of his left wrist Monday night when hit by a Kendall Graveman pitch. He will open the season on the disabled list and be re-examined by local hand specialist, Dr. Brian Shafer, on Tuesday to determine how long he will be sidelined.

General manager Farhan Zaidi said this type of injury is “usually on the order of weeks” and surgery probably won’t be necessary. He said the club is not looking to replace Turner with an acquisition because of confidence in its internal depth.

Video of the incident and of Manager Dave Roberts talking about the injury at this link.

Dec 29

Cue Felix Mendelssohn

There have been or will be not one, not two, but six Dodger weddings this offseason. There might even be seven, but Kiké Hernandez and his fiancée may not have set a date yet.

Messrs. Ryu, Stripling, Wood, Turner, Barnes and Pederson have all either gotten hitched already or gotten engaged. Isn’t that sweet? See the pictures at True Blue LA’s link above.

All these gentlemen are obviously taking Satchel Paige’s advice, particularly his 4th rule: “Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social ramble ain’t restful.” Marriage will settle a man right down, I’ve heard.

Oct 29

World Series Game Five, 2017

Dodgers at Astros, 5:00 PM PT, TV: Fox

Lefty Clayton Kershaw goes for the Dodgers and lefty Dallas Keuchel goes for the Astros in a rematch of Game One starters. Kershaw went seven innings, struck out eleven and gave up one run on 83 pitches while getting the win in that game. Keuchel went 6 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and taking the loss.

Odd statistical note: all eight runs Kershaw has allowed this month have been via the home run.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1942 Branch Rickey, the innovator of the farm systems which helped to build a strong Redbird franchise, resigns as the Cardinals’ vice president. Three days later, the Dodgers will announce the Mahatma has been named president of the Brooklyn club, a move that will help to fill the void created by Brooklyn’s general manager Larry MacPhail’s enlistment in the army to serve in World War II.
  • 2008 The Phillies complete the first-ever suspended game in World Series history, playing three innings at Citizens Bank Park, beating the Rays, 4-3, in Game 5 to win the Fall Classic. The World Championship is only the team’s second in franchise history, and its first since 1980.

Lineup when available.


Turner’s knee must be bothering him. Fortunately Forsythe is a good replacement at 3B.

Jul 25

Game 101, 2017

Twins at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSNO

The Twins trot out RHP Jose Berrios (9-3, 3.50 ERA) to face the Dodgers’ RHP Kenta Maeda (8-4, 4.23 ERA). Berrios is 2-2 in his last five outings, logging a 5.26 ERA. Maeda has gone 7-2 with one save in his last 13 appearances, posting a 3.09 ERA while holding batters to a .227 average and striking out 61 against just 17 walks.

Which Dodgers have been hit-by-pitch the most? Alex Cora’s rank on this list surprised me, but I’d forgotten he spent five full years with the Dodgers and parts of two others early in his career.

Chris Taylor is hitting .318, which puts him seventh among National League batting leaders. Justin Turner remains atop the list at .369.

This date in Dodgers history:

  • 1962 At Sportsman’s Park, Stan Musial surpasses Giants’ legend Mel Ott as the National League’s all-time RBI leader. ‘Stan the Man’s’ two-run home run off Don Drysdale in a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers gives the Cardinals’ right fielder 1,862 career runs batted in with the Redbirds. (Ed. — He’s still seventh on the all-time list, behind Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Cap Anson, Barry Bonds and Lou Gehrig)

Non-Dodgers history which amuses me as a lapsed guitarist: 2010 The Baseball Hall of Fame honors John Fogerty for his classic rock song “Centerfield”. At the induction ceremonies, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer performs his 1985 hit and then donates his baseball bat shaped-guitar to the Cooperstown museum. Here’s that song with the man playing that guitar, which I’d never seen before.

Lineup when available.

Jun 19

Game 71, 2017

Mets at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, SNY

This will be the first time the Mets’ RHP Zach Wheeler (3-4, 4.48 ERA) pitches against the Dodgers. He’ll face LHP Clayton Kershaw (9-2, 2.23 ERA).

Wheeler had a pretty good May and June until his last outing, when he was shelled by the Cubs, giving up eight runs in only 1 2/3 innings. He’s coming off Tommy John surgery and has already thrown 64 1/3 innings, which the Mets say is about halfway to the point where they want to shut him down. Kershaw threw seven good innings in his last start against the Indians, and he’s working on an extra day of rest, too. He has been more susceptible to the gopher ball this year than in the past; he’s given up 13 already this season, three short of his career high.

This day 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

Jun 09

Game 62, 2017

Reds at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-O

The Reds have lost their last six games at Dodger Stadium, their last five series there and were swept in last year’s three-game series for the first time since 2009.

YALHP Amir Garrett (3-4, 7.17 ERA) pitches for the Redlegs and Rich Hill (2-2, 4.15 ERA) goes for the Dodgers.

Garrett has been hit hard in his last three starts (21 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings). He spent time on the 10-day DL and came back off just to get lit up by the Braves, lasting only 2 2/3 innings while giving up nine runs (eight earned). Hill has had trouble with finger blisters and with control: his strikeout-to-walk ratio is 1.44 (Kershaw’s is 7.2; McCarthy’s is 3.4). Hill’s WHIP has jumped from 0.79 in his six starts for the Dodgers last season to 1.54 in six this season.

Is this the year Kershaw surpasses Koufax?

Meanwhile, if the arguments about Koufax and Kershaw right now are too close to call, this is probably the last year we can have that debate, if it’s not too late already. Because Kershaw shows no sign of slowing down, and with each passing season he sets a new standard for Dodgers pitchers. In fact, among pitchers with at least 1,500 innings, Kershaw’s 160 ERA+ is the best of all time.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 Dodger standout pitcher Rube Marquard breaks his leg running the bases, ending his season with a record of 3-3. The hard-throwing southpaw will finish his 18-year Hall of Fame career in 1925, after compiling a 201-177 record along with an ERA of 3.08.
  • 1973 Rightfielder Rusty Staub becomes the pivot man in a very unusual double play during a 4-2 Mets victory against the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. Racing in from the outfield, ‘Le Grand Orange’ gets a throw near second base from first baseman John Milner and tags Davey Lopes, who was picked-off from first, and then throws home to nail Tom Paciorek trying to score from second during the P-1B-SS-1B-2B-1B-2B-RF-C rundown.
  • 1990 Eddie Murray ties Mickey Mantle’s major league mark, hitting a homer from both sides of the plate for the tenth time in his career. The switch-hitting first baseman’s second home run of the game, batting left-handed against Eric Show, proves to be the eventual winning run in the Dodgers’ 5-4 victory over San Diego in the 11th inning at Jack Murphy Stadium.

That action enable the following lineup to be put forward.

Lineup when available.