Oct 06

NLDS Game One, 2020

In an attempt to eliminate any possible home field advantage, the National League is playing its Divisional and Championship Series in American League parks (Minute Maid in Houston and Globe Life in Arlington, TX) and the American League is playing its series at National League Parks (Petco Park and Dodger Stadium).

Marlins vs Braves, 11:08 AM PDT, TV: FS1

The Marlins send RHP Sandy Alcantara to the hill to face the Braves’ LHP Max Fried. Alcantara threw 6 2/3 innings in Game One of their Wild Card Series against the Cubs, giving up just one run. Fried started Game One of the Braves’ Wild Card Series against the Reds and pitched seven scoreless innings.

Padres vs. Dodgers, 6:38 PM PDT, TV: FS1

The Padres have not yet named a starting pitcher as of 11:00 PM PDT Monday. The Dodgers will give the ball to Walker Buehler, who’s had blister troubles and whose innings have therefore been limited. He may go no more than four innings in this game.

Update: The Padres have selected Mike Clevinger, whose elbow injury has apparently healed enough to pitch.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1941 In Game 5 of the Fall Classic, Tiny Bonham goes the distance, limiting the Dodgers to just four hits to give the Yankees their 12th World Championship in franchise history. In one inning during the Bronx Bombers’ 3-1 victory at Ebbets Field, the New York fireballing right-hander will need just three pitches to retire the side.
  • 1949 In Game 2 of the World Series, only one run is scored again, but Preacher Roe and the Dodgers win this contest at Yankee Stadium, 1-0. Gil Hodges’ second inning single drives in Jackie Robinson to even up the Fall Classic at a game apiece.
  • 1959 The largest crowd ever to attend a major league game, 92,706 fans, watches a nail biter as White Sox hurler Bob Shaw beats Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers, 1-0, in Game 5 of the Fall Classic.
  • 1963 The Dodgers complete a four-game World Series sweep of the Yankees as Sandy Koufax wins his second game, 2-1. Frank Howard leads the offense with a home run and a single, the only two hits Whitey Ford gives up, and New York’s first baseman Joe Pepitone’s error (loses a thrown ball in the white-shirted crowd) leads to the decisive run in the seventh inning.
  • 1965“Hey, skip, bet you wish I was Jewish today, too.” – Don Drysdale, commenting after the game about his poor performance on the mound with manager Walt Alston. Sandy Koufax declines to pitch the first game of the World Series against the Twins because the game is scheduled on Yom Kippur, the most sacred of the Jewish holidays. As the Dodger southpaw attends shul and fasts on the Day of Atonement, Don Drysdale gives up seven runs in three innings in the team’s 8-2 loss at Minnesota’s Metropolitan Stadium.
  • 1966 Jim Palmer becomes the youngest player to pitch a shutout in the World Series when the 20 year-old Oriole right-hander blanks Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers, 6-0. The contest will become more memorable next month when Koufax surprises the baseball world by announcing his retirement, making this game his last major league appearance.
  • 1966 In the same Game Two loss to the Orioles at Dodger Stadium, Willie Davis establishes a World Series record by committing three errors in one game. The center fielder’s blunders come on two consecutive plays in the fifth inning, the first by losing a fly ball in the sun, then by dropping the next fly ball, followed by overthrowing third base.
  • 1980 In the 163rd game of the season, 35 year-old knuckleballer Joe Niekro earns his 20th victory, going the distance to defeat the Dodgers, 7-1, in the winner-take-all contest for the NL West. With the win, the Astros hold on to capture their first title in the 19-year history of the franchise after losing a season-ending three game series to LA, (3-2, 2-1, and 4-3) that forced the one-game playoff.

Lineups when available.

Padres lineup:

Dodgers lineup:

Sep 30

NL Wild Card Series Game One, 2020

Reds at Braves, 9:08 AM PDT, TV: ESPN

The Reds send Cy Young candidate RHP Trevor Bauer to the mound to face the Braves’ LHP Max Fried. Bauer was 5-4 but had a sparkling 1.73 ERA for the season. All Fried did was go 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA this year.

Marlins at Cubs, 11:08 AM PDT, ABC

RHP Sandy Alcantara takes the mound for the Marlins while RHP Kyle Hendricks does so for the Cubs. Alcantara missed a months with the COVID-19 virus but posted a 3-2, 3.00 ERA in the seven starts he made. Hendricks has a scintillating postseason ERA: 2.98 in 11 appearances. He went 3-1 with a 1.45 ERA in September.

Cardinals at Padres, 2:08 PM PDT, TV: ESPN2

The Cards give the ball to LHP Kwang Hyun Kim, who started out the year as the team’s closer but was quickly moved into the rotation, where he went 3-0 with a 1.62 ERA. He’ll face the Padres’ RHP Chris Paddack, who was their Opening Day starter but was inconsistent, posting a 4-5 record with a 4.73 ERA in twelve starts. He’s starting mostly because starters Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet are questionable with elbow impingement and biceps tightness respectively.

Brewers at Dodgers, 7:08 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

The Brewers’ Corbin Burnes would have started this game but he hurt his oblique on Friday and is probably out for the year. This will be a bullpen game and LHP Brent Suter will serve as the “opener.” The Dodgers send a rested RHP Walker Buehler to face him, trusting that the blister problem which has allowed him to pitch just four innings in three weeks has healed.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1923 It’s Zack Wheat Day at Ebbets Field, and the retiring Dodger outfielder collects two hits and is given an automobile. Cy Williams of the Phillies spoils the special day as he ties the score in the seventh inning with his 39th homer and his 40th in the 12th frame gives Philadelphia the victory, 6-4.
  • 1933 At Sportsman’s Park in a 12-2 Cubs rout of the Cardinals, Babe Herman hits for the cycle, becoming the first player in baseball history to do it three times. The Chicago outfielder, playing for the Dodgers, also accomplished the feat on two other occasions in 1931.
  • 1947 Ralph Branca becomes the youngest player to start a World Series opener. At Yankee Stadium, the 21-year and 9 months old right hander and the Dodgers lose to the Bronx Bombers, 5-1.
  • 1951 Knowing the Giants have won their game in Boston, the Dodgers rally from a five-run deficit to beat Philadelphia in 14 innings, 9-8, forcing a three-game playoff for the National League pennant. After Jackie Robinson makes a game-saving catch in the thirteenth to preserve an 8-8 tie, he hits a home run in the next frame that proves to be the difference in Brooklyn’s victory at Shibe Park.
  • 1953 George Shuba, best known as the Montreal Royal teammate who shook Jackie Robinson’s hand after the rookie had homered, becomes the third major leaguer and the first National League player to pinch hit a home run in the World Series when he goes deep off Allie Reynolds in the Dodgers’ 9-5 Game 1 loss at Yankee Stadium. ‘Shotgun’ joins Yogi Berra (1947) and Johnny Mize (1952), who both accomplished the feat playing for the Bronx Bombers.
  • 1956 Don Newcombe, a three-time twenty-game winner, goes the distance to earn his major-league leading 27th victory when the Dodgers beat Pittsburgh at Forbes Field, 8-6, on the last day of the campaign. Newk’s win is the most ever in a season by an African-American pitcher.
  • 1962 On the last day of the season, Gene Oliver’s eighth-inning homer off Johnny Podres proves to be the difference in St. Louis’ 1-0 victory over the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. The loss to the Cardinals forces Los Angeles into a best-of-three-game playoff with the Giants for the National League pennant, a series the team will lose to San Francisco.
  • 1999 The largest regular-season crowd in Candlestick Park history, 61,389 fans, watches the Dodgers beat the home team, 9-4 in the last baseball game to ever be played at the ‘Stick’. Giant greats help mark the occasion with Juan Marichal tossing out the ceremonial first pitch before the game and Willie Mays throwing out the ballpark’s final pitch after the game.

For other notable events on this day in baseball, see here.

Brewers’ lineup:

Dodgers’ lineup:

Aug 31

Big off-day news!

Vin Scully joins social media!

Vin Scully, the Hall of Fame broadcaster with the soothing voice, may be retired now and confined to his Hidden Hills, California, home with his wife, but he is our national treasure.

And now, to our benefit, Scully has decided to share his commentary with the world, and for the first time will venture into the social media domain with his own Twitter (@TheVinScully), Instagram (@TheVinScully) and Facebook account (Vin Scully) on Wednesday and a YouTube channel next week. His website (www.dodgersvinscully.com) will launch in October.

In trade deadline news, our closest competitors made four deals to improve their odds in this season’s odd postseason. The Padres acquired pitchers Mike Clevinger, Trevor Rosenthal, Austin Adams and Dan Altavilla, outfielder Greg Allen, 1B/DH Mitch Moreland and catchers Jason Castro and Austin Nola for a bunch of mostly minor-leaguers.

No Dodger deals have yet been announced.

Oct 08

ALDS Games Three, 2018

The early game will be played at Progressive Field (formerly The Jake) in Cleveland between the Astros and the Indians at 10:30 AM PDT. It will be shown on TBS.

The Astros send LHP Dallas Keuchel (12-11, 3.74 ERA) to the hill to try to sweep the series. The Indians ask RHP Mike Clevinger (13-8, 3.02 ERA) to stop them. Keuchel is 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA in eight career postseason starts for the Astros. Clevinger has made six postseason appearances, going seven innings in 2016 & 2017 with a 6.43 ERA.

The Indians beat the Braves on this date in 1948 as seen in the NLDS post below, but they also beat the Yankees in the ALDS in 2007 to advance to the ALCS for the first time since 1995. The Astros beat the Mets 1-0 in Game One of the 1986 NLCS behind Mike Scott.

Lineups when available.

In the late game the Red Sox and Yankees face off in Game Three of their series. Each team has won one game. It will be played at Yankee Stadium at 4:40 PM PDT and shown on TBS.

The Sox send out mid-season acquisition (and former Yankee/Dodger) RHP Nathan Eovaldi (6-7, 3.81, but 3-3 and 3.33 ERA with the Red Sox) to do battle with the Yankees’ Luis Severino (19-8, 3.39 ERA). Eovaldi has pitched 16 innings against the Yankees since he’s been with the Sox and has yet to give up a run to them. RHP Severino started the Wild Card Game and walked four while striking out seven in four shutout innings. He’s made five starts against the Red Sox this season, most recently on September 19 when he gave up just one run in seven innings. That gave him a 3.56 ERA for the year against the Boston team.

The Red Sox haven’t played much on October 8. In fact, the only notable thing they’ve done on this date was to pitch Ken Brett against the Cardinals in the 1967 World Series, which was only of interest because he was just 19 years old at the time, thus the youngest player ever to pitch in a World Series. The Yankees have frequently played on October 8. As noted in the NLDS post, Don Larsen pitched his perfect game against the Dodgers 62 years ago on this date. They also lost an ALDS Game Five thriller to the Mariners in 1995 on October 8 and lost to the Indians in Game Four of the ALDS in 2007, which cost Joe Torre his managerial job.

Lineups when available.