Oct 09

NLDS Games Five, 2019

FYI, the 630 comments on the Dodgers’ Game Three post was the fourth-highest ever on this blog. The three higher all occurred during the 2017 World Series: Game Five — 1,022; Game Seven, — 691; and Game Three — 638.

On this date in baseball history Woodrow Wilson became the first President to attend a World Series game in 1915, rumors circulated about a fix of the 1919 World Series, Frank Robinson homered off Don Drysdale in the 1966 World Series to complete the sweep, 1-0, and Jeffrey Maier gave Derek Jeter and the Yankees a victory in Game One of the 1996 World Series.

The early game: Cardinals at Braves, 2:02 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Cards’ RHP Jack Flaherty faces the Braves’ RHP Mike Foltynewicz in a rematch of Game Two pitchers. The Braves got three runs off Flaherty and won 3-0 in that game behind Foltynewicz’s seven scoreless innings.

Cardinals lineup:

Braves lineup:

The late game: Nationals at Dodgers, 5:37 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Nats send RHP Stephen Strasburg to the mound to face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler. In Game Two Strasburg gave up one run in six innings while striking out ten. Buehler gave up one hit and no runs in six innings in Game One.

Nationals lineup:

Dodgers lineup:

Hmm. I guess the idea is to hold Freese in reserve for pinch-hitting duties. I can’t see any other reason to start Beaty there.

Oct 03

NLDS Games One, 2019

Here’s what happened on this date in baseball history. There were several bad things for the Dodgers (Bobby Thomson), but also a couple of good ones.

Both games are on the TBS cable channel.

The early game: Cardinals at Braves, 2:02 PM PDT

RHP Miles Mikolas goes for the Cards, while Dallas Keuchel goes for the Braves. This will be Mikolas’ first postseason appearance; it will be Keuchel’s 11th. Here’s MLB’s position-by-position comparison of the two teams. The net result? A very slight edge to the Braves. USA Today goes the other way and picks the Cardinals in five games.

Cardinals’ lineup:

Braves’ lineup:

The late game: Nationals at Dodgers, 5:37 PM PDT

LHP Patrick Corbin makes the first postseason start of his career, but he’s not unfamiliar with the Dodgers. He’s made 21 lifetime appearances (19 starts) against them including a seven-inning scoreless outing in May and has a 3.36 ERA to show for it. RHP Walker Buehler has made four postseason starts, all last year. He started Game Seven of the NLCS against the Brewers and then went seven scoreless innings against the Red Sox in Game Three of the World Series.

Here’s MLB’s position-by-position analysis of the two teams. MLB gives the Dodgers a slight edge. USA Today agrees, picking the Dodgers in four games.

Nationals’ lineup:

Dodgers’ lineup:

Sep 27

Game 160, 2019

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 PM PDT, TV: NBCS BA, SPNLA

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:

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 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.

Lineup when available.

Sep 15

Game 151, 2019

Dodgers at Mets, 4:00 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

RHP Walker Buehler (13-3, 3.14 ERA) comes off one of his best games of the year, a four-hit, eleven-strikeout gem over seven shutout innings which pushed the Dodgers over the line to win the Division Championship on Tuesday. He’ll face the Mets’ RHP Zack Wheeler (11-7, 4.21 ERA), who’s been on a roll recently, posting a 1.50 ERA over his last three starts despite opponents hitting .300 against him during that stretch.

Here’s Muncy’s slide to first base after Ramos hit the ball off Ryu’s back:

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:

Sep 10

Game 146, 2019

Portrait of the author at Camden Yards, September 2018:

Dodgers at Orioles, 4:05 PM PDT, TV: MASN, SPNLA

The visiting Dodgers trot out RHP Walker Buehler (12-3, 3.28 ERA) to take the mound in the Orioles’ gem of a ball park. He’ll face LHP Ty Blach (1-2, 10.95 ERA), who shut the Dodgers out for five innings on Opening Day when he was with the Giants. The Orioles claimed him off waivers and sent him to AAA Norfolk after he had three rough starts with them. He went five innings in his first start back up against Tampa Bay, giving up two hits and two runs. Buehler has been outstanding in most of his starts this year, but his last one was horrible: the Rockies got six runs off him in five innings.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1992 Cardinals vice chairman Fred Kuhlman tells reporters that a “security check” had revealed serious issues involving the two out-of-state investors, Vince Piazza and Vincent N. Tirendi, part of the six-man group trying to buy the Giants and move the franchise to Florida. The candid reply to the press will cost baseball more than $6 million to settle a suit that includes a letter of apology from acting Commissioner Bud Selig to Vince Piazza, whose son Mike started his major league career with the Dodgers nine days before his father’s rejection by the MLB owners.
  • 1974 Lou Brock ties and then breaks Maury Wills’s 12 year-old single season stolen base record with his 104th and 105th swipes. The Cardinal left fielder’s thievery against the Phillies doesn’t help when the Redbirds drop the Busch Stadium contest, 8-2.

Lineup:

Sep 02

Game 140, 2019

Rockies at Dodgers, 5:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT Sportsnet-RM, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

Rookie RHP Peter Lambert (2-5, 6.63 ERA) pitches for the Rockies and RHP Walker Buehler (11-3, 3.03 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. Lambert has had control issues in August, walking 18 while striking out only 13. This resulted in an 0-3 record for the month. Buehler was lights-out in his last two starts, although he only got a win in one. The Blue Jays held the Dodgers to a run until Max Muncy hit a walkoff homer in the 10th, long after Buehler had departed. He went 13 innings, gave up nine hits, struck out 19 and walked only two in those games.

From the LA Times: Gavin Lux will make his Dodgers debut Monday.

On this date in Dodgers history:

  • 1969 Willie Davis, with his sixth-inning double in the team’s 5-4 loss to New York at Dodger Stadium, breaks a 53 year-old franchise record by hitting safely in thirty consecutive games. The LA outfielder surpasses the streak established by Zack Wheat in 1916 when the team played in Brooklyn.
  • 1971 Cesar Cedeno hits an inside-the-park grand slam when Dodger second baseman Jim Lefebvre and right fielder Bill Buckner collide, trying to make the fifth inning catch. The 200-foot dropped bloop contributes to the Astros’ 9-3 victory over LA at the Astrodome.
  • 1972 In his major league debut, Doug Rau throws a three-hitter, beating St. Louis at Busch Stadium, 5-1. In his first big-league at-bat, the 23 year-old Dodger southpaw helps his cause with a RBI-triple in the second inning.
  • 1993 The Rockies, drawing a crowd 47,699 for their 62nd home game, surpass the 1982 Dodgers when the team attracts 3,617,863 fans to Denver’s Mile High Stadium, setting a new National League single-season attendance record. The expansion club will also break the 1992 Blue Jays’ major league mark of 4,028,318 before the season is over.
  • 2002 In the top of the ninth inning, Diamondback first baseman Mark Grace hurls an inning of relief with the team trailing the Dodgers, 18-0. The All-Star infielder retires three of the four batters he faces in the Bank One Ballpark, yielding a two-out home run to David Ross.

Lineup:

Aug 27

Game 134, 2019

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: FSSD, MLBTV, SPNLA

RHP Walker Buehler (10-3, 3.16 ERA) takes his show on the road, where his ERA is two runs higher than it is at home. He’ll try to reduce that tonight facing RHP Cal Quantrill (6-4, 3.32 ERA), who is Canadian and thus probably not related to William Quantrill of Lawrence Massacre infamy. In Buehler’s last start he went seven scoreless innings against the Blue Jays but got no decision in a game the Dodgers won on a Muncy walk-off HR in the tenth inning. Quantrill has seen both relief and spot start duty this season, but in his last eight starts dating back to June he’s pitched well, posting a 2.22 ERA in those games.

Here’s the error in the sixth inning which gave the Padres the tying runs and led to the winning one:

May should have backed up, but in my view Pollock didn’t throw a fastball to Turner; he should have caught it.

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.

Also, last year on this date the Dodgers acquired David Freese from the Pirates for minor leaguer Jesus Manuel Valdez.

Lineup when available.

Aug 21

Game 128, 2019

Blue Jays at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SNET, SPNLA

RHP Wilmer Font (3-3, 4.41 ERA with three different teams so far this season — Rays, Mets, Jays) faces the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (10-3, 3.31 ERA). The Jays have indicated this will be a bullpen game, so while Font starts he’s expected to give way to Zack Godley and others in the middle innings. Buehler’s last start was uncharacteristic: in four of the five innings he started he allowed the leadoff man to get on base, including the fifth when he was knocked out and was charged with the loss to the Marlins. He’s 5-0 at home this season with a 2.33 ERA.

Here’s Bellinger, thrown out at third and losing his pants on the same play!

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1975 The Reuschel brothers of the Cubs join forces to blank the Dodgers, 6-0. Rick goes 6.1 innings, and Paul finishes the game for the first shutout thrown by siblings.
  • 1990 The Phillies overcome an eight-run deficit, scoring nine runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat the Dodgers, 12-11. John Kruk’s pinch-hit three-run homer ties the game, and two batters later, Carmelo Martinez’s double plates Rod Booker with the eventual winning run in the Chavez Ravine contest.

  • 2005 Florida suspends their bat boy for six games after the 11 year-old accepts former Marlin and current Dodger hurler Brad Penny’s $500 dare to drink a gallon of milk in less than an hour without throwing up. The Milk Processor Education Program will promise to pay off the dare and to cover the lost wages resulting from the suspension if the sixth grader, who is able to drink the quantity in the allotted time but cannot keep it down, agrees to drink three glasses every 24 hours.

