Jun 22

Game 74, 2017

Mets at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, SNY, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Mets send YALHP Steven Matz (1-1, 3.21 ERA) out to try to salvage one game in this four-game series. His Dodgers opponent will be LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6, 4.35 ERA).

Matz is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two career starts in Dodger Stadium. He’s gone seven innings in each of his last two starts. Ryu has made seven starts since coming off the DL in May and gotten into the sixth inning in only two of them. This probably has something to do with that: “Batters are 31-for-75 (.413) with nine home runs and are slugging .867 against Ryu’s four-seam fastball this season.”

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1936 At Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, Ival Goodman hits an unusual home run when his fifth-inning fly ball lands and stays on top of the scoreboard in right field. With the perched ball considered in play, the three Dodger outfielders watch the Reds’ right fielder round the bases for an easy inside-the park round-tripper in their 7-2 loss to Cincinnati.
  • 1947 After pitching a no-hitter four days ago against the Braves, Reds hurler Ewell Blackwell loses his chance for a second consecutive no-hitter when Dodger second baseman Eddie Stanky singles with one out the ninth inning at Crosley Field.
  • 1959 Sandy Koufax goes the distance, beating Philadelphia at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, 6-2. The Dodger southpaw fans 16 Phillies to set a new record for strikeouts in a night game.
  • 1966 At the Astrodome, Houston sets a home attendance mark which will last for 22 years. Dodger southpaw Sandy Koufax, who tosses a complete game to improve his record to 13-2, beats the hometown team, 5-2, in front of the 50,908 fans attending the Wednesday contest.

Lineup when available.

Taylor and Pederson get the night off.

Jun 09

Game 62, 2017

Reds at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-O

The Reds have lost their last six games at Dodger Stadium, their last five series there and were swept in last year’s three-game series for the first time since 2009.

YALHP Amir Garrett (3-4, 7.17 ERA) pitches for the Redlegs and Rich Hill (2-2, 4.15 ERA) goes for the Dodgers.

Garrett has been hit hard in his last three starts (21 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings). He spent time on the 10-day DL and came back off just to get lit up by the Braves, lasting only 2 2/3 innings while giving up nine runs (eight earned). Hill has had trouble with finger blisters and with control: his strikeout-to-walk ratio is 1.44 (Kershaw’s is 7.2; McCarthy’s is 3.4). Hill’s WHIP has jumped from 0.79 in his six starts for the Dodgers last season to 1.54 in six this season.

Is this the year Kershaw surpasses Koufax?

Meanwhile, if the arguments about Koufax and Kershaw right now are too close to call, this is probably the last year we can have that debate, if it’s not too late already. Because Kershaw shows no sign of slowing down, and with each passing season he sets a new standard for Dodgers pitchers. In fact, among pitchers with at least 1,500 innings, Kershaw’s 160 ERA+ is the best of all time.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 Dodger standout pitcher Rube Marquard breaks his leg running the bases, ending his season with a record of 3-3. The hard-throwing southpaw will finish his 18-year Hall of Fame career in 1925, after compiling a 201-177 record along with an ERA of 3.08.
  • 1973 Rightfielder Rusty Staub becomes the pivot man in a very unusual double play during a 4-2 Mets victory against the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. Racing in from the outfield, ‘Le Grand Orange’ gets a throw near second base from first baseman John Milner and tags Davey Lopes, who was picked-off from first, and then throws home to nail Tom Paciorek trying to score from second during the P-1B-SS-1B-2B-1B-2B-RF-C rundown.
  • 1990 Eddie Murray ties Mickey Mantle’s major league mark, hitting a homer from both sides of the plate for the tenth time in his career. The switch-hitting first baseman’s second home run of the game, batting left-handed against Eric Show, proves to be the eventual winning run in the Dodgers’ 5-4 victory over San Diego in the 11th inning at Jack Murphy Stadium.

That action enable the following lineup to be put forward.

Lineup when available.

Jun 04

Game 58, 2017

Dodgers at Brewers, 11:10 AM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI, Telemundo

RHP Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.21 ERA) will pitch for the Dodgers and RHP Zach Davies (5-3, 5.18 ERA) goes for the Brewers.

Maeda has had two successive starts in which he’s given up three runs in the first inning and held the opposition scoreless in the next four. He’s 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA lifetime against the Brewers. Davies gave up two earned runs on six hits over five innings to the Mets his last time out but got no decision for his trouble. He’s only faced the Dodgers twice, both times in 2016. He gave up HRs to Turner, Grandal, Trayce Thompson and Seager in those games.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1940 The Cardinals play their first night game at home, losing to Brooklyn, 10-1, despite Joe Medwick’s 5-for-5 performance that included three doubles. The honor of hosting the first evening tilt in St. Louis that took place on May 24 was given to the Browns, after the two teams finally agreed to split the $150,000 cost of installing lights at Sportsman’s Park, the ballpark they share.
  • 1957 At a seventy-five minute show-down meeting at City Hall with Walter O’Malley and Horace Stoneham, the club presidents of the Dodgers and Giants, respectively, Mayor Robert Wagner is told by the owners neither club has a commitment to move out of New York – and none to stay in the Big Apple. The teams, who have been given permission by the National League to explore the possibility of moving their franchises to the West Coast, are assured by His Honor that the city will be of assistance in replacing the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field, the aging ballparks the clubs call home.
  • 1964 At Connie Mack Stadium, Sandy Koufax throws his third no-hitter in three years, blanking the Phillies 3-0. The Dodgers’ southpaw, who will add a perfect game to his resume next season, joins Bob Feller as the only other modern major leaguer to pitch three career hitless games.
  • 1968 Don Drysdale, pitching his sixth consecutive shutout, defeats the Pirates, 5-0. The Dodger right-hander will extend his major league record scoreless streak to 58.2 innings before yielding a run in his next start. Later that evening at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Robert Kennedy, giving his victory speech for his win in the California primary before being fatally shot, tells his followers in the packed ballroom, “I’d like to express my high regard to Don Drysdale, who pitched his sixth straight shutout tonight.”
  • 1972 The Dodgers retire Roy Campanella’s uniform number 39. Campy, who won the MVP three times catching for Brooklyn in the fifties, joins Jackie Robinson (42) and Sandy Koufax (32) to be honored in this manner.
  • 1976 In an 11-0 victory at Dodger Stadium, Mets right fielder Dave Kingman hits three home runs. Sky King’s two-run dinger and two three-run round trippers drive in eight runs, a new club record.
  • 1990 En route to a 6-0 complete-game victory, 22 year-old Dodger right-hander Ramon Martinez limits Atlanta to three hits. Pedro’s older brother, who will finish the season with a 20-6 record, strikes out 18 batters during the contest.
  • 1998 The Dodgers trade the 1995 National League Rookie of the Year Hideo Nomo (2-7 with a 5.05 ERA) and reliever Brad Clontz to the Mets for pitchers Dave Mlicki and Greg McMichael.

Lineup when available.

May 30

Game 53, 2017

Dodgers at Cardinals, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ESPN, FS-M, MLBN free game of the day in non-blackout regions

RHP Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.08 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. He hopes his second start against the Cardinals within a week goes as well as the first, when he gave up three runs in the first but righted the ship, went five innings and got the win. RHP Michael Wacha (2-2, 3.66 ERA), on the other hand, wants to improve on his performance last Thursday against the Dodgers, when he went only four innings, allowed seven hits, six earned runs, two walks and lost the game.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1946 In Boston’s 10-8 victory over the Dodgers, Bama Rowell’s long drive hits the Bulova clock located above the right field scoreboard, making the left-fielder the first major leaguer to reach the famous landmark at Ebbets Field. The crushing four-bagger that shatters the face of the clock causing glass to cascade onto Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker is believed to be the inspiration for author Bernard Malamud having Roy Hobbs, the hero of his 1952 novel, The Natural, belt a similar home run, which also rains glass over the diamond.
  • 1962 Frank Thomas strokes a double off Sandy Koufax in the Mets’ 13-6 loss to Los Angeles, extending his franchise mark of consecutive games with a hit to 18 for the expansion team. The streak, which will be only one shy of Maury Wills’ league-leading total for the season, is halted when the New York left fielder goes 0-for-4 in the nightcap of the Dodgers’ sweep at the Polo Grounds.
  • 1986 In a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium, future home run king Barry Bonds goes 0-for-5 in his major league debut. The Pirates center fielder, batting leadoff, strikes out three times.
  • 1930 Not Dodgers’ history, but for the economists among us, get a load of this prize: Rogers Hornsby receives his MVP award and is given a thousand gold coins by National League president John Heydler at a ceremony at home plate prior to the Cubs’ contest against St. Louis. Ironically, the ‘Rajah’ will break his ankle while advancing to third base during the Wrigley Field contest and will not play again until the middle of August. Ah, when there was a gold standard! (For the record, the price of an ounce of gold was pegged at $20.67 in 1930. If each coin weighed an ounce that was $20,670, not an insignificant amount of cash in that Depression year)

Early returns from this year’s All Star Game voting: Seager at the top, Turner and A-Gon in top five at their respective positions.

Lineup:

May 11

Game 35, 2017

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM

Fresh from the 10-day DL, LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-4, 4.05 ERA) goes to the mound. He’ll face YALHP Tyler Anderson (2-3, 6.69 ERA). Ryu was recovering from a hip contusion suffered while sliding; his trip to the DL had nothing to do with his arm. In his last two starts he’s gone 11 1/3 innings and given up just two runs while striking out 12. Anderson gave up one run on six hits and a walk in six innings in his last start last Saturday.

Two guys to watch: Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is 6-for-12 with two home runs, four RBIs and two strikeouts against Ryu while the Dodgers’ Justin Turner is even more of a tormentor of Anderson — 7-for-12 (.583) with two doubles, one home run, four RBIs, one walk and no strikeouts.

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.

Lineup when available.

Apr 15

Game 12, 2017

Wait a minute. After 11 games of the season Andrew Toles and Yasiel Puig lead the Dodgers in home runs with three each?

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Lefty Patrick Corbin (1-1, 1.80 ERA) goes for the D-Backs and righty Kenta Maeda (1-1, 6.30 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. In Corbin’s last appearance he went six scoreless innings and gave up just four hits against the Indians. Maeda hasn’t gotten past the fifth inning in either of his outings so far this season but got the win last time out despite giving up four runs.

Today’s big event won’t be the ball game, really. It will be the unveiling of a statue of Jackie Robinson at the Left Field Reserve Plaza entrance, where nearly 20% of all fans enter the stadium.

Jackie’s widow, Rachel, and children, Sharon and David, will attend the ceremony. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson will also be there, along with Dodgers icons Tommy Lasorda, Sandy Koufax, Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin.

Lineup when available.

Oct 10

NLDS Games Two, 2015

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

Down 1-0, the Cubs hope to bounce back with right-hander Kyle Hendricks (8-7, 3.95 ERA) going against the Cardinals’ lefty Jaime Garcia (10-6, 2.43 ERA). They would really like to see their Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Kris Bryant break out of his 3-for-30 slump in his last eight games. He’s never seen Garcia, but then only Starlin Castro of the Cubs has: the last time Garcia pitched against Chicago was in 2012. The Cardinals have seen quite a bit of the Cubs’ Hendricks, and some of them have done quite well against him.

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

The Dodgers send Zack Greinke (19-3, 1.66 ERA) to stop the Mets and their rookie righthander Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.24 ERA). The Dodgers’ hitting is not firing on all cylinders, and some of that can be laid at the feet of the Mets’ de Grom last night. They have to get untracked today or they go to New York down two games to none with the prospect of having to win three straight to advance to the NLCS.

Don’t despair, Dodgers fans! From Roger Angell’s World Series column in 1965:

The Twins, having devoured Drysdale and Koufax on successive afternoons, now disposed of Perranoski.

[snip]

I came away with the curious impression that the Twins, after two straight victories, were only slightly behind in the World Series.

And we all remember how that Series turned out, don’t we?

Feb 04

Open Thread #9

CBS Sports is running a series of features on the best and worst events in each baseball franchise’s history, and it was the Dodgers’ turn on Monday. As Dayn Perry (the author) says in his opening paragraph, “it’s impossible to hit it all.” He did a reasonable job, I’d say. He picks two best teams, one for Brooklyn (’53) and one for LA (’63). He picks best and worst trades (guess what’s worst). Anyway, it’s food for discussion.

Feb 01

New fan rewards program announced

For those who live a little closer to Dodger Stadium than I, this might be of interest to you.

The Dodgers on Thursday announced the launch of a comprehensive engagement program that will reward fans for supporting the club online, via social media and at Dodger Stadium. The free Dodgers Rewards program is the first of its kind in Major League Baseball and offers fans the chance to win prizes by supporting the team through an array of digital activities, including merchandise purchases online, checking into games through MLB.com’s At the Ballpark mobile app and interacting online at dodgers.com and on the Dodgers’ official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

[snip]

“We are creating an interactive rewards portal for all things Dodgers,” said Lon Rosen, the Dodgers’ executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “Being a sports fan is about passion and competition, and we believe through this platform we are entering the next phase of fan loyalty with the ultimate goal of rewarding our fans for their support.”

The first prizes include game tickets to the April 1 game with the Giants and an autographed baseball from Sandy Koufax.

Update: One of the commenters at MSTI sent along a super picture of the Dodger Stadium rehab project as it looks this week.

Update: Chad Moriyama has thoughts on the 2013 projection of results by Dan Szymborski‘s ZiPS system, which I confess I’ve never heard of. Moriyama thinks the system has some surprises on the low side but is overall pretty good at guesstimating how the Dodgers’ 2013 roster will perform.

Jan 22

Dodger TV deal done

It’s with Time-Warner, and terms won’t be announced till Thursday.

The Dodgers have agreed with Time Warner Cable on a new television contract that will provide the team with a channel of its own, according to two people familiar with the deal but not authorized to discuss it.

Time Warner Cable now has secured the television rights to the two most popular teams in Los Angeles — the Dodgers and the Lakers — within two years.

The Dodgers’ deal is expected to be finalized and announced Thursday. The team has not yet submitted the deal to Major League Baseball for approval, but the control of the channel is expected to rest with the Dodgers’ owners rather than with Time Warner.

Presumably it pays the team enough to cover its payroll.

In other equally welcome news, Sandy Koufax will return to Spring Training to work with the Dodgers’ pitchers.

Update: The TV deal has now been confirmed. There may be some differences with MLB as to how much of the money the Dodgers receive is subject to revenue sharing:

The new ownership group, which bought the team out of bankruptcy court in April 2012 for a record $2.1 billion, said it has created a company called American Media Productions that will start broadcasting Dodgers games in 2014 on a channel called SportsNet LA. Time Warner Cable, the largest carrier in the area, will be the network’s first distributor.

Although terms were not disclosed, the SportsBusiness Journal calls it a 25-year deal worth $7 billion.

“We concluded last year that the best way to give our fans what they want — more content and more Dodger baseball — was to launch our own network,” Dodgers chairman Mark Walter said in a statement. “The creation of AMP will provide substantial financial resources over the coming years for the Dodgers to build on their storied legacy and bring a world championship home to Los Angeles.”

The deal is subject to approval by Major League Baseball, and one baseball source privy to the negotiations told ESPN.com the team and the league could very well butt heads regarding exactly how much of the deal will be shared with other teams.

The other question yet to be answered is “how big a carriage fee will Time Warner pay to AMP for the rights to show the Dodgers’ games and other content and how much will Time Warner turn around and charge its mostly-captive subscribers?”