It’ll be the Giants’ LHP Andrew Suárez (4-8, 4.64 ERA) versus the Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (7-6, 3.58 ERA). Suárez is a rookie who’ll be making his first career start against the Dodgers. Wood is coming off the 10-day DL where he was placed August 3 with left adductor tendinis.
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.
The Brewers send ace RHP Jhoulys Chacín (10-3, 3.45 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ ace LHP Clayton Kershaw (4-5, 2.52 ERA). Had Kershaw not been on the DL for nearly a month this season I suspect his W-L record would be as scintillating as his ERA is. Chacín has gone 18 innings in his last three starts and given up just three earned runs over that stretch. People are fussing about Kershaw’s lower velocity so far this year, but he’s still getting people out and his strikeouts-per-nine-innings ratio of 9.17 is only one below what he averaged from 2014-2017.
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1938 Bright yellow baseballs designed by Frederick Rah, who believes the visibility of the dandelion-hue sphere will help players avoid getting hit by a pitch, are used in the first game of a doubleheader. The one-game experiment draws mixed reactions and the Dodgers complete their sweep of the twin bill from the Cardinals, 6-2 and 9-3, using the traditional white ball in the nightcap.
1982 During a ceremony held in Cooperstown, NY, the United States Postal Service unveils a 20-cent stamp commemorating baseball great Jackie Robinson as part of its annual Black Heritage series. The Dodger infielder becomes the first individual baseball player to be depicted on a U.S postage stamp.
2002 Reds general manager Jim Bowden is fined by commissioner Bud Selig for the comments he made to reporters prior to yesterday’s game against the Dodgers comparing a baseball strike with the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Quickly realizing the use of such analogy was inappropriate and insensitive, the Cincinnati GM issues an immediate apology after the game.
2008 In the first game after the Manny Ramirez trade to the Dodgers, the Fenway Faithful enthusiastically welcome Jason Bay, the player replacing the Boston icon. The former Pirates outfielder doesn’t disappoint, tripling and scoring the winning run in the 12th inning of the Red Sox’s 2-1 victory over the A’s.
2017 The Dodgers lost to the Braves, ending their nine-game winning streak. Had they won it would have been the third time that season they’d have won ten straight. The bullpen gave up the go-ahead runs in the eighth inning at Sun Trust Park in Atlanta.
Turner’s back from the DL, which moves Machado back to SS. Muncy’s back after a day off and Bellinger moves to CF. That means Kemp and Taylor get the night off unless they’re need for pinch-hitting duties.
The Dodgers have beaten the Padres in six of nine meetings so far this season. Today they’ll send LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-4, 2.86 ERA) to the mound in hopes he’ll continue to recover from his two stints on the disabled list. He’ll face the Padres’ RHP Luis Perdomo (1-2, 6.86 ERA), who has made one start since coming back from a two-month stay in AAA El Paso with the Chihuahuas.
Source: #Orioles have mentioned Keibert Ruiz and Dustin May in talks with #Dodgers on a Manny Machado trade. (@BNightengale was first to link May and Baltimore.) L.A. is not likely to trade Ruiz for a rental. @MLBNetwork@MLB
The Dodgers and Yankees are promoting Muncy and Giancarlo Stanton as candidates for the ASG Final Vote.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1956 The BBWAA, by a narrow margin of 14-12, votes to establish the Cy Young Award to honor the major leagues’ most outstanding pitcher. Commissioner Ford Frick initiated the idea because he felt hurlers were not recognized in the MVP voting, but ironically the first recipient of the Cy Young Award, Dodger Don Newcombe, also won the Most Valuable Player Award.
1996 Mike Piazza, who will be named the All-Star Game’s MVP, hits a moon shot into the upper-deck at Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium. The Dodger backstop also strokes an RBI double, helping the National League to beat the AL, 6-0.
Lineup when available.
As expected, Puig (probably) to DL. Toles in CF, Kemp in RF, Joc in LF.
The Dodgers send LHP Alex Wood (2-5, 4.22 ERA) to the hill to face the Mets’ RHP Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.82 ERA). Wood’s had an uneven season so far, but his last outing showed signs he may be coming out of it. He went 5 2/3 innings against the Giants on Saturday, giving up four hits and just one run and getting his second win of the year. Wheeler has had a rough first half but shown some improvement recently. Over his last eight games he’s got a 4.24 ERA in 46 2/3 innings even though he’s 0-3 over that period.
With perhaps only one significant financial bullet in their holster, the Dodgers must determine what their most pressing need is, says Andy McCullough of the LA Times.
Kemp’s resurgence could take him to the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
The Dodgers Foundation just dedicated its 48th and 49th “Dreamfields,” baseball and softball fields in underserved communities.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1936 At Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, Ival Goodman hits an unusual home run when his fifth-inning fly ball lands and stays on top of the scoreboard in right field. With the perched ball considered in play, the three Dodger outfielders watch the Reds’ right fielder round the bases for an easy inside-the park round-tripper in their 7-2 loss to Cincinnati.
1947 After pitching a no-hitter four days ago against the Braves, Reds hurler Ewell Blackwell loses his chance for a second consecutive no-hitter when Dodger second baseman Eddie Stanky singles with one out the ninth inning at Crosley Field.
1959 Sandy Koufax goes the distance, beating Philadelphia at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, 6-2. The Dodger southpaw fans 16 Phillies to set a new record for strikeouts in a night game.
1966 At the Astrodome, Houston sets a home attendance mark which will last for 22 years. Dodger southpaw Sandy Koufax, who tosses a complete game to improve his record to 13-2, beats the hometown team, 5-2, in front of the 50,908 fans attending the Wednesday contest.
It’ll be LHP Ty Blach for the visiting Giants and LHP Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers. Blach has been very good at Dodger Stadium in his four appearances: he’s got a 1.38 ERA. Kershaw will be making his eighth Opening Day start for the Dodgers, a new franchise record. He had previously shared the record of seven with Don Drysdale and Don Sutton. This will be Kershaw’s 41st career start against the Giants: he’s 22-9 with a 1.60 ERA in the first 40.
The Dodgers are virtually the same team as the NL Champions of last year, albeit temporarily without third baseman and team leader Justin Turner. They do have a left-field platoon which includes prodigal Matt Kemp; I think it’s fair to say most fans didn’t expect to see him still here on Opening Day. And I wonder: Andre Ethier is still a free agent and would have been cheaper to keep than Kemp is.
This is the 12th season opener between the clubs since they moved west in 1958. The Giants have won 6 of the previous 11.
An Opening Day Quiz from George Will at the Washington Post. I started off like a house afire and faded in the later innings. I scored 21 of 41.
Have a nice story complimenting the Dodger Stadium architects and the owners who have kept it up.
Okay, it’s an ad for Kingsford charcoal, it’s still kinda cute.
Cory Seager’s elbow shows no ill-effects from throwing in a game Wednesday and Kiké Hernandez says “Hey, I can hit right-handers too!” Alex Wood went five innings and struck out six White Sox “A” leaguers while giving up just one hit, and Matt Kemp went 1-4 as a starter in left field. Andrew Toles came off the bench and was 0-for-1. Alex Verdugo came off the bench and was 1-for-1 with a double. Trayce Thompson came off the bench and was 1-for-1 with a bloop double. Other news here.
So far this spring the Dodgers have a 2-3 record. I like this deal,though:
Dodgers @ Padres
Peoria Stadium – Wed 2/28
358 tickets as low as $4
As we all expected, the Dodgers have a bunch of outfielders all trying to win a job in left field (Yasiel Puig’s a fixture in right and Chris Taylor’s the same in center). Andrew Toles is coming back from a torn ACL in his right knee, Joc Pederson’s trying to regain his form of 2016, Alex Verdugo might be their best non-pitching prospect, and oh yeah, Matt Kemp is back. He’s 40 pounds lighter than he was last season, which should certainly help his fairly awful defense of the last few years, and he can still hit. I think it’s even money he and his $43M contract get traded, possibly before the season begins, but the Dodgers have supposedly been trying to do that since they reacquired him in the offseason. The left field situation featured in a Dodgers.com story about Maeda’s two-inning stint on Tuesday:
In the ongoing competition for left field, Matt Kemp started in left Tuesday and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Joc Pederson started in center and was 0-for-2 with a walk, caught-stealing and strikeout, and he threw out former Dodger Willie Calhoun at the plate; and Alex Verdugo started in right and was 0-for-2 with a strikeout. Off the bench, Andrew Toles was 0-for-1 with a sacrifice fly and a strikeout.
I just subscribed to the new sportswriting website The Athletic. If you subscribe by clicking that link you get 25% off the $59.99 annual subscription price and I get $10 in credit at Amazon. It looks like a slightly pricey deal for a lot of extraordinary sportswriters, including people laid off by ESPN like Jayson Stark. Ken Rosenthal of Fox is there, as is Peter Gammons. It’s covering the NFL, the NHL, the NBA and MLS in addition to MLB. Take a look at it.
Starting for the Dodgers today is lefty Alex Wood (1-3, 4.17 ERA), who has been pretty successful recently: in his last four starts he’s gone 24 1/3 innings, striking out 30 and posting a 2.59 ERA. The Padres send out righthander Cesar Vargas, who’s 0-2 with a 3.55 ERA and may be pitching to stay in the big leagues, as Andrew Cashner will come off the DL this week and the Padres will have to make room for him.
Adrian Gonzalez is expected to return to the Dodgers’ starting lineup tonight after several days off with back tightness. Matt Kemp has made trouble for Wood in the past, going 5-for-9 with a home run and double against him.
Lineup when available.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Thompson LF Pederson CF Puig RF Grandal C Wood P
Scott Kazmir (3-3, 4.89 ERA) hopes to continue the pitching which got him within an out of a complete game win last time out. He’ll face Christian Friedrich (0-1, 1.50 ERA), who made his Padres debut last week, going six innings and throwing 116 pitches while walking six. He’s a callup from AAA El Paso to replace Andrew Cashner and his balky hamstring.
Dodger manager Dave Roberts says Adrian Gonzalez won’t start but will be able to pinch-hit tonight and get back in the starting lineup tomorrow.
Danger, Will Robinson! Matt Kemp is hitting .317/.371/.463 in 89 plate appearances against the Dodgers.
Tonight's lineup: Hernandez LF Turner 3B Seager SS Kendrick 2B Thompson CF Puig RF Grandal 1B Ellis C Kazmir P
The Dodgers look to Alex Wood (1-2, 6.00 ERA) to halt their unexpected 4-game losing streak. Wood has struggled so far this season, but he’s been better at home than on the road. The Dodgers hope that continues tonight. The Padres send out Cesar Vargas, a right-handed rookie who made his major league debut last weekend. He went five innings and gave up just one run but didn’t get the decision.
In this series there are a couple of guys playing against teams which traded them who have been successful doing so: Matt Kemp is hitting .310/.364/.408 in 19 games against Los Angeles. Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has had similar success against his old club, batting .316/.360/.540 in 69 games.
Lineup when available.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Puig RF Grandal C Crawford LF Pederson CF Wood P