Sep 19

Game 53, 2020

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:10 PM PDT, TV: ATTSportsNet-RM, SPNLA

LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-2, 2.28 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while RHP Chi Chi González (0-1, 8.68 ERA) pitches for the home Rockies. Kershaw was the victim of shoddy defense his last time out; he’d struck out nine and walked none when he left the game in the 7th. González was awful in his last outing (walked three, hit one, pulled after 1/3 of an inning) but he’d had two strong relief appearances before that.

Will Smith gets voluminous praise from one of MLB’s editors: “Smith has a triple-slash line of .303/.417/.596, which is good for an OPS+ of 171. That’s the highest mark on Los Angeles, ahead of even Betts (163) and Seager (155) and puts Smith among some extremely impressive company.” He’s in the top ten in OPS, ahead of Jose Abreu and right behind Manny Machado.

Here’s the Dodgers’ five-run fifth inning yesterday:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1935 The Cubs win their 16th consecutive game as they beat Carl Hubbell, completing a four-game sweep of the Giants. The mark is the most since the 1924 Dodgers won 15 straight games.
  • 1964 With two outs in the bottom of the 16th inning, Willie Davis, after singling, swiping second, and advancing to third on a wild pitch, steals home, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over Philadelphia. The fleet outfielder’s theft of the plate is in the latest frame in a National League game the feat has ever been accomplished and ties Hal Trosky’s major league record set in 1944.
  • 1973 Astros’ infielder Dave Campbell hits a first-inning two-run double against San Diego right-hander Clay Kirby to snap an 0-for-45 drought, tying a major league record set in 1909 by Bill Bergen, a catcher who played with Brooklyn. ‘Soup’, who will become a respected national baseball broadcaster, endured the futility while playing for three teams, combining a 17 at-bat hitless streak with the Padres and another 21 at-bat hitless streak for the Cardinals before hitting the two-bagger in his eighth at-bat with Houston.
  • 2000 A Dodger fan, in addition to other court-ordered restrictions, has been banned from attending home games in Los Angeles for 18 months. The irate patron threw coffee in the face of a Mets fan who was cheering a grand slam hit by New York’s catcher Todd Pratt.
  • 2014 LA’s Clayton Kershaw becomes the first 20-game winner of the season when the team routs Chicago at a windy Wrigley Field, 14-5. The 26 year-old southpaw, who has compiled a 20-3 (.870) record along with an ERA of 1.80. is the first Dodger hurler to reach the 20-win plateau twice since Claude Osteen accomplished the feat in 1969 and 1972.

Lineup when available.

Aug 14

Game 21, 2020

Dodgers at Angels, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-W, SPNLA

LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-1, 3.60 ERA) pitches for the visiting Dodgers against the Angels’ LHP Patrick Sandoval (0-1, 2.70 ERA). Kershaw gave up three homers to the Giants (the Giants!) and lasted only 4 1/3 innings. Sandoval’s last start was pretty good: he went six innings against the Rangers and gave up just two runs.

The LA Times has a whole bevy of interesting Dodgers stories today:

In Houston Mitchell’s Dodgers Dugout he lists all the Dodgers (Brooklyn and LA) who have hit three homers in a game; I was surprised to see that Adrian Gonzalez had done it twice while in a Dodgers uniform, and of the current players, Pollock, Turner, Seager and Hernandez have all done it in the last three years.

The LA Times’s game story recapping Mookie Betts’ 3-HR game is full of quotes from the happy guy.

The LA Times’s Bill Plaschke writes about his experience with COVID-19 in his column today.

Yesterday’s game had so many highlights that it takes five minutes of video to show them all:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 In a total of two hours and seventeen minutes, the Dodgers and Cubs split a doubleheader. In the opener, the Cubs blank Brooklyn 2-0, in one hour and ten minutes, and in the nightcap, it takes the Dodgers one hour and seven minutes to shut out Chicago, 1-0.
  • 1932 Brooklyn’s 10-inning, 2-1 victory over the Giants at the Polo Grounds makes reliever John Quinn, at the age of 49, the oldest player to win a major league game. Johnny Frederick, who will have a total of only six home runs during the entire season, hits a ninth inning game-tying homer off Carl Hubbell, his fourth round-tripper as a pinch hitter, establishing a new major-league record.

Also, in 2015 the Padres’ Matt Kemp hits a ninth-inning triple to complete the cycle, making him the first player in the 35-year history of the franchise to accomplish the feat. The San Diego outfielder’s home run in the first, single in the third, and double in the seventh contribute to the team’s 9-5 victory over Colorado at Coors Field.

Lineup:

Aug 11

Game 18, 2020

Padres at Dodgers, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FSSD, SPNLA

RHP Garrett Richards (0-1, 4.60 ERA) pitches for the Padres while RHP Ross Stripling (3-0, 4.00 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. These two guys faced one another last Wednesday, August 5. In that game Stripling got into the sixth and picked up the win, but he did give up three extra-base hits including a home run to Tatis Jr. Richards gave up four runs in five innings, but even with that he’s got a 2.55 ERA in his seven career appearances against the Dodgers.

Courtesy of WBBsAs in the comments to yesterday’s post, Kiké describes the longest road trip of the “year” and what the protocols for virus-prevention are like.

Molly Knight has written a wonderful article at The Athletic which tells the story of some of the photo cutouts in the stands at Dodger Stadium. The ones she writes about were all purchased by family or friends to memorialize deceased Dodger fans.

I wonder if the Dodgers do this for their season ticket holders?

Here’s a bright spot in yesterday’s disheartening loss: May strikes out Machado with a wickedly-moving fast ball. It’s nearly a duplicate of one Machado struck out on during last week’s game. The video of that went viral among baseball fans.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1946 Sweeping a doubleheader, the Phillies end the Dodgers’ 18-game winning streak, a major league record, in Philadelphia. The Dodgers hadn’t lost in the City of Brotherly Love since May 5, 1945.
  • 1950 Vern Bickford, throwing just 97 pitches, no-hits the Dodgers at Braves’ Field, 7-0. The 29 year-old right-hander hurls the first hitless game for Boston since Jim Tobin accomplished the feat, also against Brooklyn, on April 27, 1944.
  • 1951 WCBS-TV televises the first baseball game broadcast in color, a Braves’ 8-1 victory over the hometown Dodgers in the first game of a twin bill at Ebbets Field. Brooklyn’s announcers Red Barber and Connie Desmond provide the play-by-play commentary.
  • 2015 The Blue Jays, Rays, Marlins, Mets, Indians, Cubs, Royals, White Sox, Twins, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mariners, Padres, Dodgers, and Giants all win, making it the first time in the live ball era that every contest is won by the home team in a full slate of games. The unique occurrence became a reality when the two last games to finish end in extra innings, with the host clubs enjoying a walk-off victory.

Lineup when available.

Bellinger at 1B, Muncy taking the day off, Seager still day-to-day, I imagine.

Jul 24

Game 2, 2020

Giants at Dodgers, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: NBCS BA, SPNLA

The visitors will start a pitcher, we can count on that. As of this morning they have not announced who it will be. The Dodgers will send Ross Stripling to the mound. “Chicken Strip” has become their seasoned swing man, rotating between the bullpen and the rotation. I’m not sure he enjoys that role, but it’s what he’s slotted as for the time being. He was 4-4 with a 3.47 ERA last year.

Mike Lupica of MLB.com writes about Mookie Betts’ first game as a Dodger.

Here are the highlights from Kiké Hernández’s big night:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1909 At Washington Park, the Superbas sweep a twin bill from the visiting Cardinals with identical 1-0 scores. Brooklyn’s southpaw Nap Rucker, who will finish second in the NL with 200 strikeouts, whiffs 16 Redbirds in one of the contests.
  • 1931 For the second time in ten days, Babe Herman hits for the cycle. The Dodger outfielder joins “Long John” Reilly and Bob Meusel as one of only three ‘tricyclists’ to have accomplished the feat of collecting a single, double, triple, and home run in one game three times.
  • 1965 Unbeknownst to him at the time, 75 year-old Mets skipper Casey Stengel, who compiled a managerial record of 1,905-1,842 with the Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, and Mets, manages his final baseball game, a 5-1 loss to Philadelphia at Shea Stadium. After leaving a party after midnight at Toots Shors, the ‘Old Perfesser’ loses his balance and fractures his left hip, resulting in his unexpected retirement.
  • 1968 ChiSox reliever Hoyt Wilhelm breaks Cy Young’s record when he makes his 907th career appearance, pitching a third of an inning in which he gives up a run on two hits to be on the short side of the team’s 3-2 loss to Oakland. The 45 year-old knuckleballer, who will retire in 1972 after pitching in 1,070 games, will finish his 21-year major league career with a 143-122 (.540) won-loss record and 228 saves, hurling for the Giants, Cardinals, Indians, Orioles, White Sox, Angels, Braves, Cubs, and Dodgers.
  • 1970 Tommy Agee steals home with two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning, giving the Mets a 2-1 walk-off victory over the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, the New York center fielder stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, before scoring the winning run with his thievery of home plate.
  • 1977 After his two-out foul pop-up is dropped by Mets’ right fielder Bruce Boisclair, Davey Lopes responds with a game-ending three-run home run off Bob Apodaca. The L.A. second baseman’s ninth-inning dramatics provide the Dodgers with a 5-3 win and spoil the opportunity for a win for Nino Espinosa, who left the game needing just one more out for a complete-game victory.
  • 1993 Following the game at Dodger Stadium, Vince Coleman tosses an M-80 from a car, resulting in reported injuries to three fans in the Chavez Ravine parking lot, including an 11 year-old boy and a two year-old girl. The Mets’ player was a passenger in the 1991 Jeep Cherokee driven by LA outfielder Eric Davis, who acknowledges Coleman flipped the firecracker out of his vehicle as a ‘joke,’ but not into a crowd of people.
  • 1993 In a 5-4 loss to the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, Mets right-hander Anthony Young extends his record losing streak to 27 games. The latest defeat is the result of the hard-luck hurler walking Dave Hansen in with the winning run with two outs in the 10th inning.
  • 2015 Michael Conforto becomes the 1,000th player in Mets history when he makes his major league debut, going 0-3 in the team’s 7-2 loss to the Dodgers at Citi Field. Tomorrow, the 24 year-old rookie left fielder will enjoy a 4-for-4 day at the plate when he will collect three singles and a double en route scoring four runs.

