Oct 26

Game Four, 2019 World Series

Astros at Nationals, 5:07 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The Astros’ RHP Jose Urquidy hasn’t made a start since September 27 but is asked to do so tonight with his team down 2-1 in the Series. He’ll face LHP Patrick Corbin of the Nats. Corbin has made two postseason starts and four relief appearances this year, posting a 1-2 record with a 6.91 ERA.

Astros lineup:

Nationals lineup:

Oct 22

Game One, 2019 World Series

Nationals at Astros, 5:00 PM PDT, TV: Fox

On paper this is a starting pitcher’s series like we haven’t seen in quite a while. Each team’s rotation has three excellent starters: Verlander, Cole and Greinke for the Astros and Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin for the Nats.

All six of those starters performed admirably this season. In fact, they were all top 20 in ERA among qualified pitchers: Cole was third, Verlander fourth, Scherzer eighth, Greinke ninth, Corbin 13th and Strasburg 16th. It’s the first World Series since 1945 to feature six of the top 20 pitchers in ERA, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

[snip]

That’s when the Tigers, with Hal Newhouser (1st) and Dizzy Trout (T-10th), faced the Cubs, who had Claude Passeau (4th), Paul Derringer (T-10th), Hank Wyse (T-15th) and Ray Prim (T-15th).

Game One will feature RHP Max Scherzer for the Nationals and RHP Gerrit Cole for the Astros. Scherzer took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his last start, Game Two of the NLCS against the Cardinals. Cole has won all three of his postseason starts, giving up ten hits and one run in 22 2/3 innings.

Nationals lineup:

Astros lineup:

Oct 11

NLCS 2019

Game One, Nationals at Cardinals, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: TBS

RHP Aníbal Sánchez goes for the Nats while RHP Miles Mikolas pitches for the Cards.

Game Two, Nationals at Cardinals, 1:08 PM PDT, TV: TBS

Two veteran righties take the mound in this game: the Nationals’ Max Scherzer and the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright. Scherzer went seven innings in Game Four of the NLDS, giving up just one run. Wainwright pitched Game Three of the other side of the NLDS, giving his team 7 2/3 innings of scoreless ball.

Game Three, Cardinals at Nationals, 4:38 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Cardinals ask their second-half ace RHP Jack Flaherty to stop the Nationals’ express. The Nats counter with RHP Stephen Strasburg. Flaherty threw six innings of one-run ball in the Cards’ Game Five blowout of the Braves. Strasburg gave up two early home runs to the Dodgers in the Nationals’ own Game Five, but gave them no more in six innings.

Game Four, Cardinals at Nationals, 5:05 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Nationals are on the verge of a sweep, leading the series 3-0. Tonight they’ll pitch LHP Patrick Corbin, who started one game in the NLDS and relieved in two others against the Dodgers. The Cardinals hand the fate of their season to RHP Dakota Hudson, who went 4 2/3 innings in Game Four of their series against the Braves, giving up four runs (only one earned).

Oct 03

NLDS Games One, 2019

Here’s what happened on this date in baseball history. There were several bad things for the Dodgers (Bobby Thomson), but also a couple of good ones.

Both games are on the TBS cable channel.

The early game: Cardinals at Braves, 2:02 PM PDT

RHP Miles Mikolas goes for the Cards, while Dallas Keuchel goes for the Braves. This will be Mikolas’ first postseason appearance; it will be Keuchel’s 11th. Here’s MLB’s position-by-position comparison of the two teams. The net result? A very slight edge to the Braves. USA Today goes the other way and picks the Cardinals in five games.

Cardinals’ lineup:

Braves’ lineup:

The late game: Nationals at Dodgers, 5:37 PM PDT

LHP Patrick Corbin makes the first postseason start of his career, but he’s not unfamiliar with the Dodgers. He’s made 21 lifetime appearances (19 starts) against them including a seven-inning scoreless outing in May and has a 3.36 ERA to show for it. RHP Walker Buehler has made four postseason starts, all last year. He started Game Seven of the NLCS against the Brewers and then went seven scoreless innings against the Red Sox in Game Three of the World Series.

Here’s MLB’s position-by-position analysis of the two teams. MLB gives the Dodgers a slight edge. USA Today agrees, picking the Dodgers in four games.

Nationals’ lineup:

Dodgers’ lineup:

May 09

Game 40, 2019

Nationals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: MASN, SPNLA

LHP Patrick Corbin (2-1, 3.71 ERA) makes his first start against the Dodgers as a member of the Nats. As a Diamondback last season he was 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in 23 1/3 innings against them. His opponent will be LHP Rich Hill, (0-0, 3.60 ERA), who’ll be making just his third start. He was sharp in his first one against the Pirates but went only four innings in the second start against the Padres, giving up three runs on two HRs by Manny Machado.

Here is the latest speculation about free agent Craig Kimbrel. The Dodgers could see a need for him if Kenley Jansen can’t stop giving up HRs.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 Philadelphia manager Ben Chapman, who admits he had been ‘kinda loud’ in leading his team in verbally abusing Jackie Robinson with racial slurs during yesterday’s game, sends word to the Brooklyn clubhouse that he would like to make amends by posing with the Dodger first baseman for the newspaper photographers. The orchestrated gesture, which Robinson agrees to, admitting later that is one of the hardest things he ever had to make himself do, is prompted by the bad press created by the Phillies manager’s intolerance and the wrath of Commissioner Chandler.

Also on this day: In 2015 with runners on second and third, the Pirates turn the first recorded 4-5-4 triple play in baseball history, recording all three outs entirely on the left side of the infield. The oddity occurs when Yadier Molina lines out to second baseman Neil Walker (1), who throws to third baseman Jung Ho Kang to double up Jhonny Peralta (2), who had strayed too far off the third, and then fields the third baseman’s return throw to triple up Jason Heywood at second base (3).

Lineup when available.


Sep 01

Game 136, 2018

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

The visiting D-Backs send Patrick Corbin (10-5, 3.15 ERA) to the mound today. He’ll face the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, (6-5, 2.39 ERA). Corbin has made five straight quality starts and has gone 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA over that stretch. In three starts against the Dodgers this year he’s 1-0 with a 0.98 ERA; the Dodgers are hitting an anemic .115 in those games. Kershaw has made eight consecutive starts in which he’s given up fewer than three earned runs and has gone seven starts since his last loss. Moreover, he’s only given up three HRs since the All Star break. (Side note: take a look at the picture of Corbin at the link above: his face looks a lot like Greg Maddux to me. He should have such a career!)

The Dodgers acquired David Freese from the Pirates for minor leaguer Jesus Manuel Valdez.

Also, “Solo HRs are Us” should be the Dodgers’ motto this season. Fully 69% of their dingers have come with no one on base.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1890 On Labor Day at Brooklyn’s Washington Park, the Bridegrooms, later to be known as the Dodgers, win all three games against Pittsburgh in the first tripleheader ever played. The home team sweeps the visiting Alleghenys, who will be renamed the Pirates next season, 10-9, 3-2, and 8-4.
  • 1953 The Cardinals tie a major league mark, hitting five homers in a 12-5 loss to Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. The solo shots hit by Stan Musial, Harry Elliot, Rip Repulski, and Steve Bilko (2), all off starter Preacher Roe, aren’t enough to offset the Dodgers’ 17-hit attack, which includes six doubles but no round-trippers.
  • 1969 At Dodger Stadium, Willie Davis ties the franchise record by hitting in 29 consecutive games with his second-inning single in LA’s 10-6 victory over New York. The mark was established by Zack Wheat in 1916.

Today in personal history: in 1973 George Foreman knocked out José “King” Roman at the 2-minute mark of the first round at the Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo. I was seated in the nosebleed seats, so far away when it ended we didn’t immediately have a clue it was over. I don’t think there were any big screen TVs showing the fight to those of us in the cheap seats at the time; that innovation came later.

Power shift has MLB managers’ pay in free fall, says Bob Nightengale.

Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch and Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who led their teams to the World Series a year ago, have contracts that expire after this season.

Lineup when available.


May 03

Game 31, 2018

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 12:40 PM PDT, TV: Facebook-only. If you’re on FB, navigate to MLB Live.

The Dodgers send LHP Alex Wood (0-3, 4.11 ERA) in search of his first win. He hasn’t pitched as badly as his record seems to indicate, but his velocity hasn’t gotten to the heights it reached last year. He’ll face the D-Backs’ LHP Patrick Corbin (4-0, 2.25 ERA), who set the Dodgers down brilliantly on April 4, going 7 1/3 innings while giving up just one hit and no runs.

Injury updates

Roberts said he expects outfielder Yasiel Puig, currently on the disabled list with contusions on his left hip and left ankle, to be activated Tuesday.

Second baseman Logan Forsythe, on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, is likely to begin a Minor League rehab assignment this weekend. But Roberts said he had “no idea” when Justin Turner (broken left wrist) would begin an assignment.

Reliever Tom Koehler, on the disabled list since Spring Training with a strained right shoulder, has started throwing, but he’s not close to a rehab assignment.

Roster moves:


Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 In a controversial move, Branch Rickey trades five Dodgers, including southerner Kirby Higbe, to the Pirates for five-foot, six-inch left-hand-hitting outfielder Al Gionfriddo and $100,000. Some believe ‘the Mahatma’ made the deal to send a message to the team about his commitment to breaking the color barrier and his support of Jackie Robinson, the first black to play in the major leagues this century. It’s a darned good move, considering that Gionfriddo made a game-saving catch of a DiMaggio fly ball in Game 6 of that fall’s World Series.

  • 2004 Similar to last season, the aging outfielder Rickey Henderson re-signs with the Atlantic League’s Bears, hoping for a shot of returning to the big leagues. The 45 year-old future Hall of Famer batted .339, hit eight home runs, drove in 33 runs, scored 52 runs, and stole nine bases for the Newark team last season before joining the Dodgers in July.
  • 2009 Defeating San Diego 2-1 in 10 innings, the Dodgers tie a franchise record, winning their ninth consecutive decision at home from the start of the season. The 1946 club also reeled off nine straight victories at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field at the beginning of the post-war campaign.

Lineup when available.


Apr 04

Game Seven, 2018

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 12:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, SPNLA

The Dodgers ask LHP Alex Wood to stop this mini-losing streak of two games. Wood pitched a masterful one-hitter over eight innings in his first outing this season, only to get no decision and watch the Dodgers lose in the ninth. He’ll face LHP Patrick Corbin (1-0, 3.18 ERA), who won his first outing on Opening Day, giving up two homers but no further runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1968 Due to today’s assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, most of the major league teams will decide to postpone their Opening Day games until the reverend’s funeral takes place in five days. Surprisingly, the Dodgers, at first, are the notable exception, even though the Phillies, their opponents on April 9th, say they will forfeit rather than play on the national day of mourning. [See below]
  • 2016 The Dodgers hand the Padres the worst Opening Day shutout loss since at least 1913, and most likely in the history of the game, blanking the Friars at PetCo Park, 15-0. The contest marked the managerial debut of both skippers with LA’s Dave Roberts and San Diego’s Padres Andy Green both piloting their first major league game.

So what did MLB do to acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder? Initially, not much. It took the Pirates, the most thoroughly integrated team in all of baseball, whose numbers included Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, Maury Wills, Donn Clendenon and Matty Alou, to make a stand and refuse to play on Monday, April 8, Opening Day. The Dodgers’ Walter O’Malley and Buzzie Bavasi were positively tone-deaf.

The last holdouts, the Dodgers, were due to host the Phillies in Los Angeles. Team owner Walter O’Malley, who was the club’s vice president in 1947 when the team signed Jackie Robinson, wanted to go ahead with the game. According to an Associated Press story, O’Malley figured King’s funeral would be over by the time his team took the field on the West Coast.

Dodgers general manager Buzzie Bavasi explained the club’s position to the press: “We are going to follow the schedule,” he said. “We would not play the game if the interment was not completely over. I’m not sure Mr. Giles [Warren Giles, president of the National League] has any jurisdiction in a case like this.”

I rarely agreed with anything Dick Young wrote in those days, but I can concur with this:

Dick Young was equally incredulous at the Dodgers’ strategy. “Teams in the East and Midwest, which would be playing during the funeral hours, should postpone their games,” he wrote, summarizing O’Malley’s and Eckert’s plan. “[But] teams in California, which would be opening an hour after the funeral had concluded, would play. It was as though someone was standing by the side of the bier with a stopwatch and a starter’s gun.”

The Phillies’ GM John Quinn announced they’d forfeit rather than play. O’Malley conferred with Quinn and Giles and finally agreed to postpone the game.

Lineup:


Jul 04

Game 85, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

This is a big series. The D-Backs are 2 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West, which at this stage of the 2017 season looks to be the class of the National League and provider of both Wild Card teams if it were to end today. The D-Backs send lefty Patrick Corbin (6-7, 4.76 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ lefty Clayton Kershaw (12-2, 2.32 ERA) in a twilight game.

Corbin faced the Dodgers on April 15 and did not do well. He gave up five runs over six innings and got the loss. On the other hand he’s gone 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA (eight earned runs in 24 1/3 innings) in his last four starts, including a five-hit, two run, six-inning outing against the Cardinals last Thursday. Kershaw went 8 1/3 innings on April 14 to beat the D-Backs, giving up one run on four hits.

Turner leads the NL in the Final Vote for the ASG, which continues through Thursday.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2006 Nomar Garciaparra ties the major league record for being hit by a pitch in a game as he is plunked three times by three different Diamondback pitchers in a 10-4 Dodger victory. The LA first baseman is the first National Leaguer to equal the mark, both literally and figuratively, since the 2000 season when Astros outfielder Richard Hidalgo got thwacked thrice in a game in April.

It’s the day in 1985 when the Mets and Braves played a 19-inning game which went until just before 4 a.m. the next day. After the 6 hours, 10 minutes game, the 1000 fans left in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium saw pre-dawn fireworks which awakened and frightened many of the ballpark’s neighbors. Probably infuriated quite a few, too.

This is also the day in 1939 when Lou Gehrig gave his farewell speech at Yankee Stadium.

Lineup when available.

Apr 15

Game 12, 2017

Wait a minute. After 11 games of the season Andrew Toles and Yasiel Puig lead the Dodgers in home runs with three each?

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Lefty Patrick Corbin (1-1, 1.80 ERA) goes for the D-Backs and righty Kenta Maeda (1-1, 6.30 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. In Corbin’s last appearance he went six scoreless innings and gave up just four hits against the Indians. Maeda hasn’t gotten past the fifth inning in either of his outings so far this season but got the win last time out despite giving up four runs.

Today’s big event won’t be the ball game, really. It will be the unveiling of a statue of Jackie Robinson at the Left Field Reserve Plaza entrance, where nearly 20% of all fans enter the stadium.

Jackie’s widow, Rachel, and children, Sharon and David, will attend the ceremony. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson will also be there, along with Dodgers icons Tommy Lasorda, Sandy Koufax, Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin.

Lineup when available.