Sep 21

Game 153, 2017

Dodgers at Phillies, 10:05 AM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-P, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers have lost 20 of their past 25 games and can’t clinch until Friday at the earliest since the D-backs came back from a 6-2 deficit in Wednesday’s game to win 13-7 and have the day off Thursday.

The Dodgers ask RHP Kenta Maeda (12-6, 4.21 ERA) to stop the bleeding and hold the Phillies and RHP Mark Leiter (3-6, 4.93 ERA) off.

Maeda’s last six starts have not been very good. He’s posted an ERA of 6.04 in those games and opponents are slugging .527 off him, and the Dodgers are 2-4 in those games. Leiter is a rookie who’s been both a starter and a long reliever this season. In his last three starts his ERA has jumped a full run.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1934 “If I’d-a known he was gonna throw one, I’d-a thrown one, too.” – Dizzy Dean, after his brother threw a no-hitter in the nightcap of a double-header. In the second game of a doubleheader at Ebbets Field, 22 year-old Cardinal hurler Paul Dean, called Daffy by his teammates, becomes the fifth rookie to throw a no-hitter, beating the Dodgers, 3-0. His brother Dizzy held Brooklyn hitless until the eighth inning in the opener, settling for a two-hitter in the team’s 13-0 blanking of the Bums.
  • 1952 In front of the second largest crowd this season, with many of the 8,822 fans rooting for the Dodgers, the Braves play their final home game in Boston. Brooklyn catcher Roy Campanella hits the last home run at Braves Field in an 8-2 victory over the Milwaukee-bound club.
  • 1969 In a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the tenth inning at Candlestick Park, LA’s Pete Mikkelsen quickly retires the first two Giants batters, but then is ordered to intentionally walk Willie McCovey, who is 4-for-4 in the game. The Dodger reliever proceeds to issue free passes to the next two hitters unintentionally, loading the bases, and then loses the game when shortstop Maury Wills boots pinch-hitter Jim Davenport’s ground ball. I’m glad I didn’t hear that 10th inning.

Lineup when available.

Seager fouled a ball off his foot yesterday. X-rays were negative for breaks, but he’s getting a couple of days off.

Sep 10

Game 143, 2017

Rockies at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, TBS (out-of-market only), ATT SportsNet-RM

The Rockies ask RHP Tyler Chatwood (6-12, 4.88 ERA) to complete the sweep, facing the Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (9-7, 3.67 ERA). The two teams meet at the end of the season for a final three-game series.

Chatwood has a 10.57 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers this season over 7 2/3 innings. He’s only started two games since July 15 when he injured his right calf in the first inning of a game against the Mets and he’s expected to throw between 60-70 pitches. Hill’s last start was a good one against the D-Backs on Monday when he gave up two runs on two hits over six innings. The bullpen collapsed and the Dodgers eventually lost that game 13-0 while giving up four home runs to J.D. Martinez.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1992 Cardinals vice chairman Fred Kuhlman tells reporters that a “security check” had revealed serious issues involving the two out-of-state investors, Vince Piazza and Vincent N. Tirendi, part of the six-man group trying to buy the Giants and move the franchise to Florida. The candid reply to the press will cost baseball more than $6 million to settle a suit that includes a letter of apology from acting Commissioner Bud Selig to Vince Piazza, whose son Mike started his major league career with the Dodgers nine days before his father’s rejection by the MLB owners.
  • 1974 Lou Brock ties and then breaks Maury Wills’s 12 year-old single season stolen base record with his 104th and 105th swipes. The Cardinal left fielder’s thievery against the Phillies doesn’t help when the Redbirds drop the Busch Stadium contest, 8-2.

Lineup when available.

Sep 07

Game 140, 2017

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-RM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

History says the Dodgers are still in good shape despite the current 1-11 stretch.

The only reason the Dodgers’ situation looks more dire than it actually is? Because as they’ve stumbled, the D-backs have surged. How do you surrender 9 1/2 games in the standings in two weeks? Lose 11 of 12, while the second-place team wins 13 in a row. That’s what happened this time, but such extreme polarity is rare and impossible to sustain on either end.

Save us, Clayton! Dodger fans could be forgiven if that’s what they mutter as tonight’s game begins with the Dodgers’ ace Kershaw (16-2, 1.95 ERA) facing RHP Jon Gray (6-4, 4.26 ERA) at Dodger Stadium. Gray has made seven starts against the Dodgers in his career and put up a 3.75 ERA against them. He got no decision in his only start against them this season, going five innings and giving up just one run on four hits. Kershaw is making his second start after coming off the DL with back troubles; in his first one he went six scoreless innings, struck out seven and didn’t walk anybody.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1903 A year before the first subway line is completed, the Brooklyn Superbas, later to be known as the Dodgers, play their cross-town rivals in a two-stadium, same-day doubleheader. The first game played in Washington Park begins at 10:30 am with 9,300 fans watching the visiting Giants win the opener, 6-4, and later that afternoon in front of 23,623 patrons at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, Brooklyn wins the second game, 3-0.
  • 1916 The Giants defeat the Dodgers 4-1 to start their major league record 26-game winning streak. The ‘Jints’ start the span two games under .500 and make up nine games in the standings, but remain in fourth place during the entire streak.
  • 1962 With four steals in a 10-1 loss to the Pirates, Dodger Maury Wills breaks the modern National League record for stolen bases in a season with his 82nd swipe. Bob Bescher established the mark in 1911, playing left field for Cincinnati.
  • 1964 At Connie Mack Stadium, a Labor Day crowd of 26,390 fans watches the first-place Phillies split a doubleheader with the Dodgers. The attendance for the twin bill brings the season’s total to 1,224,172 patrons, breaking the all-time franchise home attendance record established by the Whiz Kids in 1950.
  • 2001 Shawn Green breaks a franchise record for homers in a season with his 44th home run, the first of two dingers the Dodger right fielder will hit off Dustin Hermanson in the team’s 7-1 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The previous mark had been shared by Duke Snider (1956) and Gary Sheffield (2000).


Jun 10

Game 63, 2017

Reds at Dodgers, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-O, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Reds ask RHP Asher Wojciechowski (1-0, 4.50 ERA) to make his fifth start of the year, tenth of his career and first ever against the Dodgers. In his previous four starts the Reds have gone 3-1. He’ll face Alex Wood (6-0, 1.69 ERA), fresh off the Dodgers’ 10-day disabled list. Wood has a 25 1/3 scoreless inning streak going and has struck out 39.5% of the right-handed hitters he’s faced over the past 30 days.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2012 Bobby Abreu, who was tied with Mickey Mantle for 109th place on the all-time hit list, surpasses the Yankee legend with a second-inning double in L.A.’s 8-2 interleague victory over Seattle at Safeco Field. The 38 year-old outfielder has collected 2,416 hits playing for the Astros, Phillies, Yankees, Angels, and Dodgers.

In other news of former Dodgers, Maury Wills was presented the “Hall of Game” award by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum today. The Hall of Game annually honors former Major League Baseball (MLB) stars who played the game with the same passion, determination, flair and skill exhibited by the heroes of the Negro Leagues.

Lineup when available.

Jun 06

Game 60, 2017

Nationals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MASN 2

RHP Max Scherzer (6-1, 2.56 ERA) pitches for the Nats and Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 3.38 ERA) for the Dodgers.

Scherzer is 2-0 with a 1.02 ERA, 24 Ks and two BBs over 17 2/3 innings in his last two outings. In his career he’s 1-2 with a 3.98 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings (five starts) at Dodger Stadium. McCarthy only went four innings in his last start due to blister problems, but he says there was no recurrence of it during a long bullpen session Sunday.

Will the Dodgers add to their rotation and bullpen at the deadline?

This day in Dodgers history:

  • 1944 Baseball cancels today’s scheduled eight-game slate due to the Allied invasion of Normandy known as D-Day. The military operation has 60,000 Allied troops, including six minor leaguers who will be killed in action, landing along a heavily protected 50-mile stretch of the coastline in France to fight Germany to begin an offensive assault against Hitler and the Nazi party.
  • 1957 After an 86-minute delay, the first fog out in major league history occurs at Ebbets Field when the umpires call off the Dodgers’ game against the Cubs due to extremely poor visibility. Brooklyn has a 1-0 lead when the game is postponed with one out in the bottom of the second inning.
  • 1968 The day after Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles, Maury Wills refuses to play in a 4-2 loss to the Dodgers, his former team. The 35 year-old shortstop stays in the Chavez Ravine training room, reading RFK’s book, To Seek a New World.
  • 1994 Mike Piazza hits the longest home run recorded in the history of Joe Robbie Stadium when his first career grand slam is estimated to travel 477 feet. The catcher’s Ruthian blast, one of four Dodger round-trippers during the Florida contest, isn’t enough to thwart the Marlins’ 11-10 come-from-behind victory.
  • 2006 When Eric Gagne, who will earn his first save in over a year, throws his first pitch to his receiver Russell Martin, the pair become the first All-French-Canadian battery in major league history. The pitcher and catcher both attended Polyvalente Edouard Montpetit High School, one of the few schools in Montreal which had a baseball program.
  • 2006 On the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year of the century, the Dodgers score six runs in the sixth inning during the sixth game of the homestand, beating the Mets, 8-5. On 05/05/05, the Twins scored five times in the fifth inning en route to a 9-0 victory over the Indians.

Lineup when available.

May 31

Game 54, 2017

Dodgers at Cardinals, 5:15 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ESPN (out-of-market only), FS-M

LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-5, 4.28 ERA) comes off a four-inning relief stint last Thursday in which he got his first career save. He’ll take the place of Alex Wood, currently on the 10-day DL. Ryu will pitch against hard-luck RHP Carlos Martinez (3-4, 3.32 ERA). Two starts ago Martinez pitched nine innings of shutout ball against the Giants and got no decision, and his last time out he gave up three runs in 7 1/3 innings against the Rockies and lost. He’s 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA in five starts in May.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1937 In Game 1 of a Memorial Day doubleheader, Carl Hubbell’s consecutive-game winning streak, compiled over two seasons, ends at 24 when the Dodgers, led by Babe Phelps’ 5-for-6 performance, defeat the Giants at the Polo Grounds, 10-3. ‘King Carl’ is honored between games when the southpaw is presented with the National League’s 1936 MVP Award by Babe Ruth.
  • 1948 Tommy Lasorda, best known as the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame skipper, strikes out 25 batters and collects the game-winning hit when the Schenectady Blue Jays defeat the Amsterdam Rugmakers, 6-5, in 15 innings. The promising southpaw, who goes the distance in the CanAm minor-league contest played in McNearney Stadium, believes he probably threw more than 300 pitches during the game.
  • 1965 For the first time in history, an all-switch-hitting infield starts a big league game. In the nightcap of a twin bill, the Dodgers, with Wes Parker at first base, Jim Lefebvre at second, Maury Wills at shortstop, and Jim Gilliam at third, lose to the visiting Reds, 6-1.
  • 1968 Don Drysdale’s shutout streak stays intact when home plate umpire Harry Wendelstedt rules that Dick Dietz, who is hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, did not make an attempt to get out of the way of the right-hander’s delivery. The Giants catcher finishes the at-bat by popping up‚ and the next two batters also make outs to give ‘Big D” his fifth straight shutout, tying a major league established by White Sox hurler Doc White in 1904.

Lineup when available.

May 30

Game 53, 2017

Dodgers at Cardinals, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ESPN, FS-M, MLBN free game of the day in non-blackout regions

RHP Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.08 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. He hopes his second start against the Cardinals within a week goes as well as the first, when he gave up three runs in the first but righted the ship, went five innings and got the win. RHP Michael Wacha (2-2, 3.66 ERA), on the other hand, wants to improve on his performance last Thursday against the Dodgers, when he went only four innings, allowed seven hits, six earned runs, two walks and lost the game.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1946 In Boston’s 10-8 victory over the Dodgers, Bama Rowell’s long drive hits the Bulova clock located above the right field scoreboard, making the left-fielder the first major leaguer to reach the famous landmark at Ebbets Field. The crushing four-bagger that shatters the face of the clock causing glass to cascade onto Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker is believed to be the inspiration for author Bernard Malamud having Roy Hobbs, the hero of his 1952 novel, The Natural, belt a similar home run, which also rains glass over the diamond.
  • 1962 Frank Thomas strokes a double off Sandy Koufax in the Mets’ 13-6 loss to Los Angeles, extending his franchise mark of consecutive games with a hit to 18 for the expansion team. The streak, which will be only one shy of Maury Wills’ league-leading total for the season, is halted when the New York left fielder goes 0-for-4 in the nightcap of the Dodgers’ sweep at the Polo Grounds.
  • 1986 In a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium, future home run king Barry Bonds goes 0-for-5 in his major league debut. The Pirates center fielder, batting leadoff, strikes out three times.
  • 1930 Not Dodgers’ history, but for the economists among us, get a load of this prize: Rogers Hornsby receives his MVP award and is given a thousand gold coins by National League president John Heydler at a ceremony at home plate prior to the Cubs’ contest against St. Louis. Ironically, the ‘Rajah’ will break his ankle while advancing to third base during the Wrigley Field contest and will not play again until the middle of August. Ah, when there was a gold standard! (For the record, the price of an ounce of gold was pegged at $20.67 in 1930. If each coin weighed an ounce that was $20,670, not an insignificant amount of cash in that Depression year)

Early returns from this year’s All Star Game voting: Seager at the top, Turner and A-Gon in top five at their respective positions.