Today is the first start of the year for the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw, who scratched from Opening Day with back soreness. This will be his 34th career start against the Arizona team. He’ll face the D-Backs’ RHP Merrill Kelly (1-0, 1.17 ERA). Kelly took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his last start against the Rangers.
Game highlights from yesterday:
On this day 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.
LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-4, 2.00 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers against RHP Merrill Kelly (9-13, 4.86 ERA) of the D=Backs. Ryu has faltered in his last two starts, giving up 5 home runs and lasting just 4 1/3 innings in his latest one. The Dodgers might have him on a shorter leash just to reduce fatigue. Kelly pitched credibly against the Dodgers in July, giving up three runs in six innings. He’s won two of his last three starts after losing the previous six.
Kiké scores the go-ahead run in the 10th inning on a throwing error by the Padres’ shortstop:
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1939 Wheaties sponsors the first telecast of a baseball game when their ads are aired during the Ebbets Field contest between the Reds and the Dodgers. The commercial broadcast is available only in New York City, where an estimated 500 people own television sets.
1948 Jackie Robinson hits for the backward cycle when he homers in the first inning, triples in the fourth, doubles in the sixth, and completes the rare event with a single in the eighth. In addition to his ten total bases, the Dodger second baseman drives in two runs, scores three times, and steals a base, helping Brooklyn beat the Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park, 12-7.
1951 With his second home run of the game, the sixth time he has accomplished the feat this year, Gil Hodges hits his 36th round-tripper to establish a new franchise record for homers in a season. The Dodger first baseman’s seventh-inning three-run blast in the team’s 13-1 rout of Cincinnati at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field surpasses the mark of 35 set by Babe Herman in 1930.
1989 Giving up just three singles, recently acquired Mets southpaw Frank Viola outduels Orel Hershiser and beats the Dodgers, 1-0. The classic contest between two aces marked the first time in baseball history that the reigning winners of the Cy Young Award have faced one another in the regular season.
Cultural history note: On this date in 1966: On a typically cool night, the Beatles play their final concert at Candlestick Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants. The “Fab Four’s” performance on a five-foot stage, which is located just behind second base surrounded by a six-foot high wire fence, is less than stellar due the ballpark’s inadequate lighting, poor acoustics, and the group’s growing disdain of doing live shows.
RHP Merrill Kelly (7-8, 4.00 ERA) makes his 18th big league start after spending four years in the Korean Baseball League, where he compiled a 48-32 record with a 3.86 ERA. Pretty good for a league known more for hitting than pitching. As his W-L record shows, he’s had an up-and-down season thus far. He didn’t face the Dodgers in the D-Backs’ previous three series against them. He’ll face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (8-1, 3.43 ERA), who’s headed for the All Star Game. His last start was awful; he gave up seven runs on 13 hits to the Rockies in 5 2/3 innings. He avoided the loss in that game as the Dodgers came back with four runs in the ninth inning to win.
Here are the Dodgers’ five consecutive walks in the ninth last night to win the game.
This date in Dodgers’ history:
1925 Milt Stock sets a National League mark by having his fourth consecutive four-hit game, going 16-for-23 during the span to compile a .696 batting average. The 31 year-old second baseman’s offensive output, which includes three singles and a triple, helps the Robins beat the Giants at Ebbets Field, 6-3.
1949 En route to a 16-0 shutout of the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds, starting pitcher Monte Kennedy hits a grand slam. Another 51 seasons will pass by before another Giants hurler hits a four-run homer when Shawn Estes accomplishes the feat in 2000.
1958 In their 35th home date in L.A., the transplanted Dodgers reach the one million mark in attendance. Last season, the team drew only 1,028,258 fans, playing in Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field.
2013 Yasiel Puig becomes the first player to be named Player of the Month for the first month he plays in the major leagues in the 55-year history of the award. The Dodger outfielder played in 26 games in June, compiling a .436 batting average, with his 44 base hits being the second-most ever by a first-month player, only behind Joe DiMaggio’s total of 48 in 1936.