The visiting D-Backs send RHP Clay Buchholz (7-2, 2.07 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ rookie RHP Walker Buehler (6-4, 3.02 ERA). Buchholz signed a minor league contract with Arizona on May 4 and made his first big league appearance since April of 2017 on May 20. He’s been very good indeed, going 2-0 in June, 2-0 in July, and 3-1 with a 1.25 ERA in August, averaging six innings per start. Buehler’s had a trip to the DL this season but has been good in August, going 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA. His last start was a workout, though; he threw 84 pitches in just four innings in 93-degree heat and left the game with a lead, but didn’t go the required five innings for a win.
1969 Willie Davis, with his sixth-inning double in the team’s 5-4 loss to New York at Dodger Stadium, breaks a 53 year-old franchise record by hitting safely in thirty consecutive games. The LA outfielder surpasses the streak established by Zack Wheat in 1916 when the team played in Brooklyn.
1971 Cesar Cedeno hits an inside-the-park grand slam when Dodger second baseman Jim Lefebvre and right fielder Bill Buckner collide, trying to make the fifth inning catch. The 200-foot dropped bloop contributes to the Astros’ 9-3 victory over LA at the Astrodome.
1972 In his major league debut, Doug Rau throws a three-hitter, beating St. Louis at Busch Stadium, 5-1. In his first big-league at-bat, the 23 year-old Dodger southpaw helps his cause with a RBI-triple in the second inning.
1993 The Rockies, drawing a crowd 47,699 for their 62nd home game, surpass the 1982 Dodgers when the team attracts 3,617,863 fans to Denver’s Mile High Stadium, setting a new National League single-season attendance record. The expansion club will also break the 1992 Blue Jays’ major league mark of 4,028,318 before the season is over.
2002 In the top of the ninth inning, Diamondback first baseman Mark Grace hurls an inning of relief with the team trailing the Dodgers, 18-0. The All-Star infielder retires three of the four batters he faces in the Bank One Ballpark, yielding a two-out home run to David Ross.
Ex-Dodger Zack Greinke (13-8, 2.93 ERA) goes for the D-Backs and Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1, 2.18 ERA) goes for the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. It could be argued this is the first of several “must-win” games the Dodgers face in the next couple of weeks. Greinke won his last start, but it was the first game he’d won in the month of August. His ERA for the month was 2.81, though, so he didn’t pitch all that badly. Ryu has come off a three-month stint on the DL showing no ill effects from the groin injury which put him there. In his last time out he scattered 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Padres, got two base hits and won the game.
Coincidentally, a year ago on this date the Dodgers and D-Backs faced off and Greinke pitched in that one too. His opponent was Maeda, and the D-Backs won handily.
Pedro Moura at The Athletic watched last night’s game and says the Dodgers have had a season-long “clutch” problem which bit them once again in the first game of this series, and they’re running out of time to fix it.
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1950 In front of 14,226 fans at Ebbets Field, Gil Hodges becomes the fourth major leaguer in the century to hit four home runs in one game as Brooklyn routs the Braves, 19-3. The Dodger first baseman also ties the major league record for total bases with 17.
1959 Sandy Koufax fans 18 batters to establish a new National League record for a nine-inning game in the Dodgers’ 5-2 win over San Francisco at the LA Memorial Coliseum. The left-hander’s performance equals the major league mark established in 1938 by Indians fireballer Bob Feller during a 4-1 loss to Detroit.
2010 The Dodgers trade a player to be named (infielder Tony Abreu) to the Diamondbacks in exchange for starter Jon Garland. The 31 year-old right-hander will post a 3-2 record with a 2.72 ERA in his six late-season starts for the Dodgers, before signing as a free agent with San Diego.