Jul 24

Game 2, 2020

Giants at Dodgers, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: NBCS BA, SPNLA

The visitors will start a pitcher, we can count on that. As of this morning they have not announced who it will be. The Dodgers will send Ross Stripling to the mound. “Chicken Strip” has become their seasoned swing man, rotating between the bullpen and the rotation. I’m not sure he enjoys that role, but it’s what he’s slotted as for the time being. He was 4-4 with a 3.47 ERA last year.

Mike Lupica of MLB.com writes about Mookie Betts’ first game as a Dodger.

Here are the highlights from Kiké Hernández’s big night:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1909 At Washington Park, the Superbas sweep a twin bill from the visiting Cardinals with identical 1-0 scores. Brooklyn’s southpaw Nap Rucker, who will finish second in the NL with 200 strikeouts, whiffs 16 Redbirds in one of the contests.
  • 1931 For the second time in ten days, Babe Herman hits for the cycle. The Dodger outfielder joins “Long John” Reilly and Bob Meusel as one of only three ‘tricyclists’ to have accomplished the feat of collecting a single, double, triple, and home run in one game three times.
  • 1965 Unbeknownst to him at the time, 75 year-old Mets skipper Casey Stengel, who compiled a managerial record of 1,905-1,842 with the Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, and Mets, manages his final baseball game, a 5-1 loss to Philadelphia at Shea Stadium. After leaving a party after midnight at Toots Shors, the ‘Old Perfesser’ loses his balance and fractures his left hip, resulting in his unexpected retirement.
  • 1968 ChiSox reliever Hoyt Wilhelm breaks Cy Young’s record when he makes his 907th career appearance, pitching a third of an inning in which he gives up a run on two hits to be on the short side of the team’s 3-2 loss to Oakland. The 45 year-old knuckleballer, who will retire in 1972 after pitching in 1,070 games, will finish his 21-year major league career with a 143-122 (.540) won-loss record and 228 saves, hurling for the Giants, Cardinals, Indians, Orioles, White Sox, Angels, Braves, Cubs, and Dodgers.
  • 1970 Tommy Agee steals home with two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning, giving the Mets a 2-1 walk-off victory over the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, the New York center fielder stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, before scoring the winning run with his thievery of home plate.
  • 1977 After his two-out foul pop-up is dropped by Mets’ right fielder Bruce Boisclair, Davey Lopes responds with a game-ending three-run home run off Bob Apodaca. The L.A. second baseman’s ninth-inning dramatics provide the Dodgers with a 5-3 win and spoil the opportunity for a win for Nino Espinosa, who left the game needing just one more out for a complete-game victory.
  • 1993 Following the game at Dodger Stadium, Vince Coleman tosses an M-80 from a car, resulting in reported injuries to three fans in the Chavez Ravine parking lot, including an 11 year-old boy and a two year-old girl. The Mets’ player was a passenger in the 1991 Jeep Cherokee driven by LA outfielder Eric Davis, who acknowledges Coleman flipped the firecracker out of his vehicle as a ‘joke,’ but not into a crowd of people.
  • 1993 In a 5-4 loss to the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, Mets right-hander Anthony Young extends his record losing streak to 27 games. The latest defeat is the result of the hard-luck hurler walking Dave Hansen in with the winning run with two outs in the 10th inning.
  • 2015 Michael Conforto becomes the 1,000th player in Mets history when he makes his major league debut, going 0-3 in the team’s 7-2 loss to the Dodgers at Citi Field. Tomorrow, the 24 year-old rookie left fielder will enjoy a 4-for-4 day at the plate when he will collect three singles and a double en route scoring four runs.

Lineup when available.

Jul 18

Opening day roster speculation

Who’s gonna be on it?

Pitchers: Pedro Báez, Walker Buehler, Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Clayton Kershaw, Ross Stripling, Blake Treinen, Julio Urías, Alex Wood, Brusdar Graterol and Dustin May

Starting depth could be an issue. After losing Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill (68 starts combined last year) over the offseason, the only veteran starters the Dodgers added were Price and Jimmy Nelson, but both are out for the season. That leaves Urías, Wood and youngsters May, Gonzalez and White to pick up those 68 starts.

Will Smith and Austin Barnes are the catchers. Infielders are Enrique Hernández, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Matt Beaty and Edwin Rios. Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Joc Pederson, A. J. Pollack and Chris Taylor are the outfielders.

Subject to change at any moment, of course.

Apr 21

A grim outlook

This is an extremely pessimistic look at the Dodgers’ prospects this season from SI’s Tom Verducci. It’s hard to argue with much of it.

No team stands to lose more from the loss or truncation of the 2020 Major League Baseball season due to the coronavirus than the Dodgers. They may have traded three prospects to Boston for few or no games from Mookie Betts and his $27 million salary. As the team that draws half a million more fans than any other franchise, they are losing the most gate revenue. As the deepest team in baseball, their depth may be less valuable in a shorter season. And as the clear favorites in the National League West, their road to the postseason is more difficult as more games come off the schedule.

If there is a season it’s going to be a short one. With the pitching depth they have they might be best served by going to a six-man rotation, considering the possibility of more doubleheaders (did the Dodgers play even one over the last few years? I don’t remember any). In fact, Verducci says, “The six-man rotation, including a plethora of openers, is likely to be standard procedure for teams in a shorter season with expanded rosters.”

Roberts thinks getting baseball back when the science allows could be therapeutic for hospital patients and health-care workers and for the nation as a whole:

“You know, my father would tell stories of the family being huddled around a radio to listen to a game or around the TV for the one game of the week the family could watch. Lord willing, we can get this season in, and we’re playing and it’s broadcast into our homes to get back that feeling from decades in the past of families huddled around the TV watching America’s pastime.

Feb 09

Betts deal finally done

Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan:

Catching prospect Connor Wong is headed to the Boston Red Sox alongside outfielder Alex Verdugo and shortstop Jeter Downs in the trade that will send outfielder Mookie Betts, starter David Price and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers, sources tell ESPN. Players have been notified.

Notice the Twins were left out of that deal. However, Passan also says

The trade that will send right-hander Kenta Maeda and cash to the Minnesota Twins for right-hander Brusdar Graterol and the 67th pick in the draft — which has around a $1 million slot value — has been agreed upon, source confirms to ESPN. @Ken_Rosenthal was first with the deal.

Here’s an interesting perspective:

The Dodgers turned Kyle Farmer, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood and Yasiel Puig into Josiah Gray and Jeter Downs

Jeter Downs just got them Mookie Betts, they kept Josiah Gray and they also brought back Alex Wood

Jul 27

Game 106, 2019

Dodgers at Nationals, 1:05 PM PDT, TV: MASN, SPNLA

LHP Clayton Kershaw (8-2, 2.84 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and RHP Joe Ross (0-2, 9.45 ERA) takes the mound for the Nationals. In his last start Kershaw went six scoreless innings and struck out ten, leaving with a six-run lead and then watching the bullpen give up all of it. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Matt Beaty hit a three-run HR in the 8th inning to give the Dodgers the eventual win. Ross will be making his second start of the year; his first was Sunday, July 21. He gave up three runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings in a spot start.

Here’s Turner’s 8th-inning three-run HR which gave the Dodgers a 4-1 lead:

Yesterday was the fourth consecutive day someone had a three-HR game.

The streak began with Robinson Cano of the New York Mets on Tuesday. Paul DeJong of the St. Louis Cardinals and Nelson Cruz of the Minnesota Twins followed up on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, before Betts went deep three times in the first four innings against Yankees starter James Paxton.

Prior to Thursday, it had never actually happened on three straight days in MLB history.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1918 In his major league debut, Robins (Dodgers) starter Harry Heitman, after giving up hits to four consecutive batters in a 22-7 loss to the Cardinals, is pulled from the Ebbets Field contest. The 21 year-old Brooklyn rookie right-hander will never hurl again in the big leagues, ending his career with an ERA of infinity.
  • 1959 The Continental League is formally announced, with franchises located in Denver, Houston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York City, and Toronto. The concept of the new major league is the brainchild of William Shea, an attorney who proposed the idea a year after the Giants and Dodgers left New York City to move to the West Coast.
  • 1966 Sandy Koufax strikes out 16 Phillies and Jim Bunning whiffs 12 Dodgers in the first 11 innings of a pitching duel between future Hall of Famers at Chavez Ravine. With both starters out of the game, Los Angeles beats Philadelphia, 2-1, thanks to an unearned run scored in the bottom of the twelfth inning.
  • 1998 Tony Womack of the Pirates establishes a new major league mark by not grounding out into a double play in 888 consecutive at-bats, breaking the record previously established by Dodger outfielder Pete Reiser in 1946.
  • 2005 Ryan Freel becomes the first player in the Reds’ 136-year history to steal five bases in a game, including two in the ninth that moves him to third base, where he scores the eventual winning run on Felipe Lopez’s sacrifice fly. The Cincinnati second baseman’s thievery contributes to the team’s 7-6 victory over the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. [Note: the Dodgers’ catcher was Jason Phillips, in his only season with the team.]

Lineup when available.