May 18

Game 44, 2018

Dodgers at Nationals, 11:05 AM PDT, TV: SPNLA, MASN, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Young RHP Ross Stripling (0-1, 2.20 ERA) opens the series with the Nationals, who send out the redoubtable RHP Max Scherzer (7-1, 1.69 ERA) to face him. Scherzer has struck out 91 this season and has a strikeout per nine inning ratio of 13.96. That’s impressive, but Stripling has a 9.73 ratio himself, albeit in 30 fewer innings.

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1929 In the doubleheader played at Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl, the teams combine to score a record fifty runs when the Dodgers outlast the Phillies, 20-16, before dropping the nightcap to the home team 8-6. In the opener, Brooklyn’s Johnny Frederick crosses the plate five times, giving him the major league mark of scoring eight runs in two consecutive games.
  • 1931 Dodgers’ outfielder Babe Herman hits for the cycle for the first of two times this season. In 1933, as a member of the Cubs, he will again hit for the cycle, making him and Bob Meusel the only major leaguers to have accomplished the feat three times since 1900.
  • 1942 Night games in New York are banned for the duration of WW II, leaving fans in the dark about the status of the All-Star game scheduled to be played at the Polo Grounds on the evening of Monday, July 6. The prohibition of nighttime tilts, announced by NYC Police Commissioner Lewis J. Valentine, will change the starting times for 28 contests involving the Dodgers and Giants. (The first night game at Yankee Stadium will be played in 1946.)
  • 1998 With a 6-3 victory over the Orioles, the Devil Rays become only the second expansion team in major league history to sweep an away four-game series. The 1993 Colorado Rockies, who did it against the Dodgers, is the other team to accomplish this feat.

Lineup:

Apr 20

Game 18, 2018

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

In a matchup of aces, the Nats send RHP Max Scherzer (3-1, 1.33 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-2, 1.73 ERA). USA Today’s Jorge Ortiz had a game story that’s more entertaining than I could write, so I’ll defer to him. He calls this a matchup between a dying breed of aces.

Scherzer and Kershaw cross paths as the only active three-time Cy Young winners, as well as top-five finishers in the ballot each of the last five seasons, credentials that will burnish their Hall of Fame cases. Of the 10 pitchers ever to claim three Cy Youngs, the only one eligible for the Hall without a plaque in Cooperstown is Roger Clemens, who has been dogged by accusations of steroid use.

Anybody hungry?


Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1999 A crowd of 37,317 fans enjoys a 3-2 victory over the Braves when LA surpasses the 100 million mark in attendance at Dodger Stadium. The ballpark opened in 1962, four seasons after the franchise moved from Brooklyn to the west coast.
  • 2011 Bud Selig announces MLB is taking over operations of the Dodgers because of concerns over team finances and the ability of Frank McCourt to run the franchise. Los Angeles is facing substantial debt payments, which the owner plans to meet by using funding from the club’s new $2.5 billion, 20-year media-rights deal with Fox Sports, but the Commissioner has withheld his approval of the agreement between the News Corp.’s media company and the team.
  • 2012 The Reds become the fifth major league team to record their 10,000th franchise victory with a 9-4 win over Chicago at Wrigley Field. Cincinnati joins the Giants, Cubs, Dodgers, Cardinals, and Braves in reaching the milestone.

Lineup:


Oct 10

NLDS Game Four, 2017

Nationals at Cubs, 2:30 PM PT, TV: TBS

This is the only game today, and it’s an elimination game for the Nats. They ask RHP Tanner Roark (13-11, 4.67 ERA) Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 2.52 ERA) to stop the Cubs, who have hardly been a juggernaut but have managed to get past excellent performances from the Nats’ aces Strasburg and Scherzer to take a 2-1 lead in the series. The Cubs counter with RHP Jake Arrieta (14-10, 3.53 ERA), who hurt a hamstring five weeks ago but had been 7-2 with a 1.79 ERA over the previous two months.

After much Sturm und Drang yesterday centered on Starsburg’s health and whether he was too queasy to pitch today on regular rest, apparently he recovered overnight. He’ll start today after all.

Yesterday in baseball history:

  • 1920 The Indians’ Bill Wambsganss becomes the only player in World Series history to complete an unassisted triple play when he makes a leaping catch, steps on second base, and then tags the [Dodger] runner arriving from first base. After the play, a dead calm engulfs Cleveland’s League Park as the hometown fans try to digest what they had just witnessed.
  • 1948 The largest crowd ever to attend a World Series game, 86,288 fans, jam into Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium to witness a showdown between two future Hall of Famers. Braves’ southpaw Warren Spahn beats Bob Feller and the Indians in Game 5 of the Fall Classic, 11-5.
  • 1968 Cardinal fireballer Bob Gibson sets the mark for total strikeouts (35) in a World Series, but loses the seventh and deciding game to ]Mickey Lolich and the] Tigers, 4-1.
  • 2009 The Dodgers advance to their second consecutive National League championship series, beating St. Louis 5-1 to complete a three-game sweep of the Redbirds in the NLDS. Solid pitching by late-season pick-up Vicente Padilla and timely hitting by Andre Ethier, who had three extra-base hits, and Manny Ramirez, who broke out of a slump with three hits and two RBIs, close out the series, which will be best remembered for the team’s dramatic Game 2 comeback when Matt Holliday’s error on James Loney’s ninth-inning two-out line drive leads to a stunning two-run walk-off rally.

Today in history:

  • 1978 Rookie right-hander Bob Welch strikes out Reggie Jackson with two men on base and two out in the top of the ninth inning, dramatically preserving a 4-3 Dodger victory over the Yankees in Game 2 of the Fall Classic. The relief performance will put the 21 year-old in the national spotlight.

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.

Oct 07

Divisional Series AL Games Two, NL Games One, 2016

Beginning at 10:00AM PT, there are four Division Series games on tap this Friday. First is Game Two of the Blue Jays-Rangers series, then at 1:30PM PT it’s Game Two of the Red Sox-Indians series. Next at 2:30PM PT is Game One of the Dodgers-Nationals NLDS, and then to close the day out Game One of the Giants-Cubs NLDS begins at 6:00PM PT.

Toronto at Texas, TV: TBS, SportsNet

The Jays start LHP J.A. Happ (20-4, 3.18 ERA), who ended the season with a rush, putting up a 2.35 ERA over his last five starts. He’ll face RHP Yu Darvish (7-5, 3.41 ERA), who’s 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA in seven starts against Toronto. Darvish finished strongly too, allowing one run and five hits with 21 strikeouts in 13 innings in wins over the A’s and Rays to end his regular season.

Boston at Cleveland, TV: TBS

The Red Sox send LHP David Price (17-9, 3.99 ERA) to the hill to face RHP Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14 ERA). Price has been an ace everywhere he’s pitched, but in the postseason he’s been unable to replicate his regular season performances. He’s 2-7 with a 5.12 ERA in 14 career postseason appearances, with both of those wins coming in relief. Kluber skipped his last scheduled start with a tight quadriceps and has had ten days of rest.

San Francisco at Chicago, TV: FS1

The Giants ask RHP Johnny Cueto (18-5, 2.79 ERA) to pick up where Bumgarner left off in the Wild Card game, which might not be unthinkable: Cueto’s last start in the postseason was a complete game 1-0 shutout of the Mets in the 2015 World Series. He closed the season with a 4-0 record and 1.78 ERA in five starts in September. His opponent will be LHP Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA), who’s had plenty of postseason experience himself, going 6-6 with a 2.85 ERA in 16 games, 14 of which were starts. He finished the season with a flourish, going 9-1 with a 1.46 ERA in his last 12 starts.

Los Angeles at Washington, TV: FS1. Announcer Kenny Albert with Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci serving as analysts and Jon Paul Morosi contributing reports. Radio: ESPN. Dave O’Brien does play-by-play and Jim Bowden is the analyst.

The Dodgers send LHP Clayton Kershaw (12-4, 1.69 ERA) to the mound to make his tenth postseason start. He’s had bad luck in previous playoff appearances, going just 2-6 with an ERA of 4.59 in his career. He spent two months on the disabled list this year but came back to go 1-2 with a 1.29 ERA in the five starts he made in September and October. He’ll face RHP Max Scherzer (20-7, 2.96 ERA), who’s gone 4-3 with a 3.73 ERA in twelve postseason appearances, all with Detroit. The Nationals have some serious injury worries which may have an impact on this series: C Wilson Ramos is out for the year, P Stephen Strasbourg won’t pitch until the next round if Washington gets that far, 2B Daniel Murphy has made one game appearance since September 20 and RF Bryce Harper has both a jammed left thumb and a sore neck.

Lineup:

Jul 19

Game 93, 2015

Dodgers at Nationals, 10:35AM PT, TV: SPNLA, TBS, MASN

Two of the best pitchers in the game this season have at it: Zack Greinke (8-2 with a microscopic 1.39 ERA) for the Dodgers versus Max Scherzer (10-7 with a 2.11 ERA) for the Nats. Greinke has a 35 2/3-inning scoreless streak (the HR in the All Star Game doesn’t count). Scherzer has a different kind of streak: he hasn’t walked a batter since June 14.

Some interesting things about these teams:

Over the past two seasons, the Dodgers and Nationals have been two of baseball’s best teams after the All-Star break. In 2013 and ’14, the Dodgers were a league-best 85-48 (.639) from the Midsummer Classic forward. The Nationals were 83-53 (.610), third-best.

Another thing we Dodger fans might not have realized: since Adrian Gonzalez came to the Dodgers in mid-2012 no one in the NL has knocked in more runners than he has. How many? 296.

Lineup when available.

Jul 18

Game 92, 2015

Well, let’s call this the rest of Game 91 as well as Game 92. The Dodgers are still at the Nats at 1:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS1 and MASN. But Friday night’s game, suspended due to electrical power failure (not home run power failure, since it featured four-baggers from Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers and Yunel Escobar of the Nats), will be resumed at 11:05AM PT. It’s anybody’s guess who’ll be pitching for either team.

In the regularly scheduled game the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw makes his first start of the second half, hoping to improve on his 6-6 record and 2.85 ERA. His opponent will be Doug Fister, who’s 3-4 with a 4.08 ERA and a long layoff: he hasn’t pitched since July 6. He spent the latter part of May and the first half of June on the DL with a tight forearm.

Below the fold, some evidence that current players know how to use social media.
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Dec 07

Winter meetings begin Monday

Grantland’s got speculations!

Question 1. Will the Dodgers move Kemp? Grantland and the Magic 8 ball say “Can’t predict now.”

Questions 2 through 5. Who cares? The only guess about the Dodgers here is whether they’ll try hard to get one of the available starters: Lester, Hamels, Scherzer or Shields.

As Paul Harvey used to say, “Stand by…for news!”