May 20

Game 44, 2017

Marlins at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-F, MLBN (out-of-market only)

RHP Dan Straily (1-3, 3.56 ERA) goes for the Marlins against LHP Julio Urias (0-1, 3.343 ERA) of the Dodgers. Straily took a line drive off his right forearm in his last start but hasn’t let that stop him. He hasn’t allowed more than four hits in any of his last seven starts and averages an NL-leading 5.02 hits per nine innings. Urias had a terrible experience in Denver his last time out when he gave up six runs in four innings, which ballooned his ERA from 1.06 to 3.43. This will be his first start against the Marlins.

This day in Dodgers history:

  • The Dodgers did nothing very interesting on this date in baseball history, unless you count Don Sutton being knocked out in the first inning of a game against the Pirates in 1966. He gave up hits to Alou, Clemente, Stargell, Clendenon and Pagan with a walk to Alley thrown in and was relieved by Bob Miller.

Lineup:

Turner remains on the shelf. Taylor plays 3B and Utley goes back to his long-time spot at 2B.

May 19

Game 43, 2017

Marlins at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-F

The Marlins have caught on too: they’re trotting out YALHP Justin Nicolino (0-0, 1.50 ERA). He was just promoted from AAA and gave up one run in six innings against the Braves last week. On April 27, 2016 he threw 7 1/3 shutout innings against the Dodgers in his first start of the year. He’ll face the Dodgers’ Alex Wood (4-0, 2.27 ERA), the reigning NL Player of the Week. Part of Wood’s success can be attributed to a 37.4-percent strikeout rate over the last 30 days, second only to Red Sox ace Chris Sale.

This day in Dodgers history:

  • Nothing involving the Dodgers was very notable, but a future Dodger made his MLB debut on this date in:
  • 1984 Joining the club in St. Louis, Eric Davis makes his major league debut, grounding out to short as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning of the Reds’ 9-1 loss to the Redbirds. The 22 year-old rookie is forced to wear a numberless jersey when Cincinnati forgets to pack an extra road uniform. That seems emblematic of all the good he did the Dodgers when he played for them in 1992-1993

The Dodgers and JT dodged a serious bullet: his hamstring is merely strained. They’ve put him on the 10-day DL and brought up Eibner.

Lineup when available.

May 11

Game 35, 2017

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM

Fresh from the 10-day DL, LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-4, 4.05 ERA) goes to the mound. He’ll face YALHP Tyler Anderson (2-3, 6.69 ERA). Ryu was recovering from a hip contusion suffered while sliding; his trip to the DL had nothing to do with his arm. In his last two starts he’s gone 11 1/3 innings and given up just two runs while striking out 12. Anderson gave up one run on six hits and a walk in six innings in his last start last Saturday.

Two guys to watch: Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is 6-for-12 with two home runs, four RBIs and two strikeouts against Ryu while the Dodgers’ Justin Turner is even more of a tormentor of Anderson — 7-for-12 (.583) with two doubles, one home run, four RBIs, one walk and no strikeouts.

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1963 Sandy Koufax takes a perfect game into the eighth inning before walking Ed Bailey on a 3-and-2 pitch, but will finish the Dodger Stadium contest with the second of four career no-hitters, blanking the Giants, 8-0. The Los Angeles southpaw beats San Francisco ace Juan Marichal, who will also author a no-hitter next month.

Lineup when available.

May 01

Game 27, 2017

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS-BA, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Look, a right-handed opponent! Yes, the Giants are sending out Johnny Cueto (3-1, 5.10 ERA) to do battle with the Dodgers and lefty Clayton Kershaw (4-1, 2.29 ERA). Here’s a useless stat for you: over his career Cueto is 23-13 in May with a 2.80 ERA. Here’s perhaps a more useful one: he’s allowed six home runs in five starts this season, including three in the last two. He gave up only 15 for the entire 2016 season.

Kershaw, on the other hand, seems to have come out of the gate in mid-season form. He’s looking for his fourth straight win, and his lifetime record against the Giants suggests he might just get it if his team can hit. He’s beaten them 19 times and he’s got a 1.60 ERA in 37 games versus them.

Turner extended his hitting streak to 16, the longest one in MLB in the new season.

Lineup when available.

Apr 23

Game 19, 2017

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

RHP Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 2.12 ERA) takes the mound for the Dodgers and RHP Shelby Miller (2-1, 3.50 ERA) does so for the D-Backs. Both pitchers had forgettable 2016 seasons — McCarthy with Tommy John surgery and Miller with poor performances all round (3-12, 6.15 ERA for the year with no wins at Chase Field).

McCarthy, 33, has bounced around the big leagues — the Dodgers are his sixth team. He’s never had a brilliant season but has been serviceable when healthy. His career record is 59-68 with a 4.13 ERA in 1069 innings.

Miller, 26, was a 15-game winner in 2013 and 2014 with the Cardinals before going to the Braves in exchange for outfielder Jason Heyward. He had a horrible W-L record (6-17) but a good ERA (3.02) in 2015 with the Braves. He was traded to the D-Backs following that season. For his career he’s 37-48 with a 3.68 ERA in 694 innings.

The Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Andrew Toles and Yasiel Puig are a combined 16-for-33 (.485) against Miller. On the other hand, before Saturday’s game Goldschmidt was a career .313 hitter (121-for-386) with 24 homers and 80 RBIs vs. the Dodgers.

Lineup when available.

Dec 04

Winter Meetings begin

And what will the Dodgers do? Here’s one thought from the LA Daily News:

… the Dodgers’ focus this winter seems less about making significant additions to the roster and more about maintaining what they have already built — an uncommonly deep roster with flexibility and a more manageable payroll.

“Yeah, that’s a really, really good team,” Friedman said of a 2017 roster with the same elements intact that produced 91 wins in 2016 and fell two games short of reaching the World Series.

That group would return with the prospects of improved health, Friedman points out – how could it not be better than last year’s? — and added maturity for the young players who made such critical contributions.

But there is a strain of wistfulness in Friedman’s comments. He is aware just how unlikely it is that the Dodgers will be able to put last year’s band back together.

The word is that they’ve reached a deal with Rich Hill for three years and $40 million, so that’s one part of the puzzle, although not the most important one, at least as far as blogger Howard Cole is concerned. To him Justin Turner’s resigning is Job One.

I guess we’ll see what Friedman and Company do.

Nov 03

Now the offseason has officially begun

And it starts with the announcement that nine Dodgers are officially free agents. Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen top the list, followed by by starting pitchers Rich Hill and Brett Anderson, relievers Joe Blanton, J.P. Howell and Jesse Chavez, outfielder Josh Reddick and second baseman Chase Utley. Scott Kazmir and Carlos Ruiz could join the list depending on their respective opt-outs.

My personal opinion? Keeping Turner and Jansen should be management’s first priority. After that it’s mixed. I doubt they’ll keep Utley. I think I’d keep Blanton and Howell, I’d try to keep Hill, and I’d watch Reddick and Chavez go.

What do you think?

Sep 20

Game 151, 2016

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: ESPN2, SPNLA, CS-BA

The Dodgers ask Rich Hill (12-4, 2.06 ERA) to continue the excellent work he’s done in his first four starts for the team, although he did stumble his last time out when he gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings against the D-Backs. Those were the first four runs he’d given up since he came to the Dodgers, so they can be forgiven. He’ll face Johnny Cueto (16-5, 2.86 ERA), who’s been a horse for the Giants all year long. This will be his fifth start against the Dodgers this season. He gave up six runs to them in April but has given up two runs or fewer in each of the last three times he’s faced them.

Turner on Cueto:

“He only throws three pitches, but with the slide-step and hesitation, it feels like nine or 10 pitches,” said Turner. “He changes the tempo, and it messes with my timing. For me, it’s a fight because of my leg kick. That quick pitch, it makes it hard for me to get the leg kick. I try to anticipate the quick pitch every time and be ready to go. It’s a cat-and-mouse game every time. He’s one of my favorite guys to face.”

Personnel news: Wood activated from DL, Norris DFAed to make room on the 40-man roster.

The Dodgers’ record after 150 games this season is identical to their record after 150 games last season.

Lineup when available.

Sep 12

Game 143, 2016

Dodgers at Yankees, 4:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, YES

RHP Jose De Leon (1-0, 4.50 ERA) makes his second big league start for the Dodgers, and RHP Brian Mitchell (1-0, 0.00 ERA) goes for the Yankees. De Leon is rated the #2 prospect in the Dodgers’ organization, while Mitchell is highly regarded by the Yankees. De Leon went six innings against the Padres on September 4, giving up four runs, three earned. Mitchell spent five months recovering from a left big toe which needed surgery for a broken bone, so his first start of the year was September 7 against the Blue Jays. He went five scoreless innings in that game.

Turner or Ethier may DH for the Dodgers in this game.

Here’s a good story by Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register talking to Joc Pederson about his improvement in hitting and reduction in strikeouts this season.

Lineup when available.

Kendrick at 1B? Hmm.