Jun 25

Game 76, 2016

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:15PM PT, TV: Fox

Kenta Maeda makes his first trip to PNC Park. He carries a 6-4, 2.64 ERA record with him and for now appears to be the #2 guy in the Dodgers’ rotation, at least in terms of reliability. He’ll face the Pirates’ Jeff Locke, who’s 6-5 with a 5.44 ERA. His latest outing was a 6 2/3 inning one in which he outdueled Madison Bumgarner with help from the bullpen and won 1-0.

Local color:

Dodgers left-handed reliever and native Pennsylvanian Adam Liberatore is having an off-the-radar phenomenal season. In 24 innings over 32 games, he has a 0.75 ERA, second lowest among National League qualifiers, and he didn’t even open the season in the big leagues.

Tepesch DFA’ed, IF Chris Taylor up.

Lineup:

Apr 15

Game 11, 2016

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBC Bay Area, MLBN Free Game (out of area only)

Kersh v. MadBum for the ninth time. The Dodgers’ lefty is 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA this season, and Bumgarner is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA. ‘Nuff said.

Giants catcher Buster Posey has stepped into the batter’s box against Kershaw more times than any player in the Major Leagues, but he has struggled with a .228/.256/.329 line in 75 plate appearances. That’s his worst OPS against any pitcher with a minimum of 25 plate appearances.

The Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez has fared even worse against Bumgarner. The first baseman’s .151/.191/.200 in 47 plate appearances adds up to his worst OPS against any of the 49 pitchers he’s faced 25 times or more in his career.

It’s Jackie Robinson Day around the majors, so every player will be wearing uniform number 42. Jackie’s wife Rachel and daughter Sharon will be at Dodger Stadium for the game, and I hope you saw the Ken Burns documentary about Jackie earlier this week on PBS. As far as I’m concerned, Rachel was the star. There’s one oddity about this celebration, though; there are fewer African-American players in baseball now than there were 10 or 15 years ago, and this season there are only fourteen black pitchers in all of baseball. Where are the Bob Gibsons and Dave Stewarts and Vida Blues and Doc Goodens and Fergie Jenkins and Mudcat Grants? Gone to the NBA?

Lineup:

Even this early in the season it’s becoming very apparent that Dave Roberts is not averse to platooning or playing the matchup game. There are very few if any lefties in his lineup against the left-handed Bumgarner.

Apr 09

Game 6, 2016

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-BA

The two aces go at one another for the first time this year: Kershaw (1-0, 0.00 ERA) against Bumgarner (1-0, 5.40 ERA). Kershaw is 9-3 with a 1.16 ERA in 14 starts at the Giants’ home park, while Bumgarner is 13-7 overall against the Dodgers with a 2.45 ERA in 22 appearances.

The Dodgers got 9 hits in Friday night’s game but only converted them into two runs. Had they gotten more young Stripling might have gotten a win for his efforts rather than a no-decision. They are still hitting well: Puig, Utley, Gonzalez, Seager, Ellis and Turner all singled and Pederson got a double. For the second night in a row the bullpen gave up the go-ahead or winning runs.

Lineup when available.


Hmm. Several unfamiliar faces in the lineup against MadBum. I wonder what the reasoning is.

Sep 29

Game 157, 2015

Dodgers at Giants, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-BA

It’s Clayton Kershaw’s turn to try to advance the Dodgers into the postseason and turn out the lights on the Giants’ hopes of getting there. He’s 15-7 on the year with a 2.25 ERA, 1-2 with a 2.76 ERA against the Giants. He and his teammates will face Madison Bumgarner, who’s 18-8 with a 2.88 ERA, 2-1 with a 1.63 ERA against the Dodgers this season. Both of these pitchers have been excellent since the All Star break: Kershaw’s gone 9-1 with a 1.48 since then, while Bumgarner has been almost as good, going 9-3 with a 2.31 ERA. He’s also thrown three complete games in that span.

There are some other games of consequence being played today and tonight as well.

Lineup when available.

Sep 01

Game 131, 2015

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-BA

Bumgarner versus Greinke. If this were the opener of a playoff series the hype would hit Warp Six. Last year’s World Series MVP will pitch for the Giants against their ancestral enemy the Dodgers, who counter with this year’s leading Cy Young contender. Bumgarner won all five of his August starts with an ERA of 1.43; Greinke is 8-1 in his last ten starts and has the best ERA in MLB at 1.61.

Each manager is hoping his pitcher can go deep into the game, because bullpens on both sides were depleted in last night’s 14-inning affair. The Giants used eight pitchers in relief; the Dodgers used six. Here’s a shout-out to the Dodgers’ frequently-maligned Jim Johnson and Chris Hatcher, who combined for five spotless innings in the extra frames.

Lineup when available.

Look! Mattingly thinks he’s Tony LaRussa! Put the pitcher in the 8-hole, why not? I’m still wondering about the discussion in the dugout last night about pinch-hitting Kershaw or Greinke in the 11th inning; how hard did each of them lobby?

Aug 22

Game 122, 2015

Dodgers at Astros, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Zack Greinke has been emulating Superman recently. He’s made 11 consecutive starts without a loss, and he’s now 13-2 with an MLB-leading 1.58 ERA. He’s also the second-best hitting pitcher in the NL behind Madison Bumgarner of the Giants. His opponent will be left-handed Scott Kazmir (6-8, 2.43 ERA), who’s given up nine earned runs in his last three starts. He’s 1-3 with the Astros after coming over from the As at the trade deadline.

Lineup:

Puig’s back in right, Utley’s at second, and Kiké is in center. Van Slyke’s in left because Kazmir’s a lefty and neither Crawford nor Ethier hit southpaws well at all.

May 21

Game 40, 2015

Dodgers at Giants, 12:45PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN, CSN-BA

This is a marquee matchup on paper. The Dodgers send out their ace Clayton Kershaw, who is a three-time Cy Young winner, MVP and four-time ERA title winner. The Giants send out last year’s NCLS and World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner, who was the best pitcher in baseball for the last three weeks of last year. When they’ve faced one another Kershaw’s had the statistical edge but the Giants have gotten the win in three of four games (thanks to foultip in the comments to Game 39).

Kershaw’s off to a rocky start (for him) this season, with a 2-2 record and a 4.24 ERA. Bumgarner is 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA so far in 2015. In his career Kershaw is 8-2 with a 0.97 ERA at AT&T Park.

Ryu had surgery this morning. They found and fixed a partial labral tear in his left shoulder. He should be back next spring.

Lineup when available.

Apr 28

Game 20, 2015

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN

Like yesterday’s, this game is a rematch of the starters in last week’s series. Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner squared off last Wednesday. Neither one got the decision in a game ultimately won by the Giants. Each gave up two runs; Kershaw gave up three hits, Bumgarner gave up six. Kershaw walked one and struck out nine, Bumgarner walked two and struck out six. Each pitcher has faced the other team a lot in his respective career: Kershaw is 14-5 against the Giants with a 1.48 ERA and four shutouts. Bumgarner is 11-5 against the Dodgers with a 2.56 ERA.

Lineup when available.

The reason Alex is in left field is that Carl Crawford was placed on the 15-day DL and IF/OF Kiké Hernandez was brought up from Oklahoma City. There’s been no Twitter explanation for Joc’s absence from the starting lineup.

Apr 22

Game 14, 2015

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBC Bay Area

This game pits last year’s regular season MVP Kershaw against last year’s World Series MVP Bumgarner. How about that? Apparently this is the first time in MLB history that’s ever happened.

This marks the fourth time in their careers that Bumgarner and Kershaw have faced off and the first since Sept. 13, 2013. The Giants are 2-1 in those contests, but Kershaw has better numbers (2.08 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings) compared to Bumgarner, who has a 3.32 ERA and 19 punchouts in 19 innings.

Not only that, but they hit against each other. Kershaw’s 3 for 5 against Bumgarner, while Bumgarner is only 1 for 7 with 4 Ks, but that’s partly because Kershaw bears down against him: “He’s country strong, as they say.”

Neither guy has started off his season as well as he pitched last year, but that can’t last.

In other news, the Dodgers optioned LHP Adam Liberatore to OKC and recalled OF Chris Heisey from there.

Lineup when available.

Oct 29

World Series Day Seven, 2014

Giants at Royals, 2:00PM HST/5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

I wrote this at my other blog:

There’s no more dramatic phrase in sports, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve said so before and I’ll say it again: Game Seven is evocative of heroics on the field in do-or-die circumstances: Bill Mazeroski and Joe Carter’s home runs, Sid Bream’s slide, Carlos Beltran’s strikeout, Luis Gonzalez’s dribbler…so many instances of melodrama.

Tonight we see another Game Seven. It’s only the third time in 13 years the World Series has gone the full seven games and the fourth time in the last 20 years, so cherish it.

The Giants ask veteran Tim Hudson to hold the Royals in check as long as he can, and the Royals do the same with veteran Jeremy Guthrie. The Giants have Madison Bumgarner in reserve, since today would be his between-starts throw day; the Royals have their fearsome bullpen threesome, only one of whom has pitched since Game Four (Davis threw an inning in the Royals’ 5-0 Game Five loss).

I can’t wait.