Jul 19

Game 95, 2017

Dodgers at White Sox, 5:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, WGN

RHP Kenta Maeda (7-4, 4.38 ERA) makes his 14th start of the year. He’s only gone past five innings in three of those fourteen, but he’s won three of his last four decisions. He’ll be opposed by YALHP Carlos Rodon (1-2, 4.32 ERA), who made only one start in Spring Training before going on the DL with left biceps bursitis and has made three starts since coming off it on June 28.

Vin Scully performed with the LA Philharmonic last week and again last night.

Many an uncommon man and woman have read it in performances with proper forceful meaning during the history of Copland’s stirring patriotic justification of the American ideal, a 15-minute oration for narrator and orchestra written in early 1942 in the wake of Pearl Harbor.

Not a word has gone out of date. But ours is such a fragmented whom-do-you-trust age, even Lincoln can be readily and shamelessly misinterpreted. So it proved an inspiration for Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic to invite the most trusted voice in all of L.A. to recite “Lincoln Portrait” at the Hollywood Bowl on Thursday night. The one person we can all agree about. Vin Scully.

Here are some video highlights.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1977 Pitcher Don Sutton wins All-Star MVP honors after helping the National League to a 7-5 victory over the American League. Sutton is the N.L.’s starting pitcher at Yankee Stadium and delivers three scoreless innings of work. He becomes only the third player in franchise history to be named All-Star MVP. Garvey also contributes to the N.L.’s victory with a home run in the third inning.
  • 1993 Outfielder Raul Mondesi makes his major league debut and singles in his first at-bat. He goes on to bat .291 with four home runs and 10 RBI in 42 games. The following season, he is named National League Rookie of the Year after batting .306 with 16 homers and 56 RBI.

Lineup:

Jul 06

Game 87, 2017

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

The D-Backs try to salvage one game of the series by sending out a left-handed pitcher! It’s true, it’s true! He’s Robby Ray (8-4, 3.06 ERA), who’s going to the ASG by virtue of his fellow players voting him in. Ray is 6-1 with a 1.81 ERA in his last eight starts. The Dodgers, not to be outmaneuvered, send out their own LHP, Rich Hill (5-4, 4.00 ERA), who’s made his last two starts of the year his best ones. In the last one he shut out the Padres for seven innings, giving up just four hits, striking out 11 and walking just one.

Kiké Hernandez is 7-for-18 lifetime against Ray with 3 HRs and five RBI, so expect him in the Dodgers’ lineup.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1938 At Crosley Field, Yankees’ hurler Lefty Gomez is defeated for the first time in four All-Star starts as the NL wins the All-Star game 4-1. National League shortstop Leo Durocher becomes the first Dodger to start in an All-Star Game and gets a ‘bunt’ home run
  • 1953 In his first major league start, 24 year-old right-hander Al Worthington throws a two-hitter, blanking the Pirates, 6-0. The Giants’ rookie, known as ‘Red’, will become the first National League freshman to throw consecutive shutouts at the start of a career, when he repeats the feat in his next outing, also blanking the Dodgers, 6-0.
  • 2000 Vin Scully, 72, is voted the No. 1 sportscaster of the 20th century by members of the American Sportscasters Association. The Dodger veteran broadcaster’s 51-year career has included play-by-play of 25 Fall Classics and 12 All-Star games.

Lineup when available.

Jun 18

Game 70, 2017

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

The Dodgers hope to sweep the series with this game, and they’ll send RHP Kenta Maeda (4-3, 4.95 ERA) out to try to win it. He’ll face old acquaintance Bronson Arroyo (3-5, 7.01 ERA).

Maeda has struggled this season, with only two quality starts in the ten games he’s started, but his last outing was a four-inning save against the Reds on June 9. If he pitches to that level again he may rejoin the Dodgers’ starting rotation.

Arroyo never threw a pitch for the Dodgers, but he came over from the Braves in the July 2015 trade in which they acquired Alex Wood, Mat Latos, Luis Avilan, Jose Peraza and Jim Johnson. He was injured at the time and the Braves were dumping his salary. He was granted free agency in November of that year and landed with the Reds. He may not last very long if his performance doesn’t improve, because Homer Bailey and Brandon Finnegan can come off the DL by the end of June.

Notes:

Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has been clobbering the ball in June. On Tuesday, he became the fastest player to record at least four multihomer games. According to Statcast, as of Saturday, Bellinger is fifth in MLB in barrel rate (23.5 percent) and currently leads left-handed batters in hard contact rate against left-handed pitchers this season. His teammate Corey Seager ranks second in hard contact rate. Bellinger hit his 19th homer on Saturday.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1938 After accepting GM Larry MacPhail’s offer to coach first base, Babe Ruth wears a Dodger uniform for the first time as a coach and takes batting practice with the team. The ‘Bambino’ will quit at the end of the season, ending his ties with major league baseball.
  • 1940 Dodger Ducky Medwick, acquired in a trade less than a week ago, is beaned by former Cardinal teammate Bob Bowman and needs to be carried off the field on a stretcher. Brooklyn president Lee MacPhail accuses the St. Louis pitcher of deliberately hitting Medwick in the head because the two had quarreled in a hotel elevator prior to the game.
  • 1996 Brant Brown hits the first three home runs of his career on the same day. The 25 year-old rookie goes deep as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning off Chan Ho Park in a 9-6 loss to the Dodgers in the opener of a Wrigley Field twin bill, but his two additional round-trippers contribute to Chicago’s 7-4 victory in the nightcap.
  • 2014 With the only batter reaching base as a result of a throwing error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the seventh inning, Clayton Kershaw no-hits the Rockies at Dodger Stadium, striking out a career-high 15 batters. The left-hander’s teammate Josh Beckett also threw a no-hitter 24 days ago, making it the shortest span between no-hitters by a team since the Reds’ Johnny Vander Meer accomplished it in consecutive starts, four days apart, in 1938.

Vinnie calls Kershaw’s no-hitter:

Lineup when available.

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.