Lineup:

Aug 15

Game 123, 2019

Dodgers at Marlins, 12:05 PM PDT, TV: FS-F, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

RHP Walker Buehler (10-2, 3.08 ERA) takes the mound for the Dodgers against the Marlins’ LHP Caleb Smith (7-6, 3.71 ERA). Buehler was annoyed with himself after his last start; he went six scoreless innings and struck out eight but “didn’t throw enough first-pitch strikes.” Smith has struggled since the All Star break. He had a 3.50 ERA before that and has had a 4.15 ERA since. He averaged 2.63 BB/9 and 11 K/9 before the break and 3.89 BB/9 and 10.13 K/9 after it.

Senor Rios had a big night: his first two home runs.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1914 Brooklyn’s Jake Daubert sets a National League record with four sacrifices in one game. The first baseman’s efforts aren’t enough when the Dodgers drop an 8-7 decision to Philadelphia at Ebbets Field.
  • 1926 When Babe Herman doubles with the bases loaded, three Dodgers wind up on third base. The runner on second rounds third but decides to go back as the runner from first reaches the same base, and a few seconds later Herman slides in to join his two teammates.
  • 1951 With one out in the top of the eighth inning and a runner on third base in a 1-1 tied game, Willie Mays, running at full speed, makes an incredible catch of Carl Furillo’s drive to deep centerfield. After grabbing the ball, the rookie outfielder turns counterclockwise and throws a perfect strike to home to nail a surprised Billy Cox at home to complete the double play. Some believe the catch, in the Giants’ eventual 3-1 Polo Grounds victory over the Dodgers, is the impetus for the beginning of the team’s incredible comeback from an 11.5 game deficit to win the National League pennant.
  • 2006 The Dodgers, with their 4-0 blanking of the Marlins, win their sixth consecutive game and 17th in the last 18 contests. The stretch is the team’s best run since the Brooklyn Superbas went 20-1 in 1899.

Lineup when available.

Aug 13

Game 121, 2019

Dodgers at Marlins, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: FS-F, SPNLA

RHP Dustin May (0-1, 3.18 ERA) takes the mound in Florida. He’ll face Hawai’i boy RHP Jordan Yamamoto (4-3, 4.17), who started off in the big leagues like a house afire but has cooled off in his last four outings: he’s given up four ER or more in each of those games. May will be making the third start of his career: he’s gone 5 2/3 innings in each of his first two, striking out ten and walking just one.

How good is the Dodgers’ rotation? So good that Kershaw is only the third-best pitcher in it. Partly because of that, the Dodgers are having their best season since they moved to Los Angeles. “But, but, the bullpen!” Well,

If there’s a weakness on this team, it’s clearly the bullpen, though having the ninth-best bullpen ERA (per Fangraphs) isn’t exactly the disaster the narrative around the relievers might have you think.

Here’s an excellent story about Walker Buehler from SI’s Tom Verducci. WBBsAs pointed it out in the comments to the previous post.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1910 In a game which features each team having 38 at-bats, 13 hits, 12 assists, 2 errors, 5 strikeouts, 3 walks, 1 hit batsman, and 1 passed ball, the Pirates and the Superbas (later to be known as the Dodgers) play to what else – an 8-8 tie.
  • 1951 Any fan who shows up with a musical instrument during the Dodgers’ Musical Depreciation Night is admitted free to the Ebbets Field contest against Boston. With an assortment of trumpets, trombones, zithers, tubas, accordions, bugles, flutes, various type of drums, violins, mandolins, assorted horns, a glockenspiel, a washboard, and a piano, 2,426 fans, which is about 10% of the total crowd, take advantage of the team’s unusual promotion.
  • 1965 Dean Chance establishes an American League record when he fans to extend his streak to 11 consecutive plate appearances with a strikeout. The Angels’ right-hander falls one shy of the major league mark set by Sandy Koufax, who whiffed in 12 consecutive plate appearances in 1955.
  • 1982 At Chavez Ravine, Dodger second baseman Steve Sax steals his 41st base to set a franchise record for rookies when he swipes second base in LA’s 6-1 victory over San Francisco. The eventual National League Rookie of the Year, the fourth consecutive Dodger to win the award, will extend the record to 49.
  • 2006 LA’s Greg Maddux and SF’s Jason Schmidt hook up in a classic West Coast pitcher’s duel, reminiscent of match-ups of Koufax and Marichal, as the Dodgers beat the Giants, 1-0, thanks to Russell Martin’s 10th inning walk-off home run. When Giants slugger Barry Bonds lines into a double play in the first inning, it marks the only time in baseball history a 300 game winner pitches to a batter with over 700 homers.
  • 2007 For the first time in 1,303 games, Nomar Garciaparra of the Dodgers is ejected from a game. The 12-year veteran infielder, who is tossed by home plate umpire Tom Hallion for arguing a called third strike in the fourth inning, is restrained by first base coach Mariano Duncan when he continues to shout and points his bat toward the umpire.

Lineup when available.