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 25

Game 48, 2017

Cardinals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-M, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Cardinals’ RHP Michael Wacha (2-1, 2.74 ERA) will face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (3-2, 5.03 ERA) in the rubber game of the series.

In Wacha’s last start he went six innings and allowed four hits and no runs to the Giants. He’s gone into the sixth or longer in every start he’s made in 2017. He’s 1-2 with a 3.57 ERA against the Dodgers in four career starts. Maeda is coming off the 10-day DL for hamstring tightness, but in his last start prior to that he went 8 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on five hits to the Pirates. He’s faced the Cards only once in his career and got a win.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 Casey Stengel, traded by the Dodgers in the off-season to the Pirates, calls time, steps out of the batter’s box to give the razzing Ebbets Field fans the ‘bird’. The Pittsburgh right fielder doffs his hat, allowing a sparrow to fly out, much to the amazement and amusement of the fans.
  • 2002 With four homers on Thursday (5/23), one on Friday (5/24), and two more on Saturday (5/25), Shawn Green becomes the first major leaguer to hit seven round-trippers in three games. The Dodger outfielder’s nine big flies in a week also breaks a National League record, established by Ralph Kiner with eight and tied by Ted Kluszewski and Nate Colbert.

The Dodgers reinstated Maeda from the 10-day DL and placed Pederson on the 7-day concussion DL.

Lineup when available.

May 10

Game 34, 2017

Pirates at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTPIT

The visitors send RHP Chad Kuhl (1-2, 5.54 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (2-2, 5.81 ERA). Kuhl managed to beat the Dodgers twice last year despite posting a 4.09 ERA while doing so. Maeda’s last two starts were his best of the season (12 innings, three earned runs, 16 Ks).

Here’s a scheduling quirk: today’s game will be the third of 35 consecutive games the Pirates will play outside of the National League Central.

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1953 With a double and home run, Roy Campanella drives in all the runs in the Dodgers’ 5-0 victory over the Phillies at Ebbets Field. Campy’s total of 40+ RBIs in the first 30 games will not be matched until Tino Martinez accomplishes the feat in 1997 with the Yankees.
  • 1955 Dodger right-hander Don Newcombe faces only 27 batters when he one-hits Chicago at Wrigley Field, 3-0. Newk’s bid for perfection is ruined by a fourth-inning single hit by Gene Baker, who will be thrown out trying to steal second base.

Injury update:

Lineup:

We see the immediate impact of Toles’s injury, as Bellinger moves to left field and Utley plays 1B.

May 05

Game 30, 2017

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

RHP Kenta Maeda (2-2, 6.58 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. He lost to the Padres on April 4, but he’s since found a cut fastball and its use led to a very good outing against the Phillies last week: seven innings, five hits, two runs and a win. He’ll face RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-3, 5.82 ERA), who hasn’t allowed a run in 14 2/3 innings at home this year.

The Dodgers are expected to activate Joc Pederson from the 10-day DL, which means someone has to be sent down to OKC to make room. Might be Bellinger, might be one of the relief pitchers. We’ll probably know by early afternoon.

On this day in Dodgers history:

  • 1955 In his first major league start, Dodger rookie starter Tommy Lasorda ties a record, throwing three wild pitches in the first inning of the team’s 4-3 victory over St. Louis at Ebbets Field.
  • 1962 Bo Belinsky throws the first no-hitter in Angels history and the first one ever tossed at Dodger Stadium, beating the Orioles, 2-0. The 25 year-old southpaw is only the tenth rookie to throw a no-hitter.
  • 2009 The Dodgers tie the major league record of 12 consecutive wins at home to start the season with their 3-1 victory over Arizona. L.A.’s 12-0 start at home equals the mark set by the Tigers in 1911.

Kershaw, McCarthy and Bill Shaikin try their hands at financial analysis of the Dodgers’ methods of acquiring starting pitching.

Lineup when available.

Note Bellinger is at 1B. Here’s why:

Apr 28

Game 24, 2017

Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, TCN

The Phillies start RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 2.55 ERA). This will be his second appearance against the Dodgers; he gave up four runs in a six-inning start last season. The Dodgers will counter with Kenta Maeda (1-2, 8.05 ERA), who had some extra days of rest and spent it working on his mechanics. Maeda leads the major leagues this season in an unenviable category: among the 17 runs he’s allowed in his 19 innings of work are seven home runs.

Surprising news (to me, anyway): Ethier won’t be back any time soon:

Ethier has still not been cleared to resume baseball activities, and manager Dave Roberts indicated there is no timetable for that process to begin. Given Ethier’s extended downtime, Roberts admitted on Thursday that Ethier will not be ready to rejoin the Dodgers until June — “at the earliest,” he said.

And arriving even that soon is predicated on Ethier making significant progress in the next week or so.

Puig, on the other hand, has shown plate discipline and a willingness to take walks that he hasn’t shown since 2014. He’s letting that low outside pitch go by so far this year, after a year or more of lunging after it.

Lineup when available.

Hmm. Is this the first day Puig has had off since the season began?

Apr 22

Game 18, 2017

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

Kenta Maeda (1-1, 7.07 ERA) goes for the Dodgers, YALHP Robbie Ray (1-0, 1.96 ERA) for the D-Backs. If you’re counting, Ray is the 10th lefty to start against the Dodgers in 18 games.

Maeda pitched against the Diamondbacks Saturday night, giving up four runs on four hits in four innings. He has yet to settle in this season; the Dodgers are hoping extra bullpen and two extrad days of rest will get him on the right track. Ray faced the Dodgers Monday night, went six innings, gave up two runs, walked four, struck out ten and got no decision for his trouble.

Lineup when available.

So apparently Joc’s deemed not likely to succeed as well against the lefty Ray as he did leading off against the righty Walker last night. No Toles, no Utley, no Seager: I don’t quite understand Dave Roberts’ reasoning here.

Apr 15

Game 12, 2017

Wait a minute. After 11 games of the season Andrew Toles and Yasiel Puig lead the Dodgers in home runs with three each?

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Lefty Patrick Corbin (1-1, 1.80 ERA) goes for the D-Backs and righty Kenta Maeda (1-1, 6.30 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. In Corbin’s last appearance he went six scoreless innings and gave up just four hits against the Indians. Maeda hasn’t gotten past the fifth inning in either of his outings so far this season but got the win last time out despite giving up four runs.

Today’s big event won’t be the ball game, really. It will be the unveiling of a statue of Jackie Robinson at the Left Field Reserve Plaza entrance, where nearly 20% of all fans enter the stadium.

Jackie’s widow, Rachel, and children, Sharon and David, will attend the ceremony. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson will also be there, along with Dodgers icons Tommy Lasorda, Sandy Koufax, Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin.

Lineup when available.

Apr 09

Game 7, 2017

Dodgers at Rockies, 12:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTSRM

The Dodgers ask Kenta Maeda (0-1, 5.40 ERA) to keep the Rockies in check while they try to solve yet another lefthanded pitcher, this one named Tyler Anderson (1-0, 7.94 ERA). So far this season they’re 0-2 against lefties; they were 22-24 against them last year. Maeda is 2-2 lifetime against the Rockies; Anderson is 2-0 in three lifetime starts against the Dodgers.

Lineup when available.

Apr 04

Game 2, 2017

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The visiting Padres send lefty Clayton Richard to the mound in hopes he’ll continue pitching as well as he did over the last two months of last season, when he induced ground balls at a 64 percent clip. The Dodgers hope Kenta Maeda does as well in his first start of 2017 as he did in his major league debut in Game Three of last season; he shut out the Padres for six innings and hit a home run. The Dodgers say he’s added a cutter to his repertoire this year.

A couple of interesting things about the Dodgers pitcher:

Maeda tossed three perfect frames and struck out four Angels in his Spring Training finale on Thursday. He needed just 29 pitches. In five spring starts, Maeda posted a 3.00 ERA and a .182 batting average against.

Among pitchers who gave up at least 300 batted balls last season, Maeda led the way by allowing just 28.2 percent to be hit with an exit velocity of 95 mph or harder. Teammate Clayton Kershaw was fourth in that category, at 31.0 percent.

Lineup when available.


Let the platooning begin. Joc sits against a lefty, Kiké plays. Toles sits against lefties too? I dunno. Certainly against this one.

Mar 29

Freeway Series begins

The Dodgers and Angels put on their annual Freeway Series three-game show to end spring training for both teams starting Friday night. Opening Day is Monday, April 3 against the Padres at Dodger Stadium.

Brandon McCarthy earned the #4 spot in the rotation. He’ll be preceded by Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill and followed by Hyun-jin Ryu. At least that’s the plan today.

Roberts added that Alex Wood, a finalist for the rotation, would share the long relief role with Ross Stripling. Rounding out the bullpen are closer Kenley Jansen, set-up man Sergio Romo, Grant Dayton, Luis Avilan and Chris Hatcher.

Barnes will likely be the backup catcher, although that’s not been formally announced. Kiké Hernandez hurt his wrist the other day and is questionable for the backup infielder spot until he shows it’s healed. If he can’t go, it’ll probably be Chris Taylor, and that might mean Van Slyke stays up too, since he can play center field and Taylor doesn’t. Additionally,

The Dodgers trimmed the roster before leaving Arizona on Wednesday, sending out seven players. Infielder Rob Segedin was optioned and reassigned were outfielders Tyler Holt and O’Koyea Dickson, pitcher Brandon Morrow, first basemen Cody Bellinger and Ike Davis, and infielder Charlie Culberson.