Oct 07

NLDS Games Two, 2017

First game: Cubs at Nationals, 2:30 PM PT, TV: TBS

The visiting Cubs trot out veteran (133 2/3 playoff innings!) LHP Jon Lester (13-8, 4.33 ERA), who made two starts against the Nats this season and came away with no decisions but a 2.84 ERA. He’ll face LHP Gio Gonzalez (15-9, 2.86 ERA), who saw the Nationals just once this year; he gave up two hits and five walks over six innings and took the loss in June.

Second game: Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The D-Backs send LHP Robbie Ray (15-5, 2.89 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers, three days after pitching 2 1/3 innings of relief and making 34 pitches in the Wild Card game. He’ll face LHP Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32 ERA), who was 0-3 with a 5.03 ERA in four starts against the D-Backs this season. That ERA was skewed by one bad game in which they scored six runs in 3 2/3 innings against him.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1952 In the decisive Game 7, the Yankees beat the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 4-2, to win their fourth consecutive World Championship. Gil Hodges finishes the Fall Classic hitless in twenty-one at-bats, which had prompted some Brooklyn fans to gather at local churches asking for divine help for their beloved first baseman.
  • 1977 In Game 3 of the NLCS, the Dodgers rally for three runs with none on and two outs in the top of the ninth inning to take a one-run lead in their eventual 6-5 victory over the Phillies at Veterans Stadium. The game appeared to be over when LA’s Davey Lopes is picked off first base for the final out, but a throwing error by Gene Garber advances him to second base, from where he will score the decisive run on Bill Russell’s single.
  • 1978 In Game 4 of the NLCS, Ron Cey scores in the 10th inning on Bill Russell’s two-out game winning single, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Phillies and their second consecutive National League pennant. Cey, who walked after the first two batters were retired, advanced into scoring position when Garry Maddox misplayed Dusty Baker’s fly ball in center field.

  • 2001 Barry Bonds extends his major league record for home runs in a season to 73 as he drives a 3-2 first inning knuckleball off Dodger Dennis Springer over the right field fence. The blast also secures two more major league records for the Giants’ left fielder when he surpasses Babe Ruth (1920 – .847) with a .863 season slugging percentage and bests Mark McGwire (1998 – one HR every 7.27 AB) by homering in every 6.52 at-bats.
  • 2006 The Mets defeat Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, 9-5, to complete a three-game sweep in the NLDS. The Dodgers have won only one postseason game in 13 attempts since beating the A’s in the 1988 World Series.

Lineup when available.

Sep 27

Game 159, 2017

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD, ESPN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers are up three games in the win column over the Indians for the best record in baseball (and home field advantage through the playoffs and World Series if they get that far) with four games left to play.

The Padres send LHP Clayton Richard (8-14, 4.63 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (11-8, 3.50 ERA).

These pitchers have faced their respective opposing teams before this season:

Hill will be making his final tuneup ahead of a probable start in Game 3 of the NL Division Series. The southpaw is 2-0 in four starts vs. the Padres this season, owning 1.50 ERA to go along with 25 strikeouts. Richard is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts at Dodger Stadium this season. The southpaw is 3-4 with a 3.61 ERA over his last 11 starts.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1936 Replacing Johnny Mize, tossed by an ump for arguing, Cardinal rookie first baseman Walter Alston makes an error in handling two chances and strikes out in his only major league at-bat. ‘Smokey’ will, however, win seven pennants and four World Series in his 23-year Hall of Fame career as Dodger manager from 1954 to 1976.
  • 1951 Bill Sharman, recently called up from Fort Worth, is one of 15 Dodgers who are ejected by umpire Frank Dascoli for bench jockeying after a close call at home plate. The future basketball Hall of Famer will never play in the big leagues, and thus he will become the only player to be ejected from a major league game without ever appearing in one.
  • 1960 Ryne Duren makes his first start in two years memorable when he strikes out the first five batters he faces in the Yankees’ 5-1 victory over Washington. The feat ties a modern major league record shared by Lefty Gomez (Yankees), Dazzy Vance (Dodgers), and Walter Johnson (Senators).
  • 1961 Sandy Koufax breaks the National League mark for strikeouts in a season, surpassing Christy Mathewson’s mark of 267 established in 1903. Unlike the turmoil caused by commissioner Ford Frick’s edict of having to hit 61 homers by the 154th game in the extended 162-game schedule to break Babe Ruth’s single season home run record, little is made that the Dodgers southpaw’s 268th punch-out occurs in the 151st game of the season, compared to the 142-game sked played early in the century.
  • 1964 The Houston Colt .45’s play their final game in Colt Stadium, the team’s home ballpark since joining the National League in 1962. The future Astros beat the Dodgers in the 12th inning, 1-0, when Jimmy Wynn’s single plates Bob Aspromonte.
  • 1993 In a 7-3 victory over the Dodgers, Cubs’ reliever Randy Myers becomes the first National League pitcher to record 50 saves in a season.
  • 1993 Mike Piazza, who broke the major league rookie record for home runs by a catcher earlier in the month, sets another mark for round-trippers when he hits his 34th, surpassing the previous L.A. Dodger mark shared by Steve Garvey (1977) and Pedro Guerrero (1985). Duke Snider established the franchise record with 43 homers playing with Brooklyn in 1956.
  • 2000 The United States Olympic team, managed by former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda, stuns the world, beating the much-favored Cuban team to win the country’s first gold medal in its national pastime. Ben Sheets ends Cuba’s 21-game Olympic winning streak with a 4-0 shutout.
  • 2011 After giving up five runs in the top of the tenth inning, the Diamondbacks score six times in the bottom of the frame in an amazing 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the Dodgers. Arizona infielder Ryan Roberts delivers the decisive blow in the Chase Field contest, a walk-off grand slam with two outs.

Adrian Gonzáles is done for the season, it appears.

Lineup when available.

Sep 22

Game 154, 2017

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.

Seager will get a few days off to rest his sore ankle, Roberts says.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 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.

Sep 16

Game 148, 2017

Dodgers at Nationals, 10:05 AM PT, TV: Fox

LHP Rich Hill (9-8, 3.67 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and RHP A.J. Cole (2-4, 4.30 ERA) pitches for the Nats.

Hill has lost his last four starts and since his near-perfect game in Pittsburgh he’s got a 6.14 ERA. Cole has never faced the Dodgers and hasn’t started for the Nationals since Sept. 4. He’s made a couple of relief appearances since then, giving up three runs in four innings.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1924 Cardinal first baseman Jim Bottomley goes 6-for-6, including two homers, and bats in a record twelve runs when the team beats the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 17-3. The previous mark of 11 RBIs in one game was established in 1892 by today’s opposing Dodger manager, Wilbert Robinson.
  • 1976 In the 11th inning at Veterans Stadium, Rick Joseph hits a walk-off grand slam in the Phillies’ 8-4 victory over the Dodgers. Two batters are walked intentionally by Ron Perranoski to face the weak hitting Philadelphia pinch hitter, who responds with his first career home run, which will be his only round-tripper this season.
  • 1988 The Reds’ Tom Browning pitches a perfect game against the Dodgers, striking out eight and allowing only eight balls to be hit out of the infield in his 1-0 victory. Over three starts, including the perfect game, he retires 40 consecutive batters – one shy of a major league record.

Lineup when available.

Sep 10

Game 143, 2017

Rockies at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, TBS (out-of-market only), ATT SportsNet-RM

The Rockies ask RHP Tyler Chatwood (6-12, 4.88 ERA) to complete the sweep, facing the Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (9-7, 3.67 ERA). The two teams meet at the end of the season for a final three-game series.

Chatwood has a 10.57 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers this season over 7 2/3 innings. He’s only started two games since July 15 when he injured his right calf in the first inning of a game against the Mets and he’s expected to throw between 60-70 pitches. Hill’s last start was a good one against the D-Backs on Monday when he gave up two runs on two hits over six innings. The bullpen collapsed and the Dodgers eventually lost that game 13-0 while giving up four home runs to J.D. Martinez.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1992 Cardinals vice chairman Fred Kuhlman tells reporters that a “security check” had revealed serious issues involving the two out-of-state investors, Vince Piazza and Vincent N. Tirendi, part of the six-man group trying to buy the Giants and move the franchise to Florida. The candid reply to the press will cost baseball more than $6 million to settle a suit that includes a letter of apology from acting Commissioner Bud Selig to Vince Piazza, whose son Mike started his major league career with the Dodgers nine days before his father’s rejection by the MLB owners.
  • 1974 Lou Brock ties and then breaks Maury Wills’s 12 year-old single season stolen base record with his 104th and 105th swipes. The Cardinal left fielder’s thievery against the Phillies doesn’t help when the Redbirds drop the Busch Stadium contest, 8-2.

Lineup when available.

Sep 04

Game 137, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 5:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (9-6, 3.71 ERA) tries to hold serve against the D-Backs, who send LHP Robbie Ray (11-5, 2.97 ERA) out to extend their ten-game winning streak.

Ray has been better on the road than at home this season. He’s got a 6-1 record in 11 road starts with a 1.49 ERA. He’s 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts against the Dodgers this year. Hill pitched against the D-Backs last Tuesday and was beaten up. He went 3 2/3 innings and gave up six runs on eight hits and a walk. At home this year he’s 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA.

The Dodgers promoted Charlie Culberson from OKC, reinstated Josh Fields from the 10-day DL and made room on the 40-man roster by moving Brandon McCarthy to the 60-day DL retroactive to July 21. (Side note: I’d love to play poker with rules that let me retroactively change a card I’d previously played!)

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1924 The Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) take a twin bill from the Braves, sweeping their fourth doubleheader in four consecutive days. Between September 1-3, the Brooks beat the Phillies six times.
  • 1966 The Dodgers become the first team to draw two million fans at home and two million on the road as 18,670 Crosley Field patrons watch Los Angeles beat their home town Reds, 8-6.
  • 1969 After thirty-one games, the third longest consecutive game hitting streak in National League history ends as Dodger Willie Davis is stopped by Dick Kelley and Gary Ross in a 3-0 loss to the Padres.

Lineup when available.

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.

Aug 23

Game 125, 2017

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-PIT

The Dodgers’ lefty Rich Hill (9-4, 3.54 ERA) tries to keep the team’s momentum going today when he faces the Pirates’ RHP Trevor Williams (5-6, 4.71 ERA). Hill got a five-inning win last week against the Tigers despite giving up a couple of runs in the first inning. He’s walked five in his last ten innings, but when he has runners on base in scoring position behind him he’s got a .172 expected average allowed — based on the quality of contact against him, plus his actual strikeouts, which ranks third lowest in either the NL or all of MLB (it’s not stated). Williams’ first big league start was against the Dodgers on May 8, and it was awful: he gave up eight runs (six earned) in three innings to them. His last start was similar: he gave up eight runs to the Cardinals in three-plus innings. In between, he’s thrown 97 innings and has a 3.62 ERA.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1958 Gil Hodges hits his 14th career grand slam in the Dodgers’ 10-1 victory over Milwaukee at LA Memorial Coliseum. The first baseman’s bases-full round-tripper establishes a new National League record, but is far fewer than Lou Gehrig’s major league mark of 23.
  • 1989 In the 11th frame of an eventual 22-inning 1-0 loss, the Expos’ Youppi! becomes the first mascot to be thrown out of a game when Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda complains to the umpires about the hairy orange giant’s behavior at Olympic Stadium. The L.A. skipper takes exception to the loud noise caused by the hairy creature’s running leap onto the visitors’ dugout before sneaking back into a front row seat.
  • 1989 In that same game, the second-longest shutout in big league history ends when Rick Dempsey hits a home run in the top of the 22nd inning, giving the Dodgers an eventual 1-0 victory over the Expos at Olympic Stadium. The Astros blanked the Mets for 24 frames en route to a 1-0 win at the Astrodome in 1968.
  • 2000 Team president Bob Graziano apologizes to a female couple who were asked to leave Dodger Stadium on August 8th because the two shared a kiss during a game. The pair felt the action of the eight security guards was discriminatory because the couple’s friends, a man and a woman, also kissed but were not ejected.
  • 2013 At a Dodger Stadium press conference, LA announces Vin Scully will continue to broadcast Dodgers’ games for his 65th consecutive season. Some of the historic moments the Hall of Fame broadcaster has called include Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, 19 no-hitters, including four thrown by Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, and Kirk Gibson’s dramatic walk-off in the 1988 Fall Classic.

Lineup when available.

Aug 18

Game 120, 2017

Dodgers at Tigers, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-D

On “University of Michigan” night in Detroit, it’s fitting that the Dodgers send former Michigan baseball standout lefty Rich Hill (8-4, 3.44 ERA) to the mound to face righty Jordan Zimmermann (7-9, 5.62 ERA).

Hill was the NL Pitcher of the Month for July but has yet to get a decision in August. He went six innings in his last start against the Padres while giving up two runs on five hits. He’s pitched at Comerica park seven times while in the AL, but only once as a starter. That was last year for Oakland before the Dodgers acquired him. Zimmermann gave up seven runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings in his last start but somehow avoided taking a loss. The Dodgers are familiar with him from his years with the Nationals. He was 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA against them.

The Dodgers activated Adrian Gonzalez and optioned Rob Segedin.

From Dodgers Insider

An entire baseball team could be fielded with the number of different Dodger players who’ve hit a walk-off this year. With Puig’s game-winning two-run double, he became the ninth different player to walk the Dodgers off with a win in their 10 walk-offs this season.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 Long time baseball executive Branch Rickey is named president of the newly formed Continental League. The 77 year-old former Dodger general manager is currently serving as an advisor with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • 1982 In the second longest game in franchise history, the Cubs lose to the Dodgers, 2-1. The Wrigley Field contest, which is played over two days, takes a Dusty Baker sacrifice fly and 21 innings to complete.

Lineup when available.

Adrian’s first day off the DL and he’s in the lineup at 1B, Seager gets to sit on the bench and think about hitting, Bellinger roams left field, and Taylor moves to shortstop for the day.

It just struck me how many guys on this team have names that begin with “C.” On days when Kershaw pitches and Utley plays 2B, the Dodgers could have 5/9 or nearly 56% of their lineup made up of them.

Aug 11

Game 115, 2017

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

LHP Clayton Richard (5-12, 5.17 ERA) goes for the Padres while LHP Rich Hill (8-4, 3.47 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. Richard hasn’t won in two months, but in his last start he went six innings while giving up four unearned runs, which for the Padres is seen as a positive sign. Hill had a weird start the last time he pitched, giving up three home runs in the first inning but only two more hits through the next five innings, after which he came out of the game. The Dodgers rallied to win, so Hill still hasn’t lost a game since June.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1946 Sweeping a doubleheader, the Phillies end the Dodgers’ 18-game winning streak, a major league record, in Philadelphia. The Dodgers hadn’t lost in the City of Brotherly Love since May 5, 1945.
  • 1950 Vern Bickford, throwing just 97 pitches, no-hits the Dodgers at Braves’ Field, 7-0. The 29 year-old right-hander hurls the first hitless game for Boston since Jim Tobin accomplished the feat, also against Brooklyn, on April 27, 1944.
  • 1951 WCBS-TV televises the first baseball game broadcast in color, a Braves’ 8-1 victory over the hometown Dodgers in the first game of a twin bill at Ebbets Field. Brooklyn’s announcers Red Barber and Connie Desmond provide the play-by-play commentary.
  • 2015 The Blue Jays, Rays, Marlins, Mets, Indians, Cubs, Royals, White Sox, Twins, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mariners, Padres, Dodgers, and Giants all win, making it the first time in the live ball era that every contest is won by the home team in a full slate of games. The unique occurrence became a reality when the two last games to finish end in extra innings, with the host clubs enjoying a walk-off victory.

Lineup when available.