Jun 27

Game 79, 2017

Angels at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-W

RHP Jesse Chavez (5-7, 5.15 ERA) goes for the Angels while RHP Kenta Maeda (5-3, 4.62 ERA) makes a spot start for the Dodgers.

Chavez appeared in 23 games for the Dodgers last year, all in relief. He was acquired from the Blue Jays in a trade for Mike Bolsinger and let go to free agency in the off-season. In his career he’s faced the Dodgers 11 times with a 3.32 ERA. Maeda has been in the bullpen since a poor outing on June 4, but he’s shown signs of improvement according to Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts. “I think over the last three appearances, he’s throwing the baseball really well,” Roberts said.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1940 To honor the lyricist of Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Jack Norworth Day is celebrated at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field. Norworth and his partner Albert Von Tilzer, who wrote the music, had never seen a game when they created the song in 1908.
  • 1980 Dodger southpaw Jerry Reuss, facing only 28 batters, no-hits the Giants at Candlestick Park, 8-0. Shortstop Bill Russell’s errant throw on Jack Clark’s grounder with two outs in the first inning deprives the 31 year-old left-hander from tossing a perfect game.
  • 2011 Citing MLB refusal to sign off on a transaction that would provide the team with $385 million, the Dodgers file for bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court. Although there will be no disruption to the day-to-day status of the franchise, the Chapter 11 financing permits the Dodgers to use $150 million for daily operations and gives owner Frank McCourt time to seek a media deal that will ensure the club’s long-term financial stability.

Lineup when available.

Jun 18

Game 70, 2017

Dodgers at Reds, 10:10 AM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-O

The Dodgers hope to sweep the series with this game, and they’ll send RHP Kenta Maeda (4-3, 4.95 ERA) out to try to win it. He’ll face old acquaintance Bronson Arroyo (3-5, 7.01 ERA).

Maeda has struggled this season, with only two quality starts in the ten games he’s started, but his last outing was a four-inning save against the Reds on June 9. If he pitches to that level again he may rejoin the Dodgers’ starting rotation.

Arroyo never threw a pitch for the Dodgers, but he came over from the Braves in the July 2015 trade in which they acquired Alex Wood, Mat Latos, Luis Avilan, Jose Peraza and Jim Johnson. He was injured at the time and the Braves were dumping his salary. He was granted free agency in November of that year and landed with the Reds. He may not last very long if his performance doesn’t improve, because Homer Bailey and Brandon Finnegan can come off the DL by the end of June.

Notes:

Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has been clobbering the ball in June. On Tuesday, he became the fastest player to record at least four multihomer games. According to Statcast, as of Saturday, Bellinger is fifth in MLB in barrel rate (23.5 percent) and currently leads left-handed batters in hard contact rate against left-handed pitchers this season. His teammate Corey Seager ranks second in hard contact rate. Bellinger hit his 19th homer on Saturday.

This day 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-hits 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.

Vinnie calls Kershaw’s no-hitter:

Lineup when available.

Jun 07

Game 61, 2017

Nationals at Dodgers, 12:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MASN, MLBN (out-of-market only)

This looks like a wonderful pitcher’s duel, so each pitcher will probably be shelled and out of the game by the third inning. It’s RHP Stephen Strasburg (7-1, 2.91 ERA) going for the Nats and LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.28 ERA) for the Dodgers. These two were supposed to meet last year during the regular season but Strasburg strained his upper back and was scratched.

Strasburg has won his last three starts, striking out 33 and putting up a 1.33 ERA. Kershaw hasn’t had a decision in his last three starts.

Alex Wood will come off the DL this weekend and take either Maeda’s or Ryu’s spot in the rotation. In another bit of intriguing news, Eibner has thrown six bullpen sessions.

This day 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.
  • 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.

Jun 04

Game 58, 2017

Dodgers at Brewers, 11:10 AM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI, Telemundo

RHP Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.21 ERA) will pitch for the Dodgers and RHP Zach Davies (5-3, 5.18 ERA) goes for the Brewers.

Maeda has had two successive starts in which he’s given up three runs in the first inning and held the opposition scoreless in the next four. He’s 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA lifetime against the Brewers. Davies gave up two earned runs on six hits over five innings to the Mets his last time out but got no decision for his trouble. He’s only faced the Dodgers twice, both times in 2016. He gave up HRs to Turner, Grandal, Trayce Thompson and Seager in those games.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1940 The Cardinals play their first night game at home, losing to Brooklyn, 10-1, despite Joe Medwick’s 5-for-5 performance that included three doubles. The honor of hosting the first evening tilt in St. Louis that took place on May 24 was given to the Browns, after the two teams finally agreed to split the $150,000 cost of installing lights at Sportsman’s Park, the ballpark they share.
  • 1957 At a seventy-five minute show-down meeting at City Hall with Walter O’Malley and Horace Stoneham, the club presidents of the Dodgers and Giants, respectively, Mayor Robert Wagner is told by the owners neither club has a commitment to move out of New York – and none to stay in the Big Apple. The teams, who have been given permission by the National League to explore the possibility of moving their franchises to the West Coast, are assured by His Honor that the city will be of assistance in replacing the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field, the aging ballparks the clubs call home.
  • 1964 At Connie Mack Stadium, Sandy Koufax throws his third no-hitter in three years, blanking the Phillies 3-0. The Dodgers’ southpaw, who will add a perfect game to his resume next season, joins Bob Feller as the only other modern major leaguer to pitch three career hitless games.
  • 1968 Don Drysdale, pitching his sixth consecutive shutout, defeats the Pirates, 5-0. The Dodger right-hander will extend his major league record scoreless streak to 58.2 innings before yielding a run in his next start. Later that evening at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Robert Kennedy, giving his victory speech for his win in the California primary before being fatally shot, tells his followers in the packed ballroom, “I’d like to express my high regard to Don Drysdale, who pitched his sixth straight shutout tonight.”
  • 1972 The Dodgers retire Roy Campanella’s uniform number 39. Campy, who won the MVP three times catching for Brooklyn in the fifties, joins Jackie Robinson (42) and Sandy Koufax (32) to be honored in this manner.
  • 1976 In an 11-0 victory at Dodger Stadium, Mets right fielder Dave Kingman hits three home runs. Sky King’s two-run dinger and two three-run round trippers drive in eight runs, a new club record.
  • 1990 En route to a 6-0 complete-game victory, 22 year-old Dodger right-hander Ramon Martinez limits Atlanta to three hits. Pedro’s older brother, who will finish the season with a 20-6 record, strikes out 18 batters during the contest.
  • 1998 The Dodgers trade the 1995 National League Rookie of the Year Hideo Nomo (2-7 with a 5.05 ERA) and reliever Brad Clontz to the Mets for pitchers Dave Mlicki and Greg McMichael.

Lineup when available.

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.