Sep 21

Game 153, 2017

Dodgers at Phillies, 10:05 AM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-P, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers have lost 20 of their past 25 games and can’t clinch until Friday at the earliest since the D-backs came back from a 6-2 deficit in Wednesday’s game to win 13-7 and have the day off Thursday.

The Dodgers ask RHP Kenta Maeda (12-6, 4.21 ERA) to stop the bleeding and hold the Phillies and RHP Mark Leiter (3-6, 4.93 ERA) off.

Maeda’s last six starts have not been very good. He’s posted an ERA of 6.04 in those games and opponents are slugging .527 off him, and the Dodgers are 2-4 in those games. Leiter is a rookie who’s been both a starter and a long reliever this season. In his last three starts his ERA has jumped a full run.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1934 “If I’d-a known he was gonna throw one, I’d-a thrown one, too.” – Dizzy Dean, after his brother threw a no-hitter in the nightcap of a double-header. In the second game of a doubleheader at Ebbets Field, 22 year-old Cardinal hurler Paul Dean, called Daffy by his teammates, becomes the fifth rookie to throw a no-hitter, beating the Dodgers, 3-0. His brother Dizzy held Brooklyn hitless until the eighth inning in the opener, settling for a two-hitter in the team’s 13-0 blanking of the Bums.
  • 1952 In front of the second largest crowd this season, with many of the 8,822 fans rooting for the Dodgers, the Braves play their final home game in Boston. Brooklyn catcher Roy Campanella hits the last home run at Braves Field in an 8-2 victory over the Milwaukee-bound club.
  • 1969 In a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the tenth inning at Candlestick Park, LA’s Pete Mikkelsen quickly retires the first two Giants batters, but then is ordered to intentionally walk Willie McCovey, who is 4-for-4 in the game. The Dodger reliever proceeds to issue free passes to the next two hitters unintentionally, loading the bases, and then loses the game when shortstop Maury Wills boots pinch-hitter Jim Davenport’s ground ball. I’m glad I didn’t hear that 10th inning.

Lineup when available.

Seager fouled a ball off his foot yesterday. X-rays were negative for breaks, but he’s getting a couple of days off.

Sep 11

Game 144, 2017

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS BA

RHP Kenta Maeda (12-6, 4.02 ERA) takes the mound against RHP Chris Stratton (2-3, 4.10 ERA) in San Francisco.

Maeda allowed one unearned run over five innings on Wednesday against the D-backs. He’s 3-1 with a 4.58 ERA in four career starts against the Giants. Stratton has both started and relieved this season; he’s been much better as a starter. He’s got an 8.59 ERA in relief. As a starter he’s made five starts and has gone 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA since the All Star break.

A sad note: former Dodger (and nine other teams’) scout Mel Didier died Sunday night at home in Phoenix. He was 90 years old. His most memorable find was probably his analysis which showed that the Athletics’ Dennis Eckersley liked to throw backdoor sliders when the count was full and first base was open. He told the Dodgers’ hitters that before Game One of the 1988 World Series. What was the count to Kirk Gibson when he hit that game-winning home run? 3-2. What was the pitch? A backdoor slider.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 The Dodgers end Elroy Face’s consecutive win streak at 22 with a 5-4 victory over the Pirates. The reliever, who will end the season with an 18-1 record, is beaten by Chuck Churn, the winner of only three major league career victories.
  • 1966 In his first major league at-bat, John Miller homers off Lee Stange in the second inning of the Yankees’ 4-2 victory over Boston at Fenway Park. The 22 year-old left fielder, whose total of 10 hits in his 32-game career will include just two round-trippers, will become the only player to hit home runs in his first and last major league plate appearance when he goes deep as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers in his final turn at bat in 1966.
  • 1998 Kevin Malone is named as the Dodgers’ general manager, replacing Tommy Lasorda, who is promoted to Senior Vice President of the team. The “new sheriff in town” tenure in Los Angeles will be marked by the signing of high profile players to huge contracts, including Kevin Brown’s seven-year deal making the right-hander the first $100 million man in baseball.

Historical note of more than passing interest to Cody Bellinger fans: today in 1956 Frank Robinson ties Wally Berger’s 1930 National League record for home runs by a rookie for home runs with his 38th in the Reds’ 11-5 victory over the Giants at Polo Grounds. A’s first baseman Mark McGwire established the major league mark for freshman homers with 49 round-trippers in 1989. Bellinger has 36 with 18 games to go in the season.

Lineup when available.

Granderson again? Why not Ethier in LF? And since A-Gon had to have an epidural shot four days ago, why not Cody at 1B?

Roberts, I’m beginning to question your judgment.

Sep 06

Game 139, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

Believe it or not, the Dodgers could clinch a postseason spot as early as tonight. The scenario has permutations galore and most of them have to do with the Brewers and Cubs. Put simply, if the Dodgers win tonight’s game and the Cubs and Brewers both lose, the Dodgers are guaranteed a spot because neither of those teams can match the Dodgers’ record of 93 wins.

The streaks end tonight. So saith I, Master of all I survey. In order to make it so, the Dodgers will send their parfait genteel Japanese knight Kenta Maeda, he of the 12-6 W-L record and the 4.19 ERA, to the mound to do battle with the D-Backs’ Taijuan Walker, who brings an 8-7 record with a 3.42 ERA to the game. Oddly, Maeda has 122 strikeouts for the season and Walker has 120. Advantage, Dodgers!

The D-Backs hammered Maeda last week in Phoenix, scoring seven runs on eight hits and knocking him out after three innings. Walker shut out the Rockies for five innings in his last start.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1924 In a game that features a total of only six hits, the Brooklyn Robins beat Boston, 1-0, behind the strong two-hit performance of right-hander Bill Doak. The Braves Field victory is the team’s 15th consecutive win, establishing the longest winning streak in franchise history.
  • 1953 With Giants manager Leo Durocher yelling “stick it in his ear”, Ruben Gomez hits Carl Furillo, the National League’s leading hitter, on the wrist with a pitch. After taking first base, the Dodgers right fielder bolts into the opposing dugout to choke ‘Leo the Lip’, but in the melee, the knuckle on his little finger is fractured, putting an end to his season.
  • 1981 Fernando Valenzuela ties the National League’s rookie record for shutouts, blanking St. Louis, 5-0, for his seventh whitewash of the season. The Dodger lefty shares the mark with Irv Young (1905 Beaneaters), Grover Alexander (1911 Phillies), and Jerry Koosman (1968 Mets).
  • 1985 In a matchup of aces that lives up its advanced billing, Dwight Gooden and Fernando Valenzuela hook up in one of the best pitchers’ duel in recent memory. New York beats Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine, 2-0, thanks to Darryl Strawberry’s two-run double on a day that the 20 year-old Mets right-hander strikes out 10 batters, throwing nine shutout innings, while the Dodgers southpaw pitches 11 innings without allowing a run.
  • 1996 Brett Butler returns to the Dodger lineup four months after having surgery for throat cancer. The 39 year-old center fielder scores the decisive run in the team’s 3-2 victory over the Bucs.

Also on this date in big league history, in 1995 Cal Ripken breaks Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game record, playing in his 2,131st straight game. When the game becomes official in the middle of the fifth inning, the new ‘Iron Man’ takes a victory lap around Camden Yards during the 22-minute standing ovation from the sellout crowd, including President Bill Clinton.

Lineup when available.

Aug 31

Game 132, 2017

My Navy boot camp company in 1972 was #132.

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 12:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

It’ll be RHP Kenta Maeda (12-5, 3.76 ERA) for the Dodgers against old friend RHP Zack Greinke (15-6, 3.14 ERA) for the D-Backs.

