Oct 01

Game 163, 2018 (NL West Tiebreaker)

Rockies at Dodgers, 1:09 PDT, TV: ESPN

The winner will earn the No. 2 seed in the NL and host the Braves in the NLDS, beginning on Thursday. The loser will go on the road to play the NL Central runner-up (Cubs or Brewers) in Tuesday’s Wild Card Game.

In the second game of an historic day of tiebreakers in the National League, the Rockies send German Márquez (14-10, 3.76 ERA) to the mound at Dodger Stadium. He’ll face the Dodgers’ rookie RHP Walker Buehler (7-5, 2.76 ERA). Márquez has made three starts against the Dodgers this season and won two of them, giving up six runs, all earned, while striking out 22 and walking five. Buehler has faced the Rockies five times this season, going 0-1 in 31 innings, giving up 11 runs, 9 earned, striking out 33 while walking seven.

Because the Dodgers have been in more tie-breaking series than any other team in baseball, they’ve had a lot of activity on the first day of October over the years. On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1944 Dixie Walker, an outfielder on the seventh-place Dodgers, wins the National League batting crown with a .357 batting average, finishing ten points higher than runner-up Stan Musial. In 1947, the ‘People’s Cherce’s younger brother, Harry ‘the Hat’, will also lead the Senior Circuit, hitting .363 in the year when he is traded, after playing ten games for St. Louis, to Philadelphia.
  • 1946 The Dodgers and Cardinals, who both finished the season with a 96-58 record, play the first game of a best-of-three series to determine the National League’s championship, marking the first time in major league history a playoff is needed to send a team to the World Series. St. Louis wins today’s Sportsman’s Park contest, 4-2, and will clinch the pennant in Game 2, beating the Brooklyn at Ebbets Field, 8-4.
  • 1950 On the last day of the season, Pee Wee Reese, ignoring second base ump Frank Dascoli’s directive to slow down when his high outfield fly becomes stuck between the screen and the right field wall, continues sprinting around the bases at full speed, crossing home plate with the tying run in a game the team needs to win to finish tied with Philadelphia for the NL flag. The Dodgers shortstop’s unusual inside-the-park homer, due to an odd ground rule, will be the only run Robin Roberts allows in the Phillies’ pennant clinching 4-1 victory at Ebbets Field.
  • 1950 After they retire today, Burt Shotton of the Dodgers and the A’s Connie Mack will become the last managers to wear street clothes. Although no edict specifically mandates a skipper must wear a uniform, there is now a rule that states that a person not wearing a uniform, except medical personnel, isn’t allowed on the field of play during a game.
  • 1950 In the season finale, Robin Roberts, in the first of his six consecutive 20-win seasons, becomes the first Phillies right-hander to win twenty games for the team since Grover Cleveland Alexander accomplished the feat with a total of 30 victories in 1917. The complete-game, ten-inning 4-1 Ebbets Field victory over the Dodgers hurled by the Whiz Kid from Springfield (IL) clinches Philadelphia’s first NL pennant since 1915.
  • 1951 The Giants’ 3-1 victory over the Dodgers in the first game of the National League playoffs is the first major league contest to be televised coast-to-coast. CBS, who obtained rights to the game, transmits the picture from Ebbets Field, but has to get the signal from ABC, who had made previous arrangements with WOR-TV, the New York station which carried Brooklyn’s regular season games.
  • 1955 After losing the first two contests in the Bronx, the Dodgers even the World Series at a pair of games apiece when they defeat the Yankees at Ebbets Field, 8-5. Brooklyn will make it three victories in a row tomorrow with a 5-3 victory over the Bronx Bombers, but it will take a dramatic Game 7 for the ‘Bums’ to capture their first World Championship.
  • 1961 The Wrigley Field on the West Coast hosts its last professional baseball game when the Angels, who will play at Dodger Stadium next season, are defeated by Cleveland, 8-5, in front of 9,868 fans at the 36 year-old ballpark, which will be torn down in five years to make room for an eventual public playground and senior center. In addition to being the home for the American League expansion team, the venue housed the PCL’s Angels from 1925 through 1957 and served as the location for the 1960 television series Home Run Derby.
  • 1974 At the Astrodome, Mike Marshall establishes the major league mark for the most appearances by a pitcher when he throws two innings in the Dodgers’ 8-5 victory over Houston. With his 106 appearances, the right-handed reliever appears in 65% of the games that his team played this season.
  • 1993 Mike Piazza plates Jose Offerman with a first-inning single to set a new team mark for runs driven in by a rookie with 107. The 24 year-old Dodgers catcher breaks the franchise record for rookie RBIs established by Del Bissonette, a freshman first baseman who played with Brooklyn in 1928.
  • 2009 The Rockies’ 9-2 win over Milwaukee assures the team of a wild card berth in the postseason, and puts the team in position to still win the NL West by sweeping the Dodgers this weekend in L.A. Although the team was 12 games under .500 on June 3, today’s victory, their 91st – a club record – puts Colorado 23 games over .500, another first in the 17 year history of franchise.

Lineup when available.


Sep 01

Game 136, 2018

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

The visiting D-Backs send Patrick Corbin (10-5, 3.15 ERA) to the mound today. He’ll face the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, (6-5, 2.39 ERA). Corbin has made five straight quality starts and has gone 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA over that stretch. In three starts against the Dodgers this year he’s 1-0 with a 0.98 ERA; the Dodgers are hitting an anemic .115 in those games. Kershaw has made eight consecutive starts in which he’s given up fewer than three earned runs and has gone seven starts since his last loss. Moreover, he’s only given up three HRs since the All Star break. (Side note: take a look at the picture of Corbin at the link above: his face looks a lot like Greg Maddux to me. He should have such a career!)

The Dodgers acquired David Freese from the Pirates for minor leaguer Jesus Manuel Valdez.

Also, “Solo HRs are Us” should be the Dodgers’ motto this season. Fully 69% of their dingers have come with no one on base.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1890 On Labor Day at Brooklyn’s Washington Park, the Bridegrooms, later to be known as the Dodgers, win all three games against Pittsburgh in the first tripleheader ever played. The home team sweeps the visiting Alleghenys, who will be renamed the Pirates next season, 10-9, 3-2, and 8-4.
  • 1953 The Cardinals tie a major league mark, hitting five homers in a 12-5 loss to Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. The solo shots hit by Stan Musial, Harry Elliot, Rip Repulski, and Steve Bilko (2), all off starter Preacher Roe, aren’t enough to offset the Dodgers’ 17-hit attack, which includes six doubles but no round-trippers.
  • 1969 At Dodger Stadium, Willie Davis ties the franchise record by hitting in 29 consecutive games with his second-inning single in LA’s 10-6 victory over New York. The mark was established by Zack Wheat in 1916.

Today in personal history: in 1973 George Foreman knocked out José “King” Roman at the 2-minute mark of the first round at the Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo. I was seated in the nosebleed seats, so far away when it ended we didn’t immediately have a clue it was over. I don’t think there were any big screen TVs showing the fight to those of us in the cheap seats at the time; that innovation came later.

Power shift has MLB managers’ pay in free fall, says Bob Nightengale.

Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch and Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who led their teams to the World Series a year ago, have contracts that expire after this season.

Lineup when available.


Aug 05

Game 113, 2018

Astros at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATTSportsnet-SW, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Astros try to sweep this series with RHP Gerrit Cole (10-3, 2.55 ERA) taking the mound against the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (4-4, 3.65 ERA). The last time Cole pitched in Dodger Stadium was August of 2016; he was a Pirate then. He had an excellent June but a so-so July. Buehler spent time on the DL with a microfractured rib (is that what we used to call a cracked rib?) and hadn’t had a really good outing since he came back until his last start on July 31, when he went seven innings, gave up one earned run, struck out seven and walked none. He still got the loss as the Dodgers couldn’t score a single run in that game against the Brewers.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1954 Stan Musial, in a 13-4 rout of the Dodgers in Brooklyn, paces the Cardinals attack, hitting two homers and driving in seven runs. The defeat is Preacher Roe’s first loss to St. Louis at Ebbets Field in four years.
  • 1969 With a titanic blast that clears the right-field pavilion, Willie Stargell becomes the first player to hit a home run completely out of Dodger Stadium. The 506-foot round-tripper helps the Pirates defeat LA, 11-3.

  • 1979 Don Sutton, surpassing Don Drysdale, becomes the Dodgers’ all-time strikeout leader with 2,487 when he fans six in an 8-1 victory over San Francisco at Chavez Ravine. After establishing the mark, and receiving a two-minute standing ovation that he acknowledges by tipping his cap, the right-hander is charged with an automatic ball due to running his fingers across his lips while thanking the crowd.
  • 1979 Outfielders Willie Mays (Giants, Mets) and Hack Wilson (Giants, Cubs, Dodgers, and Phillies) are enshrined into the Hall of Fame. Baseball administrator Warren Giles, who served as the president of the National League from 1951 to 1969, is also inducted during the Cooperstown ceremony.

Lineup when available.


With all the interchangeable parts Dave Roberts has and uses, I’m thinking of calling him Casey Stengel II.

Jul 25

Game 102, 2018

Dodgers at Phillies, 9:35 AM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBCSP, MLBN (out-of-market only)

If any member of either team is awake enough to play well behind the two rested starting pitchers I’ll be surprised. The Dodgers send out their young righthander Walker Buehler (4-2, 3.45 ERA) to face the Phillies’ righty Jake Arrieta (7-6, 3.47 ERA). Buehler arrived in Philadelphia from Oklahoma City Tuesday. He’d been sent there as a roster move before the All Star break but didn’t pitch an inning for the team there on this latest visit. Arrieta started the year with two good months, going 5-2 in April and May. His June was awful: he lost four out of five starts. He’s bounced back in July to win two games and lose none so far.

Manager Dave Roberts says he expects Buehler “to stick around for a while.”

Injury updates were announced before Tuesday’s marathon. Tom Koehler is done for the year without throwing a pitch for the Dodgers. Puig and Baez are rehabbing in OKC and will be back for Thursday’s game in Atlanta, and Ryu is about to start rehabbing in the minors. The Dodgers expect him to make at least four starts before returning to the big club.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1962 At Sportsman’s Park, Stan Musial surpasses Giants’ legend Mel Ott as the National League’s all-time RBI leader. ‘Stan the Man’s’ two-run home run off Don Drysdale in a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers gives the Cardinals’ right fielder 1,862 career runs batted in with the Redbirds.
  • 2017 The Dodgers defeat the Minnesota Twins to run their record to 70-31. Kenta Maeda gets his ninth win of the season and Josh Ravin posts his first save.

Lineup when available.

Sep 01

Game 133, 2017

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

The Dodgers’ lefty ace Clayton Kershaw (15-2, 2.04 ERA) returns from the disabled list tonight to face the Padres’ RHP Dinelson Lamet, (7-5, 4.60 ERA).

Kershaw may be on a five-inning, 75-pitch limit. He struck out eight in five innings earlier this week in a rehab assignment for OKC. Lamet has had a 2.68 ERA in his last seven starts and allowed no more than four hits in any of them. He has, however, walked 16 in his five August starts.

On the first day of roster expansion the Dodgers called up Rob Segedin, Alex Verdugo and O’Koyea Dickson and reinstated André Ethier and Clayton Kershaw. To make room they moved Grant Dayton to the 60-day DL and designated Brett Eibner and Luis Ysla for assignment.

In hurricane relief news, Yasiel Puig’s foundation donated 20K to the American Red Cross.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1890 On Labor Day at Brooklyn’s Washington Park, the Bridegrooms, later to be known as the Dodgers, win all three games against Pittsburgh in the first tripleheader ever played. The home team sweeps the visiting Alleghenys, who will be renamed the Pirates next season, 10-9, 3-2, and 8-4.
  • 1953 The Cardinals tie a major league mark, hitting five homers in a 12-5 loss to Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. The solo shots hit by Stan Musial, Harry Elliot, Rip Repulski, and Steve Bilko (2), all off starter Preacher Roe, aren’t enough to offset the Dodgers’ 17-hit attack, which includes six doubles but no round-trippers.
  • 1969 At Dodger Stadium, Willie Davis ties the franchise record by hitting in 29 consecutive games with his second-inning single in LA’s 10-6 victory over New York. The mark was established by Zack Wheat in 1916.

Today in questionable sportsmanship: In 1980 on the final day of the season, PawSox infielder Wade Boggs loses the International League batting title when he grounds out to first base in his final turn at-bat of the season. The plate appearance is necessitated when the Mud Hens, who are ahead 6-0, issue a two-out intentional walk in the ninth inning to light-hitting Ray Boyer, who makes every attempt to be put out to end the game, but is allowed to stroll around the bases and score on a deliberate error by the Toledo pitcher, forcing Boggs to make one last unnecessary plate appearance that will put him .007 of a percentage point behind Dave Engle, who plays in the outfield for the opponents.

Lineup when available.

Verdugo starts his first MLB game tonight. Seager still has a sore arm, I imagine.

Aug 05

Game 110, 2017

Dodgers at Mets, 1:05 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, SNY, FS1

The Dodgers send July’s NL Pitcher of the Month Rich Hill (8-4, 3.35 ERA) to the mound to face RHP Seth Lugo (5-3, 4.53 ERA).

Hill has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 12 of his 15 starts, and he went 4-0 with a 1.45 ERA in July. Lugo was 2-2 with a 5.29 ERA in July. He’s gone 3-0 against NL West teams this year, albeit with a rather unsightly 4.91 ERA.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1954 Stan Musial, in a 13-4 rout of the Dodgers in Brooklyn, paces the Cardinals attack, hitting two homers and driving in seven runs. The defeat is Preacher Roe’s first loss to St. Louis at Ebbets Field in four years.
  • 1969 With a titanic blast that clears the right-field pavilion, Willie Stargell becomes the first player to hit a home run completely out of Dodger Stadium. The 506-foot round-tripper helps the Pirates defeat LA, 11-3.
  • 1979 Don Sutton, surpassing Don Drysdale, becomes the Dodgers’ all-time strikeout leader with 2,487 when he fans six in an 8-1 victory over San Francisco at Chavez Ravine. After establishing the mark, and receiving a two-minute standing ovation that he acknowledges by tipping his cap, the right-hander is charged with an automatic ball due to running his fingers across his lips while thanking the crowd.
  • 1979 Outfielders Willie Mays (Giants, Mets) and Hack Wilson (Giants, Cubs, Dodgers, and Phillies) are enshrined into the Hall of Fame. Baseball administrator Warren Giles, who served as the president of the National League from 1951 to 1969, is also inducted during the Cooperstown ceremony.

Lineup when available.

Jul 25

Game 101, 2017

Twins at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSNO

The Twins trot out RHP Jose Berrios (9-3, 3.50 ERA) to face the Dodgers’ RHP Kenta Maeda (8-4, 4.23 ERA). Berrios is 2-2 in his last five outings, logging a 5.26 ERA. Maeda has gone 7-2 with one save in his last 13 appearances, posting a 3.09 ERA while holding batters to a .227 average and striking out 61 against just 17 walks.

Which Dodgers have been hit-by-pitch the most? Alex Cora’s rank on this list surprised me, but I’d forgotten he spent five full years with the Dodgers and parts of two others early in his career.

Chris Taylor is hitting .318, which puts him seventh among National League batting leaders. Justin Turner remains atop the list at .369.

This date in Dodgers history:

  • 1962 At Sportsman’s Park, Stan Musial surpasses Giants’ legend Mel Ott as the National League’s all-time RBI leader. ‘Stan the Man’s’ two-run home run off Don Drysdale in a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers gives the Cardinals’ right fielder 1,862 career runs batted in with the Redbirds. (Ed. — He’s still seventh on the all-time list, behind Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Cap Anson, Barry Bonds and Lou Gehrig)

Non-Dodgers history which amuses me as a lapsed guitarist: 2010 The Baseball Hall of Fame honors John Fogerty for his classic rock song “Centerfield”. At the induction ceremonies, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer performs his 1985 hit and then donates his baseball bat shaped-guitar to the Cooperstown museum. Here’s that song with the man playing that guitar, which I’d never seen before.

Lineup when available.

Jan 11

Spring training’s a month away

Here’s a video of Dodgers VP for planning and development Janet Marie Smith talking about the stadium renovations.

At ESPN LA Mark Saxon points out that on the day camp opens the Dodgers have six veteran relief pitchers, four utility/bench players, eight starting position players and seven starting pitchers. That’s a far cry from the last few years when there were deals for starting pitchers being done seemingly up to Opening Day. Presumably they’ll deal a starter, hopefully for a fourth outfielder. Saxon gets off a good line, noting that there are a bunch of players whose health is best described as “improving.”

Trainer Sue Falsone might have more interesting media sessions than manager Don Mattingly.

Should we start getting excited yet?

Update: ESPN has released the Sunday Night Baseball schedule through July 21, and the May 5 Dodgers – Giants game at AT&T Park is included on the list. As David Pinto points out, there’s only one Yankees – Red Sox game on the schedule, which is a welcome change as far as I’m concerned. The Angels have two games scheduled, at Texas and the White Sox.

Update: Jon has some parting thoughts about both Stan Musial and Earl Weaver at the old site.