Sep 23

Game 56, 2020

Athletics at Dodgers, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: NBCSCA, SPNLA

LHP Sean Manaea (4-3, 4.50 ERA) goes for the visiting As and LHP Julio Urias (3-0, 3.49 ERA) does the same for the Dodgers. Manaea’s record belies his performance: in his last five starts he’s given up more than one earned run only once, and his team has won six of his last eight starts. Urias has trouble in the first inning of nearly every game he starts (maybe he should pitch it in the bullpen before the actual game starts?), but he usually settles down. In his last start he gave up two runs early and then retired 13 consecutive Rockies in 5 2/3 innings.

Here’s the final out of the Dodgers’ NL West-clinching win yesterday:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1901 The Superbas establish a new franchise record for runs scored in a game when they rout the Reds, 25-6. Brooklyn tallies 11 times in the fifth inning during the League Park contest played in Cincinnati.
  • 1916 Allowing only just one walk during a twin bill with the Cincinnati Reds, Grover Alexander of the Phillies wins both ends of a doubleheader, 7-3 and 4-0,to establish a National League record. The future Hall of Famer will repeat the feat on September 3, 1917 against the Brooklyn Robins at Ebbets Field.
  • 1939 In the first game of a twin bill, Brooklyn’s third baseman Cookie Lavagetto reaches base seven consecutive times as the Dodgers rout the Phillies, 22-4. The 26-run Shibe Park contest takes only two hours and five minutes to complete.
  • 1947 Prior to a game against the Giants in a sold-out Ebbets Field, the Dodgers staged Jackie Robinson Day. The Brooklyn rookie, who endured much grief this season as the game’s first black player in modern times, is moved when his teammates crowd around home plate to take part of the ceremony.
  • 1956 Due to the enforcement of a curfew, the Sunday contest between the Dodgers and Pirates is postponed with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, sending the 44,932 fans, the largest crowd in Forbes Field’s history, home. The game will be completed tomorrow with Brooklyn maintaining their 8-3 advantage over Pittsburgh.
  • 1969 In his last major league at-bat, John Miller homers, making the Dodger the only player in history to have hit a home run in his first and last plate appearance in the major leagues. In 1966, as a Yankee, he went deep in the first of only 61 big league career at-bats in which he would collect only 10 hits, including the two memorable round-trippers to start and end his 32-game career.
  • 1986 Astros rookie starter Jim Deshaies sets a major league record by striking out the first eight batters he faces. The young left-hander will finish with a two-hitter and ten strikeouts, beating the Dodgers, 4-0.
  • 1992 Lead-off hitter Bip Roberts ties the National league record with his 10th consecutive hit, a first-inning single in the Reds’ 3-0 victory over Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine. The Cincinnati left fielder’s streak ends when he grounds out in the fifth inning, facing Dodger starter Pedro Astacio.
  • 2006 With one home game left on the schedule, the Dodgers break their single-season attendance record established in 1982 as the team sells 3,708,723 tickets to its games played in Chavez Ravine. The previous record of 3,608,881 was determined by former National League rules which counted fans by turnstile count.
  • 2009 Trailing 8-0 at Dodger Stadium, the Giants take the lead, scoring nine runs in the top of the seventh inning. Although L.A. will come back twice to tie the score with clutch two-out hits in the eighth and ninth, San Francisco tallies four runs in the top of the tenth frame for the 14-10 victory.

Also, in 1908 Fred Merkle’s failure to touch second after an apparent game-winning hit by Al Bridwell scoring Mike McCormick from third costs the Giants a 2-1 win over the Cubs when the ump calls him out and rules the game a tie. Merkle’s ‘boner’ will eventually cost the Giants the flag.

Lineup when available.

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.

Sep 10

Game 45, 2020

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

RHP Dustin May (1-1, 2.88 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 8.44 ERA) takes the mound for just the second time since coming off the IL, where he’d been since August 9 with a mid-back strain. May seems to have developed a slurve to use when his sinker isn’t doing what he likes, MLB says. Bumgarner gave up two runs on three hits in four innings in his first post-injury start against the Giants.

If there are no fans allowed into the stadium anyway, I guess it doesn’t matter where the World Series and Championship Series games are held, although rewarding Texas Rangers ownership for extorting a new taxpayer-funded ball park sticks in my craw, although the team seems to have absorbed more than half the cost.

How is Charlie Steiner broadcasting the Dodgers’ games from home? Like this.

RHP Joe Kelly off IL and up, RHP Walker Buehler back on IL. Kelly’s five-game suspension begins tonight.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1992 Cardinals vice chairman Fred Kuhlman tells reporters that a “security check” had revealed serious issues involving the two out-of-state investors, Vince Piazza and Vincent N. Tirendi, part of the six-man group trying to buy the Giants and move the franchise to Florida. The candid reply to the press will cost baseball more than $6 million to settle a suit that includes a letter of apology from acting Commissioner Bud Selig to Vince Piazza, whose son Mike started his major league career with the Dodgers nine days before his father’s rejection by the MLB owners.
  • 1974 Lou Brock ties and then breaks Maury Wills’s 12 year-old single season stolen base record with his 104th and 105th swipes. The Cardinal left fielder’s thievery against the Phillies doesn’t help when the Redbirds drop the Busch Stadium contest, 8-2.

Lineup when available.

No Twitter explanation of Mookie’s appearance at 2B, but maybe Joe and Orel or Rick and Charlie will know.

Update: He’s starting at second just to gain some game-level experience.

Betts, traditionally the starting right fielder, came up as a middle infielder but has played the outfield throughout his major league career. Thursday’s game, the finale of a three-game road series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, will mark Betts’ first start at second base since he played 14 games there with the Boston Red Sox in 2014. Betts also moved to second base from right field early in a game on Aug. 3, 2018.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Betts takes ground balls in the infield on a daily basis. A couple of weeks ago, the two talked about the unforeseen circumstances in a short playoff series that might prompt Roberts to pinch hit one of his outfielders in the early innings and might force Betts to play second base. Betts embraced the idea.

Sep 01

Game 37, 2020

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, SPNLA

With six days rest LHP Julio Urias (2-0, 3.67 ERA) goes for the home team. He’ll face the D-Backs’ LHP Alex Young (1-1, 4.70 ERA), who will be making his fourth start as the replacement for an injured Madison Bumgarner. Urias has been “throwing his fastballs slower and his offspeed pitches faster than last year,” says MLB. In Young’s last start he gave up three runs on five hits over five innings.

The D-Backs traded their crusty relief pitcher Archie Bradley to the Reds over the weekend, so the Dodgers won’t have to face him anytime soon.

Here are the three home runs which the Dodgers hit on Sunday to set the NL record for most dingers in a month:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1890 On Labor Day at Brooklyn’s Washington Park, the Bridegrooms, later to be known as the Dodgers, win all three games against Pittsburgh in the first tripleheader ever played. The home team sweeps the visiting Alleghenys, who will be renamed the Pirates next season, 10-9, 3-2, and 8-4.
  • 1953 The Cardinals tie a major league mark, hitting five homers in a 12-5 loss to Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. The solo shots hit by Stan Musial, Harry Elliot, Rip Repulski, and Steve Bilko (2), all off starter Preacher Roe, aren’t enough to offset the Dodgers’ 17-hit attack, which includes six doubles but no round-trippers.
  • 1969 At Dodger Stadium, Willie Davis ties the franchise record by hitting in 29 consecutive games with his second-inning single in LA’s 10-6 victory over New York. The mark was established by Zack Wheat in 1916.

Lineup when available.

Feb 24

Funniest story of Spring Training so far

Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December.

From The Athletic:

One of the most famous pitchers in baseball has been competing in team-roping events under an alias for some time. Was he the Mason Saunders who competed alongside Colorado-based roper Tammy Ellerman in March of last year, two days before Bumgarner pitched for the Giants in a Cactus League game against the Athletics? “That was me, too,” Bumgarner said. Has “Saunders” won other events? “Yeah,” he said. “Maybe.”

[snip]

Bumgarner has been roping so long that “it’s just part of who you are,” he said Sunday. He learned the sport at 15 or 16 under the instruction of the man who became his father-in-law. (His brother-in-law also “rodeos full time during the summer,” the pitcher said.) He’s practiced roping on everything from a statue of a bull at Scottsdale’s Fashion Square Mall to Jeremy Affeldt’s patio furniture.

In other news, the Dodgers are atop the Cactus League with a 2 – 0 record.

Sep 29

Game 162, 2019

Dodgers at Giants, 12:05 PM PDT, TV: NBCS BA, SPNLA

Every game in baseball begins at the same time today. I’m sure MLB is hoping for a repeat of the events of September 28, 2011, when within thirty minutes two teams were eliminated from the playoffs after leading in their respective games. There are two games which are important today, but neither has quite the same amount of weight as those games eight years ago:

The Cardinals’ magic number to win the NL Central is one. That means a St. Louis win or Milwaukee loss Sunday would make the Cardinals division champs, while a Brewers win and Cardinals loss would force a tiebreaker Monday at Busch Stadium (3:09 p.m ET on ESPN) to determine the division winner. If both teams win Sunday, the Cardinals win the NL Central.

The Dodgers will make the last game of the season a bullpen game, starting LHP Rich Hill (4-1, 2.59 ERA) but not allowing him to go more than three innings, I imagine, thanks to his balky knee. The Giants have changed their minds; Madison Bumgarner was originally scheduled to start but was scratched by manager Bruce Bochy after Friday night’s game. Instead they’ll give RHP Dereck Rodríguez (6-10, 5.27 ERA) his 16th start of the season. He’s 0-1 with an 11.32 ERA in four lifetime appearances against the Dodgers.

Here’s Mr. Ryu’s excellent game Saturday: seven strikeouts, an RBI base hit, seven scoreless innings and the NL ERA title.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1951 Don Newcombe becomes the first black pitcher to win twenty games in a season. In a must-win for the Dodgers, the right-hander bests Robin Roberts, also a 20-game-winner, when he blanks the Phillies at Shibe Park, 5-0.
  • 1959 At the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the Dodgers capture the NL flag with a dramatic 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Braves, taking the first two games of the three-game playoff necessitated by the teams being tied on the last day of the season. The deciding run comes in the bottom of the 12th inning, after the first two batters make outs, when Gil Hodges walks and scores on singles by Joe Pignatano and Carl Furillo.
  • 1976 Tommy Lasorda is named to succeed Walter Alston as Dodger manager. ‘Smokey’ compiled a 2040-1613 record (.558), during his 23-year tenure with the club, winning seven pennants and four world championships.
  • 1979 Manny Mota sets a major league record with his 146th career pinch hit, a single to right field, in LA’s 6-2 victory over Chicago at Dodger Stadium. The Dominican Republic native surpasses the all-time record set by Smoky Burgess, who collected his last hit as a pinch-hitter in 1967.
  • 2000 Gary Sheffield ties the Dodgers’ franchise single-season home run record when he goes deep off Woody Williams in the team’s 3-0 victory over San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium. The left fielder, with his career best 43rd round tripper, now shares the team mark with Duke Snider, who established the record in 1956 when he played for Brooklyn.

Lineup when available.

Jun 20

Game 76, 2019

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: NBCS Bay Area, SPNLA

LHP Madison Bumgarner (3-6, 3.87 ERA) goes for the Giants in the final game of the series tonight. He’ll face the Dodgers’ young LHP Julio Urias (3-2, 3.05 ERA). Bumgarner may be pitching for the last time against the Dodgers as a Giant; he’s the subject of many trade rumors. Urias has been pitching in relief since mid-April, but he went five scoreless innings in a game he started against the Giants on April 1.

Hill is headed for the IL. He’ll have an MRI today to examine his forearm “discomfort.”

Four of CT3’s seven HRs this year have come off the Giants’ Pomeranz. Here are the two he hit last night:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2008 In recognition of their significant contributions to the community, the Dodgers become the first sports franchise to be honored by the Hollywood Historic Trust and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. The team receives an Award of Excellence star, which is placed in the Walk of Fame, which includes a constellation of celebrities, real and fictional, who have had a major impact on the entertainment industry.
  • 2009 Jeff Weaver beats his kid brother Jered when the visiting Dodgers best the Halos, 6-5, at Angel Stadium. The Northridge, California natives become the eighth set of siblings in major league history to start against one another.

Lineup when available.


Jun 09

Game 66, 2019

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05 PM PDT, TV: NBCS Bay Area, SPNLA

RHP Walker Buehler (6-1, 3.69 ERA) takes the hill for the Dodgers against the Giants’ LHP Madison Bumgarner (3-5, 4.05 ERA). Buehler’s last start might have been his best of the season: he went eight innings, gave up two hits, struck out 11 and walked none, getting the win against the D-Backs. Bumgarner pitched well against the Mets last time out, going six innings without figuring in the decision. He’s 15-12 lifetime against the Dodgers with a 2.56 ERA; today will be his 35th career start against them.

Here are Seager’s four hits in Saturday’s game:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 Dodger standout pitcher Rube Marquard breaks his leg running the bases, ending his season with a record of 3-3. The hard-throwing southpaw will finish his 18-year Hall of Fame career in 1925, after compiling a 201-177 record along with an ERA of 3.08.
  • 1973 Rightfielder Rusty Staub becomes the pivot man in a very unusual double play during a 4-2 Mets victory against the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. Racing in from the outfield, ‘Le Grand Orange’ gets a throw near second base from first baseman John Milner and tags Davey Lopes, who was picked-off from first, and then throws home to nail Tom Paciorek trying to score from second during the P-1B-SS-1B-2B-1B-2B-RF-C rundown.
  • 1990 Eddie Murray ties Mickey Mantle’s major league mark, hitting a homer from both sides of the plate for the tenth time in his career. The switch-hitting first baseman’s second home run of the game, batting left-handed against Eric Show, proves to be the eventual winning run in the Dodgers’ 5-4 victory over San Diego in the 11th inning at Jack Murphy Stadium.

Lineup when available.


May 01

Game 33, 2019

Dodgers at Giants, 6:45 PM PDT, TV: NBCS BA, SPNLA

It’ll be the Dodgers’ LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-1, 2.96 ERA) versus the Giants’ LHP Madison Bumgarner (1-4, 4.30 ERA). Ryu went seven innings against the Pirates in his last start, striking out ten and walking none. This season he’s struck out 33 and walked two. Bumgarner gave up 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Yankees last Friday. He’s 15-12 with a 2.39 ERA in 33 career appearances against the Dodgers.

Here’s a recap of the Dodgers’ offensive explosion yesterday:

So, how was your first month of the season, Cody Bellinger?

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1906 At Brooklyn’s Washington Park, Philadelphia southpaw John Lush strikes out 11 batters en route to throwing a 6-0 no-hitter against the Superbas, a team that will become known as the Dodgers in 1911. There will not be another no-hitter by a Phillies pitcher until Jim Bunning’s perfect game against the Mets in 1964.
  • 1920 The longest game ever played ends after 26 innings in a 1-1 tie, with Brooklyn Robin right-hander Leon Cadore and the Braves hurler Joe Oeschger, also right-handed, both go the distance for their respective clubs. Boston third baseman Charlie Pick establishes the major league record for hitless at-bats in one game, going 0-for-11 in the marathon.
  • 1965 Tommy Davis, trying to break up a double play, dislocates and breaks his ankle sliding into second base in the fourth inning of the team’s 4-2 victory over the Giants at Dodger Stadium. The two-time National League batting champ will not play again this year until he appears as a pinch-hitter in the season finale.
  • 1972 Philadelphia starter Dick Selma goes the distance, three-hitting the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, 2-1. The victory is the fifth consecutive complete-game thrown by a Phillies starter, with Steve Carlton, Woody Fryman, Barry Lersch, and Bill Champion each finishing their game without help from the bullpen in team’s previous four contests.
  • 1974 Tom Seaver strikes out 16 Dodgers, giving up only three hits in twelve innings of work, but gets a no-decision when the Mets lose the Chavez Ravine contest in 14 innings, 2-1. Steve Garvey strokes a walk-off single to center field off Harry Parker, scoring Billy Buckner with the winning run.
  • 2000 The Braves establish a franchise-record 14th straight victory, with a 2-1 win at Dodger Stadium. Quilvio Veras’ third-inning homer proves to be the difference.
  • 2009 With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Duaner Sanchez walks Russell Martin, who checks his swing on a full count with the bases loaded, bringing home the winning run in L.A.’s 1-0 triumph over the Padres. The win keeps the Dodgers undefeated at home, extending their record at Chavez Ravine to 8-0 with their ‘walk-off’ victory.
  • 2012 With the final payment received on the record $2.15-billion purchase price, Frank McCourt’s turbulent era of the Dodger ownership comes to an end. The team’s new ownership group, fronted by Magic Johnson and incoming club president Stan Kasten, includes Mark Walter, chief executive of the Chicago-based Guggenheim Financial, who arranged the financing and holds a controlling interest in the franchise.

Lineup when available.


Apr 08

Game 11, 2019

Dodgers at Cardinals, 4:45 PM PDT, TV: FS-M, SPNLA

The visiting Dodgers send their Korean ace LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-0, 2.08 ERA) to the mound at Busch Stadium to face RHP Miles Mikolas (0-1, 7.20 ERA). How good has Ryu been? Barring a home run to Madison Bumgarner, Ryu would have had seven scoreless innings against the Giants in his last start, and he’s got 13 strikeouts with no walks in 13 innings so far this season. Mikolas gave up 16 HRs in 32 starts last year and he’s picked up where he left off, giving up four in ten innings this season. Ryu has a lifetime ERA of 0.69 at Busch; Mikolas was 8-4 with a 2.17 ERA there in 2018, his first season as a Cardinal.

Beware! The Cardinals now have Paul Goldschmidt, who hit .333 against Ryu in 12 ABs when he was a Diamondback.

Cody Bellinger now has more homers (7) than strikeouts (6).

Here’s Muncy’s 2-run HR in yesterday’s game:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1966 At the Astrodome, the Astros and Dodgers play baseball’s first game on synthetic grass. Thanks to the Monsanto chemical company, who proposed using an experimental playing surface of nylon grass, the plan to play on an all-dirt field, necessitated by the need to paint the dome’s glass panes to reduce the glare which prevented natural grass from growing, was alleviated by the use of ‘AstroTurf’.
  • 1974 Braves outfielder Hank Aaron passes Babe Ruth as the all-time home run leader with his 715th, going deep in the fourth inning off Dodger hurler Al Downing in Atlanta’s home opener. ‘Hammerin’ Hank’ equaled the Bambino’s mark on Opening Day in Cincinnati.

  • 1994 Kent Mercker no-hits Los Angeles, 6-0 at Dodger Stadium. The Braves left-hander was one of the three Atlanta pitchers, along with Mark Wohlers and Alejandro Pena, in 1991 to also no-hit the Padres, but this victory is his first complete game in the major leagues.
  • 1994 Chan Ho Park becomes the first Korean to play in the major leagues when he makes his pitching debut at Chavez Ravine. In one inning of work, the 21 year-old Kongju City native gives up two runs on one hit, walking two and striking out two batters in the Dodgers’ 6-0 loss to Atlanta.
  • 2015 Adrian Gonzalez becomes the first major league player to hit five home runs in the first three games of the season when he goes deep three times in the Dodgers’ 7-4 victory over San Diego at Chavez Ravine. The Los Angeles first baseman joins Carl Furillo (1955) and Jimmy Wynn (1974) as the only players in franchise history to have homered in the first three games of a campaign.

Lineup when available.