Every game in baseball begins at the same time today. I’m sure MLB is hoping for a repeat of the events of September 28, 2011, when within thirty minutes two teams were eliminated from the playoffs after leading in their respective games. There are two games which are important today, but neither has quite the same amount of weight as those games eight years ago:
The Cardinals’ magic number to win the NL Central is one. That means a St. Louis win or Milwaukee loss Sunday would make the Cardinals division champs, while a Brewers win and Cardinals loss would force a tiebreaker Monday at Busch Stadium (3:09 p.m ET on ESPN) to determine the division winner. If both teams win Sunday, the Cardinals win the NL Central.
The Dodgers will make the last game of the season a bullpen game, starting LHP Rich Hill (4-1, 2.59 ERA) but not allowing him to go more than three innings, I imagine, thanks to his balky knee. The Giants have changed their minds; Madison Bumgarner was originally scheduled to start but was scratched by manager Bruce Bochy after Friday night’s game. Instead they’ll give RHP Dereck Rodríguez (6-10, 5.27 ERA) his 16th start of the season. He’s 0-1 with an 11.32 ERA in four lifetime appearances against the Dodgers.
Here’s Mr. Ryu’s excellent game Saturday: seven strikeouts, an RBI base hit, seven scoreless innings and the NL ERA title.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1951 Don Newcombe becomes the first black pitcher to win twenty games in a season. In a must-win for the Dodgers, the right-hander bests Robin Roberts, also a 20-game-winner, when he blanks the Phillies at Shibe Park, 5-0.
1959 At the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the Dodgers capture the NL flag with a dramatic 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Braves, taking the first two games of the three-game playoff necessitated by the teams being tied on the last day of the season. The deciding run comes in the bottom of the 12th inning, after the first two batters make outs, when Gil Hodges walks and scores on singles by Joe Pignatano and Carl Furillo.
1976 Tommy Lasorda is named to succeed Walter Alston as Dodger manager. ‘Smokey’ compiled a 2040-1613 record (.558), during his 23-year tenure with the club, winning seven pennants and four world championships.
1979 Manny Mota sets a major league record with his 146th career pinch hit, a single to right field, in LA’s 6-2 victory over Chicago at Dodger Stadium. The Dominican Republic native surpasses the all-time record set by Smoky Burgess, who collected his last hit as a pinch-hitter in 1967.
2000 Gary Sheffield ties the Dodgers’ franchise single-season home run record when he goes deep off Woody Williams in the team’s 3-0 victory over San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium. The left fielder, with his career best 43rd round tripper, now shares the team mark with Duke Snider, who established the record in 1956 when he played for Brooklyn.
RHP Walker Buehler (13-4, 3.25 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. He’ll face RHP Johnny Cueto (1-1, 2.57 ERA), who is making his fourth and last start of the season after recuperating from Tommy John surgery. In his first two starts he was surprisingly good, going ten scoreless innings. His third start was less so: he gave up four runs in four innings against the Braves. Buehler went six innings in his last start, gave up four runs to the Rockies and took the loss.
How yesterday’s shutout was pitched:
Check out the photos up and down the Dodgers’ Twitter feed. They look a lot like these:
1936 Replacing Johnny Mize, tossed by an ump for arguing, Cardinal rookie first baseman Walter Alston makes an error in handling two chances and strikes out in his only major league at-bat. ‘Smokey’ will, however, win seven pennants and four World Series in his 23-year Hall of Fame career as Dodger manager from 1954 to 1976.
1951 Bill Sharman, recently called up from Fort Worth, is one of 15 Dodgers who are ejected by umpire Frank Dascoli for bench jockeying after a close call at home plate. The future basketball Hall of Famer will never play in the big leagues, and thus he will become the only player to be ejected from a major league game without ever appearing in one.
1960 Ryne Duren makes his first start in two years memorable when he strikes out the first five batters he faces in the Yankees’ 5-1 victory over Washington. The feat ties a modern major league record shared by Lefty Gomez (Yankees), Dazzy Vance (Dodgers), and Walter Johnson (Senators).
1961 Sandy Koufax breaks the National League mark for strikeouts in a season, surpassing Christy Mathewson’s mark of 267 established in 1903. Unlike the turmoil caused by commissioner Ford Frick’s edict of having to hit 61 homers by the 154th game in the extended 162-game schedule to break Babe Ruth’s single season home run record, little is made that the Dodgers southpaw’s 268th punch-out occurs in the 151st game of the season, compared to the 142-game sked played early in the century.
1964 The Houston Colt .45’s play their final game in Colt Stadium, the team’s home ballpark since joining the National League in 1962. The future Astros beat the Dodgers in the 12th inning, 1-0, when Jimmy Wynn’s single plates Bob Aspromonte.
1993 In a 7-3 victory over the Dodgers, Cubs’ reliever Randy Myers becomes the first National League pitcher to record 50 saves in a season.
1993 Mike Piazza, who broke the major league rookie record for home runs by a catcher earlier in the month, sets another mark for round-trippers when he hits his 34th, surpassing the previous L.A. Dodger mark shared by Steve Garvey (1977) and Pedro Guerrero (1985). Duke Snider established the franchise record with 43 homers playing with Brooklyn in 1956.
2000 The United States Olympic team, managed by former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda, stuns the world, beating the much-favored Cuban team to win the country’s first gold medal in its national pastime. Ben Sheets ends Cuba’s 21-game Olympic winning streak with a 4-0 shutout.
2011 After giving up five runs in the top of the tenth inning, the Diamondbacks score six times in the bottom of the frame in an amazing 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the Dodgers. Arizona infielder Ryan Roberts delivers the decisive blow in the Chase Field contest, a walk-off grand slam with two outs.
The NL West champion Dodgers send RHP Ross Stripling (4-4, 3.42 ERA) to the mound to face the Orioles’ rookie LHP John Means (10-10, 3.50 ERA). “Chicken Strip” has made 13 starts and 15 relief appearances this season; he’s got a 3.38 ERA as a starter and a 3.57 ERA as a reliever. In his last start on September 1 he went three scoreless innings; he probably won’t go much longer than that in Wednesday’s game. Means is approaching a career high in innings at 131; the most he’s ever thrown in a season was 157 last year. In his last four starts he’s put up a 2.45 ERA.
MLB-leading ERA (3.12), K/BB ratio (4.72), WHIP (1.07) and shutouts (15) from its starters
The highest run differential in the NL (+237) by a cushion of 125 runs
A National League record in homers that is continuing to build (258)
The highest team OPS in the NL
Only one losing streak of five games or more
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1959 The Dodgers end Elroy Face’s consecutive win streak at 22 with a 5-4 victory over the Pirates. The reliever, who will end the season with an 18-1 record, is beaten by Chuck Churn, one of only three major league victories in his career.
1966 In his first major league at-bat, John Miller homers off Lee Stange in the second inning of the Yankees’ 4-2 victory over Boston at Fenway Park. The 22 year-old left fielder, whose total of 10 hits in his 32-game career will include just two round-trippers, will become the only player to hit home runs in his first and last major league plate appearance when he goes deep as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers in his final turn at bat in 1966.
1998 Kevin Malone is named as the Dodgers’ general manager, replacing Tommy Lasorda, who is promoted to Senior Vice President of the team. The “new sheriff in town” tenure in Los Angeles will be marked by the signing of high profile players to huge contracts, including Kevin Brown’s seven-year deal making the right-hander the first $100 million man in baseball.
The Dodgers send RHP Tony Gonsolin (2-1, 2.74 ERA) to the Chase Field hill to face the Diamondbacks’ RHP Zac Gallen (2-4, 2.56 ERA). Gonsolin beat the Yankees August 24 in the game that featured Kenley Jansen getting out of a one-out bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning to preserve the Dodgers’ 2-1 win. Gallen came over to the D-Backs in a trade deadline deal and has shown some promise; he’s gone 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA for Arizona. He has, however, walked 12 batters in 20 innings in August, which is not ideal.
X-ray on Muncy showed no fracture. Contusion remains the diagnosis.
1918 At the Polo Grounds, the Giants beat the Dodgers, 1-0, on an unearned run in the bottom in the ninth in a contest that takes only fifty-six minutes to complete. Pete Compton’s base hit off Jack Combs plates Larry Doyle, who had singled to lead off the frame and moved to third on Ollie O’Mara’s errant throw on a sacrifice bunt.
1952 Nine-time All-Star infielder Arky Vaughan drowns with a friend when their boat capsized while fishing in a volcanic lake near Eagleville, CA. The former shortstop and third baseman, who compiled a .318 batting average and a .406 on-base percentage playing with the Pirates and Dodgers, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.
1966 Sandy Koufax, in his final decision facing the Mets, lasts only two innings, losing to Bob Friend at Shea Stadium, 10-4. The Dodgers Hall of Fame southpaw has compiled a 17-2 record against the lowly expansion team since their inception in 1962.
2000 Earning his 1,600th victory, Braves’ manager Bobby Cox passes former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda on the career list for most managerial victories. His 5-2 victory over the Reds puts him 14th on the all-time list.
2015 The NL’s eventual 2015 Cy Young Award recipient Jake Arrieta, needing just 116 pitches, beats Los Angeles, 2-0, tossing the 12th no-hitter ever thrown at the Chavez Ravine ballpark, and the 13th no-no in Cubs history. The contest marks the second time in ten games the Dodgers has been unable to get a hit; they were held hitless by Astros right-hander Mike Fiers on August 21.
LHP James Paxton (9-6, 4.53 ERA) takes the hill for the Bronx Bombers while LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-3, 1.64 ERA) does the same for the Dodgers. Paxton has won all four of his starts this month and has averaged a below-4.00 ERA in each of his six MLB seasons, although he’s never reached double digits in wins. Ryu is having a Cy Young-caliber year. He did give up back-to-back HRs in his last start, only the third time all year he’s given up more than one home run in a start.
Here’s the Dodgers’ ninth-inning rally last night:
Dodgers – Yankees history via WBBsAs in comments to the previous post:
1958 Gil Hodges hits his 14th career grand slam in the Dodgers’ 10-1 victory over Milwaukee at LA Memorial Coliseum. The first baseman’s bases-full round-tripper establishes a new National League record, but is far fewer than Lou Gehrig’s major league mark of 23.
1989 In the 11th frame of an eventual 22-inning 1-0 loss, the Expos’ Youppi! becomes the first mascot to be thrown out of a game when Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda complains to the umpires about the hairy orange giant’s behavior at Olympic Stadium. The L.A. skipper takes exception to the loud noise caused by the hairy creature’s running leap onto the visitors’ dugout before sneaking back into a front row seat.
1989 In that same game, the second-longest shutout in big league history ends when Rick Dempsey hits a home run in the top of the 22nd inning, giving the Dodgers an eventual 1-0 victory over the Expos at Olympic Stadium. The Astros blanked the Mets for 24 frames en route to a 1-0 win at the Astrodome in 1968.
2000 Team president Bob Graziano apologizes to a female couple who were asked to leave Dodger Stadium on August 8th because the two shared a kiss during a game. The pair felt the action of the eight security guards was discriminatory because the couple’s friends, a man and a woman, also kissed but were not ejected.
2013 At a Dodger Stadium press conference, LA announces Vin Scully will continue to broadcast Dodgers’ games for his 65th consecutive season. Some of the historic moments the Hall of Fame broadcaster has called include Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, 19 no-hitters, including four thrown by Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, and Kirk Gibson’s dramatic walk-off in the 1988 Fall Classic.
RHP Kenta Maeda (7-7, 3.81 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game series. He went 4 1/3 innings on Tuesday against the Angels and gave up three runs, taking the loss when Bellinger was thrown out by Calhoun to end the game. His opponent will be RHP Jon Gray (9-7, 4.05 ERA), who has surrendered three or fewer runs in six of his last seven starts. The Rockies have lost three of the last four of those games, but they’ve gone 9-22 for the last month-plus so that’s not altogether surprising.
About the only bright spot in yesterday’s game was Corey Seager’s three-run HR in the ninth:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1915 Pirates third baseman Honus Wagner reaches Robins hurler Jeff Pfeffer for a grand slam in the eighth inning, helping Pittsburgh beat Brooklyn at Forbes Field, 8-2. The inside-the-park round-tripper makes the 41 year-old infielder the oldest player ever to hit a home run with the bases full, a record which will last until 1985.
1996 After a mild heart attack last month, Tommy Lasorda, 68 year-old Dodger manager of twenty years, announces his retirement due to his health. The future Hall of Fame skipper, who was named the National League Manager of the Year in 1983 and ’88, led Los Angeles to four pennants and two World Series championships during his 21 seasons at the helm.
RHP German Márquez (7-3, 4.57 ERA) goes for the Rockies and RHP Walker Buehler (7-1, 3.06 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. Márquez is having a horrible June: he’s got a 10.06 ERA for the three starts he’s made thus far this month. Buehler has given up one run in the three starts he’s made in June.
Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill was placed on the 10-day injured list on Thursday with what doctors told him is a strained left flexor tendon and will be sidelined until at least August.
Hill, 39, said he won’t resume throwing for three to four weeks, then will probably need another month of build up toward competition. A free agent after this season, Hill said he expects to pitch again this year.
More personnel news: Beaty, sent down yesterday, was recalled today and starts tonight at first base. I suspect he didn’t leave LAX.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1957 In his first major league start, Von McDaniel‚ who graduated from Oklahoma’s Hollis High School last month, two-hits the Dodgers at Busch Stadium‚ 2-0. Brooklyn does not get a hit off the 18 year-old bonus baby until the sixth inning.
1998 Bill Russell is released as Dodger manager and is replaced in the dugout by Glenn Hoffmann. In the front office, Tommy Lasorda assumes the general manager duties of the third-place club from Fred Claire.
2016 Dean Kremer becomes the first-ever Israeli to sign a contract with a Major League baseball team when he comes to terms with the Dodgers, after being selected in the annual amateur draft earlier this month. The 20-year-old right-hander, who won Europe’s Most Valuable Pitcher award in both 2014 and 2015, has hurled for Israel’s national baseball team for the past three seasons. (Note: Kremer was traded to the Orioles in the Manny Machado deal in 2018)
Grizzled veteran lefty Rich Hill (2-1, 2.25 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while somewhat-less-grizzled but nonetheless veteran Jeff Samardzjia (3-4, 3.61 ERA) takes the mound for the Giants. Hill went seven innings and 103 pitches against the Phillies last time out, giving up three hits and three walks and getting the win. Samardzjia got his first win since April 23 his last time out, going six innings against the Orioles.
Three bright spots from the game last night: Muncy made three defensive gems at second base.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1952 Prior to the start of a twin bill against the Reds, Dodger manager Chuck Dressen tells Cal Abrams if he wants to stay with the team that the benchwarmer will need to verbally taunt the skipper of the opposing club. Much to his chagrin, the spare outfielder, who spends the entire first game of a double-header severely heckling his opponents and their leader, is informed between games he has been traded to Cincinnati, effective tomorrow, and will need to report to his new field boss, one very angry Roger Hornsby.
1955 After only eight games and 13 innings of work, the Dodgers option rookie left-handed pitcher Tom Lasorda to Montreal to make room for a bonus baby who is also a southpaw. Sandy Koufax, who had injured his ankle, comes off the 30-day disabled list.
1968 Dodger right-hander Don Drysdale’s scoreless streak ends at a record 58 2/3 consecutive innings when Tony Taylor is driven in by Howie Bedell’s sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. It will be the Phillies outfielder’s only RBI for the season.
2007 With their 3-0 victory over Detroit at Comerica Park, the Mets begin a span of 18 games to become the first team in baseball history to play six consecutive series against six different clubs that all participated in the playoffs the previous season. New York will compile an 8-10 record during the stretch playing against the Tigers, Dodgers, Yankees, Twins, A’s, and the Cardinals.
2012 Six Mariners pitchers combine to hurl the franchise’s third no-hitter when starter Kevin Millwood leaves the game with an injury and five relievers, Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League, and Tom Wilhelmsen, keep the Dodgers hitless in the team’s 1-0 victory at Safeco Field. Brian Runge, the home plate umpire, was also behind the dish for Philip Humber’s perfect game, making him the first ump to call balls and strikes for two no-hitters in one season since Drew Coble accomplished the feat in 1990.
One-time Cubs ace RHP Jake Arrieta (5-4, 3.60 ERA) takes the mound for the Phillies. He’ll face RHP Kenta Maeda (6-2, 3.67 ERA) of the Dodgers. In 8 of his 11 starts this season Arrieta has given up three earned runs or fewer. In his last start Maeda came back from the IL and went five innings, giving up three runs on two HRs to the Pirates but getting the win.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1937 In Game 1 of a Memorial Day doubleheader, Carl Hubbell’s consecutive-game winning streak, compiled over two seasons, ends at 24 when the Dodgers, led by Babe Phelps’ 5-for-6 performance, defeat the Giants at the Polo Grounds, 10-3. ‘King Carl’ is honored between games when the southpaw is presented with the National League’s 1936 MVP Award by Babe Ruth.
1948 Tommy Lasorda, best known as the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame skipper, strikes out 25 batters and collects the game-winning hit when the Schenectady Blue Jays defeat the Amsterdam Rugmakers, 6-5, in 15 innings. The promising southpaw, who goes the distance in the CanAm minor-league contest played in McNearney Stadium, believes he probably threw more than 300 pitches during the game.
1965 For the first time in history, an all-switch-hitting infield starts a big league game. In the nightcap of a twin bill, the Dodgers, with Wes Parker at first base, Jim Lefebvre at second, Maury Wills at shortstop, and Jim Gilliam at third, lose to the visiting Reds, 6-1.
1968 Don Drysdale’s shutout streak stays intact when home plate umpire Harry Wendelstedt rules that Dick Dietz, who is hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, did not make an attempt to get out of the way of the right-hander’s delivery. The Giants catcher finishes the at-bat by popping up, and the next two batters also make outs to give ‘Big D” his fifth straight shutout, tying a major league established by White Sox hurler Doc White in 1904.
2001 The Red Sox finally beat the Yankees in their eighth attempt, and for the first time in over a year since Pedro Martinez scoffed at the ‘Curse’. The right-hander was 7-1 with a 1.44 ERA when he said, “Wake up the Bambino and let me face him — I’ll drill him in the “%#$,” but after the comment he managed only seven more winless starts, making it first time he did not win in seven straight starts since the first seven major league appearances as a rookie with the Dodgers.
2012 With their 6-2 victory, the Brewers beat LA at Chavez Ravine for the fourth consecutive day, making the Brew Crew the first visiting team to sweep a four-game series since the Rockies accomplished the feat in August, 1993. The victories also mark the first time the franchise has ever swept the Dodgers.
Hmm. Turner’s hamstring might be a little more painful than expected. What else would explain Muncy at third base and Beaty at first? On the other hand, Beaty has played 165 games at first in the minors, more than at any other position.
RHP Kenta Maeda (3-2, 4.41 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and rookie LHP Nick Margevicius (2-3, 3.23 ERA) goes for the Friars. I’m sure Maeda’s start has not been what he or the Dodgers had hoped, but he’s improving. His last time out he threw five scoreless innings against the Giants despite allowing seven hits and two walks. Margevicius walked eight men in his last two starts (10 2/3 innings), but he allowed only four hits in each game. He’s struck out 7.6 men per nine innings, too.
In case you missed it, Kevin Pillar made an amazing high jump of a catch against the Reds Saturday:
Muncy’s home run in the sixth on Saturday was a no-doubter:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1953 In the second game of a twin bill at Milwaukee’s County Stadium, Braves’ hurler Max Surkont strikes out the hitter for the third out of the second inning, and will continue to fan batters until there is one out in the fifth inning en route to a 10-3 victory over the Reds. The eight consecutive strikeouts establish a new major league record, surpassing the mark of seven straight strikeouts shared by Dazzy Vance (Robins aka Dodgers, 1924) and Van Mungo (Dodgers, 1936).
1955 In his first major league start, Dodger rookie starter Tommy Lasorda ties a record, throwing three wild pitches in the first inning of the team’s 4-3 victory over St. Louis at Ebbets Field. The future Dodgers’ Hall of Fame skipper, during his one inning of work, will be spiked by Wally Moon, covering a play at home plate after uncorking on of his errant pitches.
1962 In just his fourth big league start, Bo Belinsky throws the first hitless game in Angels history and the first one ever tossed at Dodger Stadium, beating the Orioles, 2-0. The 25 year-old southpaw is only the tenth rookie to throw a no-hitter.
2000 Former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda is named manager of the United States’ Olympic baseball team. The Hall of Fame pilot won four National League pennants and two World Series titles with Los Angeles.
2008 At Coors Field, Derek Lowe throws 43 pitches before he retires the first Rockies batter of the game. The Dodgers starting pitcher never recovers from the 50-pitch, three-run first inning, leaving after the fifth of a 7-2 eventual loss to Colorado.
2008 In the 4,000th game played at Dodger Stadium, Joe Torre’s Dodgers beat the Mets, 5-1. The Los Angeles skipper also managed in the 1,000th game at the Astrodome (Mets – 1977) and Coors Field (Yankees – 2007), the 2,000th at Busch Stadium (Cardinals – 1991), the 3,000th at Angel Stadium (Yankees – 2003), and the 6,000th at Yankee Stadium (Yankees -2001).
2009 The Dodgers tie the major league record of 12 consecutive wins at home to start the season with their 3-1 victory over Arizona. L.A.’s 12-0 start at home equals the mark set by the Tigers in 1911.