Maeda pitched one of his best games of the year last time out, going six innings and giving up just one hit and one run to the Brewers. In his last eleven starts he’s gone 8-2 with a 2.70 ERA and has held hitters to a .205 batting average. Greinke got his 15th win of the year last Friday against the Giants. This will be his third start against the Dodgers this year; he’s lost the first two.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1950 In front of 14,226 fans at Ebbets Field, Gil Hodges becomes the fourth major leaguer in the century to hit four home runs in one game as Brooklyn routs the Braves, 19-3. The Dodger first baseman also ties the major league record for total bases with 17.
  • 1959 Sandy Koufax fans 18 batters to establish a new National League record for a nine-inning game in the Dodgers’ 5-2 win over San Francisco at the LA Memorial Coliseum. The left-hander’s performance equals the major league mark established in 1938 by Indians fireballer Bob Feller during a 4-1 loss to Detroit.
  • 2010 The Dodgers trade a player to be named (infielder Tony Abreu) to the Diamondbacks in exchange for starter Jon Garland. The 31 year-old right-hander will post a 3-2 record with a 2.72 ERA in his six late-season starts for the Dodgers, before signing as a free agent with San Diego.

Lineup when available.

Aug 30

Game 131, 2017

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 3:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN

Ryu v. Ray. Sounds like an MMC card, doesn’t it? Nope, it’s the Dodgers’ lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-6, 3.34 ERA) going up against the D-Backs’ LHP Robbie Ray (10-5, 3.06 ERA).

In his last nine starts Ryu is 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA and 49Ks. He held the Pirates to one run over six innings in his last start and was rewarded with the win. Ray’s last start was his first in a month; he gave up one run to the Mets in five innings and got a win. He’d been on the DL since July 28 with a concussion and related symptoms.

Where do Ryu and Kenta Maeda fit in the post season? Eric Stephen has thoughts.

Curtis Granderson’s foundation is donating 25K to the Houston Food Bank.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1918 At the Polo Grounds, the Giants beat the Dodgers, 1-0, on an unearned run in the bottom in the ninth in a contest that takes only fifty-six minutes to complete. Pete Compton’s base hit off Jack Combs plates Larry Doyle, who had singled to lead off the frame and moved to third on Ollie O’Mara’s errant throw on a sacrifice bunt.
  • 1952 Nine-time All-Star infielder Arky Vaughan drowns with a friend when their boat capsized while fishing in a volcanic lake near Eagleville, CA. The former shortstop and third baseman, who compiled a .318 batting average and a .406 on-base percentage playing with the Pirates and Dodgers, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.
  • 1966 Sandy Koufax, in his final decision facing the Mets, lasts only two innings, losing to Bob Friend at Shea Stadium, 10-4. The Dodgers Hall of Fame southpaw has compiled a 17-2 record against the lowly expansion team since their inception in 1962.
  • 2000 Earning his 1,600th victory, Braves’ manager Bobby Cox passes former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda on the career list for most managerial victories. His 5-2 victory over the Reds puts him 14th on the all-time list.
  • 2015 The NL’s eventual 2015 Cy Young Award recipient Jake Arrieta, needing just 116 pitches, beats Los Angeles, 2-0, tossing the 12th no-hitter ever thrown at the Chavez Ravine ballpark, and the 13th no-no in Cubs history. The contest marks the second time in ten games the Dodgers has been unable to get a hit, after being held hitless by Astros right-hander Mike Fiers on August 21.

Lineup when available.

Note Bellinger’s return to the lineup at 1B. To make room for him the Dodgers optioned Kyle Farmer back to OKC. Seager is still nursing his elbow, I imagine.

Aug 25

Game 127, 2017

Brewers at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI

This is the first day of the MLB-promoted “Players Weekend,” so the uniforms are going to look a little different and the names on their backs may look a lot different.

The Brewers send RHP Chase Anderson (7-2, 2.83 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda ((11-5, 3.88 ERA). This will be Anderson’s second start since coming back from the DL for a left oblique strain. In his first one he went five innings and gave up only one run while striking out four Rockies. Maeda has a 3.09 ERA in his four August starts and is 7-2 in his last 10 starts.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1979 In a Hollywood Stars vs. the Media game played at Dodger Stadium, Robin Williams, the star of the hit television series Mork and Mindy, a show in which he plays an alien, runs the bases backwards. The comedian explains circling the bags clockwise is very common on the Planet Ork, his character’s home in the universe.
  • 1995 At Veterans Stadium, Gregg Jefferies hits for the cycle when Philadelphia crushes the Dodgers, 17-4. The Phillies’ first baseman, who has four RBIs and scores four runs, collects all of his extra-base hits off of LA starting pitcher Hideo Nomo.
  • 2008 After being swept in a four-game series earlier in the month in L.A., the Phillies return the favor, beating the Dodgers, 5-0, to complete its own four-game sweep. It is the first time in franchise history that Philadelphia has swept the Dodgers in a four-game series at home.
  • 2009 With a 5-4 win in ten innings over the Dodgers, the Rockies move 18 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history. The wild-card leader, winning 52 of their last 74 games, the latest on a Troy Tulowitzki bases-loaded single, has cut LA’s Western Division lead from 15.5 games on June 3 to just two games.
  • 2012 In nine-player blockbuster trade, the Dodgers obtain Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto, and cash considerations for James Loney, Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, Jr., and two players to be named later (Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands). The deal gives the new Dodgers ownership an opportunity to show their fans they are serious about making a run for the postseason, while giving an under-performing Boston team more financial flexibility in the offseason.

    Lineup when available.

Aug 20

Game 122, 2017

Dodgers at Tigers, 10:10 AM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-D

The visiting Dodgers try to finish a sweep of the Tigers in a day game from Comerica Park. They’ll send RHP Kenta Maeda (11-4, 3.76 ERA) to the mound to face 2011 Cy Young Award winner RHP Justin Verlander (8-8, 4.11 ERA).

Maeda is on a hot streak. He’s gone 5-0 with a 1.95 ERA in his last six starts. He’s never faced the Tigers. Verlander gave up three HRs in a loss to the Rangers on Tuesday. He’s certainly not having a year even close to his standards.

Potential milestones: Verlander is looking for his 30th interleague win. He’s gone a gaudy 29-5 with a 2.94 ERA in 41 career regular-season starts against National League teams, but he hasn’t victimized the Dodgers much. His only start against the Dodgers was a home victory on July 8, 2014. Adrian González needs two hits to reach 2,000 for his career, but Verlander’s not the guy he’d like to face to get there. He’s 3-17 lifetime against the Tigers’ pitcher.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1945 Dodger shortstop Tommy Brown becomes the youngest player (17 years, 8 months, and 14 days) in major league history to hit a home run. The round-tripper by ‘Buckshot’, who started his career as a 16 year-old high school student, will be the only run Brooklyn scores off 30 year-old Pirates southpaw Preacher Roe, who goes the distance in the 11-1 rout of the home team at Ebbets Field.
  • 1974 In an 18-8 rout of the Cubs, the Dodgers collect 24 hits and set a club record with 48 total bases, including Davey Lopes’ three home runs, double, and single. The Dodger second baseman’s 15 total bases are the most ever for a leadoff hitter.
  • 1978 In the visitors’ clubhouse at Shea Stadium, Dodger Blue becomes black and blue when Steve Garvey confronts teammate Don Sutton about a Washington Post story in which the pitcher is critical of him. After the right-hander confirms he had made the comments, the argument becomes physical when an inappropriate remark is made about the first baseman’s wife.

I remember lying on a couch in my relative’s home while on vacation in Santa Maria listening to Scully and Doggett tell me about this one: in 1961 in the second game of a doubleheader the Phillies snap a 23-game losing streak by beating the Braves, 7-4. The victory establishes a new record for the most consecutive losses by a major league team.

Lineup when available.

Aug 13

Game 117, 2017

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The visiting Padres send RHP Luis Perdomo (6-6, 4.81 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (10-4, 3.69 ERA) in a Sunday afternoon game.

Perdomo gets 62 percent of balls in play to hit the ground, tops among all NL pitchers with 100+ innings. He’s induced 22 ground-ball double plays this year, tied for third in all of baseball. Maeda has had trouble all year getting past the sixth inning, and his last time out was no exception. He went five and got no decision. He’s been in 20 games (18 starts) this season and has completed exactly 100 innings.

Hatcher reinstated, Farmer optioned.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1910 In a game which features each team having 38 at-bats, 13 hits, 12 assists, 2 errors, 5 strikeouts, 3 walks, 1 hit batsman, and 1 passed ball, the Pirates and the Superbas (later to be known as the Dodgers) play to what else – an 8-8 tie.
  • 1951 Any fan who shows up with a musical instrument during the Dodgers’ Musical Depreciation Night is admitted free to the Ebbets Field contest against Boston. With an assortment of trumpets, trombones, zithers, tubas, accordions, bugles, flutes, various type of drums, violins, mandolins, assorted horns, a glockenspiel, a washboard, and a piano, 2,426 fans, which is about 10% of the total crowd, take advantage of the team’s unusual promotion.
  • 1965 Dean Chance establishes an American League record when he fans to extend his streak to 11 consecutive plate appearances with a strikeout. The Angels’ right-hander falls one shy of the major league mark set by Sandy Koufax, who whiffed in 12 consecutive plate appearances in 1955.
  • 1982 At Chavez Ravine, Dodger second baseman Steve Sax steals his 41st base to set a franchise record for rookies when he swipes second base in LA’s 6-1 victory over San Francisco. The eventual National League Rookie of the Year, the fourth consecutive Dodger to win the award, will extend the record to 49.
  • 2006 LA’s Greg Maddux and SF’s Jason Schmidt hook up in a classic West Coast pitcher’s duel, reminiscent of match-ups of Koufax and Marichal, as the Dodgers beat the Giants, 1-0, thanks to Russell Martin’s 10th inning walk-off home run. When Giants slugger Barry Bonds lines into a double play in the first inning, it marks the only time in baseball history a 300 game winner pitches to a batter with over 700 homers.
  • 2007 For the first time in 1,303 games, Nomar Garciaparra of the Dodgers is ejected from a game. The 12-year veteran infielder, who is tossed by home plate umpire Tom Hallion for arguing a called third strike in the fourth inning, is restrained by first base coach Mariano Duncan when he continues to shout and points his bat toward the umpire.

Lineup when available.

Aug 08

Game 112, 2017

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

The Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (10-4, 3.79 ERA) has won his last four starts. He’ll face the D-Backs’ Zack Godley (5-4, 2.86 ERA), who hasn’t allowed a run in his last thirteen innings (two starts).

Sports Illustrated has an article about the Dodgers and the Darvish acquisition.

Brock Stewart has been recalled while Luis Avilan goes on the paternity list.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1903 In the third inning of the 4-3 nightcap loss to New York at the Polo Grounds, Dodger starter Henry Schmidt is thrown out of the game after he throws the baseball out of the park. The Brooklyn hurler became very angry when opposing pitcher Joe McGinnity dashed home from third base while his infielders were arguing the close call at the bag.
  • 1954 Gil Hodges comes to bat three times in the eighth inning when the Dodgers score 13 runs en route to a 20-7 rout of the Reds at Ebbets Field. The first baseman will go 1-for-3 in the frame with a leadoff triple, but will be responsible for all three outs when he hits into a double play and flies out to centerfield to end the Brooklyn barrage.
  • 1957 Club President Walter O’Malley makes it official, announcing the Dodgers will play in Los Angeles next season. The club’s departure from Brooklyn corresponds with the massive social shift taking place in the borough that finds many of its former residents leaving for the suburbs of Long Island.
  • 2000 Cubs hurler Phil Norton becomes the 18th pitcher in major league history to give up four homers in one inning in the Dodgers’ 7-5 victory at Chavez Ravine. Kevin Elster, Darren Dreifort, Gary Sheffield, and Shawn Green all take the 24 year-old southpaw deep in the bottom of the fourth inning.
  • 2000 Darren Dreifort hits two home runs and gets the win in the Dodgers’ 7-5 victory over the Cubs. The starting pitcher, who hurls 6.2 innings, goes deep in the bottom of the fourth and fifth frames.
  • 2000 After kissing one another in the seventh inning, a female couple is abruptly asked to leave Dodger Stadium immediately and are told never to “set foot back on the premises” for “lewd behavior”. The pair had planned to sue the organization, but ended up not doing so after the team apologized, promising to contribute 5,000 tickets to GLBT organizations and continue sensitivity training for all its employees.

Today in 1941 Les Brown and his Orchestra record “Joltin’ Joe” for Columbia Records. The song about Yankee outfielder Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak will be played incessantly on radio stations across the country, eventually reaching number 12 on the charts.

Lineup when available.

Aug 01

Game 106, 2017

Dodgers at Braves, 4:35 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSE

The Dodgers send RHP Kenta Maeda (9-4, 4.09 ERA) to the mound in the Braves’ new ballpark. He’ll face a right-handed pitcher named Lucas Sims who’ll be making his MLB debut.

Maeda has had trouble getting past the fifth inning this season, doing so only three times in 16 starts. Sims had a 2.84 ERA in his last four starts at AAA Gwinnett.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1906 After pitching 10.2 innings of no-hit ball, Harry McIntire yields a single to Pirates second baseman Claude Ritchey. The Dodgers and McIntire lose the game in the 13th on an unearned run, 1-0.
  • 1924 Dazzy Vance strikes out seven consecutive batters to establish a major league record when the Brooklyn Robins defeat the Cubs at Ebbets Field, 4-0. The future Hall of Famer, who will compile a 28-6 record for the Brooks this season, will lead the National League in strikeouts with 262.
  • 1957 Gil Hodges, in a 12-3 win over the Cubs, hits his 13th and last career grand slam in Brooklyn Dodger history. The first baseman’s bases-loaded shot off Dick Littlefield establishes a new National League record, previously shared by Rogers Hornsby and Ralph Kiner.
  • 2011 After popping out in a pinch-hitting appearance, Craig Counsell remains without a hit in his last 45 at-bats, tying the longest single-season hitless streak by a position player in history, established by Brooklyn backstop Bill Bergen in 1909. The major league record is 0-for-70, established in 1970 by Bob Buhl, a pitcher who toiled with the Braves and Cubs that season.
  • 2015 Clayton Kershaw strikes out Mike Trout looking with a wicked curveball, marking the first time that reigning MVPs have faced one another in a major league game. The interleague contest between the two LA teams ends with Dodger southpaw keeping the Angel outfielder 0-for-3 while hurling eight innings in the team’s 3-1 victory over the Halos at Chavez Ravine.

In non-Dodgers’ history of note, on this day in 1978 Pete Rose, making the last out when he strikes out on a Gene Garber change-up, goes 0-for-4, ending his 44-game hitting streak, one contest shy of breaking the National League record. The Reds third baseman has tied Willie Keeler’s 1897 National League record last night with a hit off future Hall of Famer Phil Niekro. Rose was very angry about Garber’s pitch selection afterward, as I recall.

LHP Tony Watson has been activated. To make room on the active roster LHP Edward Paredes was sent to OKC.

Lineup: