The Dodgers take the 40-mile drive southeast to Angels Stadium for Game One of the Freeway Series. They’ll send RHP Kenta Maeda (5-5, 3.36 ERA) to the mound for his third career start against the Halos. He pitched well enough to win in his last start against the Rockies, but German Marquez was better, holding the Dodgers to two hits and one run over eight innings. The Angels counter with Felix Peña (1-0, 3.71 ERA), who will be making just his fourth big league start tonight. He got his first win as a starter a week ago when he pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Orioles while giving up just five hits. He’s still learning: he’s only pitched 60 1/3 innings in the major leagues since his debut in 2016.
Down on the farm: Verdugo and Toles are hot at OKC, AAA All-Stars include four OKC players and two Dodger prospects lead their respective leagues (Texas and California) in home runs.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1938 At Crosley Field, Yankees’ hurler Lefty Gomez is defeated for the first time in four All-Star starts as the NL wins the All-Star game 4-1. National League shortstop Leo Durocher becomes the first Dodger to start in an All-Star Game and gets a ‘bunt’ home run.
1953 In his first major league start, 24 year-old right-hander Al Worthington throws a two-hitter, blanking the Pirates, 6-0. The Giants’ rookie, known as ‘Red’, will become the first National League freshman to throw consecutive shutouts at the start of a career, when he repeats the feat in his next outing, also blanking the Dodgers, 6-0.
2000 Vin Scully, 72, is voted the No. 1 sportscaster of the 20th century by members of the American Sportscasters Association. The Dodger veteran broadcaster’s 51-year career has included play-by-play of 25 Fall Classics and a dozen All-Star Games.
The Rockies send RHP German Marquez (5-8, 5.53 ERA) on the mound to face the Dodgers’ RHP Kenta Maeda (5-4, 3.44 ERA). Like Anderson last night, Marquez has been better on the road; he’s 3-3 with a 3.07 in seven starts away from Denver this year. Maeda’s last start was probably his best of the season: he threw seven innings of shutout ball against the Cubs and got his fifth win of the year.
The Dodgers recalled RHP J.T. Chargois from OKC today.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1962 Sandy Koufax becomes the first Dodger southpaw to throw a no-hitter since Nap Rucker accomplished the feat in 1908 when he keeps the expansion Mets hitless in the team’s 5-0 victory in Los Angeles. The 26 year-old left-hander, en route to fanning 13, strikes out the first three batters he faces – Richie Ashburn, Rod Kanehl, and Felix Mantilla, on nine pitches to start the game with an immaculate inning.
1973 With an 8-7 extra-inning loss to L.A. at Riverfront Stadium, the Reds finish the day 11 games behind the first-place Dodgers. Led by the eventual National League MVP Pete Rose, who will win the batting title with a .338 average, Cincinnati will go on a 60-26 tear to capture the Western Division by 3.5 games.
1985 Pedro Guerrero ties a major league record by hitting 15 home runs in June when he goes deep off Bruce Sutter in his final at bat of the month. The eighth inning two-run round-tripper will prove to be the difference in the Dodgers’ 4-3 victory over Atlanta at Chavez Ravine.
1997 Rangers’ hurler Bobby Witt becomes the first American League pitcher to hit a home run in a regular-season game in nearly 25 years. His round-tripper off Ismael Valdez helps Texas to beat the Dodgers in interleague action, 3-2.
2013 “When it comes to compassion, the Rays are batting .000.” – DELCIANNA WINDERS, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement at the PETA Foundation.Miguel Cabrera, joining Luis Gonzalez of the Dodgers [Ed. note – in 2007], becomes only the second player to hit a homer into the 10,000-gallon touch tank at Tropicana Field. The Tigers slugger’s round-tripper draws the attention of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), who, in a written letter to the Rays’ organization, requests the team to allow the 30 or more captive cownose rays be returned to their natural habitat because the animals are subject to harassment, loud crowds, and at the risk of being injured by baseballs. Evidently the team ignored the request, since the tank is still featured on the Tropicana Field website.
Cubs at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: ESPN (out-of-market only), SPNLA, NBC Sports Chicago
The Cubs have called up RHP Duane Underwood (0-0, 0.00 ERA) to make his MLB debut. He’s gone 3-7 with a 4.27 ERA in 14 appearances for AAA Iowa of the PCL (the PCL? Iowa?) this season. He’ll face the Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda (4-4, 3.84 ERA) in his third start back from a stint on the DL with a hip strain. He struggled last time out against these same Cubs, walking five in 3 2/3 innings and getting no decision.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1968 Bobby Bonds hits a grand slam in his third at-bat of his first major league game, going deep off Dodger right-hander John Purdin in the Giants’ 9-0 victory at Candlestick Park. The 22 year-old Giant outfielder joins Philadelphia National pitcher Bill Duggelby (1898 – first at-bat) as the only other player to hit a base-loaded home run in his major league debut.
1984 Dodger infielder Bill Russell plays his 1,953rd game to become the team’s leader in games played. The shortstop, who will extend the mark to 2181 during his 18-year tenure with the club, is hitless in three trips to the plate but will walk twice in LA’s 9-4 loss to San Diego at Chavez Ravine.
Old friend Edwin Jackson (now 34 years old!) has been called up to the As. His first appearance for them will tie Octavio Dotel for “Most different big league teams pitched for, career: 13.”
Yasiel Puig posed for ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue. The posted pics are only semi-risqué.
The visiting Dodgers send RHP Kenta Maeda (4-4, 3.61 ERA) out for his second start after a stint on the DL with a strained hip. In the first one he went five innings, gave up five hits, walked three and hit a batter but allowed only two runs while striking out one. He reported no trouble with the hip and the team is expecting him to do even better this time out. He’ll face RHP Tyler Chatwood (3-5, 4.12 ERA), who’s had an up-and-down season. He was pretty good in April, pretty bad in May, and so far in June he’s done a little better than May. In 13 starts he’s only gotten past the fifth inning three times.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1938 After accepting GM Larry MacPhail’s offer to coach first base, Babe Ruth wears a Dodger uniform for the first time as a coach and takes batting practice with the team. The ‘Bambino’ will quit at the end of the season, ending his ties with major league baseball.
1940 Dodger Ducky Medwick, acquired in a trade less than a week ago, is beaned by former Cardinal teammate Bob Bowman and needs to be carried off the field on a stretcher. Brooklyn president Lee MacPhail accuses the St. Louis pitcher of deliberately hitting Medwick in the head because the two had quarreled in a hotel elevator prior to the game.
1996 Brant Brown hits the first three home runs of his career on the same day. The 25 year-old rookie goes deep as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning off Chan Ho Park in a 9-6 loss to the Dodgers in the opener of a Wrigley Field twin bill, but his two additional round-trippers contribute to Chicago’s 7-4 victory in the nightcap.
2014 With the only batter reaching base as a result of a throwing error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the seventh inning, Clayton Kershaw no-hit the Rockies at Dodger Stadium, striking out a career-high 15 batters. The left-hander’s teammate Josh Beckett also threw a no-hitter 24 days ago, making it the shortest span between no-hitters by a team since the Reds’ Johnny Vander Meer accomplished it in consecutive starts, four days apart, in 1938.
The Rangers ask LHP Cole Hamels (3-6, 3.86 ERA) to put a halt to their 5-game losing streak. He’ll face the Dodgers’ RHP Kenta Maeda (4-4, 3.61 ERA), newly activated from the disabled list where he’d been with a strained right hip. Hamels has been on a downward slide recently: he’s 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA in his last three starts. Maeda was pitching very well before his injury; unfortunately the Dodgers’ offense wasn’t producing the way it has been recently or he’d have more wins.
Here’s an article from The Athletic offering up blue-sky predictions of what MLB expansion might look like. It’s fun and thought-provoking.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1957 In a game which features the ejection of Johnny Logan and Don Drysdale, Clem Labine loses for the first time in ten months and 38 relief appearances when the Braves beat Brooklyn, 8-5. The Milwaukee shortstop charged the mound after getting drilled in the ribs by the Dodger right-hander, resulting in banishment for both players.
1973 The Dodgers infield, a quartet which will be together eight and a half years, setting a major league record for longevity, plays together for the first time. First baseman Steve Garvey, second baseman Davey Lopes, third baseman Ron Cey, and shortstop Bill Russell are in the lineup in the 16-3 defeat to the Phillies.
1998 The first triple play ever completed at Dodger Stadium is turned by Darren Dreifort (p), Eric Young (2b), Jose Vizcaino (ss), and Bobby Bonilla (3b). With Colorado runners on first and second base, the 1-6-4 double play becomes a triple killing when Jamey Wright is thrown out at third base by the LA second baseman, who covered first base for the second out.
2010 The Angels, with their first sweep at Dodger Stadium, complete their 14-game road trip with 11 victories, the most for the team on a single trip since 1962. In the 6-5 decision over their crosstown rivals, Halo hurler Jered Weaver strikes out his older brother, Jeff, who came into the game as a long reliever in the third inning, for the first time since they were kids.
The Dodgers embark on a six-game road trip by playing the Rockies at Coors Field this evening. They’ll ask LHP Scott Alexander (1-0, 4.05 ERA) to start for the injured Kenta Maeda. Alexander has been in 20 games this season, completing 20 innings. All of them have been in relief. In fact, this is his first start in the big leagues, and it comes in his 100th MLB appearance. He’ll face the Rockies’ LHP Tyler Anderson (3-1, 4.72 ERA), who’s spent his entire three-year MLB career as a starter and has thrown 55 1/3 innings in 11 games this season.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1955 Duke Snider blasts three home runs in the Dodgers’ 11-8 win over Milwaukee. Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, and Roy Campanella also go deep in the Ebbets Field’s contest, helping Brooklyn set a franchise record with six home runs.
1962 In the nightcap of a twin bill at Shibe Park, Don Drysdale beats the Phillies for the 13th consecutive time, continuing a streak which started in 1958. The Dodger right-hander, however, will drop his next seven decisions against Philadelphia after today’s victory.
1997 When Wilton Guerrero scurries to pick up pieces of his shattered bat after grounding out to start the game, home plate ump Steve Ripley becomes suspicious and discovers that the rookie used an altered bat. The Dodgers second baseman is immediately ejected from the game by crew chief Bruce Froemming, and the 21 year-old infielder will also receive an eight-day suspension and a $1,000 fine for his use of a corked bat.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup at Rockies: Taylor SS Turner 3B Kemp LF Hernández CF Muncy 1B Forsythe 2B Barnes C Puig RF Alexander P pic.twitter.com/6gbYESsXuf
The Dodgers send RHP Kenta Maeda (4-3, 3.38 ERA) out to face the Phillies’ RHP Jake Arrieta (4-2, 2.45 ERA). Arrieta has fond memories of the Dodgers; he pitched a no-hitter against them in Dodger Stadium three years ago. This season his last start might have been his best: he held the Braves scoreless for 6 2/3 innings and got six of the first nine outs by strikeout. Maeda has been the best he’s been all year in his last two starts, when he’s struck out 20 in only 14 2/3 innings and given up only four hits.
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1905 According to legend, Dodger hurler Elmer Stricklett introduces the spitball, helping Brooklyn to beat the Giants, 4-3. Prior to the 1921 season, the spitball will be totally banned, except for 17 existing spitballers who are allowed to keep throwing the slippery pitch legally until they are retired, including Burleigh Grimes, who will be the last player to legally throw a doctored pitch before retiring in 1934.
1928 At Ebbets Field, Bill Terry hits for the cycle to pace the Giants to a 12-5 victory over the Robins (Dodgers). The New York first baseman is the first player in major league history to include a grand slam as part of the cycle.
1956 In a 10-1 loss to the Dodgers at Forbes Field, Dale Long is held hitless by Don Newcombe, ending his consecutive-game home run streak. The Pirates’ first baseman had established a new major league mark by homering in the last eight Pittsburgh contests.
1979 At Dodger Stadium, Dusty Baker, Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Garvey, Gary Thomasson, Derrel Thomas, Joe Ferguson, and Davey Lopes set a team record by hitting seven home runs as the Dodgers crush the Reds, 17-6.
2000 At the age of 104, Fred Roberts, the oldest living Dodger fan, makes his first visit to Dodger Stadium. Wearing a jersey with the number 104, the World War I veteran cheers as Shawn Green’s sixth inning grand slam helps to beat Al Leiter and the Mets, 4-1.
Back on the OKC – LA elevator:
Today, the Dodgers recalled infielder/outfielder Breyvic Valera from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned right-handed pitcher Brock Stewart to OKC.
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.