Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBC Bay Area, MLB.TV (free game of the day)
The Giants ask RHP Jeff Samardzija (9-14, 4.42 ERA) to keep the Dodgers and LHP Rich Hill (10-8, 3.60 ERA) from clinching the NL West title in tonight’s game.
Samardzija’s 14 losses are a career high (low?), but the Giants are 13-17 in his starts this year, which isn’t all that bad considering their overall W-L record. Hill pitched five innings of one-hit one-run ball against the Nationals his last time out but got lifted for a pinch hitter in hopes of adding some runs. That didn’t work, but the Dodgers won 3-2 anyway.
1925 Robins starter Burleigh Grimes accounts for seven outs in just three plate appearances in the team’s 3-2 loss to Chicago, a 12-inning game played at Cubs Park. The Brooklyn right-hander follows grounding into two double plays by hitting into a 6-4-3-2 triple play.
1926 At Ebbets Field, the aging 18-year veteran outfielder Zack Wheat hits his last homer as a Dodger, but severely pulls a muscle nearing second. The future Hall of Famer needs to rest nearly five minutes before completing his trip to home plate, making it the longest home run trot in major league history.
1947 On an off day, the Dodgers clinched the National League pennant when Chicago takes the nightcap of the twin bill against St. Louis. Although it is past midnight when the good news about their beloved team reaches the borough, Brooklynites begin to gather on Flatbush for an impromptu celebration.
1954 Karl Spooner, in his major league debut, blanks the Giants at Ebbets Field 3-0. The 23 year-old Dodger southpaw fans 15 batters, including six straight, recording the most strikeouts in a first appearance by a rookie.
1957 Duke Snider, with his second round-tripper in the Dodgers’ 7-3 victory over Philadelphia, hits his 40th home run, tying Ralph Kiner’s National League record of five consecutive seasons with forty or more homers. The Duke of Flatbush’s seventh-inning homer off future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts will prove to be the last one ever hit at Ebbets Field.
1976 Right-hander Don Sutton goes the distance to become a twenty-game winner for the first and last time when the Dodgers beat the Giants at Candlestick Park, 3-1. The future Hall of Famer will compile a 324-256 (.559) record during his 23-year career in the bigs.
1986 Dodger hurler Fernando Valenzuela (20-10) two-hits Houston en route to a 9-2 victory at the Astrodome. The 25 year-old southpaw becomes the first Mexican to win 20 games in the major leagues.
Lineup when available.
Taylor CF Seager SS Bellinger 1B Granderson RF Ethier LF Grandal C Utley 2B Forsythe 3B Hill P
The Dodgers send RHP Kenta Maeda (9-4, 4.09 ERA) to the mound in the Braves’ new ballpark. He’ll face a right-handed pitcher named Lucas Sims who’ll be making his MLB debut.
Maeda has had trouble getting past the fifth inning this season, doing so only three times in 16 starts. Sims had a 2.84 ERA in his last four starts at AAA Gwinnett.
This date in Dodgers’ history:
1906 After pitching 10.2 innings of no-hit ball, Harry McIntire yields a single to Pirates second baseman Claude Ritchey. The Dodgers and McIntire lose the game in the 13th on an unearned run, 1-0.
1924 Dazzy Vance strikes out seven consecutive batters to establish a major league record when the Brooklyn Robins defeat the Cubs at Ebbets Field, 4-0. The future Hall of Famer, who will compile a 28-6 record for the Brooks this season, will lead the National League in strikeouts with 262.
1957 Gil Hodges, in a 12-3 win over the Cubs, hits his 13th and last career grand slam in Brooklyn Dodger history. The first baseman’s bases-loaded shot off Dick Littlefield establishes a new National League record, previously shared by Rogers Hornsby and Ralph Kiner.
2011 After popping out in a pinch-hitting appearance, Craig Counsell remains without a hit in his last 45 at-bats, tying the longest single-season hitless streak by a position player in history, established by Brooklyn backstop Bill Bergen in 1909. The major league record is 0-for-70, established in 1970 by Bob Buhl, a pitcher who toiled with the Braves and Cubs that season.
2015 Clayton Kershaw strikes out Mike Trout looking with a wicked curveball, marking the first time that reigning MVPs have faced one another in a major league game. The interleague contest between the two LA teams ends with Dodger southpaw keeping the Angel outfielder 0-for-3 while hurling eight innings in the team’s 3-1 victory over the Halos at Chavez Ravine.
In non-Dodgers’ history of note, on this day in 1978 Pete Rose, making the last out when he strikes out on a Gene Garber change-up, goes 0-for-4, ending his 44-game hitting streak, one contest shy of breaking the National League record. The Reds third baseman has tied Willie Keeler’s 1897 National League record last night with a hit off future Hall of Famer Phil Niekro. Rose was very angry about Garber’s pitch selection afterward, as I recall.
The Cardinals’ RHP Michael Wacha (2-1, 2.74 ERA) will face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (3-2, 5.03 ERA) in the rubber game of the series.
In Wacha’s last start he went six innings and allowed four hits and no runs to the Giants. He’s gone into the sixth or longer in every start he’s made in 2017. He’s 1-2 with a 3.57 ERA against the Dodgers in four career starts. Maeda is coming off the 10-day DL for hamstring tightness, but in his last start prior to that he went 8 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on five hits to the Pirates. He’s faced the Cards only once in his career and got a win.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1919 Casey Stengel, traded by the Dodgers in the off-season to the Pirates, calls time, steps out of the batter’s box to give the razzing Ebbets Field fans the ‘bird’. The Pittsburgh right fielder doffs his hat, allowing a sparrow to fly out, much to the amazement and amusement of the fans.
2002 With four homers on Thursday (5/23), one on Friday (5/24), and two more on Saturday (5/25), Shawn Green becomes the first major leaguer to hit seven round-trippers in three games. The Dodger outfielder’s nine big flies in a week also breaks a National League record, established by Ralph Kiner with eight and tied by Ted Kluszewski and Nate Colbert.