Lineup when available.

Aug 25

Game 132, 2019

Yankees at Dodgers, 4:05 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

RHP Domingo Germán (16-3, 4.15 ERA) takes to the mound for the Yankees, facing LHP Clayton Kershaw (13-2, 2.71 ERA) of the Dodgers. The Yankees are trying to conserve their 27-year-old pitcher’s arm, which is why Germán has averaged less than six innings per start this year. He’s appearing in just his 51st big league game. The Dodgers’ Kershaw has not gone fewer than six innings in any one of his 22 starts this year; in his last one he went six, gave up three solo home runs and walked three batters but still got the win as the Dodgers clobbered the Blue Jays 16-3.

Here’s that eventful ninth inning from yesterday:

Yesterday was Kiké Hernández’s 28th birthday; today is Max Muncy’s 29th.

On 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 a 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.

Players’ Weekend Dodger nickname code, for help in deciphering today’s lineup.

Note: Austin Barnes was called up to replace Russell Martin after this was published, so his nickname doesn’t appear on that list. Here’s the explanation for his nickname “Sam”:

The origin story of “Sam” is actually quite funny. During Spring Training in 2016, some of the veterans sent Barnes, a rookie, on a taco run. When he got back, A.J. Ellis joked that he didn’t even know his name, so Utley said, “It’s Sam.” In reality, most of his teammates call him “Barnsey.”

Lineup:

Jul 19

Game 100, 2019

Marlins at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: FS-F, SPNLA

The Marlins give the ball to RHP Zac Gallen (0-1, 4.24 ERA), who’ll make his fifth major league start. In his last one he went five innings, struck out five, walked five and gave up two runs. The Dodgers counter with LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (10-2, 1.78 ERA), who’s made 18 starts and given up two earned runs or fewer in all but one. In his last start he went seven innings against the Red Sox, gave up two runs and didn’t figure in the decision as the Dodgers won in the 12th inning.

Kershaw was being interviewed as Matt Beaty hit his HR yesterday:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2017 CT3, Kiké and Seager each hit home runs as the Dodgers defeated the White Sox in a rain-shortened interleague game in Chicago behind Kenta Maeda’s five strong innings and two innings of relief from Ross Stripling.

Lineup when available.

Jul 06

Game 91, 2019

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

The visiting Padres send RHP Chris Paddack (5-4, 3.05 ERA) to the (hopefully stable) mound at Dodger Stadium tonight. He’ll face the Dodgers’ RHP Kenta Maeda (7-4, 3.78 ERA). Paddack’s a rookie whose May-June was rocky but whose last start was good: he threw six innings of two-hit ball against the Cardinals and got the win. Maeda threw four scoreless innings at Coors Field his last time out but gave up two runs in the fifth and didn’t figure in the Dodgers’ eventual 12-6 win.

Thoughts during an earthquake:

In the Dodgers’ dugout, manager Dave Roberts hoped for a Hernández home run “to add to the commotion.”

Across the way, Padres manager Andy Green thought, too, of a long drive. He leaned over to bench coach Rod Barajas with a thought.“I’d love Kiké Hernández to hit a ball down the line where the foul pole sways in,” Green said, “and the ball swings just foul based on that.”

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.

Lineup when available.


Apr 20

Game 23, 2019

Dodgers at Brewers, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: FS1, FS-WI, SPNLA

The Dodgers give LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-0, 3.07 ERA) the ball 12 days after he left a game in the second inning with a mild groin strain. The Brewers counter with RHP Chase Anderson (1-0, 4.50 ERA), who’s making a spot start replacing Freddie Peralta. Anderson’s longest outing from the bullpen this year was 43 pitches.

Kiké’s go-ahead HR from last night:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1999 A crowd of 37,317 fans enjoys a 3-2 victory over the Braves when LA surpasses the 100 million mark in attendance at Dodger Stadium. The ballpark opened in 1962, four seasons after the franchise moved from Brooklyn to the west coast.
  • 2011 Bud Selig announces MLB is taking over operations of the Dodgers because of concerns over team finances and the ability of Frank McCourt to run the franchise. Los Angeles is facing substantial debt payments, which the owner plans to meet by using funding from the club’s new $2.5 billion, 20-year media-rights deal with Fox Sports, but the Commissioner has withheld his approval of the agreement between the News Corp.’s media company and the team.
  • 2012 The Reds become the fifth major league team to record their 10,000th franchise victory with a 9-4 win over Chicago at Wrigley Field. Cincinnati joins the Giants, Cubs, Dodgers, Cardinals, and Braves in reaching the milestone.

Lineup when available.


Dec 14

Roberts on rosters

Newly-inked manager Dave Roberts used his media availability requirement at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday of this week to answer a few questions:

On the position player side, Roberts said he expects Cody Bellinger to be an everyday player in 2019.

“Just the way he can defend and how he can affect a game and impact a game with his legs, with the bat, the goal is to have him out there and handle lefties and righties,” Roberts said.

“I think for Cody, it was a tough year,” Roberts said. “It was a grind for him with a slow start. But if you look at the surface line, it wasn’t bad. Now you kind of introduce the defense and the versatility, for a second-year player, still pretty good.”

But if you have Bellinger in the lineup every day, what position will he play? CF or 1B? “Reply hazy, try again.”

Well, what about Muncy? Kiké? CT3?

Roberts said Muncy, Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernández will all be options at second base, with Muncy also getting at-bats at first.

On the pitching side, Roberts said he sees Kenta Maeda and Alex Wood, who transitioned to bullpen roles by the end of 2018, as starters in 2019. Roberts said Ross Stripling will also compete for a starting job after an All-Star 2018 season.

I think Roberts was in a good mood, as shown by this:

On former Diamondbacks All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt going to the Cardinals:

“Goldy, he can stay in the (National League) Central as long as he wants. I’m trying to work on getting him to the American League next. But Goldy, one of my favorite players to watch. To get him out of our division is great. Hope he’s happy. I’ve got to send him flowers.”

Oct 30

Gather ’round the stove, y’all

We go into the offseason earlier than we hoped and without the ultimate prize, so who’s coming back to ensure we get back to the Series for the third consecutive year?

…the Dodgers retain their nucleus. Hill will return for the final year of a three-year deal he signed after 2016. Justin Turner and Jansen will be back. Max Muncy, this year’s breakout star, will be back and cost-controlled. Seager is expected to be healthy. A young nucleus of position players that includes Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernández and Joc Pederson will also come back, with Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo perhaps ready to take on bigger roles.

Kershaw or not, the rotation could post a combination of Buehler and Julio Urías that is currently a combined 45 years old.

Besides Kershaw, other free agents include Machado, Freese, Dozier, and Grandal. Despite the current dissatisfaction with Grandal,

…only J.T. Realmuto was a more valuable catcher by Baseball Prospectus’ WARP metric, and he is coming off the best offensive season of his career. He will be paid, and handsomely, as the Dodgers will look to find a catching partner to join the light-hitting Austin Barnes.

Beyond Kershaw’s decision, which must be made this week, the biggest question is whether Dave Roberts will manage the team next year. You’d think three consecutive playoff appearances and two trips to the World Series would make that question ludicrous, but baseball owners have done screwier things*.

To win the World Series, the Dodgers would have had to play better than they had for any seven-game stretch all season. Roberts would have had to nail every single decision, which he did not. Puig would have had to throw to the cutoff man, which he did not. Their pitchers would have had to pitch to their strengths, which they did not. Their hitters would have had to, well, hit.

“You have to realize that we are a really good team to get to go to the World Series two years in a row,” Kershaw said. “It might not be a personnel thing. It might just be a ‘play better’ thing.”

So, what’s next? Here are selected events from Major League Baseball’s calendar:

  • Nov. 2, 2018 Deadline for teams to extend qualifying offer to own free agents, 5 p.m. ET
  • Nov. 8-15, 2018 Japan All-Star Tour (including CT3)
  • Nov. 12, 2018 Deadline for players to accept or reject qualifying offer, 5 p.m. ET
  • Nov. 30, 2018 Non-tender deadline
  • Dec. 9-13, 2018 Winter Meetings in Las Vegas
  • Dec. 13, 2018 Rule 5 Draft

*Back in 1964 the Cardinals’ owner Gussie Busch fired the team’s entire senior management in August, leaving field manager Johnny Keane as sole survivor for the time. Shortly after the Cardinals won the World Series, Keane surprised management by resigning (and then being hired by the Yankees, who’d just lost to Keane’s former team).