Oct 27

World Series Game Six, 2020

Rays vs Dodgers, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The visiting Rays send LHP Blake Snell to the mound to fend off elimination, while the Dodgers send RHP Tony Gonsolin out to end the Series today. Snell started Game Two of the Series and went 4 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on two hits and four walks while striking out nine. Gonsolin started Game Two against Snell, but he was being used as an “opener” and went just 1 1/3 innings, giving up a home run and taking the loss in a 6-4 game the Rays won.

The Dodgers don’t need Vin Scully, of all people, giving the Rays any bulletin board material!

“I don’t mean to put anybody down,” Scully, the beloved Hall of Fame broadcaster, told USA TODAY Sports on Monday, “but when the series started, I thought the Dodgers would win in five (games). Not that I know anything, but my thought is, ‘What’s taking them so long?’

“That’s probably a dumb thing to say, but I guess it’s not so much the failings of the Dodgers, but it’s a tribute to the Rays. They don’t look very formidable on television, I tell you that. They don’t look like a team that scores a lot of runs. You look at them, and they’ll leave the bases loaded, or nobody out and runners on first and third and trying to steal home. They just don’t have enough firepower.

“Watching the Dodgers all year, the Dodgers are a far better team, a far more formidable team. I don’t think the people in Tampa will argue. Sometimes the weak beats the strong, but these fellows don’t impose a formidable threat.

“I would be totally and completely shocked if they lost.”

October 27 has had more baseball history than I expected, most of it coming in the past 20 years as extra rounds of playoffs have extended the number of days required to finish the World Series.

Lineups:

Rays:

Dodgers:

Oct 21

World Series Game Two, 2020

Rays vs Dodgers, 5:00 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The visiting Rays send 2018 Cy Young winner LHP Blake Snell to the mound to face what’s expected to be a parade of Dodger relievers beginning with RHP Tony Gonsolin. Snell is 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA this postseason; he hasn’t gone past the fifth inning since the Rays’ Wild Card series against the Blue Jays. Gonsolin started and lost Game Two of the NLCS, giving up five runs on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. Entering in the second inning of Game Seven of that series in relief of Dustin May he went two innings, giving up two runs on two hits in a game the Dodgers subsequently won on Bellinger’s HR and Julio Urias’s brilliant three closing innings.

How was your day, Mookie Betts?

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2009 In Game 5 of the NLCS, the Phillies defeat the Dodgers, capturing their second straight pennant. Philadelphia, with their 10-4 victory at Citizens Bank Park, becomes the first National League team to repeat the feat since the Braves won consecutive flags in 1995-96.

Lineups:

Rays:

Dodgers:

Oct 18

NLCS Game Seven, 2020

Braves vs Dodgers, 5:15 PM PDT, TV: Fox, FS1

When the Braves send RHP Ian Anderson to the mound this evening he’ll be the sixth-youngest pitcher ever to start a postseason elimination game. He’s made three starts in the playoffs, going 15 2/3 innings without allowing a run, including four innings against the Dodgers in Game Two of this series. The Dodgers failed to take advantage of the five walks he issued during that outing and lost the game. It seems unlikely he’ll be that generous again, but if he is they’ve got to score those runners.

The Dodgers have not yet announced who’s gonna start, but Gonsolin seems to be the likely choice. He could go deep into the game or, if he falters, he could be pulled quickly. The Dodgers have several fairly well-rested arms in the bullpen, although they may be well-rested because they’re not entirely trusted. Who knows?

Update: In a surprise to me, RHP Dustin May is going to start for the Dodgers. He went two innings in the Dodgers’ 7-3 win in Game Five, starting the game and giving up three hits and two runs.

Please, Roberts, do not be tempted to use Clayton Kershaw on short rest. He is no longer the 22-year-old wunderkind of ten years ago. He’s a guy with 2,300 innings of major league baseball under his belt. Asking him to do anything in today’s game would be setting him up to fail in the postseason again, and he deserves better from his bosses.

The catch didn’t steal a homer, but it would have scored a run and put Ozuna on 2nd or 3rd. It was Betts’ reaction after he caught it that really amused me, though:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1977 In the Yankees’ 8-4 victory over the Dodgers in Game 6 of the Fall Classic, Reggie Jackson, who also homered in his last at-bat in the previous contest, hits three more home runs, each on the first pitch of the at-bat, giving the New York slugger three homers on three consecutive pitches, after drawing a base-on-balls in his first plate appearance. ‘Mr. October’s heroics in the Bronx ballpark assures the team of their twenty-first World Championship and first since 1962.

  • 2013 The Cardinals advance to their second World Series in three seasons, routing the Dodgers, 9-0, in Game 6 of the NLCS. St. Louis, behind the timely hitting of Carlos Beltran and the strong pitching performance of rookie right-hander Michael Wacha, beats Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83) for the fourth time this season, including a pair of victories in this round of the postseason.

Lineups when available.

Braves:

Dodgers:

Oct 13

NLCS Game Two, 2020

Braves vs Dodgers, 3:05 PM PDT, TV: FS1

The Braves give the ball to rookie RHP Ian Anderson, who made his first appearance in the big leagues on August 26. He went 3-2 in the regular season and has improved on that once the postseason began, going 2-0 and allowing no runs at all in 11 2/3 innings. The Dodgers had planned to ask LHP Clayton Kershaw to get them even, but back spasms have intervened. They will send RHP Tony Gonsolin to the mound instead. This will be the first postseason appearance of his career.

Here’s the rest of the story of Kershaw’s back and the Dodgers’ plans for the rotation.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1974 Herb Washington, representing the tying run in the top of the ninth, is picked off first base by Dodger closer Mike Marshall for the second out of Game 2, the only contest the A’s will lose in the Fall Classic. The world-class sprinter, who will never have a plate appearance in his brief 105-game career, was selected by Oakland owner Charlie Finley to become the team’s “designated runner,” a position that doesn’t exist with any other major league club.

    Lineups when available.

    Braves’ lineup:

    Dodgers’ lineup:

Oct 08

NLDS Game Three, 2020

Braves vs Marlins, 11:08 AM PDT, TV: FS1

Atlanta leads the series 2-0.

The Braves hand the ball to RHP Kyle Wright, who’ll be making his first postseason appearance. He last pitched on September 25 against the Red Sox; he gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings. That was the longest outing of his short career. He’ll face the Marlins’ RHP Sixto Sánchez. who went five scoreless innings against the Cubs in the Marlins’ Wild Card Series.

The second NLDS game will be the Dodgers vs Padres, 6:08 PM PDT, TV: MLBN

Los Angeles leads the series 2-0.

The Dodgers haven’t named a starter as of 8:25 PM HST, but my guess would be RHP Tony Gonsolin or LHP Julio Urias, since they’ve both started this season. The Padres will send out LHP rookie Adrian Morejon, who will make his first postseason start. He pitched three innings in two appearances against the Cardinals in the Wild Card Series.

Here are nine of the best reactions to Bellinger’s catch.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1929 In front of 50,000 fans at Wrigley Field, surprise starter Howard Ehmke establishes a new World Series record, striking out 13 Cubs en route to a 3-1 A’s victory in Game 1 of the Fall Classic. The mark will last for 34 years until Dodger hurler Carl Erskine fans 14 Yankees in 1953.
  • 1956 Don Larsen pitches the first perfect game in World Series history, defeating the Dodgers, 2-0 in Game 5 of the Fall Classic at Yankee Stadium. The 27 year-old right-hander, who had a poor start in Game 2 because of a lack of control, throws only 97 pitches, striking out pinch-hitter Dale Mitchell looking for the final out.

  • 1957 Club President Walter O’Malley makes it official, announcing the Dodgers will play in Los Angeles next season. The club’s departure from Brooklyn corresponds with the massive social shift taking place in the borough that finds many of its former residents leaving for the suburbs of Long Island.
  • 1959 Chicago’s speed and quickness weren’t enough to overcome Los Angeles’ hitting and pitching as the ‘Go-Go Sox’ drop a 9-3 decision, losing the World Series in six games to the Dodgers, who win their first championship representing the City of Angels. In the Comiskey Park, LA’s Chuck Essegian sets a record with his ninth-inning shot off of Ray Moore to become the first player to hit two pinch-hit homers in the Fall Classic.
  • 1966 The Orioles managed only three hits off Claude Osteen, but Paul Blair’s fifth-inning 430-foot home run proves to be the difference as Baltimore beats the Dodgers in Game 3 of the World Series, 1-0. Wally Bunker throws a six-hitter to get the victory in the first Fall Classic game ever played in Baltimore.
  • 1977 In Game 4 of the NLCS played at Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium, Dodger hurler Tommy John goes the distance and beats Steve Carlton and the Phillies, 4-1. The LA southpaw considers this pennant-clinching performance the best game he has ever pitched in the major leagues.
  • 1995 After dropping the first two games of the series, the Mariners make a dramatic comeback in Game 5 to beat the Yankees with a 6-5 extra-inning victory to capture the ALDS. Ken Griffey Jr. ties a major league record when he hits his fifth home run in the postseason series, an eighth-inning round-tripper off David Cone, equaling the mark Reggie Jackson established in 1977 when he went deep five times in the World Series against the Dodgers.

  • 2009 A ninth-inning error by left fielder Matt Holliday with the bases empty and two-out leads to the Dodgers’ stunning 3-2 walk-off victory and gives LA a commanding 2-0 game advantage in the NLDS. After the crucial miscue on the sinking line drive, Cardinals’ closer Ryan Franklin gives up RBI singles to Ronnie Belliard and pinch-hitter Mark Loretta to complete the improbable two-run comeback rally.

Today in Padres’ history:

  • 2002 The Tigers select their former All-Star shortstop Alan Trammell (1977-1996) to manage the faltering franchise. The California native had been a coach with the Padres for the last three seasons.
  • 2006 In the inaugural season in their new ballpark, the Cardinals beat the Padres 6-2 at Busch Stadium to take the NLDS playoff three games to one. The Redbirds advance to the championship series for the third consecutive season when Chris Carpenter gets the win, earning his second victory in the best-of-five series.

Lineups when available.

Padres’ lineup:

Dodgers’ lineup:

Sep 26

Game 59, 2020

Angels at Dodgers, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-W, SPNLA

RHP Dylan Bundy (6-3, 3.29 ERA) goes for the Angels while RHP Tony Gonsolin (1-2, 1.77 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. Bundy has not been at his best in September: he’s got a 4.91 ERA in the four starts he’s made this month. Gonsolin’s start today may set him up to start Game Three of the Wild Card Series next week if one’s needed. Opponents have a 0.787 WHIP against him for the year, so how do you argue against him?

Here are JT’s two dingers from yesterday’s game:

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.

Lineup when available.

Sep 20

Game 54, 2020

Dodgers at Rockies, 12:10 PM PDT, TV: ATTSportsNet-RM, SPNLA

RHP Tony Gonsolin (1-1, 1.51 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and RHP Antonio Senzatela (4-2, 3.30 ERA) goes for the Rockies. Gonsolin is coming off his best performance of the year; he went seven innings against the Padres on Wednesday and gave up just one run. Senzatela threw a nine-inning complete game last Tuesday, beating the As 3-1.

Here’s Mookie’s mad dash:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1907 At Exposition Park in Pittsburgh, Nick Maddox no-hits the Dodgers, 2-1. At the age of 20 years and ten months, the Pirates hurler becomes the youngest pitcher and the second rookie to throw a no-hitter.
  • 1911 Bill Bergen ends his major league career with the lowest lifetime batting average for a position player in major league history by hitting an anemic .170 during his 11-year tenure with the Reds and Superbas. The 33 year-old backstop, who had only one year of batting above .200, also holds the records for lowest season batting average for a regular season (.139 in 1909) and the longest streak of at-bats without a hit (46 in 1909).
  • 1954 The Giants clinch the pennant when they beat the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 7-1. The National League champs, finishing the season five games ahead of second-place Brooklyn, will go on to sweep Cleveland in the Fall Classic.
  • 1959 The San Francisco Giants, bowing to the Dodgers, 8-2, play their last game at Seals Stadium. The transplanted New York team, who compiled a 163-145 record in their two-year stay in the former PCL park, will move to the newly constructed Candlestick Park next season.
  • 1961 In a 13-inning contest, Sandy Koufax goes the distance, beating the Cubs, 3-2, in the last regular season game to be played at the LA Memorial Coliseum, which was originally built for the 1932 Olympics. The Dodgers are leaving the only home they have known since moving from Brooklyn four seasons ago to play in a brand new stadium in Chavez Ravine, located a few miles from downtown Los Angeles.
  • 2011 Clayton Kershaw becomes the Dodgers’ first 20-game winner since Ramon Martinez accomplished the feat in 1990. Allowing just one run in 7 1/3 innings, the southpaw gets the victory when LA beats the visiting Giants, 2-1.
  • 2012 Washington secures a playoff spot when they beat the Dodgers at Nationals Park, 4-1. The last time there was postseason baseball in the nation’s capital occurred 79 years ago, when player-skipper Joe Cronin and the Senators lost to the Giants in five games in the 1933 World Series.

Lineup when available.

Sep 15

Game 49, 2020

Dodgers at Padres, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: FSSD, SPNLA

RHP Tony Gonsolin (0-1, 1.57 ERA) gets back to his starting role after an unexpected stint in relief of Dustin May after May’s foot injury last Thursday. He’ll face RHP Zach Davies (7-2, 2.48 ERA), who is apparently the changeup artist in all of baseball, using it to great effect: opponents are hitting .175 against it.

Highlights of yesterday’s game are few, so here’s the postseason schedule instead.

The best-of-three Wild Card Series, best-of-five Division Series and best-of-seven League Championship Series will each take place without any off-days in between games. Teams will have to decide whether to use the traditional five-man rotation, or utilize four starting pitchers, with the potential for as many as three of them pitching on short rest.

Each series will be preceded by at least one off-day, though more are possible depending on when other series are completed.

The 116th World Series is slated to start with Game 1 on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at Globe Life Field in Arlington. A potential Game 7 is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 28.

The Dodgers have activated IF Justin Turner and optioned RHP Josh Sborz.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1946 In Brooklyn, a giant swarm of gnats engulfs Ebbets Field at the end of the fifth inning of the second game of a doubleheader. The nightcap is called due to the bothersome insects and the impending darkness, resulting in a 2-0 Dodger victory over the Cubs.
  • 1950 At Ebbets Field, Cardinal starter Cloyd Boyer hurts his arm while warming up and is replaced by Red Munger. The reliever goes the distance, beating the Dodgers, 6-2, getting credit for a complete game, but not for a game started.
  • 1978 Don Sutton, in front of 47,188 fans at Dodger Stadium, throws a six-hitter to beat Atlanta, 5-0. Los Angeles, with tonight’s attendance, becomes the major league first team in history to draw three million fans at home.
  • 1995 Ozzie Smith takes part in the 1,554th twin killing of his career to set a new big league record for double plays. The Cardinals’ shortstop’s wizardry isn’t enough to prevent the Redbirds’ 7-6 loss to the Dodgers at Busch Stadium.

Lineup when available.

Sep 06

Game 42, 2020

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet-RM, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

RHP Ryan Castellani (1-2, 4.81 ERA) takes the hill for the visiting Rockies and LHP Julio Urias (3-0, 3.27 ERA) does the same for the Dodgers. In Castellani’s last start he got roughed up for five runs in two innings, but he made a relief appearance later in the week and he performed well. Urias went six innings against the D-Backs in his last start, giving up just four hits and one run, striking out five and walking none.

Yesterday’s game ended in disappointment, but Tony Gonsolin struck out eight:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1924 In a game that features a total of only six hits, the Brooklyn Robins beat Boston, 1-0, behind the strong two-hit performance of right-hander Bill Doak. The Braves Field victory is the team’s 15th consecutive win, establishing the longest winning streak in franchise history.
  • 1953 With Giants manager Leo Durocher yelling “stick it in his ear”, Ruben Gomez hits Carl Furillo, the National League’s leading hitter, on the wrist with a pitch. After taking first base, the Dodgers right fielder bolts into the opposing dugout to choke ‘Leo the Lip’, but in the melee, the knuckle on his little finger is fractured, putting an end to his season.
  • 1981 Fernando Valenzuela ties the National League’s rookie record for shutouts, blanking St. Louis, 5-0, for his seventh whitewash of the season. The Dodger lefty shares the mark with Irv Young (1905 Beaneaters), Grover Alexander (1911 Phillies), and Jerry Koosman (1968 Mets).
  • 1985 In a matchup of aces that lives up to its advanced billing, Dwight Gooden and Fernando Valenzuela hook up in one of the best pitchers’ duels in recent memory. New York beats Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine, 2-0, thanks to Darryl Strawberry’s two-run double on a day that the 20 year-old Mets right-hander strikes out 10 batters, throwing nine shutout innings, while the Dodgers southpaw pitches 11 innings without allowing a run.
  • 1996 Brett Butler returns to the Dodger lineup four months after having surgery for throat cancer. The 39 year-old center fielder scores the decisive run in the team’s 3-2 victory over the Bucs.

Also on this date in big league history, in 1995 Cal Ripken breaks Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game record, playing in his 2,131st straight game. When the game becomes official in the middle of the fifth inning, the new ‘Iron Man’ takes a victory lap around Camden Yards during the 22-minute standing ovation from the sellout crowd, including President Bill Clinton.

Lineup when available.

Sep 05

Game 41, 2020

Rockies at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet-RM, SPNLA

RHP Tony Gonsolin (0-0, 0.51 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while RHP Germán Márquez (2-5, 4.88 ERA) pitches for the Rockies. Gonsolin’s last start was only three innings, the shortest he’s gone all year, but it was a bullpen game in which Scott Alexander got credit for the win. Márquez is slumping; in his last three starts he’s given up 18 earned runs in 16 innings and the opponents are hitting a cool .348 against him.

Here are Pollock’s, Betts’ and Pederson’s late home runs in yesterday’s game:

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1908 Superbas southpaw Nap Rucker strikes out 14 Doves en route to tossing a no-hitter in the team’s 6-0 victory over Boston at Washington Park. The only runners to get on base off the talented left-handed redhead come as a result of three Brooklyn errors.
  • 1938 For the third time this season, Dodger catcher Babe Phelps breaks a bone in his throwing hand. Although the injuries will limit his playing time to only 66 games and 208 at-bats this season, the southpaw-swinging backstop will hit .308 and was named to the National League All-Star team, the first of three consecutive games he’ll play in the Mid-summer classic.
  • 1955 In an 11-4 win over the Phillies, Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe hits his seventh homer, establishing a National League record for home runs by a pitcher in a season. The victory is Newk’s 20th of the season.
  • 1978 On a night the Dodgers and Angels are scheduled to play at home on the same date, which is a rare occurrence, each team has their game rained out, another oddity in Los Angeles. The second time both clubs’ home contests will be washed out on the same day in the City of Angels will take place late in the season in 1986.
  • 1998 Barry Bonds sets a new National League mark, reaching base in 15 consecutive plate appearances. The Giants outfielder’s five singles, two doubles, two homers, and six walks during the streak break Dodger Pedro Guerrero’s mark of 14 established in 1983.

Lineup: