I imagine MLB hoped that the Giants and Dodgers would be fighting it out for the NL West title when they scheduled this series. They got it half-right. The Dodgers need to win all three games and hope the Nationals can take two of three from the Rockies if they hope to win the division. Otherwise it’s a cat’s cradle of possibilities with wild card games, tiebreakers to get into wild card games, and who knows what else.
Tonight the Dodgers ask LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-3, 2.00 ERA) to keep them in the game until they can either get to LHP Madison Bumgarner (6-6, 3.20 ERA) or knock him out. Both of these pitchers have spent lengthy amounts of time on the disabled list this season, and Ryu has done better since his return than has Bumgarner. Ryu has given up no more than three unearned runs in any of his fourteen starts this year including eight since his recovery. Bumgarner has a 1-1 record with a 5.48 ERA for the month of September.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1924 Rogers Hornsby finishes the season with a .424 batting average to lead the National League. The Cardinal second baseman easily outdistances Zack Wheat, who finishes second in the race, batting .375 for the Dodgers.
1952 On the last day of the season at Ebbets Field, the Braves’ 77 years of representing Boston is extended by three innings when Eddie Mathews’ ninth-inning, two-out double ties the game. The contest is called due to darkness and ends in the 12th inning in a 5-5 tie with the Dodgers.
1955 In the bottom of the second inning, Elston Howard, in his first World Series at-bat, knots the score at 2-2 when he homers off Dodgers’ right-hander Don Newcombe. The round-tripper to deep left field at Yankee Stadium marks the first time a black batter has hit a home run off a black pitcher in the history of the Fall Classic.
1959 The Braves, who ended the National League regular season in a first-place tie with the Dodgers, lose Game 1 of the three-game series, 3-2, in front of a sparse crowd of 18,297 at County Stadium. Milwaukee will lose tomorrow’s game in L.A., spoiling their chance for a three-peat as NL Champs.
1966 At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Larry Jaster throws a four-hitter, blanking Don Sutton and the Dodgers, 2-0. It’s the southpaw’s fifth shutout against LA this season, equaling a post-1900 major league mark held by the Senators’ Tom Hughes (against the Indians in 1905) and Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Phillies (against the Reds in 1916).
1988 In his last start of the regular season, Dodger Orel Hershiser tosses 10 shutout frames to extend his streak to 59, breaking Don Drysdale’s record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings.
1997 With his 40th home run, catcher Mike Piazza sets a single season Los Angeles Dodger record. Duke Snider holds the franchise record, slugging 43 round-trippers for Brooklyn in 1956.
2003 At Turner Field in Atlanta, Jose Reyes becomes the second Mets player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in one game. Lee Mazzilli was the first when he went yard twice against the Dodgers in LA on September 3, 1978.
2006 At Coors Field in Colorado, James Loney collects four hits, including two homers, and drives in nine runs in the Dodgers’ 19-11 victory over the Rockies. The rookie first baseman, who had one homer and eight runs batted in in 93 previous at-bats with the team, ties the franchise RBI mark set by Gil Hodges in his 1950 four-homer game for Brooklyn and breaks the Los Angeles club mark held by Ron Cey.
Tonight’s episode of that rivalry pits two of the best pitchers in the game against one another. Their respective won-loss records are highly unusual. Madison Bumgarner of the Giants is 4-4 with a 2.69 ERA, while Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers is 5-5 with a 2.58 ERA. Each pitcher has spent a lot of time on the disabled list this season; Bumgarner didn’t make his debut until June, while Kershaw lost seven weeks in May and June. In MadBum’s last start he went seven innings, gave up five hits and no runs to the Astros and got no decision. Kershaw’s last start was against the Athletics; he went six innings, gave up six hits and two runs and also got no decision.
1910 In a game which features each team having 38 at-bats, 13 hits, 12 assists, 2 errors, 5 strikeouts, 3 walks, 1 hit batsman, and 1 passed ball, the Pirates and the Superbas (later to be known as the Dodgers) play to what else – an 8-8 tie.
1951 Any fan who shows up with a musical instrument during the Dodgers’ Musical Depreciation Night is admitted free to the Ebbets Field contest against Boston. With an assortment of trumpets, trombones, zithers, tubas, accordions, bugles, flutes, various type of drums, violins, mandolins, assorted horns, a glockenspiel, a washboard, and a piano, 2,426 fans, which is about 10% of the total crowd, take advantage of the team’s unusual promotion.
1965 Dean Chance establishes an American League record when he fans to extend his streak to 11 consecutive plate appearances with a strikeout. The Angels’ right-hander falls one shy of the major league mark set by Sandy Koufax, who whiffed in 12 consecutive plate appearances in 1955.
1982 At Chavez Ravine, Dodger second baseman Steve Sax steals his 41st base to set a franchise record for rookies when he swipes second base in LA’s 6-1 victory over San Francisco. The eventual National League Rookie of the Year, the fourth consecutive Dodger to win the award, will extend the record to 49.
2006 LA’s Greg Maddux and SF’s Jason Schmidt hook up in a classic West Coast pitcher’s duel, reminiscent of match-ups of Koufax and Marichal, as the Dodgers beat the Giants, 1-0, thanks to Russell Martin’s 10th inning walk-off home run. When Giants slugger Barry Bonds lines into a double play in the first inning, it marks the only time in baseball history a 300 game winner pitches to a batter with over 700 homers.
2007 For the first time in 1,303 games, Nomar Garciaparra of the Dodgers is ejected from a game. The 12-year veteran infielder, who is tossed by home plate umpire Tom Hallion for arguing a called third strike in the fourth inning, is restrained by first base coach Mariano Duncan when he continues to shout and points his bat toward the umpire.
The Giants’ LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-1, 4.76 ERA) got a late start thanks to a broken finger on his pitching hand, so this is just his third start of the year. He gave up four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Marlins his last time out. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (1-5, 4.43 ERA), who’s still trying to find the form which made him 16-3 last season. He’s had hamstring and abductor muscle “issues” this season.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1933 Last year’s National League batting champ, Lefty O’Doul, and pitcher Watty Clark, a 20-game winner last season, are traded by the Dodgers to the Giants for first baseman Sam Leslie. Brooklyn’s newest infielder will bat .311 during his three seasons with the team, before returning to New York in 1936.
Two lefties have at one another. Madison Bumgarner (3-9, 3.48 ERA) pitches for the Giants and Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-7, 3.46 ERA) goes for the Dodgers.
Bumgarner has had a season to forget. His dirt bike accident cost him roughly three months and he was already 0-3 at the time of the crash on April 20. Ryu has been pretty solid for the Dodgers since June, going 3-1 with a 2.62 ERA. His postseason status is unclear; his next start would be his 24th, the most since he made 26 in 2014, his second year in the American big leagues, and his ability to warm up quickly as required in the bullpen is uncertain.
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 Bridwell scoring 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.
Tonight's Dodger lineup vs. Giants: Taylor CF Seager SS Hernández LF Puig RF Forsythe 3B Barnes C Farmer 1B Culberson 2B Ryu P pic.twitter.com/zeQLvD7LBQ
The Giants try to salvage the final game of the series on national TV by sending LHP Madison Bumgarner (1-4, 3.38 ERA) to the mound. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6, 4.17 ERA).
Neither pitcher has had the year he hoped or expected to have. Bumgarner missed months after famously injuring himself in a dirt-bike accident and just got his first win of the year last Tuesday. In his career he’s 8-6 with a 2.56 ERA at Dodger Stadium. Ryu has had trouble getting past the fifth inning, doing so in only 4 of 14 starts, and he hasn’t won since June 17. He’s made ten starts in his career against the Giants and gone 4-5 with a 3.79 ERA.
This date in Dodgers’ history:
2004 In a blockbuster trade, the Marlins deal Brad Penny, the winner of two World Series games last season, first baseman Hee Seop Choi, and southpaw prospect Bill Murphy (will be traded to the Diamondbacks tomorrow) to the Dodgers for backstop Paul Lo Duca, relief pitcher Guillermo Mota, and much-traveled outfielder Juan Encarnacion.
1987 Although the Bulova company had promised a free watch to any player who hit their clock located high above the Ebbets Field scoreboard, Bama Rowell didn’t receive the timepiece after his 1946 blast. The injustice is corrected more than 40 years later when the former Braves’ outfielder receives his wristwatch from Bulova on ‘Bama Rowell’ Day in Citronelle, Alabama, the honoree’s hometown. The home run is said to be the inspiration for Roy Hobbs smashing a glass-shattering homer off the light tower in Bernard Malamud’s novel “The Natural.”
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Dodger lineup vs. Giants: Taylor LF Seager SS Turner 3B Bellinger 1B Forsythe 2B Barnes C Hernández CF Puig RF Ryu P pic.twitter.com/MXHFjL161i
The Dodgers hand the ball to “rookie” RHP Kenta Maeda (16-11, 3.48 ERA) and ask him to hold the Nats at bay while they solve the lefthanded servings of Gio Gonzalez (11-11, 4.57 ERA). Maeda has never pitched in the postseason; he pitched for the Hiroshima Carp in the Japanese league, and it hasn’t made it above third place since 2000. He was the only Dodger starter who never missed a start the entire season, and the Dodgers were 19-13 when he took the mound. Gonzalez had a horrible year for him: he’d never had an ERA above 3.79 in his previous four years with the Nationals. The team went 14-18 in games he started.
Lineup when available.
#Dodgers NLDS Game 3 lineup: Kendrick LF Turner 3B Seager SS Puig RF González 1B Grandal C Culberson 2B Pederson CF Maeda P
ALDS Game Three between the Indians and Red Sox starts at 3:00PM PT and can be seen on TBS. It features RHP Josh Tomlin for the Indians and RHP Clay Buchholz for the Sox. See the previous post for further details about the pitchers.
NLDS Game Three between the Cubs and Giants starts at 6:30PM PT and can be seen on FS1. It features the reigning Cy Young winner RHP Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA) against LHP Madison Bumgarner (15-9, 2.74 ERA). Bumgarner is 5-1 with a 0.79 ERA in 68 2/3 innings over his last nine postseason appearances dating back to 2012. Arrieta’s gone 7-6 with a 4.44 ERA in his last 16 starts, and his last time out he allowed seven runs on 10 hits at Pittsburgh.
With nearly 500 home runs between them this season, these teams will probably give us a 2-1 nailbiter instead. The Orioles send RHP Chris Tillman (16-6, 3.77 ERA) out to do battle with the Jays’ RHP Marcus Stroman (9-10, 4.37 ERA).
Stroman led all qualified starters in MLB with a 60.1 percent ground-ball rate; nobody’s saying so, but it may be the Jays are hoping he can keep the Orioles from hitting long fly balls for homers. Tillman had a 1-0 mark and a 3.63 ERA in four starts against Toronto.
The Giants send LHP Madison Bumgarner (15-9, 2.79 ERA) to the mound at Citi Field to face the Mets’ RHP Noah Syndergaard (14-9, 2.60 ERA). The Mets were hot coming down the stretch: they had a .643 winning percentage from Sept. 1 on. Conversely, the Giants were awful the entire second half of the season: they were 30-42 after the All-Star break.
When the schedulers at MLB HQ in New York set this weekend’s games up they were surely hoping that the two long-time rivals would be neck-and-neck in the NL West division, and even up to two or three weeks ago that seemed like a wish that might come true. But the Giants’ bullpen continued its season-long collapse and it hasn’t been able to hold a lead to save its life. Somehow it has managed to blow 32 save opportunities this season. Thirty-two! Not all the blame rests with the pen, though; the Giants have been shut out 13 times this season, and nine of those games have been after the All-Star break.
Somehow, despite that, the Giants have a magic number of three to clinch a Wild Card spot. If they end up tied with the Cardinals those two teams would have to play a preliminary game just to determine who gets to play the other Wild Card winner in the one-game playoff, the winner of which gets the Cubs. The Mets are in this too, so it’s complicated.
Tonight it will be the Dodgers’ Rich Hill (12-5, 2.05 ERA) against the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner (14-9, 2.71 ERA). Bumgarner was last seen by the Dodgers as he yelled at Yasiel Puig in the vicinity of first base on September 19 at Dodger Stadium. At the time he had a 1-0 lead through seven innings; he was pulled from the game at that point and the bullpen (there it is again) gave up three singles to tie the game and a game-winning double by Adrian González to win it for the Dodgers.
Hill hasn’t started a game since September 20, presumably in hopes his blistering fingers will fully heal. He’s expected to start Game Two of the NLDS and he needs to stay sharp. He may have a short leash this evening.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Dodger lineup: Kendrick LF Turner 3B Seager SS Puig RF Ruiz C Segedin 1B Hernández CF Culberson 2B Hill P
It’s a battle of left-handed aces, with Clayton Kershaw (11-3, 1.81 ERA) making his third start since coming off the DL. He’ll face Madison Bumgarner (14-9, 2.66 ERA), who’s not been ace-like against the Dodgers this season, going 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA in three starts against them.
This may not be all we need to know about the Giants’ bullpen, but it’s significant:
The Giants’ bullpen has matched a franchise record set in 2004 and ’05 with 28 blown saves this season. Santiago Casilla has nine blown saves alone.
Unlikely masher department: Kiké Hernandez is hitting .579 with three home runs in 19 at-bats against Bumgarner.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup: Kendrick LF Hernández CF Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Puig RF Grandal C Utley 2B Kershaw P
The most-anticipated series of the season until the next one between these two teams begins tonight. It starts with the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner (12-7, 2.25 ERA) and his home-run bat facing the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (12-7, 3.29 ERA), whose 5-43 (.136) average and .346 OPS aren’t going to scare anyone. Bumgarner is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in two starts vs. the Dodgers this season, while Maeda is 1-0 with a .047 ERA in one start against the Giants, giving up one earned run over seven innings back in April.
Personnel news of a sort: Rob Segedin had to be places in a hurry after getting off the plane from Cincinnati: