May 11

Game 42, 2019

Nationals at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: KTLA, MASN 2, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

The redoubtable RHP Max Scherzer (1-4, 3.78 ERA) takes the hill to face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (4-0, 4.95 ERA). The Nats are 1-7 when Scherzer has started this season; they’re not scoring many runs when he pitches. Buehler’s first start of the year was horrible; he lasted just three innings and gave up five runs, leaving him with an ERA of 15.00. Every outing since has caused his ERA to drop. At this point in the season he’s having trouble the third time through the opponents’ batting order; they’re hitting .196 the first two times through and .409 the third.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1963 Sandy Koufax takes a perfect game into the eighth inning before walking Ed Bailey on a 3-and-2 pitch, but will finish the Dodger Stadium contest with the second of four career no-hitters, blanking the Giants, 8-0. The Los Angeles southpaw beats San Francisco ace Juan Marichal, who will also author a no-hitter next month.

Three years ago tonight’s starter had a history-making performance: In 2016 Max Scherzer ties a major league mark when he strikes out 20 batters in a nine-inning game, joining Roger Clemens (1986, 1996 Red Sox), Kerry Wood (1998 Cubs), and Randy Johnson (2001 Diamondbacks). The 31 year-old right-hander, who goes the distance in Washington’s 3-2 victory over the Tigers at Nationals Park, has an opportunity to establish a new record with two out in the ninth, but James McCann grounds into a force out at second base to end the contest.

Lineup when available.


Apr 20

Game 18, 2018

Nationals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, MASN 2

In a matchup of aces, the Nats send RHP Max Scherzer (3-1, 1.33 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-2, 1.73 ERA). USA Today’s Jorge Ortiz had a game story that’s more entertaining than I could write, so I’ll defer to him. He calls this a matchup between a dying breed of aces.

Scherzer and Kershaw cross paths as the only active three-time Cy Young winners, as well as top-five finishers in the ballot each of the last five seasons, credentials that will burnish their Hall of Fame cases. Of the 10 pitchers ever to claim three Cy Youngs, the only one eligible for the Hall without a plaque in Cooperstown is Roger Clemens, who has been dogged by accusations of steroid use.

Anybody hungry?


Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1999 A crowd of 37,317 fans enjoys a 3-2 victory over the Braves when LA surpasses the 100 million mark in attendance at Dodger Stadium. The ballpark opened in 1962, four seasons after the franchise moved from Brooklyn to the west coast.
  • 2011 Bud Selig announces MLB is taking over operations of the Dodgers because of concerns over team finances and the ability of Frank McCourt to run the franchise. Los Angeles is facing substantial debt payments, which the owner plans to meet by using funding from the club’s new $2.5 billion, 20-year media-rights deal with Fox Sports, but the Commissioner has withheld his approval of the agreement between the News Corp.’s media company and the team.
  • 2012 The Reds become the fifth major league team to record their 10,000th franchise victory with a 9-4 win over Chicago at Wrigley Field. Cincinnati joins the Giants, Cubs, Dodgers, Cardinals, and Braves in reaching the milestone.

Lineup:


Jan 07

Principled stand or an idiotic one?

The Hall of Fame election results will be announced tomorrow. The Dodgers’ MLB.com beat writer, Ken Gurnick, has a ballot. Here’s how he voted and why:

Morris

Morris has flaws — a 3.90 ERA, for example. But he gets my vote for more than a decade of ace performance that included three 20-win seasons, Cy Young Award votes in seven seasons and Most Valuable Player Award votes in five. As for those who played during the period of PED use, I won’t vote for any of them.

Personally, I think that’s blackballing, tarring with a broad brush, and being sanctimonious as hell. There has never been any suggestion that Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas or Craig Biggio used PEDs that I’m aware of, and there have only been unsubstantiated rumors about Jeff Bagwell.

Gurnick can leave Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro, Sosa, McGwire and the other confirmed steroid users off his ballot and get no argument from me, but his “none of the above” stance is too sweeping as far as I’m concerned.

Update: Cliff Corcoran has even stronger words for Gurnick in his column at SI.com.

Update: ESPN has released the votes of all 17 of its employees who have them.