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 16

Game 72, 2019

Cubs at Dodgers, 4:05 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

LHP José Quintana (4-6, 3.89 ERA) takes the mound for the Cubs to face LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-1, 1.36 ERA) of the Dodgers. Quintana struggled for 4 2/3 innings against the Rockies last Tuesday while giving up four runs in a Cubs loss. Ryu could have won his tenth game of the season last Monday night had the bullpen not blown a two-run lead after he left the game, just as Buehler could have won his eighth last night had Jansen not surrendered a go-ahead home run in the ninth.

Jansen gave up five HRs in all of 2017, then 13 in 2018, and now five in 28 games in 2019.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1933 Last year’s National League batting champ, Lefty O’Doul, and pitcher Watty Clark, a 20-game winner last season, are traded by the Dodgers to the Giants for first baseman Sam Leslie. Brooklyn’s newest infielder will bat .311 during his three seasons with the team, before returning to New York in 1936.

Lineup when available.


Jun 15

Game 71, 2019

Cubs at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: ABC7 (Chicago), KTLA (Los Angeles), MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

Cubs RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 4.98 ERA) makes his first appearance at Dodger Stadium since his horrific 2017 World Series Game Seven appearance in which he gave up five runs in 1 2/3 innings and put the Dodgers in a hole they couldn’t climb out of. Interestingly, he credits the Dodgers with making him appreciate baseball again.

“The Rangers were an old-school organization,” Darvish said. “They had a lot of rules. I really didn’t like that. But I came to the Dodgers and was told I could do what I wanted. I felt a lot more relaxed. It made me love baseball more. I felt a greater appreciation for the concept of a team.”

Darvish will face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (7-1, 3.35 ERA), who went 5 2/3 innings against the Cubs in April and then gave up a three-run home run to Javier Baez. His last start was a seven-inning scoreless gem against the Giants. His ERA for June is 0.60.

Workout T-shirts:

This is fascinating. WBBsAs found it and posted it in the comments to the last post. It’s some guy (whose language is salty; be forewarned) explaining Jansen’s balk in the ninth inning last night.


Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1938 In the first night game played in New York City, Johnny Vander Meer pitches his second consecutive no-hitter, beating the Dodgers at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, 6-0. Four days ago, the Reds’ southpaw held the Braves hitless in a 3-0 victory at Crosley Field.
  • 1951 The Cubs trade Andy Pafko along with Johnny Schmitz, Wayne Terwilliger, and Rube Walker to the Dodgers for Bruce Edwards, Joe Hatten, Eddie Miksis, and Gene Hermanski. The deal, which prevents the coveted ‘Handy Andy’ from going to the rival Giants, is the first of many to be made by Buzzy Bavasi, Brooklyn’s new general manager.
  • 1996 In the first inning of their 6-2 victory over the Braves, the Dodgers turn their first triple play in forty-seven years. After making a running, back-to-the-plate grab of Chipper Jones’s popup to short left with runners on first and second, Juan Castro throws to second baseman Delino Deshields to double up Marquis Grissom, then the ball is relayed to first baseman Eric Karros to get Mark Lemke, who was also running on the pitch.

Lineup:


Jun 07

Game 64, 2019

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 PM PDT, TV: NBC Bay Area, SPNLA

LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-0, 3.20 ERA) goes to the mound for the Dodgers against the Giants’ LHP Drew Pomeranz (1-6, 8.08 ERA). Kershaw has gone at least six innings in each of his nine starts this season and the Dodgers have won all nine. He’s 22-10 in his career against the Giants with a 1.70 ERA. Pomeranz is having the worst season of his nine-year career; he’s given up 35 earned runs in 39 innings. He faced the Dodgers twice in April and got a no-decision and a loss.

MLB’s Richard Justice has a column titled “7 trades that make perfect sense,” and one of them is:

6. Brad Hand to the Dodgers

You’re probably looking at the Dodgers and thinking, “Do they really need anything?” Sure, they do. Every team needs something, and around the Trade Deadline, an impact acquisition can energize the clubhouse. Hand is about as close to unhittable as any reliever in the game (1.05 ERA), and would combine with Kenley Jansen to make the Dodgers’ bullpen the NL’s best. Along with Bauer, a shrewd Hand trade can really help the Indians rebuild their system.

Potential trade pieces: This one won’t be simple. Yes, the Dodgers have a deep system. Yes, Hand potentially is signed through 2021 at a reasonable rate. But Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is extremely protective of his best young prospects. Outfielders DJ Peters (L.A.’s No. 10 prospect) and Jeren Kendall (No. 15) would make some sense. So would any of three Dodgers catching prospects, possibly Diego Cartaya (No. 9).

I gotta say, I like anything that shores up the bullpen, which currently has a 4.63 ERA, 11th in the National League. Their strikeout rate ranks 14th.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1954 Dodger catcher Roy Campanella steals home in the top of the 12th inning in a 7-5 victory over St. Louis at Sportsman’s Park. Campy had added an insurance run with an eighth inning round-tripper, but the Redbirds scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score.
  • 1957 Howard University awards honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and recently retired Dodgers infielder Jackie Robinson. In the coming years, the former baseball great and the Baptist minister will often appear together at Civil Rights rallies, fundraising events, and demonstrations.

    Jackie Robinson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • 1982 Joining Lou Gehrig, Everett Scott, Billy Williams, and Joe Sewell, Dodger infielder Steve Garvey becomes only the fifth player in major league history to play in 1,000 consecutive games. The first baseman, establishing a National League record, will appear in 1207 consecutive games, before the streak ends next season when he breaks his thumb in a collision at home plate, playing for the Padres.

Lineup when available.


May 17

Game 46, 2019

Dodgers at Reds, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: FS-O, SPNLA

LHP Rich Hill (0-1, 4.20 ERA) was pushed back from the Padres’ series in order to face the lefty-dominant Reds for this reason: lefties are hitting .445 OPS against him while righties are at 1.069 OPS. The Reds give the ball to RHP Anthony DeSclafani (2-1, 4.17 ERA), whose first two outings in May were strong but whose last start was short (4 innings) and unpleasant (eight hits, four runs).

The Dodgers’ management and catchers seem to be frustrated by Kenley Jansen’s insistence on throwing a cutter which isn’t as effective as it once was while his slider has been very effective indeed.

Jansen, 31, has already surrendered as many runs this season as he did in 2017, when he used his signature cutter 85 percent of the time to great success. He is using it just as often in 2019, but the pitch is no longer as dominant.

[snip]

This season, hitters have slugged better than .500 against it, more than two hundred points greater than in 2017. Yet after Tuesday’s save, he had thrown the cutter roughly 300 times this season, and he had thrown the slider only 22 times. Hitters had swung at it 13 times and missed it six times. They had not registered a hit against it.

[snip]

“Kenley obviously knows what he wants to do,” Roberts said. “He can be stubborn at times. He can be convicted at times. We’ve gotta work things out, as far as what we’re trying to do to get Kenley and the catchers on the same page.”

That page, Roberts allowed, covers how best to attack hitters.

“I think that, right now, he can do some different things,” Roberts said.

Which team’s uniforms are the best? MLB polled 85 players and got a tie at the top: the Dodgers and Yankees each received 10 votes.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 At Forbes Field, Hank Greenberg asks Jackie Robinson if the Dodger infielder was hurt in a collision with him at first base earlier in the game and then tells the embattled Brooklyn rookie, “Stick in there. You’re doing fine. Keep your chin up.” Jackie will remark to the writers a few days later that his “diamond hero” is Hank Greenberg, knowing that the Pirates’ first baseman, who due to the bigotry endured as a Jew, can appreciate his difficulty of facing racial injustice every day as the first black player in the major leagues this century.
  • 1978 Pinch-hitting for Davey Lopes in the Los Angeles 10-1 rout of the Pirates, Lee Lacy goes deep in the bottom of the eighth inning off Will McEnaney at Dodger Stadium. The utility player becomes the first player in major league history to homer in three consecutive at-bats as a pinch hitter.
  • 1992 Using only 21 dates, the Blue Jays reach the one-million mark in attendance sooner than any team in major league history. The 1991 Blue Jays and the 1981 Dodgers shared the previous record.

Lineup when available.


May 09

Game 40, 2019

Nationals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: MASN, SPNLA

LHP Patrick Corbin (2-1, 3.71 ERA) makes his first start against the Dodgers as a member of the Nats. As a Diamondback last season he was 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in 23 1/3 innings against them. His opponent will be LHP Rich Hill, (0-0, 3.60 ERA), who’ll be making just his third start. He was sharp in his first one against the Pirates but went only four innings in the second start against the Padres, giving up three runs on two HRs by Manny Machado.

Here is the latest speculation about free agent Craig Kimbrel. The Dodgers could see a need for him if Kenley Jansen can’t stop giving up HRs.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 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).

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).

Sep 10

Game 144, 2018

Dodgers at Reds, 3:40 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FS-O

Lefty Alex Wood (8-6, 3.37 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers at Great American Ball Park today. He and Rich Hill’s starts were flipped because Dave Roberts felt Wood’s “stuff” is better suited for this stadium than Hill’s. He’ll face the Reds’ Cody Reed (0-2, 4.81 ERA), who gave up six runs in five innings against the Pirates in his last start. The Reds have a dismal record when he starts: they’re 0-14. Reed himself is 1-10 in the 35 games he’s been in the big leagues.

Bellinger’s versatility is a plus, says Pedro Moura at The Athletic.

Houston Mitchell of the LA Times guesses the fate of Dave Roberts after this season.

I think, and this is only a guess, that if the Dodgers don’t make the playoffs, he is gone. They have a team option on his contract, and the fact they haven’t picked it up yet speaks volumes.

The Dodgers called up LHP Julio Urias from AAA Oklahoma City today, and Kenley Jansen’s cardiologist confirmed another surgery will be performed shortly after the season’s end.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1992 Cardinals vice chairman Fred Kuhlman tells reporters that a “security check” had revealed serious issues involving the two out-of-state investors, Vince Piazza and Vincent N. Tirendi, part of the six-man group trying to buy the Giants and move the franchise to Florida. The candid reply to the press will cost baseball more than $6 million to settle a suit that includes a letter of apology from acting Commissioner Bud Selig to Vince Piazza, whose son Mike started his major league career with the Dodgers nine days before his father’s rejection by the MLB owners.
  • 1974 Lou Brock ties and then breaks Maury Wills’s 12 year-old single season stolen base record with his 104th and 105th swipes. The Cardinal left fielder’s thievery against the Phillies doesn’t help when the Redbirds drop the Busch Stadium contest, 8-2.

Lineup:


Sep 07

Game 141, 2018

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet RM

LHP Clayton Kershaw (6-5,2.40 ERA) pitches for the second-place Dodgers tonight and Jon Gray (11-7, 4.70 ERA) goes for the first-place Rockies. Kershaw pitched well in his last start against the D-Backs but came out before Matt Kemp hit a 3-run HR in the 8th inning to pull the game out for the Dodgers. Gray was sent to Albuquerque in June to regain his form and it seems to have worked. He’s 4-0 with a 3.08 ERA in his nine starts since returning to the big club. In an odd coincidence, these same two pitchers faced one another on this date a year ago at Dodger Stadium.

This is too cute for words.


Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1903 A year before the first subway line is completed, the Brooklyn Superbas, later to be known as the Dodgers, play their cross-town rivals in a two-stadium, same-day doubleheader. The first game played in Washington Park begins at 10:30 am with 9,300 fans watching the visiting Giants win the opener, 6-4, and later that afternoon in front of 23,623 patrons at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, Brooklyn wins the second game, 3-0.
  • 1916 The Giants defeat the Dodgers 4-1 to start their major league record 26-game winning streak. The ‘Jints’ start the span two games under .500 and make up nine games in the standings, but remain in fourth place during the entire streak.
  • 1962 With four steals in a 10-1 loss to the Pirates, Dodger Maury Wills breaks the modern National League record for stolen bases in a season with his 82nd swipe. Bob Bescher established the mark in 1911, playing left field for Cincinnati.
  • 1964 At Connie Mack Stadium, a Labor Day crowd of 26,390 fans watches the first-place Phillies split a doubleheader with the Dodgers. The attendance for the twin bill brings the season’s total to 1,224,172 patrons, breaking the all-time franchise home attendance record established by the Whiz Kids in 1950.
  • 2001 Shawn Green breaks a franchise record for homers in a season with his 44th home run, the first of two dingers the Dodger right fielder will hit off Dustin Hermanson in the team’s 7-1 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The previous mark had been shared by Duke Snider (1956) and Gary Sheffield (2000).

Lineup:


Aug 10

Game 117, 2018

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATTSportsNet-RM

The Dodgers send RHP Kenta Maeda (7-7, 3.73 ERA) to the mile-high mound at Coors Field tonight to face the Rockies’ Jon Gray (9-7, 4.73 ERA). Maeda’s ERA since the All Star break is 6.88 due mostly to four homer runs allowed, two of them three-run shots. Gray had a two-start trip to Albuquerque (it still seems weird to have a AAA team in that city that’s not affiliated with the Dodgers) and since his return has posted a 1.52 ERA in four starts.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1979 Dodger hurler Don Sutton sets a franchise record with his 50th shutout, blanking San Francisco at Candlestick Park, 9-0. The 34 year-old right-hander has previously shared the mark with Don Drysdale. (Ed. note: 50! In his eleventh year Clayton Kershaw has a career total of 15!)
  • 1995 The first forfeit in the majors in sixteen years occurs when the fans for the third time during the night throw promotional souvenir baseballs onto the Dodger Stadium field. At the time of the decision to halt the game, Los Angeles is trailing the Cardinals, 2-1 with one out in the bottom of the ninth.

August 10 is a good day for pitchers: in 1971 at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, Juan Marichal records his 50th career shutout as the Giants blank the Expos, 1-0. The Dominican hurler’s ninth inning double helps to build the winning run.

Jansen is “probably” out for a month, a source tells Ken Rosenthal.

Jon W. asks “Which starter should go into the bullpen in light of Kenley’s absence?”

Lineup: