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.
The visiting Dodgers send RHP Ross Stripling (1-1, 2.92 ERA) to the mound to face the Brewers’ RHP Jhoulys Chacín (2-2, 6.52 ERA). Stripling has been the most consistent of the Dodgers’ starters, and in his last start he went eight innings and gave up just four hits and one run, getting the win against these same Brewers. The opposing pitcher in that game? Chacín, who gave up six earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings and took the loss.
It might be a little hard to believe, but Chacín is only two years older than Stripling. The difference is that Chacin made his MLB debut in 2009 when he was just 21. He’s got a career W-L record of 76-77. Stripling didn’t get into a big league game until he was 26; his career W-L record is 17-21.
Verdugo’s throw in Thursday’s game tied the current season high for fastest throw from the outfield: 98.4 MPH.
1890 The Brooklyn Bridegrooms, who will later be known as the Dodgers, play their first National League game. The former American Association team loses to the Beaneaters, who will become known as the Braves in 1912, at Boston’s South End Grounds, 15-9.
1938 During the first inning, both Dodgers’ Ernie Koy and Phillies’ Emmett Mueller homer in their first major league at-bats. The pair of rookies will collectively hit a total 42 home runs during their nine seasons in the major leagues.
1956 In the first major league game ever played in New Jersey, the Dodgers begin their Jersey City home game experiment with a 10-inning 5-4 victory over the Phillies at Roosevelt Stadium. A sparse crowd of 12,214, limited by inclement weather, sees Brooklyn backstop Roy Campanella tie the score in the tenth inning with his 1000th career hit, a double down the left field line.
1968 Nolan Ryan makes quick work of the Dodgers when he strikes out the side on nine pitches in the top of the third inning of the Mets’ 3-2 loss at Shea Stadium. The 21 year-old New York fireballer, who will also accomplish the feat with the Angels in 1972, strikes out 11 batters in 7.1 frames, including Claude Osteen, Wes Parker, and Zoilo Versalles, the victims of his immaculate inning.
2000 Veteran hurler Orel Hershiser ties a major league mark, equaled by 19 others, hitting four batters in one game. Astro Richard Hidalgo also ties a modern major league record by getting hit three times in a game, twice by Hershiser and a third time by Dodger reliever Matt Herges.
2002 Mariners’ third baseman Jeff Cirillo ties the major league record for consecutive errorless games at the hot corner by playing his 99th contest without a miscue. John Wehner, a journeyman infielder with the Dodgers, Pirates, and Marlins, established the mark during a span of eight-plus seasons.
At bumsrap’s suggestion, I’ve added a link on the right under the “Blogroll” section called “Dodgers Affiliate Scores.” It allows you to see all the scores from every Dodger team from the big club down to the rookiest of rookie leagues for any date. Click it and look for the date box, then pick the date you want.
RHP Jhoulys Chacin (2-1, 4.24 ERA) goes for the Brewers while RHP Ross Stripling (0-1, 3.78 ERA) goes for the slumping Dodgers. Chacin is pitching like an ace: he’s given up three or fewer runs in each of his last seventeen starts dating back to last year. Stripling had a rough outing last time out against the Cardinals when he gave up five extra base hits in five innings and got the loss.
1931 At Braves Field, Jack Quinn becomes the oldest pitcher to start an Opening Day game. The 47 year-old Robin right-hander gives up six runs on nine runs in six innings of work, taking the loss when Brooklyn bows to Boston, 7-4.
1968 Jim Bunning becomes the first pitcher since Cy Young to collect a thousand strikeouts in both leagues when he whiffs eight Dodgers during his first win for the Pirates, a 3-0 complete-game victory in Chavez Ravine. The 37 year-old right-hander, acquired from the Phillies in December, sent 1,406 American League batters back to the bench with a bat in their hands for nine seasons while pitching for the Tigers at the start of his Hall of Fame career.
1993 After establishing the all-time career major league record last night with his 358th save, Cardinal reliever Lee Smith breaks the National League mark, recording his 301st in the Senior Circuit when he tosses a perfect 15th frame in the Cardinals’ 2-1 victory at Dodger Stadium. The right-handed reliever will extend the big league mark to 478, pitching for the Cubs (1980-1987), Red Sox (1988-1990), Cardinals (1990-1993), Yankees (1993), Orioles (1994), Angels (1995-1996), Reds (1996), and Expos (1997).
2004 In the game played after teammate Mike Mussina earns his 200th career victory, Kevin Brown, who was obtained from the Dodgers for Jeff Weaver and two minor-leaguers in an off-season trade, reaches the same plateau, beating the Devil Rays, 5-1. It is the first time in baseball history members of the same pitching staff have won their 200th career victory in consecutive starts.
RHP Ross Stripling (0-0, 2.31 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while RHP Dakota Hudson (0-1, 5.40 ERA) pitches for the Redbirds. Stripling’s opponents are hitting .209 against him in two starts, and while he gave up two HRs his last time out, he retired eight of the last nine men he faced in that game. In his short career he’s 0-2 at Busch Stadium. Hudson made his first MLB start on March 30, going 4 1/3 innings and giving up seven hits and three earned runs while walking two and striking out six. He then made an appearance out of the bullpen, going 2/3 of an inning and earning a save.
From The Athletic, trying to explain Bellinger’s success so far:
Bellinger has swung at a quarter fewer pitches outside the strike zone, according to FanGraphs.com. And he has swung at more pitches inside the strike zone. All together, he is swinging at about the same rate he always has in the major leagues, but he is swinging at pitches that he is more likely to hit and hit hard.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1913 The Phillies spoil the debut of Ebbets Field, beating the Dodgers, 1-0, in front of a small crowd of approximately 10,000 fans, who brave the frigid weather to witness the pitching duel. Given special permission, Brooklyn opens the season a day early to properly inaugurate its new $75,000 Brooklyn ballpark, which took a year to build.
1947 Dodger skipper Leo Durocher, feuding with the Yankees, is suspended for one year by commissioner Happy Chandler for an assortment of actions deemed detrimental to baseball, including association with known gamblers. The Brooklyn and New York clubs are both fined $2,000 and by order of the commissioner are not allowed to discuss the matter.
1966 After sharing space at Wrigley Field in 1961 and Dodger Stadium from 1962-65 during their first five seasons in Los Angeles, the Angels move to nearby Anaheim into their own stadium. The ‘Halos’, now known as the California Angels, host the San Francisco Giants in a pre-season exhibition game in the first contest ever played at Anaheim Stadium.
1981 On Opening Day, Fernando Valenzuela, making his first major league start in place of scheduled starter Jerry Reuss, blanks Houston on five hits at Dodger Stadium, 2-0. During the strike-shortened season, the 20 year-old rookie from Mexico will lead the league in game starts (25), complete games (11), and shutouts (8).
It’ll be Robbie Ray for the visitors versus Ross (Chicken Strip) Stripling for the Dodgers. Stripling has had all winter to fix his pitch-tipping problem, which kept him off postseason rosters for all three series the Dodgers played last year. Ray struggled for the first four months of last year and didn’t throw consecutive quality starts until September, but over his last eight starts he had a 2.09 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 43 innings.
MLB is all-in on technology these days, says Tom Verducci at Sports Illustrated. Here’s the opening paragraph:
Cold and clear as verity, a new dawn broke over Camelback Ranch, spring home of the Dodgers. So did morning. In one batting cage at the Glendale, Ariz., complex last month—not the cage with ground force measurement plates—rookie outfielder Alex Verdugo, 22, took batting practice while tethered to a laptop computer by two dozen thick white wires sprouting like vines from a harness around his hips and torso. Behind him, also in the cage, two technicians monitored the 3D motion images of Verdugo and his swing.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1935 The reigning National League champion Cardinals release 44 year-old right-hander Dazzy Vance, who appeared in his first and only World Series during his one season with the team. The future Hall of Fame hurler will return to the Dodgers, where he spent the most productive years of his career, finishing his major league 16-year tenure in the major leagues with a 197-140 (.585) record along with an ERA of 3.24.
2008 In an exhibition game celebrating the club’s 50th anniversary of their move west from Brooklyn, the Dodgers lose to the Red Sox in front of 115,300 fans at the LA Coliseum. The crowd is the largest ever to watch a baseball game, surpassing the previous record when approximately 114,000 patrons attended an exhibition contest between the Australian national team and an American services team during the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.
2017 The Dodgers commemorate Kirk Gibson’s historic pinch-hit, walk-off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series by offering a special ticket package to sit in the right-field pavilion seat, recently painted blue and autographed by him, where the ball landed. The team is donating two-thirds of the $300 price of the ducats, which includes a companion seat, two commemorative T-shirts and food and drink, to the Kirk Gibson Foundation to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s research, the neurological disease which affects the Fall Classic hero.
The Dodgers send RHP Ross Stripling (8-5, 2.84 ERA) to the hill in Phoenix to meet RHP Zack Greinke (14-11, 3.21 ERA) of the D-Backs. Stripling has had a tough second half of the season, going on the disabled list and going no further than 3 1/3 innings in each of the three starts he’s made since coming off. Greinke’s W-L record is unusually poor for him and he’s lost his last two starts, even though in his last one he went 7 1/3 innings against the Rockies and gave up just three runs on four hits.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1908 Cubs right-hander Ed Reulbach pitches two shutouts in the same day, whitewashing the Brooklyn Superbas in the opener 5-0 on a five-hitter and 3-0 on three hits in the nightcap. The entire Washington Park doubleheader takes less than three hours to complete.
1954 Willie Mays, with three hits in the season finale, wins the batting title, finishing the campaign with a .345 average. The ‘Say Hey Kid’ goes third to first in batting average with his performance passing teammate Don Mueller (.342) and Dodger center fielder Duke Snider (341).
1975 Burt Hooton sets a Dodger record for starting pitchers by winning his twelfth consecutive game. The 25 year-old right-hander, who was traded to LA in May for Eddie Solomon and Geoff Zahn, accomplishes the feat by beating J.R. Richard and the Astros at Dodger Stadium, 3-2.
1981 Nolan Ryan becomes the first pitcher to throw five no-hitters when the Astros defeat the Dodgers at the Astrodome, 5-0. The Ryan Express, who will finish his 27-year major league career with a record seven no-hitters, previously has thrown hitless gems against the Royals (1973), Tigers (1973), Twins (1974), and Orioles (1975).
1997 Dodger catcher Mike Piazza, in a 10-4 win over the Rockies, hits the longest home run in the history of Coors Field. The 28 year-old backstop’s sixth-inning blast travels 496 feet and hits the left-center field billboard between the scoreboard and the Rockpile.
On ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball RHP Ross Stripling (8-3, 2.61 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and RHP Adam Wainwright (1-3, 4.70 ERA) goes for the Cardinals. Stripling’s three losses this season have come on the road despite a 2.86 ERA in his 18 appearances away from Dodger Stadium. He’s 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA against the Cardinals in his short career. This is Wainwright’s fifth start of the year. He made three in April and injured his elbow, tried to come back in May but wasn’t ready, and has made one start in September. Six days ago he started against the Pirates, went five innings, gave up seven hits and four earned runs but avoided the loss. Because of this lost season, he’s thinking about retirement.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1924 Cardinal first baseman Sunny 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.
On September 16, 1993 Dave Winfield got his 3000th hit. In 1996 Paul Molitor did the same. And in 2005 Youppi!, who got his start at Olympic Stadium, is named as the first official mascot of the Montreal Canadiens, becoming the first to ever switch from Major League Baseball to the NHL. The acquisition, reportedly at the cost of six figures, is made possible when the Expos leave the hairy orange arm-waving giant behind in favor of an eagle called “Screech” when they moved to Washington, D.C. to become the Nationals.
The visiting Dodgers send RHP Walker Buehler (6-5, 3.09 ERA) to the hill to face RHP Jack Flaherty (8-6, 2.92 ERA) of the Cards. Buehler lost his last start, giving up four runs in six innings to the Rockies. He went seven innings and gave up just three hits to St. Louis back on August 22 in a game the Dodgers lost thanks to the surrender of two ninth-inning home runs by the bullpen. The starter for the Cardinals in that game was this same Flaherty, who went six innings and gave up just one hit, a home run by Joc Pederson. He had five quality starts in August but hasn’t gotten out of the sixth inning in either of his September starts.
“Two reasons: No. 1 is that he’s done it before and he’s really flourished in that role, and we expect him to throw leverage innings and dominate. That’s probably the main reason. And we’re going to go with five starters.”
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1951 Preacher Roe wins his 20th game of the season when the Dodgers beat the Pirates at Forbes Field, 3-1. The 36 year-old southpaw will finish the season with a 22-3 record.
2002 Chin-Feng Chen becomes the first Taiwan-born player to appear in the major leagues as he walks and scores as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers against the Rockies. The 24 year-old first baseman-outfielder played for the 1990 Taiwan team which won the Little League World Series.
2008 Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, with his eighth-inning thievery in a 7-4 loss to the Braves at Shea Stadium, becomes the first player to have four straight seasons of 50 or more stolen bases playing for a New York area team, which also includes Yankees, Dodgers, and Giants. The accomplishment extends the infielder’s own record, as he is also the only Gotham major leaguer to achieve the feat for three consecutive years.
Also, in 1990 Mariner Ken Griffey and his son, Junior, become the first father and son to hit homers in the same major league game. The back-to-back blasts are given up by Angel hurler Kirk McCaskill.
The Dodgers have to shake off Saturday night’s ninth-inning walk-off calamity and win this game to gain a split in the series against a team that’s only 1 1/2 games behind them in the hunt for first place in the NL West. To do so they’ll give LHP Rich Hill (5-4, 3.62 ERA) the ball. He’s 4-1 in his last seven games with a 2.41 ERA over those 37 1/3 innings. He’ll face RHP Chad Bettis (5-2, 5.62 ERA) of the Rockies. He’s made one start since returning from the disabled list where he’d been with a right middle finger blister, and that didn’t go well. He gave up nine runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Pirates.
Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling move to the bullpen for now. One wonders how the current relievers feel about that.
This day in Dodgers’ history:
1984 Former Dodgers Don Drysdale and Pee Wee Reese, along with Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew, American League hurler Rick Ferrell, and perennial All-Star shortstop Luis Aparicio are inducted into the Hall of Fame.
In 2006 the Portland Beavers honor Rodney McCray, the former Vancouver Canadian who gain everlasting notoriety in 1991 when he literally ran through the right field plywood fence trying to catch Chip Hale’s fly ball in Portland’s Civic Stadium. The PCL team commemorates the memorable play with a bobble head promotion which features the moment of impact and renames the right field area of their current ballpark “McCray Alley.”
In a great moment of fan history, in 2014 Tim Pinkard, attending his first game at Minute Maid Park, catches two home run balls, both off the bat of the Astros’ DH Chris Carter. In the third inning of Houston’s 10-4 victory over Minnesota, the Springfield (VA) resident gets his first souvenir of the night when the ball rebounds off a sign in left field, and then in the fifth frame, against astronomical odds, catches the second round-tripper stroked by the same batter, which is a laser shot hit directly to his seat.
RHP Ross Stripling (8-3, 2.68 ERA) comes off the DL where he’s been with a big toe injury just in time to take Alex Wood’s spot in the rotation; Wood has been placed on the DL with tendinitis in his left hip. Let’s hope Stripling’s toe was the cause of his dramatic fall-off since the All Star game; he had an ERA of 2.08 before the break but it’s 9.35 in his appearances since then. He’ll face the Rockies’ LHP Tyler Anderson (6-4, 4.05 ERA), who’s made two starts against the Dodgers and gone 1-0, although he gave up five runs in five innings on June 1 at Coors Field.
To make room for Stripling the Dodgers optioned Pat Venditte to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
This date in Dodgers’ history:
1975 At Shea Stadium, Davey Lopes steals his 32nd consecutive base without being caught, breaking Max Carey’s 1922 record in the Dodgers’ 2-0 victory over New York. The Dodger second baseman’s mark will be broken by Vince Coleman in 1989.
1976 John Candelaria becomes the first Pirate since 1907 to throw a no-hitter in Pittsburgh. Nick Maddox threw the first and only Buc home no-hitter until the ‘Candyman’ beat the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium. (There was never a no-hitter pitched in the 61-year history of spacious Forbes Field.)
2001 Mike Hampton ties the National League record for pitchers with his seventh homer when he goes deep off Felix Heredia in the Rockies’ 14-5 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Colorado southpaw equals the mark established by Dodger hurlers Don Drysdale (1958, 1965) and Don Newcombe (1955), and two shy of the major league standard set by Wes Ferrell, playing for the Indians in 1931.
2013 The Dodgers rally for four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, overcoming a six-run, seventh-inning deficit, for their fifth walk-off victory of the season. The team’s 7-6 victory over Tampa Bay is their 11th consecutive win in a one-run games, a span in which they have defeated ten different clubs.
Also on this date, in 2013 Dan Haren becomes the thirteenth pitcher in history to record a victory over all 30 major league franchises when he hurls seven solid innings in the Nationals’ 9-2 win over Philadelphia. The 32 year-old right-hander joins Al Leiter, Randy Johnson, Barry Zito, A.J. Burnett, Kevin Brown, Terry Mulholland, Curt Schilling, Woody Williams, Jamie Moyer, Javier Vazquez, Vicente Padilla, and Derek Lowe in accomplishing the feat.