Oct 23

WS Day Minus One

In his regular Dodgers Dugout column Houston Mitchell of the LA Times does a position-by-position comparison between the Dodgers and Astros, which I think is tilted a little toward his hometown team. But here’s what I found interesting in the column: a discussion of ticket pricing and a prescription for what to do about the secondary market.

There’s something wrong in the world when I can fly to Houston, stay overnight and buy a ticket for a World Series game there for cheaper than I can stay in L.A. and buy a ticket for a game here.

Places like StubHub are asking for $1,250 for a seat in the top deck. Unless you were the lucky ones to win the chance to buy tickets through the Dodgers.com lottery, there’s no way an average fan can attend a game. That’s a crime. I have kids to send to college. Am I supposed to tell them, “Sorry, no college for you so we can go to a World Series game?”

If I was the Dodgers, here’s what I would do:

1. Discover which Dodgers fans are selling their tickets through a secondary market for a jacked-up price and bar them from ever buying a postseason ticket again.

2. Buy up as many secondary tickets as I could and pull more names from the online lottery. Sell the tickets to those people.

I was curious and looked at StubHub; I discovered that the least-expensive ticket available for a game at Dodger Stadium was $950, and that was a week ago. I don’t know if Mitchell’s suggestion would work, but he’s definitely got a point. Of course, this isn’t new. I remember a Roger Angell column from 40 years ago in which he wrote of a conversation with a player in the Series who looked up in the stands and asked “where are all the people who were here all year,” meaning all the seats were now in the hands and fannies of corporations and the like, not the long-term fans.

Seager is healthy enough to play, they and he say. Also, Charlie Culberson kept the ball he caught for the final out of NLCS Game Four, but he hasn’t yet found a really good place to display it.

Here’s an interview with Orel Hershiser in which he insists that what he did in 1988 (and there’s a brief recap of the number of appearances he made in the postseason) could still be done by today’s athletes if needed, but lineups and bullpens are built differently now.

Sports Illustrated baseball writers predict the Series outcome.

Oct 20

ALCS Game Six, 2017

Yankees at Astros, 5:00 PM PT, TV: FS1

The Yankees have two games in which to win one, while for the Astros this is an elimination game. It’s a rematch of Game Two’s starting pitchers.

In Game Two, the Astros’ RHP Justin Verlander threw that most rare of things in this era, a complete game, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and striking out 13. His opponent will again be RHP Luis Severino, who was pulled from that game after just four innings “for precautionary reasons.” Before he left he’d given up just one run on two hits to the Astros.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1988 The Dodgers become World Champions when Orel Hershiser limits the opposition to four singles in Game 5 of the World Series and beats the A’s, 5-1. The right-hander, who also won Game 2, is named the Most Valuable Player of the Fall Classic.
  • 2004 After losing the first three games of the ALCS, the Red Sox win four consecutive games to win the American League pennant, beating the Yankees in the Bronx, 10-3. Johnny Damon’s two home runs, including a grand slam in the fourth, and Derek Lowe’s solid pitching performance help Boston to join the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders as the only teams in the history of professional sports to overcome a 3-0 series deficit to win a seven-game series.
Sep 19

Game 151, 2017

Dodgers at Phillies, 4:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-P

RHP Yu Darvish (9-12, 4.08 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and Aaron Nola (11-10, 3.60 ERA) pitches for the Phillies. Darvish has been inconsistent with the Dodgers, but in his last start he threw seven shutout innings and beat the Giants. Nola had a good start his last time out too, giving up one run on four hits over seven innings and getting a win against the Marlins.

The NFL Lions’ QB Matt Stafford and the Dodgers’ Kershaw have been friends since high school. Last night during Monday Night Football Stafford used Kershaw’s name as a signal for a play from scrimmage.

Today in Dodgers’ history: The site I usually get this from is down this morning. Instead, here’s a piece of history from 1988: On this day Orel Hershiser shut out the Astros 1-0 on four hits (the Dodgers only got three, but one was a home run by John Shelby in the seventh inning). This was his fourth consecutive shutout, and his streak hit 40 consecutive scoreless innings.

Oh look: it’s back up now.

  • 1935 The Cubs win their 16th consecutive game as they beat Carl Hubbell, completing a four-game sweep of the Giants. The mark is the most since the 1924 Dodgers won 15 straight games.
  • 1964 With two outs in the bottom of the 16th inning, Willie Davis, after singling, swiping second, and advancing to third on a wild pitch, steals home, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over Philadelphia. The fleet outfielder’s theft of the plate is in the latest frame in a National League game the feat has ever been accomplished and ties Hal Trosky’s major league record set in 1944.
  • 1973 Astros’ infielder Dave Campbell hits a first-inning two-run double against San Diego right-hander Clay Kirby to snap an 0-for-45 drought, tying a major league record set in 1909 by Bill Bergen, a catcher who played with Brooklyn. ‘Soup’, who will become a respected national baseball broadcaster, endured the futility while playing for three teams, combining a 17 at-bat hitless streak with the Padres and another 21 at-bat hitless streak for the Cardinals before hitting the two-bagger in his eighth at-bat with Houston.
  • 2000 A Dodger fan, in addition to other court-ordered restrictions, has been banned from attending home games in Los Angeles for 18 months. The irate patron threw coffee in the face of a Mets fan who was cheering a grand slam hit by New York’s catcher Todd Pratt.
  • 2014 LA’s Clayton Kershaw becomes the first 20-game winner of the season when the team routs Chicago at a windy Wrigley Field, 14-5. The 26 year-old southpaw, who has compiled a 20-3 (.870) record along with an ERA of 1.80. is the first Dodger hurler to reach the 20-win plateau twice since Claude Osteen accomplished the feat in 1969 and 1972.

Lineup:

Aug 29

Game 130, 2017

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, KTLA, FS-A

The Dodgers ask LHP Rich Hill (9-5, 3.32 ERA) to stop their two-game losing streak (horrors!). He’ll face the D-Backs’ RHP Zack Godley (5-7, 3.53 ERA).

Hill lost a perfect game, a no-hitter, a shutout and the game in the ninth and tenth innings his last time out. Godley has lost three straight starts despite giving up only two runs in two of them.

Doc and A-Gon are longtime friends and ex-roomies, which has helped the Dodgers.

Dodgers’ September Call-Ups: Who’s In, Who’s Out? Howard Cole makes predictions.

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.

Lineup when available.

Oct 15

NLCS Game One, 2016

Dodgers at Cubs, 5:00PM PT, TV: FS1

I’m pretty sure when RHP Kenta Maeda (16-11, 3.48 ERA) signed with the Dodgers last off-season he didn’t expect to be starting Game One of the NLCS. Nonetheless, that’s what he’s doing. He’ll face LHP Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA) of the Cubs. Yes, another lefty. Maeda started Game Three against the Nats in the NLDS and gave up four runs on five hits in three innings. Lester started Game One of the other NLDS against the Giants and threw eight shutout innings to pick up the win.

We all know the history here: the Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since 1988, but that pales in comparison to the Cubs, who haven’t made it to a Series since 1945 and haven’t won one since 1908. What more needs to be said?

In case you missed it, yesterday Orel Hershiser posted this:

I don’t know why Twitter isn’t posting those in normal format. Click the Pic link to see the Dodgers’ roster for the NLCS.

Someone post the lineup when it’s up; I’ll be dining out at game time (what was the committee thinking)?

Jul 16

Game 93, 2016

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 2.70 ERA) makes his third start of the season. He’s gone five innings in each of his first two since recovering and rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery. His opponent is Archie Bradley (3-5, 4.64 ERA), who lost to the Dodgers in his only start against them this season on June 14 in Phoenix, pitching four scoreless innings then giving up five runs in the next 1 2/3 innings.

Fun fact: Since the start of 2013, the Dodgers own the best record in baseball after the All-Star break at 126-79 entering Friday. Next was Kansas City at 127-87.

Trayce Thompson goes to the 15-day DL with lower back irritation, Zach Walters comes up. Ethier’s leg isn’t healed, but he’s going to up his workout level anyway. From Dave Roberts, this statement sounds ominous:

“Because it’s not healed completely, we really don’t have a timetable. It’ll be healed at some point, but this season to hope and expect it to be pain-free is something that’s maybe too optimistic. Andre wants to be back and he’ll do whatever he can to be back.”

Lineup:

Late addition: Tim Kurkjian screws up on SportsCenter, picks Orel Hershiser as his player to watch in the second half of the season.

Dec 09

Reboot

Jon revealed his new employment situation to me over the weekend and asked me if I wanted him to put a pointer in his post to this blog, and I said sure, after I congratulated him on what must be a dream job he never anticipated landing.

So here we all are. The winter meetings are beginning, Matt Kemp’s name may be on the trading block, the Dodgers may or may not be trying to acquire David Price from the Rays, they’ve already gotten Dan Haren on the free agency market, and looming over everything is getting Clayton Kershaw signed to a long-term deal.

Whoops. I forgot. They’ve also added Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra to their TV broadcasting team.

Chat away, Dodgers fans!