Oct 06

NLDS Games Three, 2019

On this day in baseball history Sandy Koufax takes Yom Kippur off, Willie Davis makes three errors in the fifth inning of Game Two of the World Series, Jim Palmer beats Sandy Koufax in the same game, Phil Niekro wins his 300th game, and Lenny Harris surpasses Manny Mota’s career pinch-hit record.

The early game is Braves at Cardinals, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Braves send rookie RHP Mike Soroka to the Busch Stadium mound to face the Cardinals’ veteran RHP Adam Wainwright. Soroka has been sensational on the road; he’s made 16 starts away from home and given up no more than three runs in any of them and no more than two in fourteen. That computes to a road ERA of 1.55. Wainwright will be making his 25th career postseason appearance — his 13th start — and a 3.03 career ERA in those games. He’s been even better at Busch, where he’s got a 1.72 ERA.

Braves lineup:

Cardinals lineup:

The second game is Dodgers at Nationals, 4:45 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Dodgers send LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound to face the Nationals’ RHP Aníbal Sánchez. Ryu’s been dominant at home and a little less so on the road, but as the MLB Game Preview author says, when you lead the major leagues in ERA you pitch well everywhere. Sánchez is substituting for Max Scherzer, who’d originally been penciled in for this start until he struck out the side in the 8th inning in Game Two.

The Dodgers and their families arrived at National Airport yesterday evening. Look at all the daddies holding their children’s hands going down the stairs.

Dodgers lineup:

Nationals lineup:

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 11

Game 68, 2019

Dodgers at Angels, 7:07 PM PDT, TV: FS-W, SPNLA

RHP Kenta Maeda (7-2, 3.48 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and Félix Peña (3-1, 4.53 ERA) pitches for the Angels. In his last start Maeda was pulled after five innings of two-hit, one walk and seven strikeout ball and wasn’t happy to be taken out after just 70 pitches. Peña had his worst outing of the year in his last “start” (the Angels are using the “opener” concept with him), giving up seven runs in just 1 2/3 innings.

First reports of NL All-Star votes:


This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1957 The Dodgers’ Roy Campanella surpasses former Cub and Giant backstop Gabby Hayes to establish a new National League mark when he hits his 237th career round-tripper as a catcher. Campy’s historic home run comes off Ray Crone in the seventh inning of Brooklyn’s 7-2 loss to the Braves at Ebbets Field.
  • 1972 LA outfielders Manny Mota and Willie Davis both hit inside-the-park homers down the foul lines at Dodger Stadium off Bucs’ starter Bruce Kison. Roberto Clemente’s seventh inning home run over the fence proves to be the difference in Pittsburgh’s 7-5 victory, their 21st win the last 26 games.

Also, in 1938 In the first of two consecutive no-hitters he will hurl, Johnny Vander Meer keeps the Boston Bees hitless in Cincinnati’s 3-0 victory at Crosley Field. The Reds’ southpaw, in the first night game played in Brooklyn, continues his no-no mojo four days later by beating the Dodgers, 6-0, without giving up a hit in the Ebbets Field contest.

Lineup when available.


Sep 29

Game 161, 2018

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS Bay Area, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Giant killer LHP Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 2.53 ERA) goes for his tenth win. He hasn’t had a single-digit win season since 2009. He’s 6-1 with a 2.36 ERA over his last 12 starts, and he’s 22-10 against the Giants overall, 13-4 with a 1.20 ERA at their ball park. He’ll face rookie RHP Dereck Rodríguez (6-4, 2.50 ERA), who made his first big league start in May and has had a good first year. He needs to work on his control; he’s got a 2.67 K/BB ratio.

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.


