Oct 18

NLCS Game Four, 2017

Dodgers at Cubs, 6:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Dodgers send the very well-rested LHP Alex Wood (16-3, 2.72 ERA) to the mound to try to close out the series. The Cubs will ask RHP Jake Arrieta (14-10, 3.53 ERA) to put up a roadblock in front of the Dodgers’ seemingly-unstoppable steamroller.

Wood hasn’t pitched in three weeks; he was scheduled to start Game Four of the Dodgers’ NLDS but they swept the D-Backs in that series. He’s been throwing simulated games and yesterday he declared himself ready to go. Arrieta pitched in Game Four of the Cubs’ NLDS against the Nats, going four innings, throwing 90 pitches, giving up an earned run and losing 5-0. He’s a former Cy Young Award winner and once threw a no-hitter at the Dodgers; presumably they won’t take him lightly.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1988 At Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Mark McGwire goes deep off LA’s Jay Howell with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the A’s a 2-1 victory for its only win in the Series. With Kirk Gibson’s heroics in Game 1, ‘Big Mac’s’ walk-off home run marks the first time that two game-winning round-trippers are hit in the same Fall Classic.
  • 2013 The Cardinals advance to their second World Series in three seasons, routing the Dodgers, 9-0, in Game 6 of the NLCS. St. Louis, behind the timely hitting of Carlos Beltran and the strong pitching performance of rookie right-hander Michael Wacha, beats Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83) for the fourth time this season, including a pair of victories in this round of the postseason.

Lineup when available.

Grandal gets a start, Ethier and Utley get second starts, and Granderson gets a start. This may be the Dave Roberts “keep guys happy as much as I can within the needs of the team” approach to managing.

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.

Lineup:

May 25

Game 48, 2017

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

The Cardinals’ RHP Michael Wacha (2-1, 2.74 ERA) will face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (3-2, 5.03 ERA) in the rubber game of the series.

In Wacha’s last start he went six innings and allowed four hits and no runs to the Giants. He’s gone into the sixth or longer in every start he’s made in 2017. He’s 1-2 with a 3.57 ERA against the Dodgers in four career starts. Maeda is coming off the 10-day DL for hamstring tightness, but in his last start prior to that he went 8 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on five hits to the Pirates. He’s faced the Cards only once in his career and got a win.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 Casey Stengel, traded by the Dodgers in the off-season to the Pirates, calls time, steps out of the batter’s box to give the razzing Ebbets Field fans the ‘bird’. The Pittsburgh right fielder doffs his hat, allowing a sparrow to fly out, much to the amazement and amusement of the fans.
  • 2002 With four homers on Thursday (5/23), one on Friday (5/24), and two more on Saturday (5/25), Shawn Green becomes the first major leaguer to hit seven round-trippers in three games. The Dodger outfielder’s nine big flies in a week also breaks a National League record, established by Ralph Kiner with eight and tied by Ted Kluszewski and Nate Colbert.

The Dodgers reinstated Maeda from the 10-day DL and placed Pederson on the 7-day concussion DL.

Lineup when available.

Jul 22

Game 98, 2016

Dodgers at Cardinals, 5:15PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-M

Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 1.69 ERA) has come back from TJ surgery much more strongly than I expected. Tonight he’s up against Michael Wacha (5-7, 4.45 ERA), whose 2016 season has been disappointing after his outstanding 2015 one.

JT is having much too much fun with Animal, who thinks the Dodgers need a drummer:

Video deleted as it kept restarting randomly.

Lineup when available.

May 13

Game 36, 2016

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

Tonight’s pitchers: The Cardinals’ Michael Wacha (2-3, 3.12 ERA) will pitch against the Dodgers’ Ross Stripling (0-2, 3.82 ERA). They were teammates at Texas A&M for three years and were each drafted in 2012. That winter they even roomed together and they work out together in the off-season. Knowing how these things work, they’ll probably try to beat each other’s brains out on the diamond tonight.

Wacha has lost his last three starts and Stripling’s most recent was the best since his first of the year. In those starts the Cards’ pitcher has given up four home runs which cost him dearly. The Dodgers’ home run production seems to be picking up a little, so maybe…

Lineup when available.

Oct 12

ALDS Games Four, NLDS Games Three, 2015

Early AL game: Royals at Astros, 10:00AM PT, TV: FS1

The Astros have a 2-1 lead and send rookie Lance McCullers out to try to win the series. The Royals send first-game (but only two innings thanks to rain) starter Yordano Ventura out to keep the Astros from doing that.

Late AL Game: Blue Jays at Rangers, 1:00PM PT, TV: FS1

The Rangers lead the series 2-1 and hope to win at home. They’ll send out Derek Holland, who’s been in 13 post-season games in his career. He and the Rangers will face R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball. This will be Dickey’s first postseason start.

Early NL Game: Cardinals at Cubs 3:00PM PT, TV: TBS

The series is tied 1-1. The Cubs like their chances in this game, and who wouldn’t? They send All Second-Half pitcher Jake Arrieta to the mound to face the Cardinals, who counter with Michael Wacha.

Late NL Game: Dodgers at Mets, 5:30PM PT, TV: TBS

First, I think this game is going to start on TNT rather than TBS unless the Cubs-Cards game is a blowout; I don’t believe the first game will come in under 2 1/2 hours as it would have to for there to be a seamless switch at 5:30PM PT.

Second, Utley. The latest word is that his appeal is “unlikely to be heard today.”

Utley’s representatives and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association asked for time to prepare their case, which would make Utley eligible to play until a hearing takes place.

Now, the game itself. The Dodgers send Brett Anderson to the hill in his second postseason appearance (2012 for the As), while the Mets send Matt Harvey and his “will he or won’t he throw more than 180 innings this year?” controversy (he wound up throwing 189 1/3 in the regular season) to the mound. Anderson was the best ground-ball pitcher in the big leagues this year, inducing them at a 66.3% rate. Harvey was 8-3 with a 2.23 ERA at home, far better than he was on the road.

This will be the first postseason game ever played at Citi Field; all previous Mets’ appearances were at Shea Stadium.

Lineup when available.

What? No Utley?

Also:

Jun 04

Game 54, 2015

Cardinals at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

It’s a pitching rematch of last Saturday’s game featuring the Cards’ Michael Wacha versus the Dodgers’ Carlos Frias. Frias won the first game 5-1, going seven innings and giving up just that (unearned) run. Wacha gave up just three hits but four earned runs, including a three-run homer to Yasmani Grandal in the sixth which chased him. It was Wacha’s only loss of the season so far: he’s 7-1 with a 2.27 ERA. Frias is 4-2 with a 4.29 ERA.

Regarding Kenley Jansen’s non-appearance in last night’s ninth inning, Mattingly said repeatedly “he just wasn’t available.”

Update:

I think Vassegh co-hosts Dodger Talk on AM570 radio in LA.

Lineup:

May 30

Game 48, 2015

Dodgers at Cardinals, 4:15PM PT, TV: Fox

The Dodgers hope Carlos Frias does better today than he did in his last appearance when he gave up 10 runs to the Padres in just four innings. He’s 3-2 with a 5.34 ERA after that game, which pushed his ERA up from a very good 2.55. He’ll face Michael Wacha, who has emerged as St. Louis’s new ace in Adam Wainwright’s absence. Wacha is 7-0 with a 1.87 ERA.

Lineup:


Note that Grandal has returned from OKC (Heisey was sent back) and Van Slyke’s back has seemingly healed enough for him to play. Also note that Rollins has been dropped to 8th in the order and Turner is now hitting second.

Jun 26

Game 81, 2014

Cardinals at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Adam Wainwright (he of the 10-3, 2.08 ERA record) goes for the Redbirds. The Dodgers send Josh Beckett (5-4, 2.28 ERA) out to meet him. Wainwright’s ERA is second in all of baseball, Beckett’s is fifth. (Kershaw’s is 2.24, but he hasn’t got the number of innings to match the one-inning-per-team’s-games requirement yet — he’s got 72.1 innings, and the Dodgers have played 80 games.)

Who’s gonna pitch for the Cards the rest of the series? Good question.

Joe Kelly, Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia are already missing because of injury, and St. Louis had to use five relief pitchers after Miller exited. There is no official word on whether Miller will be available for his next start.

That means that Carlos Martinez (three career starts) and Marco Gonzales (moved from Double-A to the Majors on Wednesday for his first start) might need to hold down spots in the rotation.

Lineup when available.

Oct 30

World Series Game Six

One way or another, the Series will end at Fenway Park for the first time since 1918. Either the Sox win tonight in six or the Cardinals win tonight to force a Game Seven. But it too will be played at Fenway, and as a fan I’d like to see it. Game Seven is evocative of so many previous ones — Mazeroski’s home run in 1960, McCovey’s line drive caught by Bobby Richardson in 1962, Koufax’s win in 1965 on Lou Johnson’s home run in the fourth inning, Lolich outdueling Gibson in 1968, Jack Morris’s ten-inning 1-0 win in 1991, and Luis Gonzalez’s dunker off Mariano Rivera in 2001.

So I’m rooting for the Cardinals tonight. It’s hard, but I’m gonna do it. They send out rookie star Michael Wacha, and the Sox counter with John Lackey. Ortiz goes back to DH for the Red Sox and Napoli plays first base. For the Cardinals Allen Craig is the DH while Mike Adams plays first base.

St. Louis at Boston 2:00pm HST, 5:00pm Pacific, 8:00pm Eastern on Fox.