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.

Jun 04

Game 58, 2017

Dodgers at Brewers, 11:10 AM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI, Telemundo

RHP Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.21 ERA) will pitch for the Dodgers and RHP Zach Davies (5-3, 5.18 ERA) goes for the Brewers.

Maeda has had two successive starts in which he’s given up three runs in the first inning and held the opposition scoreless in the next four. He’s 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA lifetime against the Brewers. Davies gave up two earned runs on six hits over five innings to the Mets his last time out but got no decision for his trouble. He’s only faced the Dodgers twice, both times in 2016. He gave up HRs to Turner, Grandal, Trayce Thompson and Seager in those games.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1940 The Cardinals play their first night game at home, losing to Brooklyn, 10-1, despite Joe Medwick’s 5-for-5 performance that included three doubles. The honor of hosting the first evening tilt in St. Louis that took place on May 24 was given to the Browns, after the two teams finally agreed to split the $150,000 cost of installing lights at Sportsman’s Park, the ballpark they share.
  • 1957 At a seventy-five minute show-down meeting at City Hall with Walter O’Malley and Horace Stoneham, the club presidents of the Dodgers and Giants, respectively, Mayor Robert Wagner is told by the owners neither club has a commitment to move out of New York – and none to stay in the Big Apple. The teams, who have been given permission by the National League to explore the possibility of moving their franchises to the West Coast, are assured by His Honor that the city will be of assistance in replacing the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field, the aging ballparks the clubs call home.
  • 1964 At Connie Mack Stadium, Sandy Koufax throws his third no-hitter in three years, blanking the Phillies 3-0. The Dodgers’ southpaw, who will add a perfect game to his resume next season, joins Bob Feller as the only other modern major leaguer to pitch three career hitless games.
  • 1968 Don Drysdale, pitching his sixth consecutive shutout, defeats the Pirates, 5-0. The Dodger right-hander will extend his major league record scoreless streak to 58.2 innings before yielding a run in his next start. Later that evening at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Robert Kennedy, giving his victory speech for his win in the California primary before being fatally shot, tells his followers in the packed ballroom, “I’d like to express my high regard to Don Drysdale, who pitched his sixth straight shutout tonight.”
  • 1972 The Dodgers retire Roy Campanella’s uniform number 39. Campy, who won the MVP three times catching for Brooklyn in the fifties, joins Jackie Robinson (42) and Sandy Koufax (32) to be honored in this manner.
  • 1976 In an 11-0 victory at Dodger Stadium, Mets right fielder Dave Kingman hits three home runs. Sky King’s two-run dinger and two three-run round trippers drive in eight runs, a new club record.
  • 1990 En route to a 6-0 complete-game victory, 22 year-old Dodger right-hander Ramon Martinez limits Atlanta to three hits. Pedro’s older brother, who will finish the season with a 20-6 record, strikes out 18 batters during the contest.
  • 1998 The Dodgers trade the 1995 National League Rookie of the Year Hideo Nomo (2-7 with a 5.05 ERA) and reliever Brad Clontz to the Mets for pitchers Dave Mlicki and Greg McMichael.

Lineup when available.

May 30

Game 53, 2017

Dodgers at Cardinals, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ESPN, FS-M, MLBN free game of the day in non-blackout regions

RHP Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.08 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. He hopes his second start against the Cardinals within a week goes as well as the first, when he gave up three runs in the first but righted the ship, went five innings and got the win. RHP Michael Wacha (2-2, 3.66 ERA), on the other hand, wants to improve on his performance last Thursday against the Dodgers, when he went only four innings, allowed seven hits, six earned runs, two walks and lost the game.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1946 In Boston’s 10-8 victory over the Dodgers, Bama Rowell’s long drive hits the Bulova clock located above the right field scoreboard, making the left-fielder the first major leaguer to reach the famous landmark at Ebbets Field. The crushing four-bagger that shatters the face of the clock causing glass to cascade onto Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker is believed to be the inspiration for author Bernard Malamud having Roy Hobbs, the hero of his 1952 novel, The Natural, belt a similar home run, which also rains glass over the diamond.
  • 1962 Frank Thomas strokes a double off Sandy Koufax in the Mets’ 13-6 loss to Los Angeles, extending his franchise mark of consecutive games with a hit to 18 for the expansion team. The streak, which will be only one shy of Maury Wills’ league-leading total for the season, is halted when the New York left fielder goes 0-for-4 in the nightcap of the Dodgers’ sweep at the Polo Grounds.
  • 1986 In a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium, future home run king Barry Bonds goes 0-for-5 in his major league debut. The Pirates center fielder, batting leadoff, strikes out three times.
  • 1930 Not Dodgers’ history, but for the economists among us, get a load of this prize: Rogers Hornsby receives his MVP award and is given a thousand gold coins by National League president John Heydler at a ceremony at home plate prior to the Cubs’ contest against St. Louis. Ironically, the ‘Rajah’ will break his ankle while advancing to third base during the Wrigley Field contest and will not play again until the middle of August. Ah, when there was a gold standard! (For the record, the price of an ounce of gold was pegged at $20.67 in 1930. If each coin weighed an ounce that was $20,670, not an insignificant amount of cash in that Depression year)

Early returns from this year’s All Star Game voting: Seager at the top, Turner and A-Gon in top five at their respective positions.

Lineup:

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.