May 16

Game 42, 2018

Dodgers at Marlins, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FS-F

The Dodgers send young righty Walker Buehler (2-1, 1.64 ERA) out to face the Marlins’ RHP Elieser Hernandez (0-0, 3.00 ERA). This will be Hernandez’s first MLB start; he’s given up one run on six hits in three relief innings this year. Buehler was the starter in the combined no-hitter the Dodgers’ pitchers threw against the Padres in his next-to-last start. In his last one he gave up two runs on five hits in six innings and took the loss against the Reds.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1913 Alfredo Cabrera, born in the Canary Islands, becomes the first person from Spain to appear in the majors. The 32 year-old Cardinals shortstop will go 0-for-2 in the only big league game he will play, a 6-5 loss to the Dodgers at Ebbets Field.
  • 1967 Reliever Phil Regan loses his first game in 77 appearances. The ‘Vulture’ gets pinned with his first defeat in over a year when Astros’ third baseman Bob Aspromonte hits a two-run triple in the tenth to beat the Dodgers, 5-3.
  • 1970 During a game against the Giants at Dodger Stadium, Alan Fish, sitting with friends from the Poinsettia Playground in the second row seats along the first base line, is struck in the head by a foul ball off the bat of Manny Mota. The 14 year-old boy will die four days later to become the first fatality as a result of a batted ball in major league history.
  • 1983 In an 11-4 rout of the Pirates, rookie right fielder Darryl Strawberry hit his first major league home run, a two-run round-tripper off Pittsburgh’s Lee Tunnell at Three Rivers Stadium. The troubled Mets outfielder, the eventual franchise leader with 252 homers, will hit a total of 335 during his turbulent 17-year career with the Mets, Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees.
  • 2000 After a fan steals Los Angeles’ catcher Chad Kreuter’s hat and hits him in the back of the head, many Dodgers, including coaches John Shelby and Rick Dempsey, go into the stands and start fighting with the Wrigley Field faithful. When the melee ends, several fans are arrested as the game is delayed nearly ten minutes, and there is litter all over the field.

Lineup when available.


Muncy at 1st Base, Bellinger in CF. That’s new.

Sep 29

Game 160, 2017

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT Sportsnet RM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Why are baseball games always scheduled to start at five or ten minutes after the hour?

The Dodgers open their final series of the 2017 season with LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-8, 3.47 ERA) pitching in the rarefied air of Coors Field against RHP Chad Bettis (1-4, 5.72 ERA).

Ryu has been very good since the All Star break, going 2-2 in ten starts with a 2.42 ERA. He’s in a tussle with Alex Wood for a spot in the post-season rotation. Bettis had a good outing his last time out, giving up just one run on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings last weekend in San Diego. He’s battling for a spot on the Rockies’ post-season roster if they get in. The Rockies have a two-game lead over the Brewers for the second National League Wild Card spot. If they win and a Brewers lose tonight they’ll clinch it.

The Dodgers select IF/OF Tim Locastro’s contract from OKC.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1951 Don Newcombe becomes the first African-American 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.

Today is also the anniversary of The Catch (the Willie Mays one, not the Dwight Clark one):

Lineup when available.

Jun 11

Game 64, 2017

Reds at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-O

The Reds send RHP Tim Adleman (4-2, 4.42 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-6, 4.08 ERA). Adleman has thrown three consecutive quality starts including a seven-inning three-hit performance last Tuesday against the Cardinals. Ryu has struggled to regain his form of 2013-2014 since shoulder surgery in 2015 and elbow surgery in 2016, but his last two starts have been his longest since 2014 and he’s only walked three batters in his last four starts and 22 1/3 innings.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1957 The Dodgers’ Roy Campanella surpasses former Cub and Giant backstop Gabby Hayes to establish a new National League mark when he hits his 237th career round-tripper as a catcher. Campy’s historic home run comes off Ray Crone in the seventh inning of Brooklyn’s 7-2 loss to the Braves at Ebbets Field.
  • 1972 LA outfielders Manny Mota and Willie Davis both hit inside-the-park homers down the foul lines at Dodger Stadium off Bucs’ starter Bruce Kison. Roberto Clemente’s seventh inning home run over the fence proves to be the difference in Pittsburgh’s 7-5 victory, their 21st win the last 26 games.

I didn’t realize this milestone was so close: “Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen is one save away from becoming the sixth active pitcher to reach 200 career saves.” Who are the other five? Find them here.

Lineup when available.