May 13

Game 37, 2017

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:00 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM

Lefty Alex Wood (3-0, 2.73 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers against lefty Tyler Anderson (2-3, 6.69 ERA). Anderson was scheduled to pitch the opening game of the series on Thursday but was pushed back because of leg soreness. Coors Field is not Wood’s favorite place to pitch: he’s 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA in four starts and he’s allowed 20 earned runs in 16 innings there. Anderson is 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts spanning 10 innings against the Dodgers this season.

What do pitching coaches do? Well:

“He’d gotten in a bad habit,” Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said of Wood’s time in Atlanta, when his velocity was about 4 mph slower than it is now. “His arm slot had really dropped. Didn’t have the angle with the fastball. We revamped his delivery more to what it was when he first got to the big leagues out of college, and he’s really been able to stay on that.”

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1947 During the pre-game infield practice, a barrage of racial slurs is directed at Jackie Robinson by the Cincinnati fans during the Dodgers’ first visit to Crosley Field this season. Brooklyn shortstop Pee Wee Reese, a Southerner from Kentucky with friends attending the game and captain of the team, engages the black infielder in conversation, and then put his arm around his teammate’s shoulder, a gesture that stuns and silences the crowd.
  • 1952 Larry Miggins hits the first of his two major league home runs, going deep off Preacher Roe in the fourth inning of the Cardinals’ 14-8 loss to the Dodgers at Ebbets Field. The round-tripper hit by the Bronx-born outfielder, who had once shared his dream of playing in big leagues during a prep school assembly with a buddy with aspirations to be a baseball broadcaster, is called by an overwhelmed Vin Scully, Brooklyn’s play-by-play announcer who had wondered that day with his friend “what the odds against that would be.”

Lineup when available.

May 06

Game 31, 2017

Dodgers at Padres, 5:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

Lefty Clayton Kershaw (4-2, 2.61 ERA) twirls for the Dodgers and lefty Clayton Richard (2-3, 4.29 ERA) goes for the Friars. Kershaw beat the Padres on April 3, giving up only a solo HR to Ryan Schimpf over seven innings. Richard shut the Dodgers out for eight innings on April 4.

Both pitchers have done well against the opposing team: Kershaw is 15-6 lifetime against San Diego with a 2.03 ERA in 30 starts; Richard is 7-4 with a 1.93 ERA against the Dodgers in 20 games.

On this day in Dodgers history:

  • 1937 Dodgers and Giants fans attending afternoon ball games at both the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field are thrilled to have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Hindenburg when the passenger airship appears over New York, nearing the end of its maiden voyage of the season from Germany. A few hours later, the majestic German zeppelin will explode on a landing strip in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 36 of its passengers.
  • 1947 In a small office high up behind home plate at Ebbets Field, National League president Ford Frick meets with seven Cardinal players individually, revealing he is aware of their secret plan to strike as a protest to Jackie Robinson playing for the Dodgers.
  • 1978 After going deep as a pinch hitter on May 2, Lee Lacy becomes the first major leaguer to pinch-hit home runs in consecutive at-bats. The Dodgers’ super sub will make it three in a row on May 17.
  • 2009 With a 10-3 victory over Washington, the Dodgers break the major league mark for consecutive victories at home to open a season with their 13th straight win in L.A. The previous record of 12 was established in 1911 by the Tigers.

More Dodgers history of a sort: Here’s Bill Shaikin’s column about Vin Scully’s induction into the Dodgers’ Ring of Honor.

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 02

Goodbye, Vin, and thanks for all the fish

The Dodgers’ legendary broadcaster Vin Scully called his last game today in San Francisco. The Bay Area did itself proud in paying tribute to him and to his 67-year career.

That plaque on the wall reads in part “Vin Scully’s Final Broadcast.” It’s inside the visitors’ broadcast booth at AT&T Park in San Francisco, and the two gentlemen are Willie Mays and Vin Scully. Vin has always said Willie was the best player he ever saw.

The crowd in the Giants’ park gave him a rousing welcome and ovation when he arrived in the broadcast booth:

And then he said goodbye

and flew off into the sunset with a friend also named Scully:

Thank you, Vin. I first heard you in 1959 or 1960 when my family moved to Westwood, Ca. I scored games in spiral notebooks as you and Jerry Doggett called them from distant places like St. Louis and Milwaukee and Philadelphia as well as right across town in the Coliseum. When I went to the nearest Union 76 station the portraits I got for free represented more than just my imagination, for you had made the players and the games real.

We moved across country after the 1962 season and I rarely heard you for twenty years until my work took me back to Los Angeles in the mid-1980s. I’ll never forget the first night I was back in that city hunting for the Dodgers’ game on the radio and hearing your voice again, a little older and with an additional partner (Ross Porter). It was wonderful.

For the last twenty years the local cable company has carried the Dodgers’ games on either Prime Ticket or the newer Sports Net Los Angeles channels and Scully has done all the home games and until recently away games west of the Rockies, so I’ve had the great pleasure of hearing him even more than I did when I was a kid.

What the hell, the man’s 88 years old. He’s entitled to retire.

Thanks, Vin, for the highlights and the joy as well as the reminder when the team failed that there was always another game next day or next year. Enjoy your retirement with Sandi.

Oct 02

Game 162, 2016

Last game of the regular season, and it has some importance for the home team Giants.

The Giants can claim the second wild-card spot in the National League and a one-game showdown with the New York Mets in the Big Apple on Wednesday with either a win Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers or a St. Louis Cardinals loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Cardinals can still force a one-game wild-card tiebreaker against the Giants on Monday in St. Louis with a win Sunday and a San Francisco loss.

As a result of Saturday’s loss the Dodgers locked themselves into the No. 3 seed in the NL playoffs. The second-seeded Nationals, winners of the NL East, have the home-field advantage in the best-of-five series. (The Cubs have the first seed).

Dodgers at Giants, 12:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, KTLA, CS-BA, MLB.TV free game (out-of-market)

Kenta Maeda (16-10, 3.28 ERA) hopes to cap off an excellent MLB rookie season with his 17th win. He’s done very well against the Giants this year: 3-0 with a 2.65 ERA in three starts. He’ll face lefty Matt Moore (12-12, 4.21 ERA), who faced the Dodgers on September 21 and did not fare well: he gave up six runs on seven hits in one-plus innings.

Vin Scully will do all nine innings of the game, which will be simulcast on radio and TV in LA and in the Bay Area. It’s also going to be streamed live on MLB.com.

Lineup when available.

Sep 27

Game 157, 2016

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

The Dodgers switched starters around for tonight’s game. They had scheduled Kenta Maeda (16-9, 3.20 ERA) to pitch Wednesday and Jose De Leon tonight, but they reversed the order. It may be that they want Maeda to pitch the last game of the season in San Francisco if home-field advantage for the playoffs is still undecided.

His opponent will be Paul Clemens (3-5, 4.48 ERA), who hasn’t given up a run in his last two starts but who has had trouble going deep into games; his last outing was his longest of the year at 5 2/3 innings.

In playoff opponent news, the Nationals’ All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos is out for the season; he suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in Monday night’s game.

Lineup when available.

Sep 24

Game 155, 2016

Rockies at Dodgers, 6:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

This will be Clayton Kershaw’s (11-3, 1.79 ERA) fourth start since his return from the DL. In his previous three he’s gone from two earned runs allowed in three innings to zero in five, and then zero in six. In his last start he threw 88 pitches, so he’s close to fully recovered from his back problem (we all hope). Opposing him will be Chad Bettis (13-7, 4.79 ERA), who is on a roll himself: he’s given up three earned runs or fewer in every start he’s made in the last month.

In case you missed it, here’s Kirk Gibson doing commentary on Vinnie’s call of his 1988 World Series Game One home run.

Lineup when available.

Sep 23

Game 154, 2016

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

The Dodgers continue their playoffs’ 4th-starter auditions with LHP Scott Kazmir (10-6, 4.59 ERA), who’s been on the shelf since August 22 with thoracic spinal inflammation. He’ll face the Rockies’ RHP Jon Gray (10-8, 4.42 ERA), who threw a shutout in his last start, striking out 16 Padres in the process. Kazmir beat the Rockies on July 2, going six scoreless innings and giving up just three hits. Gray has made five starts against the Dodgers and gone 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA, but the losses have both come at Dodger Stadium, where he’ll pitch tonight.

This will be opening night of a weekend celebration of Vin Scully:

The ceremony will also be available live at the Dodgers’ website tonight at 6:30 p.m. PT.

MLB came up with a playlist of 10 of Vinnie’s comedic remarks.

In non-Scully amusements, check out this photo of Josh Reddick with Stan Lee (yes, the Marvel comics maven).

Lineup when available.

Sep 22

Game 153, 2016

Here’s an interesting point about Vinnie’s broadcasting style: Bob Costas pointed this out to Jason Stark, and Stark repeats it here: the production follows him. He doesn’t get directed “Okay, now insert a 10-second blurb about the upcoming homestand or bobblehead day.” Nope, he tells his stories and the guys in the truck just follow along.

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

Brett Anderson makes his third start of the year for the Dodgers after first recovering from back surgery and then going on the DL for blisters. He’s 0-2 with a 24.75 ERA in the four innings he’s pitched this season. His opponent will be Tyler Chatwood, who’s 11-9 with a 4.13 ERA this year. He’s given up five home runs in his last four starts and given up at least six runs in three of the four.

Lineup when available.

Howie instead of Turner at 3B has a ripple effect: it puts Toles in LF.

Aug 18

Game 120, 2016

Dodgers at Phillies, 4:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-P

The Dodgers go for a series sweep with rookie RHP Ross Stripling (3-4, 4.07 ERA). He’ll face RHP Jerad Eickhoff (8-12, 3.82 ERA), who’s like Dodgers’ pitchers in that he gets in trouble in the sixth inning when the opposing batters get their third look at him. His ERA for that inning this year is 12.71. Stripling has, this season, shown himself to be better in a long relief role; he’s made three long-relief appearances in July, posting a 1.54 ERA over 11 2/3 innings. Over his 10 starts this season, Stripling has a 4.61 ERA.

A.J. Ellis writes a column for ESPN about Vin Scully.

Pitching notes from Jon Weisman. Highlights/lowlights: Kershaw may throw a bullpen session on Saturday, and Ryu is not expected to pitch again this season.

Lineup when available.