The Rockies hand the ball to LHP Kyle Freeland (4-4, 3.17 ERA). He’s had five consecutive quality starts with a 1.59 ERA for those games. He’ll face the Dodgers’ RHP Kenta Maeda (3-3, 3.89 ERA), whose last start was his best of the year; he gave up only two hits to the Marlins over 8 scoreless innings.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
2002 Shawn Green hits four home runs in one game to become the 14th player in major league history, the second this month, to accomplish the feat. The Dodger right fielder’s 6-for-6 performance in Milwaukee’s Miller Park, which also includes a single and double, breaks Joe Adcock’s 1954 mark for total bases by one, with a total of 19. In the same game the Dodgers set a franchise mark when the team hits eight homers in one contest, bashing the Brewers, 16-3. Shawn Green’s four round-trippers accounts for half of the record-breaking barrage with Brian Jordan, Hiram Bocachica, Adrian Beltre, and Dave Hansen also contributing four-baggers in the Miller Park contest.
The Dodgers ask RHP Kenta Maeda (2-3, 4.75 ERA) to stop their losing streak, while the Marlins ask LHP Caleb Smith (2-4, 3.63 ERA) to get them the sweep. Like all Dodgers’ pitchers, Maeda is pitching worse than last year. In addition to his close-to-5 ERA he’s got a WHIP of 1.53 and is giving up nearly 2.5 hits per nine innings more than last season. Smith has pitched pretty well in his last four starts, going 2-2 and giving up four runs in 24 innings over that stretch.
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.
The Dodgers send RHP Kenta Maeda (2-1, 3.10 ERA) to the hill to face the Giants’ LHP Ty Blach (1-3, 4.31 ERA). Maeda has faced the Giants twice already this season, once in relief, and has held them without an earned run in six innings. Blach has struggled since Opening Day when he defeated the Dodgers.
1978 The Cardinals tie a franchise record for the quickest nine-inning game played in their history, taking only one-hour and thirty-three minutes to beat the Dodgers at Busch Stadium, 1-0. The contest marks the managerial debut of Ken Boyer, replacing Vern Rapp, the Redbird skipper fired four days ago.
1994 Kirk Rueter becomes the first pitcher in 13 seasons to begin his major league career with a 10-0 record when the Expos beat San Diego at Olympic Stadium, 3-2. In 1981, Dodgers southpaw Fernando Valenzuela started the year with eight victories to improve his overall record to 10-0 for the Dodgers, somewhat similar to the Montreal left-hander, who started his streak last season with an 8-0 mark before winning his first two decisions this year.
2005 Although Eric Gagne is on the disabled list and hasn’t thrown a pitch this season, he is suspended for two games and fined. The action is taken because after being ejected on April 6 for heckling home plate umpire Bill Hohn, MLB warned the Dodgers closer he was in violation of Rule 3.17, which states players on the disabled list may not take part in any activity during the game, the former Cy Young winner continued to dress and participate in game activities.
Here’s a terrifying note: on this day in 1930 (which should be called the Year of the Hitter — look it up) an average of 17+ runs a game is scored in the seven major league games played today. After the dust settles, players from 14 teams will cross the plate 123 times. On a sadder note, on this day in 1939 on a chilly Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, Lou Gehrig comes to the plate in the fourth inning and singles off Washington hurler Ken Chase for his 2,721st and last hit, the most ever in franchise history. The ‘Iron Horse’s’ record will stand for over 70 years until Derek Jeter, another 35 year-old team captain, surpasses the mark in 2009.
LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-0, 1.99 ERA) goes for the Dodgers this evening while the Giants send LHP Derek Holland (0-3, 4.98 ERA) to the mound. In his career Ryu is 4-3 with a 3.40 ERA at the Giants’ home park. Holland has made two starts against the Dodgers in his career and has come up winless in each. Ryu’s last start was stellar: he shut out the Nationals on two hits in seven innings. Holland was shelled by the Angels in his last outing: of the five hits he gave up in six innings, three were home runs.
News of note: Maeda has been striking out lefties at a 37% clip this season, compared to 17% last year. How come? He’s gone to a splitter as a changeup.
Corey Seager turns 24 today. He has a hit on each of his two previous birthdays in the majors, including a home run (and two walks) last year in San Francisco
1981 Fernandomania continues to explode at Chavez Ravine when Dodger rookie sensation Fernando Valenzuela pitches his fourth shutout in five starts. The 20 year-old Mexican southpaw, who is batting over .400, beats the Giants, 5-0, and lowers his ERA to a microscopic 0.20.
2004 At Dodger Stadium, Mike Piazza ties Carlton Fisk for the most career homers by a catcher as he hits Hideo Nomo’s sixth-inning pitch into the stands for his 351st round-tripper as a backstop. The homer, which was his 362nd overall, moves the Mets’ star past Yankees’ Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio on the all-time list.
2007 On the night in which the ceremonial first pitch is thrown by his three sons, Trevor Hoffman is unable to hold on to a two run lead when the Dodgers score three in the ninth and eventually beat the Padres, 6-5. It’s ‘Trevor Time Desk Clock’ Night, and the usually reliable Padres closer blows the save, thanks to some shady defense, for the second consecutive game.
2010 The suddenly streaking Mets win their sixth consecutive game with a doubleheader sweep of the Dodgers, 4-0 and 10-5. The victories mark the first time since August 28, 1971 that the club has taken both ends of a twin bill from L.A.
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup at Giants: Taylor CF Barnes 2B Hernández SS Kemp LF Grandal C Bellinger 1B Puig RF Farmer 3B Ryu P pic.twitter.com/fyBMJatm7G
The Marlins send LHP Dillon Peters (2-2, 6.98 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ RHP Kenta Maeda (2-1, 3.77 ERA). Peters has struggled with his control so far: he’s walked 11 and struck out 12 in 19 1/3 innings of work, and he’s been roughed up on the road to the tune of a 15.30 ERA. Maeda has struck out 24 while walking five and giving up 20 hits in 14 1/3 innings this year. He’s gone no more than 5 2/3 innings in any of his three starts.
Logan Forsythe, placed on the 10-day disabled list April 15 with right shoulder inflammation, tested his ability to throw on Monday but still felt discomfort. Forsythe, long a second baseman, developed the inflammation after being required to make longer throws as the fill-in for injured third baseman Justin Turner. It’s unclear whether Forsythe will be strictly a second baseman when he returns.
“When he’ll be going on a rehab assignment I don’t know, but I would say that once it does start, it’s for sure a four- or five-game stint at the minimum,” said Roberts.
Rich Hill came out of a Monday bullpen with no discomfort in his left middle finger and is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Tuesday. That would make him a candidate to start Sunday in San Francisco.
1958 At the Los Angeles Coliseum, Gene Fodge picks up his only major league victory when the Cubs beat the Dodgers, 15-2. Outfielder Lee Walls carries the day with three homers and eight RBIs.
1962 Dodger southpaw Sandy Koufax ties his major league record, a mark he shares with Bob Feller, when he strikes out 18 batters in a nine-inning contest during the team’s 10-2 rout of the Cubs at Wrigley Field. In 1938, nineteen year-old right-hander Bob Feller established the record, whiffing 18 batters in the Indians’ 4-1 loss to the Tigers at Cleveland Stadium.
1965 Casey Stengel wins his 3,000th game as a manager when his Amazin’ Mets score three runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat San Francisco at Candlestick Park, 7-6. The ‘Old Perfessor’, who served as the skipper for the Dodgers, Braves, and Yankees, won more than a third of his games (1,149) during his 12-year tenure with the Bronx Bombers.
1998 Dodger backstop Mike Piazza ties a major league record, hitting his third grand slam of the month. The blast highlights a nine-run second inning which leads Los Angeles to a 12-4 victory over the visiting Cubs.
Also, in 2003 Chase Utley gets his first major league hit, blasting a third inning grand slam off Rockies starter Dennis Cook. The rookie second baseman’s big fly to right field contributes to the Phillies’ 9-1 victory at Veterans Stadium.
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup vs. Marlins: Taylor CF Seager SS Hernández 2B Bellinger 1B Kemp LF Barnes C Puig RF Farmer 3B Maeda P pic.twitter.com/XbO8yMvJ5R
The Dodgers try to sweep their first series of the year behind RHP Kenta Maeda (1-1, 2.08 ERA). He’ll be opposed by RHP Luis Perdomo (1-1, 4.91 ERA), who’s coming off a five-game suspension for his part in a brawl with the Rockies last week. Maeda had 13 days between starts his last time out, which may have been a factor in his shortest outing ever. He lasted only 2 2/3 innings against Arizona last Friday and walked two of the three leadoff guys he faced. Perdomo is ostensibly a sinker-ball pitcher, but while his strikeouts are up this season his ground-ball rate has fallen.
Roberts and Jansen are both “concerned” about his performance so far.
Tonight, the Dodgers face Luis Perdomo. In 30 innings against him, they've scored 30 runs.
1925 At his Waldorf-Astoria apartment, Dodgers’ owner Charles H. Ebbets dies of a heart attack at the age of 65. Later in the day, his team opens the home season in Brooklyn losing to the Giants at Ebbets Field, 7-0.
1939 In Brooklyn, Red Barber calls the action in the first broadcast of a regular-season Dodger game, a 7-3 loss to New York at Ebbets Field. The future Hall of Fame announcer was brought in from Cincinnati by the team’s new president, Larry MacPhail, who had hired the ‘Ol Redhead’ when he was in a similar post with the Reds.
1947 Dodger president Branch Rickey names team scout Burt Shotton to replace Leo Durocher, who was suspended ten days ago by Commissioner Happy Chandler for acts “unbecoming to a major league manager.” Brooklyn’s new 62 year-old skipper reluctantly takes over the team two games into the season and will manage the club for one year in his street clothes along with wearing the team’s hat and jacket.
1950 Vin Scully calls the first game of his illustrious 67-year career with the Dodgers, detailing Brooklyn’s 9-1 defeat to the Phillies on Opening Day at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park. The 22-year old broadcaster, who will be awarded the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award by Bud Selig in 2014, will become the team’s primary announcer just three seasons later.
1950 The Phillies play their first game with name official changed back from Blue Jays, routing the Dodgers at Shibe Park, 9-1. The team wears red pinstriped uniforms designed by manager Eddie Sawyer that are reminiscent of club’s look in the early 1900s.
1952 On Opening Day in Brooklyn, Willie Mays is knocked unconscious when he smashes into the Ebbets Field wall after chasing pinch hitter Bob Morgan’s seventh-inning, two-out base-loaded line drive into the gap in left field. All three Dodgers base runners cross the plate but do not score when the motionless Giants center fielder comes to his feet and jogs into the dugout, apparently unhurt, having held onto the ball after making a fantastic catch for the third out to end the inning.
1958 At the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of a National League record crowd of 78,672, the Dodgers play their first game in the City of Angels. Carl Erskine gets the win, besting Al Worthington and the Giants, 6-5.
1959 Branch Rickey, former general manager of the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Pirates, is appointed the president of the Continental League. The third potential major league never materializes, but helps to accelerate the expansion of the existing leagues, including putting a National League team in New York to fill the void created by the Giants’ and the Dodgers’ departure to the west coast in 1958.
1964 L.A. southpaw Sandy Koufax throws the second of his two career immaculate innings when he strikes out the side on nine pitches. Although Leo Cardenas, Johnny Edwards, and Jim Maloney all strike out quickly in the top of the third inning, Cincinnati will score all of the game’s runs in the next frame, thanks to a three-run homer hit by Deron Johnson, to beat the Dodgers in the Chavez Ravine contest, 3-0.
1966 Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills singles to center off future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts, becoming the first batter to hit on artificial turf in a major league game. The Astrodome’s new playing surface, called Chemgrass initially by its manufacturer, the Monsanto Company, couldn’t be made quickly enough, so the season begins with the artificial material only on the infield with the outfield remaining painted dirt until July.
2008 The Dodgers announce Joe Beimel has been selected by fans, in an online poll during Spring Training, as the player whose likeness will now be used in an August 12 bobblehead promotion. The 30 year-old southpaw reliever, considered a long shot for the honor, gets the nod due to a strong internet campaign orchestrated by his parents, Ron and Marge.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Dodger lineup at Padres: Taylor CF Seager SS Grandal C Bellinger 1B Kemp RF Pederson LF Utley 2B Muncy 3B Maeda P pic.twitter.com/G447vU7whR
The D-Backs send RHP Zack Greinke (0-1, 5.06 ERA, 14 Ks) to do battle with the Dodgers’ RHP Kenta Maeda (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 12 K). Greinke gave up five runs in five innings to the Cardinals his last time out. Maeda’s start tonight will be his first since March 31; he was in the bullpen last weekend thanks to off-day scheduling and the rainout last Friday.
Fun fact about Maeda:
After Scherzer, Lester, Strasburg, and Arrieta, guess who's tied with Kershaw and Greinke for most wins in the NL the last 2+ years?
Puig can legitimately complain that he’s hitting into bad luck so far. Take a look at the charts and analysis Allan Yamashige has done at Dodgers Digest. The guy is hitting the ball harder than Trout or Harper and harder than any of his teammates.
Puig so far is making contact on 80.7% of his swings, higher than all of his previous seasons and the league-average of 76.4%. He’s also striking out less, with a rate so far of 16.7% which would be the lowest of his career, and well below his career average of 19.8%.
1939 In a spring training game played in Norfolk, Virginia, Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig, with apparent muscle loss, especially around his shoulders, goes deep twice in a 14-12 exhibition loss against the Dodgers. The second and ninth-inning home runs will be the last round-trippers the ‘Iron Horse’ will ever hit.
1993 Lee Smith passes Jeff Reardon to become the all-time major league saves leader when the Cardinals beat the Dodgers, 9-7. The right-handed reliever tosses a scoreless ninth inning at Chavez Ravine to record his 358th career save.
2009 In the LA home opener, Orlando Hudson completes his cycle with a sixth inning triple down the right-field line in the team’s 11-1 rout of the Giants. The second baseman becomes the first Dodger to hit for the cycle at Dodger Stadium, and the first franchise player to accomplish the feat in a nine-inning game since Gil Hodges did it in 1949.
2012 Aaron Harang, after surrendering a leadoff single to Cameron Maybin to start the game, strikes out the next nine consecutive Padres in L.A.’s 9-8 victory at Dodger Stadium. The 34 year-old right-hander’s performance is one more than Johnny Podres’ franchise mark of 8, but falls one short of the major league record held by Tom Seaver, who fanned 10 straight Friars for the Mets in 1970.
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup vs. D-backs: Taylor CF Seager SS Kemp LF Bellinger 1B Grandal C Puig RF Forsythe 3B Hernández 2B Maeda P pic.twitter.com/Hshmv5u7x0
Maeda-san! Save us! The Dodgers ask RHP Kenta Maeda (1-0, 0.00 ERA) to duplicate his results from his first start of the year against the Giants, when he went five innings and struck out ten. He’ll face LHP Derek Holland (0-1, 5.40 ERA), who lost in the game Maeda pitched, giving up five runs on three hits in five innings.
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
2001 In the home opener at Veterans Stadium, Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning’s number 14 jersey is retired. Kentucky’s Republican U.S. senator, who compiled a 224-184 record in his 17-year career pitching for the Tigers, Phillies, Pirates, and Dodgers, joins Richie Ashburn (1), Robin Roberts (36), Steve Carlton (32), and Mike Schmidt (20) as the fifth player to have his number retired by the Phillies.
2004 Adrian Beltre becomes the 36th player in baseball history to hit 100 home runs before the age of 25. The Dodger third baseman joins Cal Ripken Jr. and Lou Gehrig to have exactly 100 homers on their 25th birthday.
2016 The Padres, with their 7-0 loss at Petco Park, become the first team to be shut out in the first three games of the regular season, surpassing the dubious mark set by the Browns, who opened the 1943 campaign with 26 straight scoreless innings. San Diego also dropped their first two decisions of the three-game series against the Dodgers, 15-0 and 3-0.
The Giants try to take the third game of a four-game series behind LHP Derek Holland, a non-roster invitee who earned a spot in their rotation with a 4.05 ERA in six appearances this spring. Holland was 7-14 with a 6.20 ERA for the White Sox last year. He’ll face RHP Kenta Maeda, who went 13-6 for the Dodgers last season with a 4.22 ERA. In his two-year career in MLB he’s 3-1 with a 5.56 ERA against the Giants.
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1948 At Ebbets Field No. 2, the Dodgers play their first exhibition game at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, which will remain the team’s home for 61 years. Amidst much fanfare, including Governor Millard Caldwell throwing the ceremonial first pitch, Jackie Robinson homers in the first inning as Brooklyn beats its top farm club, the Montreal Royals, 5-4.
1998 Mark McGwire hits the first of his historic seventy home runs when he goes deep off Ramon Martinez in the fifth inning of the Cardinals’ 6-0 victory over L.A. at Busch Stadium. The Redbirds’ first baseman becomes the first player in franchise history to hit a grand slam on Opening Day.
Alex Wood deserved better yesterday, as this video shows:
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup vs. Giants: Taylor CF Hernández SS Puig RF Kemp LF Bellinger 1B Forsythe 2B Barnes C Farmer 3B Maeda P pic.twitter.com/KA42xGpYwi
So far this spring the Dodgers have a 2-3 record. I like this deal,though:
Dodgers @ Padres
Peoria Stadium – Wed 2/28
358 tickets as low as $4
As we all expected, the Dodgers have a bunch of outfielders all trying to win a job in left field (Yasiel Puig’s a fixture in right and Chris Taylor’s the same in center). Andrew Toles is coming back from a torn ACL in his right knee, Joc Pederson’s trying to regain his form of 2016, Alex Verdugo might be their best non-pitching prospect, and oh yeah, Matt Kemp is back. He’s 40 pounds lighter than he was last season, which should certainly help his fairly awful defense of the last few years, and he can still hit. I think it’s even money he and his $43M contract get traded, possibly before the season begins, but the Dodgers have supposedly been trying to do that since they reacquired him in the offseason. The left field situation featured in a Dodgers.com story about Maeda’s two-inning stint on Tuesday:
In the ongoing competition for left field, Matt Kemp started in left Tuesday and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Joc Pederson started in center and was 0-for-2 with a walk, caught-stealing and strikeout, and he threw out former Dodger Willie Calhoun at the plate; and Alex Verdugo started in right and was 0-for-2 with a strikeout. Off the bench, Andrew Toles was 0-for-1 with a sacrifice fly and a strikeout.
I just subscribed to the new sportswriting website The Athletic. If you subscribe by clicking that link you get 25% off the $59.99 annual subscription price and I get $10 in credit at Amazon. It looks like a slightly pricey deal for a lot of extraordinary sportswriters, including people laid off by ESPN like Jayson Stark. Ken Rosenthal of Fox is there, as is Peter Gammons. It’s covering the NFL, the NHL, the NBA and MLS in addition to MLB. Take a look at it.