Apr 04

Game Seven, 2018

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 12:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, SPNLA

The Dodgers ask LHP Alex Wood to stop this mini-losing streak of two games. Wood pitched a masterful one-hitter over eight innings in his first outing this season, only to get no decision and watch the Dodgers lose in the ninth. He’ll face LHP Patrick Corbin (1-0, 3.18 ERA), who won his first outing on Opening Day, giving up two homers but no further runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1968 Due to today’s assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, most of the major league teams will decide to postpone their Opening Day games until the reverend’s funeral takes place in five days. Surprisingly, the Dodgers, at first, are the notable exception, even though the Phillies, their opponents on April 9th, say they will forfeit rather than play on the national day of mourning. [See below]
  • 2016 The Dodgers hand the Padres the worst Opening Day shutout loss since at least 1913, and most likely in the history of the game, blanking the Friars at PetCo Park, 15-0. The contest marked the managerial debut of both skippers with LA’s Dave Roberts and San Diego’s Padres Andy Green both piloting their first major league game.

So what did MLB do to acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder? Initially, not much. It took the Pirates, the most thoroughly integrated team in all of baseball, whose numbers included Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, Maury Wills, Donn Clendenon and Matty Alou, to make a stand and refuse to play on Monday, April 8, Opening Day. The Dodgers’ Walter O’Malley and Buzzie Bavasi were positively tone-deaf.

The last holdouts, the Dodgers, were due to host the Phillies in Los Angeles. Team owner Walter O’Malley, who was the club’s vice president in 1947 when the team signed Jackie Robinson, wanted to go ahead with the game. According to an Associated Press story, O’Malley figured King’s funeral would be over by the time his team took the field on the West Coast.

Dodgers general manager Buzzie Bavasi explained the club’s position to the press: “We are going to follow the schedule,” he said. “We would not play the game if the interment was not completely over. I’m not sure Mr. Giles [Warren Giles, president of the National League] has any jurisdiction in a case like this.”

I rarely agreed with anything Dick Young wrote in those days, but I can concur with this:

Dick Young was equally incredulous at the Dodgers’ strategy. “Teams in the East and Midwest, which would be playing during the funeral hours, should postpone their games,” he wrote, summarizing O’Malley’s and Eckert’s plan. “[But] teams in California, which would be opening an hour after the funeral had concluded, would play. It was as though someone was standing by the side of the bier with a stopwatch and a starter’s gun.”

The Phillies’ GM John Quinn announced they’d forfeit rather than play. O’Malley conferred with Quinn and Giles and finally agreed to postpone the game.

Lineup:


May 20

Game 44, 2017

Marlins at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-F, MLBN (out-of-market only)

RHP Dan Straily (1-3, 3.56 ERA) goes for the Marlins against LHP Julio Urias (0-1, 3.343 ERA) of the Dodgers. Straily took a line drive off his right forearm in his last start but hasn’t let that stop him. He hasn’t allowed more than four hits in any of his last seven starts and averages an NL-leading 5.02 hits per nine innings. Urias had a terrible experience in Denver his last time out when he gave up six runs in four innings, which ballooned his ERA from 1.06 to 3.43. This will be his first start against the Marlins.

This day in Dodgers history:

  • The Dodgers did nothing very interesting on this date in baseball history, unless you count Don Sutton being knocked out in the first inning of a game against the Pirates in 1966. He gave up hits to Alou, Clemente, Stargell, Clendenon and Pagan with a walk to Alley thrown in and was relieved by Bob Miller.

Lineup:

Turner remains on the shelf. Taylor plays 3B and Utley goes back to his long-time spot at 2B.