Apr 15

Game 13, 2021

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: ATTSportsNet-RM, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

LHP Austin Gomber (0-2, 2.89 ERA) goes for the Rockies and LHP Julio Urias (2-0, 2.84 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. Walks have contributed heavily to Gomber’s winless record; he gave up seven to the Dodgers in three innings in his first start and four to the Giants in 6 1/3 innings in his second. He allowed just one hit in each game. Urias has had two very good starts and in fact has not lost a decision in the regular season since August of 2019.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1909 On Opening Day, the Superbas are no-hit by the Giants’ Red Ames for 9.1 innings. The Polo Grounds contest will go thirteen innings before Brooklyn defeats the 26 year-old right-hander, 3-0.
  • 1915 In his first start of the season, the Giants’ southpaw Rube Marquard no-hits the Brooklyn Robins, the team that will select him off waivers at the end of August. In his 2-0 Polo Grounds victory, the 28 year-old faces 30 batters, striking out two and walking two in the 85-minute contest.
  • 1930 On Opening Day, Phillies’ southpaw Les Sweetland throws a three-hitter at Ebbets Field. The 28 year-old southpaw doubles and scores the lone run in the eighth inning of his 1-0 complete-game victory over Brooklyn.
  • 1933 In his major league debut, Tigers rookie Lynwood “Schoolboy” Rowe tosses a six-hitter, blanking the White Sox, 3-0. During his 15-year career, playing also with the Dodgers and Phillies, Rowe will compile a 158-101 record, posting an ERA of 3.87.
  • 1947 A year before President Truman desegregated the military, Jackie Robinson debuts for the Dodgers, becoming the first black player to participate in a major league game this century. In front of 25,623 Ebbets Field fans, the 28 year-old first baseman is hitless in three at-bats, but scores a run in the 5-3 Opening Day victory over the Braves.
  • 1958 On Opening Day, the transplanted New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers play the first major league game on the West Coast. The California contest sees Ruben Gomez blanking Los Angeles and Don Drysdale at San Francisco’s Seals Stadium, 8-0.
  • 1959 Cardinal right-hander Bob Gibson makes his major league debut at LA Memorial Coliseum, tossing the final two innings in a 5-0 loss to the Dodgers. The 23 year-old rookie becomes the first future Hall of Fame hurler to give up a home run to the first batter he faces in the major leagues when third baseman Jim Baxes takes him deep in the seventh inning.
  • 2004 Major league baseball begins the tradition of Jackie Robinson Day, an annual celebration commemorating the day the color line was broken in 1947. At big league venues across the country ceremonies are being held to honor the ground-breaking historic event, including baseball commissioner Bud Selig and Jackie’s widow Rachel Robinson attending the festivities at Shea Stadium.
  • 2005 The Dodgers, to commemorate the 58th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game in the big leagues, wear replicas of the old road uniforms worn by the 1947 team which played in Brooklyn. Right-hander Derek Lowe throws a three-hitter, blanking the Padres in San Diego, 4-0.
  • 2007 To honor Jackie Robinson, some players on each team, including Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter and Braves’ outfielder Andruw Jones, wear the Dodger immortal’s uniform No. 42 on the 60th anniversary of his historic breaking the color barrier in baseball. In the Cardinals and Brewers contest at Busch Stadium, every player and coach on both teams dons Jackie’s revered number.

Lineup when available.

As noted in comments, Betts isn’t playing. Let’s hope his back didn’t object to its exertions in last night’s game.

Apr 11

Game Ten, 2021

Nationals at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: MASN 2, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

It’s a battle of 3-time Cy Young winners today. The Nats send RHP Max Scherzer (0-0, 6.00 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-1, 4.26 ERA). Scherzer gave up four HRs in six innings on Opening Day; he did strike out nine. Kershaw had a forgettable Opening Day start but redeemed himself his second time out, when he gave up just four hits and one run over seven innings while striking out eight.

Before today’s game there’ll be a commemoration of Fernando Valenzuela’s accomplishments and the 40th anniversary of Fernandomania (40 years? Really?).

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1912 Rube Marquard begins a nineteen-game consecutive winning streak by beating the Dodgers, 18-3, in a game which features 13 ground rule doubles hit by the visitors because of the overflow crowd being placed in the outfield and along the foul lines. The future Hall of Fame southpaw’s streak will end in July when the Giants lose to Chicago at the West Side Grounds, 7-2.
  • 1961 Robin Roberts, in his twelfth-straight Opening Day start, is tagged with the loss when the Phillies lose to the Dodgers in the LA Memorial Coliseum, 6-2. The right-hander’s effort ties Grover Cleveland Alexander’s National League record for consecutive season openers.
  • 2006 Jeromy Burnitz, Ryan Doumit, Jack Wilson, and Craig Wilson hit solo home runs in the Pirates’ 7-6 victory over the Dodgers at PNC Park. The quartet of round-trippers blasted by the Buc sluggers is each player’s second homer of the season.

Lineup:

Hmm. Rios in RF? McKinstry in LF? Still no Betts?

Apr 10

Game Nine, 2021

Nationals at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: MASN 2, SPNLA

The visiting Nats have yet to declare a starter. Never fear, they eventually will because they have to. The Dodgers send out Julio Urías (1, 1.29 ERA), whose seven-inning stint in his first start was the longest outing of his career. It was brilliant: he gave up one run on three hits while striking out six and walking just one.

In the “you can’t ever have enough pitching” department:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 During the sixth inning of an exhibition game against their minor league team at Ebbets Field, the Montreal Royals, Dodgers’ president Branch Rickey issues a brief statement to the press. The two sentences will forever change the game when the team announces “The Brooklyn Dodgers today purchased the contract of Jackie Roosevelt Robinson from the Montreal Royals. He will report immediately.”
  • 1962 In front of 52,564 fans, Reds infielder Eddie Kasko doubles off of Johnny Podres in the first ever at-bat at Dodger Stadium, and Duke Snider’s single in the bottom of the second accounts for the home team’s first hit. After playing their first four seasons at the LA Memorial Coliseum, the team drops a 6-3 decision to the Reds in the debut of the new $22 million ballpark in Chavez Ravine, financed with a low two-percent interest loan from the Union Oil Company in exchange for exclusive rights to advertise within the stadium.
  • 1962 Wally Post hits the first home run in Dodger Stadium history, a two-out, three-run shot in the seventh inning off Johnny Podres that proves to be the difference in the Cincinnati’s 6-3 victory. The left fielder’s round-tripper to center field is a fair ball, unlike some others hit in the ballpark where the foul poles are discovered to be positioned in foul territory, requiring special permission from the National League to be recognized as fair during the first year in the team’s new home in Chavez Ravine.
  • 1976 After being granted his free agency in a landmark case which will forever change baseball, Andy Messersmith becomes one of the first major leaguers to use his new status to sign with a team of his choice. The former Dodger right-hander comes to terms with the Braves and will post a 16-15 record during his two-year tenure for his new club.
  • 2012 Vin Scully misses the Dodgers’ home opener for the first time in 35 years when doctors order the 84 year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster to rest as he recovers from a bad cold. The last time the team’s play-by-play announcer was absent from the season’s first home game he was calling the first round of the Masters in 1977.

Lineup when available.

Betts is still being held out. I hope there’s nothing more seriously wrong than we’ve been told.

Apr 09

Game Eight, 2021

Nationals at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: MASN, MLBN, SPNLA

This is the home opener for 2021, but it’s more than that. The Dodgers will be raising their World Series Chanpionship banner, handing out World Series rings, and welcoming fans back into the stadium for the first time since October 2019. There are some great photos of the stadium as it was being prepared here.

RHP Joe Ross (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his first start of the season for the Nationals. He’ll face RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 3.00 ERA) of the Dodgers. Ross opted out last season due to the pandemic; he’s got a 7.02 ERA against the Dodgers in 16 2/3 career innings. Buehler struck out four and gave up two runs in six innings in his first start against the Rockies.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1913 The Phillies spoil the debut of Ebbets Field, beating the Dodgers, 1-0, in front of a small crowd of approximately 10,000 fans, who brave the frigid weather to witness the pitching duel. Given special permission, Brooklyn opens the season a day early to properly inaugurate its new $75,000 Brooklyn ballpark, which took a year to build.
  • 1947 Dodger skipper Leo Durocher, feuding with the Yankees, is suspended for one year by commissioner Happy Chandler for an assortment of actions deemed detrimental to baseball, including association with known gamblers. The Brooklyn and New York clubs are both fined $2,000 and by order of the commissioner are not allowed to discuss the matter.
  • 1966 After sharing space at Wrigley Field in 1961 and Dodger Stadium from 1962-65 during their first five seasons in Los Angeles, the Angels move to nearby Anaheim into their own stadium. The ‘Halos’, now known as the California Angels, host the San Francisco Giants in a pre-season exhibition game in the first contest ever played at Anaheim Stadium.
  • 1981 On Opening Day, Fernando Valenzuela, making his first major league start in place of scheduled starter Jerry Reuss, blanks Houston on five hits at Dodger Stadium, 2-0. During the strike-shortened season, the 20 year-old rookie from Mexico will lead the league in game starts (25), complete games (11), and shutouts (8).

Lineup:

Betts and Bellinger are out with injuries. Bellinger will miss his third straight game after getting spiked in Monday’s win over the Athletics. Betts will miss his second consecutive game with a lower back injury.

Apr 03

Game Three, 2021

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:10 PM PDT, TV: ATTSportsNetRM, FS1, SPNLA

RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his first start of the year for the Dodgers and RHP Jon Gray (0-0, 0.00 ERA) does the same for Rockies. Buehler only pitched 36 2/3 innings in last year’s shortened regular season; he went 1-0 in eight starts. He beat the Braves in the NLCS and Tampa Bay in the World Series, though. Gray was 2-4 in the same number of starts last season, pitching just 2 1/3 innings more than Buehler.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1968 The Tigers trade left-hander Hank Aguirre to the Dodgers for a player to be named later, minor leaguer Fred Moulder. The All-Star southpaw, better known for being the worst hitter in major league history, will compile a .085 batting average during his 16-year major league career, striking out in an astounding 61% of his 388 at-bats. In his sole season with the Dodgers he appeared in 25 games, threw 39 innings, earned three saves and put up a .069 ERA.
  • 1974 The Indians trade Pedro Guerrero to Dodgers for pitcher Bruce Ellingsen. The 17 year-old infielder/outfielder will compile a .309 batting average and will be named to the All-Star team five times during his 11 seasons with the team.
  • 2008 Twenty minutes before their game, the Dodgers announce reliever Hong-Chih Kuo will start in place of Chad Billingsley, who in turn will be in the bullpen. The unusual move, made due to the threat of rain at the start of the contest, is also employed by the Giants with Merkin Valdez beginning the game on the mound and the announced starter, and eventual winner Tim Lincecum entering the game in the fourth inning.

Lineup:

Mookie and JT get the day off, CT3 gets a start as does Edwin Rios.

Dec 15

Too early to talk lineups?

Adam Weinrib of Fansided doesn’t think so. He has the usual suspects in the usual places, although handing left field to A.J. Pollock and leaving Chris Taylor on the bench might be premature.

Betts, RF
Seager, SS
Turner, 3B
Muncy, 1B
Smith, C
Bellinger, CF
Pollock, LF
Lux, 2B

I agree with Lux at second assuming the season is close to a normal length, which it just might be if the vaccines for COVID-19 really do pan out as effectively as the trials seem to have shown. Lux needs more time to show whether his prospect status was warranted; his 2020 season was horrible (19 Games Played, .175 BA, 3 HR, 8 RBI). He was late reporting to the second training camp before the abbreviated season began and never rounded into the form he’d shown as a September callup in 2019.

This assumes that Turner is awarded a new contract, that Kiké Hernández finds a new home where he can play regularly, and that Taylor and Pederson don’t object to a lot of bench time.

Oct 21

World Series Game Two, 2020

Rays vs Dodgers, 5:00 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The visiting Rays send 2018 Cy Young winner LHP Blake Snell to the mound to face what’s expected to be a parade of Dodger relievers beginning with RHP Tony Gonsolin. Snell is 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA this postseason; he hasn’t gone past the fifth inning since the Rays’ Wild Card series against the Blue Jays. Gonsolin started and lost Game Two of the NLCS, giving up five runs on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. Entering in the second inning of Game Seven of that series in relief of Dustin May he went two innings, giving up two runs on two hits in a game the Dodgers subsequently won on Bellinger’s HR and Julio Urias’s brilliant three closing innings.

How was your day, Mookie Betts?

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2009 In Game 5 of the NLCS, the Phillies defeat the Dodgers, capturing their second straight pennant. Philadelphia, with their 10-4 victory at Citizens Bank Park, becomes the first National League team to repeat the feat since the Braves won consecutive flags in 1995-96.

Lineups:

Rays:

Dodgers:

Oct 18

NLCS Game Seven, 2020

Braves vs Dodgers, 5:15 PM PDT, TV: Fox, FS1

When the Braves send RHP Ian Anderson to the mound this evening he’ll be the sixth-youngest pitcher ever to start a postseason elimination game. He’s made three starts in the playoffs, going 15 2/3 innings without allowing a run, including four innings against the Dodgers in Game Two of this series. The Dodgers failed to take advantage of the five walks he issued during that outing and lost the game. It seems unlikely he’ll be that generous again, but if he is they’ve got to score those runners.

The Dodgers have not yet announced who’s gonna start, but Gonsolin seems to be the likely choice. He could go deep into the game or, if he falters, he could be pulled quickly. The Dodgers have several fairly well-rested arms in the bullpen, although they may be well-rested because they’re not entirely trusted. Who knows?

Update: In a surprise to me, RHP Dustin May is going to start for the Dodgers. He went two innings in the Dodgers’ 7-3 win in Game Five, starting the game and giving up three hits and two runs.

Please, Roberts, do not be tempted to use Clayton Kershaw on short rest. He is no longer the 22-year-old wunderkind of ten years ago. He’s a guy with 2,300 innings of major league baseball under his belt. Asking him to do anything in today’s game would be setting him up to fail in the postseason again, and he deserves better from his bosses.

The catch didn’t steal a homer, but it would have scored a run and put Ozuna on 2nd or 3rd. It was Betts’ reaction after he caught it that really amused me, though:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1977 In the Yankees’ 8-4 victory over the Dodgers in Game 6 of the Fall Classic, Reggie Jackson, who also homered in his last at-bat in the previous contest, hits three more home runs, each on the first pitch of the at-bat, giving the New York slugger three homers on three consecutive pitches, after drawing a base-on-balls in his first plate appearance. ‘Mr. October’s heroics in the Bronx ballpark assures the team of their twenty-first World Championship and first since 1962.

  • 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.

Lineups when available.

Braves:

Dodgers:

Sep 10

Game 45, 2020

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

RHP Dustin May (1-1, 2.88 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 8.44 ERA) takes the mound for just the second time since coming off the IL, where he’d been since August 9 with a mid-back strain. May seems to have developed a slurve to use when his sinker isn’t doing what he likes, MLB says. Bumgarner gave up two runs on three hits in four innings in his first post-injury start against the Giants.

If there are no fans allowed into the stadium anyway, I guess it doesn’t matter where the World Series and Championship Series games are held, although rewarding Texas Rangers ownership for extorting a new taxpayer-funded ball park sticks in my craw, although the team seems to have absorbed more than half the cost.

How is Charlie Steiner broadcasting the Dodgers’ games from home? Like this.

RHP Joe Kelly off IL and up, RHP Walker Buehler back on IL. Kelly’s five-game suspension begins tonight.

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.

No Twitter explanation of Mookie’s appearance at 2B, but maybe Joe and Orel or Rick and Charlie will know.

Update: He’s starting at second just to gain some game-level experience.

Betts, traditionally the starting right fielder, came up as a middle infielder but has played the outfield throughout his major league career. Thursday’s game, the finale of a three-game road series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, will mark Betts’ first start at second base since he played 14 games there with the Boston Red Sox in 2014. Betts also moved to second base from right field early in a game on Aug. 3, 2018.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Betts takes ground balls in the infield on a daily basis. A couple of weeks ago, the two talked about the unforeseen circumstances in a short playoff series that might prompt Roberts to pinch hit one of his outfielders in the early innings and might force Betts to play second base. Betts embraced the idea.

Sep 05

Game 41, 2020

Rockies at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet-RM, SPNLA

RHP Tony Gonsolin (0-0, 0.51 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while RHP Germán Márquez (2-5, 4.88 ERA) pitches for the Rockies. Gonsolin’s last start was only three innings, the shortest he’s gone all year, but it was a bullpen game in which Scott Alexander got credit for the win. Márquez is slumping; in his last three starts he’s given up 18 earned runs in 16 innings and the opponents are hitting a cool .348 against him.

Here are Pollock’s, Betts’ and Pederson’s late home runs in yesterday’s game:

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1908 Superbas southpaw Nap Rucker strikes out 14 Doves en route to tossing a no-hitter in the team’s 6-0 victory over Boston at Washington Park. The only runners to get on base off the talented left-handed redhead come as a result of three Brooklyn errors.
  • 1938 For the third time this season, Dodger catcher Babe Phelps breaks a bone in his throwing hand. Although the injuries will limit his playing time to only 66 games and 208 at-bats this season, the southpaw-swinging backstop will hit .308 and was named to the National League All-Star team, the first of three consecutive games he’ll play in the Mid-summer classic.
  • 1955 In an 11-4 win over the Phillies, Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe hits his seventh homer, establishing a National League record for home runs by a pitcher in a season. The victory is Newk’s 20th of the season.
  • 1978 On a night the Dodgers and Angels are scheduled to play at home on the same date, which is a rare occurrence, each team has their game rained out, another oddity in Los Angeles. The second time both clubs’ home contests will be washed out on the same day in the City of Angels will take place late in the season in 1986.
  • 1998 Barry Bonds sets a new National League mark, reaching base in 15 consecutive plate appearances. The Giants outfielder’s five singles, two doubles, two homers, and six walks during the streak break Dodger Pedro Guerrero’s mark of 14 established in 1983.

Lineup: