Jun 02

Game 60, 2019

Phillies at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: NBCSP, SPNLA

RHP Nick Pivetta (3-1, 7.71 ERA) goes for the Phillies while LHP Rich Hill (1-1, 2.73 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. Pivetta’s first two seasons in the bigs (with Philadelphia) were losing ones: he’s got an 18-25 career W-L record. He’s given up 20 earned runs in 23 1/3 innings so far this season and opponents are hitting a whopping .343 against him. Hill, on the other hand, has pitched 33 innings this year and given up just 10 earned runs while allowing opponents to hit .242 against him.

Here’s young Mr. Smith’s walk-off HR from Saturday night:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1995 Hideo Nomo, limiting the Mets to one run on two hits in 8+ innings of work, picks up his first major league win, a 2-1 decision at Dodger Stadium. L.A. signed the 26 year-old former Japanese All-Star in the off-season.

In another game of note, in 2010 after retiring 26 consecutive Cleveland batters, Tigers starter Armando Galarraga appears to have hurled the season’s third perfect game when the throw from the first baseman to the pitcher, covering the bag, clearly beats the batter-runner for the final out. Umpire Jim Joyce emphatically calls Jason Donald safe. After seeing the replay, the first base arbiter tearfully admits his error, apologizing to the 28 year-old Venezuelan pitcher for his blown call.

Can that really have been nine years ago?

Lineup when available.


Jun 01

Game 59, 2019

Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: KTLA, MLBN (out-of-market only), NBCSP, SPNLA

The Fightin’ Phils ask LHP José Álvarez (0-1, 3.92 ERA) to make his first start of the season after 22 relief appearances, and he gets to face future Hall-of-Famer LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-0, 3.46 ERA) for his sins. Álvarez hasn’t gone longer than two innings all year, so don’t expect him to be around long. In contrast, Kershaw hasn’t gone less than six innings in any of his eight starts this season. The Phillies are the only team that has a winning record (5-3) against him.

Rich Hill is now MLB’s oldest pitcher and hopes to go a lot longer. Here’s something I hadn’t realized:

Because of his earlier injuries and his years as a reliever, he has thrown only 911⅔ major-league innings and 1,705 professional innings. Clayton Kershaw, eight years his junior, has thrown 2,148⅓ major-league innings and 2,397 professional innings.

“You think about the mileage on Kersh, who is 31 years old, versus Rich, who battled through independent ball and all that stuff and doesn’t have as many innings,” Stripling said. “That helps. Also, the fact that he went through that is probably what motivates him.”

Friday night’s home run barrage:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1955 Duke Snider blasts three home runs in the Dodgers’ 11-8 win over Milwaukee. Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, and Roy Campanella also go deep in the Ebbets Field’s contest, helping Brooklyn set a franchise record with six home runs.
  • 1962 In the nightcap of a twin bill at Shibe Park, Don Drysdale beats the Phillies for the 13th consecutive time, continuing a streak which started in 1958. The Dodger right-hander, however, will drop his next seven decisions against Philadelphia after today’s victory.
  • 1997 When Wilton Guerrero scurries to pick up pieces of his shattered bat after grounding out to start the game, home plate ump Steve Ripley becomes suspicious and discovers that the rookie used an altered bat. The Dodgers second baseman is immediately ejected from the game by crew chief Bruce Froemming, and the 21 year-old infielder will also receive an eight-day suspension and a $1,000 fine for his use of a corked bat.

Lineup when available.


May 28

Game 55, 2019

Mets at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SNY, SPNLA

It’ll be LHP Steven Matz (3-3, 3.63 ERA) for the Mets and LHP Rich Hill (1-1, 2.67 ERA) for the Dodgers. Matz had a horrific outing against the Phillies in which he gave up eight runs. Take that away and he’s been the Mets’ most consistent pitcher. He’s 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA over his last five starts. In Hill’s last two starts he’s given up one run and struck out 17 over 12 innings.

Here are Bellinger’s highlights from yesterday’s game:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1957 Walter O’Malley and Horace Stoneham are given permission by the National League to negotiate deals with cities on the West Coast, with the proviso that the future location of their respective clubs, the Dodgers and the Giants, be known by October 1. The Brooklyn and New York owners both deny there is any significance to the unanimous vote other than being given an opportunity to explore all the available options for their possible relocation of their clubs.
  • 1969 The day after he becomes a father, Randy Hundley hits a grand slam and a double, driving in five runs in Chicago’s 9-8 victory over San Francisco at Candlestick Park. The eight-pound, four-ounce baby boy named Todd will follow in his dad’s footsteps, becoming a major league catcher, receiving for the Mets, Dodgers, and the Cubs.
  • 1989 With runners on second and third, no outs, and the Mets and Dodgers tied at 3-3 in the 12th inning, home plate umpire Bob Davidson calls a balk against Roger McDowell which scores the winning run in the Chavez Ravine contest. Dave Anderson is waved home when the New York reliever fails to pause and make a discernible stop.
  • 2001 In an 11-inning slugfest with Colorado, LA catcher Paul Lo Duca goes 6-for-6 in the team’s 11-10 victory at Dodger Stadium. The backstop’s five singles and a three-run homer tie a National League record for hits in an extra-inning game.
  • 2011 The game between Los Angeles and Florida continues as fans in a section of the upper deck seats at Dodger Stadium are evacuated due to a small fire in a nearby storage area. With plumes of smoke visible coming from the top level of the ballpark on the first base side, the crowd is informed by the public address announcer that it will not be necessary to evacuate the entire stadium.

Here are a whole mess of links to stories about Bill Buckner, many of which try to go beyond the events of 1986. Looking at the play-by-play, that game shouldn’t have gotten to the point it did. Schiraldi got two quick outs with the Sox ahead 5-3 and couldn’t get the third, allowing a pinch-hit single by Gary Carter, another single by Kevin Mitchell, and still another by Ray Knight. Then, with the Sox still leading 5-4, Stanley came in and wild-pitched Mitchell in to tie the game. It was at that point that Mookie Wilson hit the ground ball Buckner muffed.

Lineup when available.


May 22

Game 50, 2019

Dodgers at Rays, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: Fox Sports Sun, SPNLA

The Dodgers send LHP Rich Hill (1-1, 3.00 ERA) to the mound to face RHP Ryne Stanek (0-1, 3.70 ERA). Hill’s last start was brilliant: he retired the first ten batters, gave up two hits over six innings and struck out ten. Stanek has filled the Rays new role of “Opener” to perfection, but it sure looks weird in the stats: 12 starts, 24 1/3 innings. His last outing wasn’t good, though: he gave up three runs in 1/3 of an inning against the Yankees.

Sports Illustrated’s Jon Tayler writes about Bellinger’s assault on .400.

In writing about the challenge of hitting .400, Miller noted that the ideal candidate would virtually never strike out, hit a ton of homers, and maintain a high BABIP. That’s a hard combo to find: Power hitters invariably strike out a lot, and high-contact/low-strikeout guys often don’t hit for much power. But in Bellinger, this mythical player actually exists—or at least has for the last two months.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1998 The Mets trade Preston Wilson, Geoff Goetz, and Ed Yarnell to the Marlins for Mike Piazza. Florida had acquired the All-Star catcher last week from the Dodgers along with Todd Zeile in exchange for Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios.
  • 1999 Mark McGwire becomes the third player to launch a ball out of Dodger Stadium when one of his two home runs travels 483 feet in the Cardinals’ 10-7 victory at Chavez Ravine. The slugging first baseman joins Willie Stargell, who accomplished the feat twice in 1969 and 1973, and Mike Piazza, whose Ruthian blast cleared the ballpark two seasons ago.

Lineup when available.


May 17

Game 46, 2019

Dodgers at Reds, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: FS-O, SPNLA

LHP Rich Hill (0-1, 4.20 ERA) was pushed back from the Padres’ series in order to face the lefty-dominant Reds for this reason: lefties are hitting .445 OPS against him while righties are at 1.069 OPS. The Reds give the ball to RHP Anthony DeSclafani (2-1, 4.17 ERA), whose first two outings in May were strong but whose last start was short (4 innings) and unpleasant (eight hits, four runs).

The Dodgers’ management and catchers seem to be frustrated by Kenley Jansen’s insistence on throwing a cutter which isn’t as effective as it once was while his slider has been very effective indeed.

Jansen, 31, has already surrendered as many runs this season as he did in 2017, when he used his signature cutter 85 percent of the time to great success. He is using it just as often in 2019, but the pitch is no longer as dominant.

[snip]

This season, hitters have slugged better than .500 against it, more than two hundred points greater than in 2017. Yet after Tuesday’s save, he had thrown the cutter roughly 300 times this season, and he had thrown the slider only 22 times. Hitters had swung at it 13 times and missed it six times. They had not registered a hit against it.

[snip]

“Kenley obviously knows what he wants to do,” Roberts said. “He can be stubborn at times. He can be convicted at times. We’ve gotta work things out, as far as what we’re trying to do to get Kenley and the catchers on the same page.”

That page, Roberts allowed, covers how best to attack hitters.

“I think that, right now, he can do some different things,” Roberts said.

Which team’s uniforms are the best? MLB polled 85 players and got a tie at the top: the Dodgers and Yankees each received 10 votes.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 At Forbes Field, Hank Greenberg asks Jackie Robinson if the Dodger infielder was hurt in a collision with him at first base earlier in the game and then tells the embattled Brooklyn rookie, “Stick in there. You’re doing fine. Keep your chin up.” Jackie will remark to the writers a few days later that his “diamond hero” is Hank Greenberg, knowing that the Pirates’ first baseman, who due to the bigotry endured as a Jew, can appreciate his difficulty of facing racial injustice every day as the first black player in the major leagues this century.
  • 1978 Pinch-hitting for Davey Lopes in the Los Angeles 10-1 rout of the Pirates, Lee Lacy goes deep in the bottom of the eighth inning off Will McEnaney at Dodger Stadium. The utility player becomes the first player in major league history to homer in three consecutive at-bats as a pinch hitter.
  • 1992 Using only 21 dates, the Blue Jays reach the one-million mark in attendance sooner than any team in major league history. The 1991 Blue Jays and the 1981 Dodgers shared the previous record.

Lineup when available.


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.


May 04

Game 35, 2019

Dodgers at Padres, 5:40 PM PDT, TV: FSSD, SPNLA

LHP Rich Hill (0-0, 1.50 ERA) makes his second start of the season for the Dodgers, while LHP Joey Lucchesi (3-2, 4.94 ERA) goes for the Padres. In Hill’s first start he went six innings, struck out six, walked none and gave up one earned run. This season Lucchesi has had outings in which he’s given up seven, five and five runs in a total of fifteen innings. Last year he gave up 13 runs in 12 2/3 innings while making three starts against the Dodgers. Oddly, one of his starts against them was last year on this date when the two teams met in Monterrey, Mexico.

Sad news about The Bison: The Reds released him today. He was hitting .200 with one HR and five RBI for Cincinnati and was on the 10-day IL. I suspect he’ll get picked up by an AL team looking for a DH at some point this year.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 A SRO crowd attends the first-ever major league game played on a Sunday in Brooklyn. The Ebbets Field contest, in which the Dodgers beat the Braves, 6-2, was made possible when the New York Legislature passed the Sunday Baseball Bill into law.
  • 1966 In a 6-1 victory over L.A. at Candlestick Park, Willie Mays becomes the all-time National League home run leader when he strokes his 512th career round-tripper off Dodger starter Claude Osteen. The San Francisco center fielder passes another Giant, breaking the mark established by Mel Ott in 1946.
  • 1976 Illinois state Rep. Eugene F. Schlickman, co-author of the House of Representative Resolution 747 declaring today as Rick Monday Day, will be in attendance when Los Angeles vice president and GM Al Campanis presents the Cub outfielder with the flag he saved that was about to burned on the field at Dodger Stadium. Last month, the former Marine reservist, in a game played in Los Angeles, ran in from his position, swiping the ‘Stars and Stripes’ away from a father and a son, who were intent on setting it afire.
  • 2009 With their 7-2 win over Arizona, the Dodgers establish a National League record for consecutive victories to open a season at home. Their 11-0 start surpasses the NL mark shared by the 1918 Giants, 1970 Cubs, and 1983 Atlanta Braves, and is one shy of the major-league record set by the Tigers in 1911.

Lineup when available.


Bellinger separated his shoulder in last night’s game and is day-to-day.

Apr 28

Game 30, 2019

Pirates at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet-PIT, SPNLA

RHP Trevor Williams (1-1, 2.59 ERA) goes for the Pirates while LHP Rich Hill makes his first appearance of the season for the Dodgers. Williams is like Musgrove in that every start he’s made in 2019 has been a quality one, and in fact he’s got a 1.67 ERA for his last 18 starts. Hill strained a knee in Spring Training and has been rehabbing ever since. The Dodgers think he’s built up enough arm strength to go six innings. He’ll be pitching to Russell Martin, who’s coming off the IL after recovering from lower back inflammation. The Dodgers sent Rocky Gale back to OKC.

Kershaw thinks he’s Superman sometimes, and maybe he’s right:


Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1922 At Ebbets Field, Lee King drives in seven runs in the Phillies’ 10-7 win over the Robins. The Philadelphia outfielder will collect a total of only 15 RBIs this season playing with Philadelphia and the Giants.
  • 2012 Bryce Harper makes his much-anticipated debut in the Nationals’ 4-3 loss to Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine. The 19 year-old rookie center fielder, who drives in the potential go-ahead run in the ninth inning with a sacrifice fly, doubles in the top of the seventh off Chad Billingsley for his first major league hit.

Lineup when available.


Apr 25

Game 27, 2019

Dodgers at Cubs, 11:10 AM PDT, TV: NBCSCH, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

RHP Ross Stripling (1-1, 3.07 ERA) climbs the hill for the Dodgers and the Cubs trot out veteran lefty Jon Lester (1-0, 2.57 ERA) in his return from the IL, where he’s been since April 8 with a strained hamstring. This will be Stripling’s sixth and possibly last start for a while, as Rich Hill is coming off the IL and will make his first start of the year on Sunday.

The Dodgers are 7-9 against the NL Central Division. They are 3-0 against the Reds, 4-3 against the Brewers, 0-4 against the Cardinals and 0-2 against the Cubs with one game to go in this series.

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1937 Cliff Melton becomes the first rookie to fan at least 10 batters in his major league debut, finishing with 13 strikeouts in a complete-game loss to the Braves at the Polo Grounds. The 25 year-old southpaw, who loses the 3-1 contest due to the poor defense of the Giants in the ninth inning, will hold the rookie record for K’s in his debut until Dodger freshman Karl Spooner whiffs 15 batters in his first major league start in 1954.
  • 1958 In front of 60,635 fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Dodgers, who beat St. Louis, 5-2, set a National League record for the largest crowd to attend a night game during the regular season. The mark will be broken next season when 61,552 fans show up on Opening Night at the Coliseum to watch their team defeat the Redbirds again.
  • 1967 Jim Lefebvre commits three errors in the fourth frame, paving the way for the Braves’ 7-1 victory at Dodger Stadium. The Los Angeles third baseman commits a fourth error, booting Hank Aaron’s grounder in the top of the ninth inning.
  • 1975 LA hurler Andy Messersmith strokes three doubles at Candlestick Park. The trio of two-baggers contributes to the Dodgers’ 6-5 victory over San Francisco with the right-hander scoring two runs and driving in another en route to his victory.
  • 1976 During the fourth inning of the game being played at Dodger Stadium, Rick Monday becomes a national hero when he takes away an American Flag about to be set on fire by the two trespassers (a father and son) in the outfield. The Cubs’ 30 year-old fly chaser, who served six years in the Marine Reserves, will be presented the flag a month later in a pregame ceremony at Wrigley Field by L.A. executive Al Campanis as a gesture of patriotic thanks.

  • 1995 The 257-day strike ends when the Dodgers beat the Marlins 8-7. The work stoppage caused last season to end early, forced the cancellation of the World Series, and delayed the opening of this season.

Lineup when available.


Apr 12

Game 15, 2019

Brewers at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: FSWI, KTLA, SPNLA

RHP Corbin Burnes (0-1, 9.90 ERA) goes for the visiting Brewers while LHP Julio Urías (0-0, 3.12 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. In his first two starts (and first MLB starts) Burnes has given up three home runs in each game. He was 7-0 as a reliever for the Brew Crew last year, so this is probably an aberration. Urías only went 3 2/3 innings in his last start against the Rockies but was rescued by the Dodgers’ offense and got no decision.

Rich Hill says

he felt great after throwing his simulated game today. He said he didn’t feel any problem with the knee. “Good step in the right direction.”

On this day in Dodgers history:

  • 1906 At Brooklyn’s Washington Park, Boston Beaneater rookie Johnny Bates becomes the first modern player to homer in his first major league at-bat. The 23 year-old outfielder connects off Harry McIntire in the top of the second inning in the team’s 2-0 Opening Day victory over the Superbas.
  • 1962 Pete Richert, making his major league debut, comes out of the bullpen and strikes out the first six batter he faces, a major league record. The rookie southpaw fans four in the third inning in LA’s 11-7 comeback victory over the Reds at Dodger Stadium.
  • 1976 The game against the Padres is rained out at Dodger Stadium for only the second time in the 14-year history of the ballpark. The washout ends a streak started in April 1967, covering a span of 724 straight contests, with subsequent postponements coming much sooner when inclement weather cancels two consecutive home dates in September.

Lineup: