Aug 09

Game 16, 2020

Giants at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: MLBN (out-of-market only), NBCS-BA, SPNLA

RHP Kevin Gausman (0-1, 5.27 ERA) goes for the visitors and RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 5.19 ERA) takes the hill for the Dodgers. Gausman gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings in his last start. Buehler hasn’t yet hit his stride this year, and one symptom is the four HRs he’s given up in his 8 2/3 innings of work; last year he averaged 1 HR every nine innings.

Mookie Betts, water boy? Yep. When he went to high school in Nashville his mother wouldn’t allow him to play football, so he volunteered to be an assistant to the coaches, helping out with water, equipment, etc.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1975 At Shea Stadium, Davey Lopes steals his 32nd consecutive base without being caught, breaking Max Carey’s 1922 record in the Dodgers’ 2-0 victory over New York. The Dodger second baseman’s mark will be broken by Vince Coleman in 1989.
  • 1976 John Candelaria becomes the first Pirate since 1907 to throw a no-hitter in Pittsburgh. Nick Maddox threw the first and only Buc home no-hitter until the ‘Candyman’ beat the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium. (There was never a no-hitter pitched in the 61-year history of spacious Forbes Field.)
  • 2001 Mike Hampton ties the National League record for pitchers with his seventh homer when he goes deep off Felix Heredia in the Rockies’ 14-5 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Colorado southpaw equals the mark established by Dodger hurlers Don Drysdale (1958, 1965) and Don Newcombe (1955), and two shy of the major league standard set by Wes Ferrell, playing for the Indians in 1931.
  • 2013 The Dodgers rally for four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, overcoming a six-run, seventh-inning deficit, for their fifth walk-off victory of the season. The team’s 7-6 victory over Tampa Bay is their 11th consecutive win in a one-run games, a span in which they have defeated ten different clubs.

Also on this date, in 2013 Dan Haren becomes the thirteenth pitcher in history to record a victory over all 30 major league franchises when he hurls seven solid innings in the Nationals’ 9-2 win over Philadelphia. The 32 year-old right-hander joins Al Leiter, Randy Johnson, Barry Zito, A.J. Burnett, Kevin Brown, Terry Mulholland, Curt Schilling, Woody Williams, Jamie Moyer, Javier Vazquez, Vicente Padilla, and Derek Lowe in accomplishing the feat.

Lineup:

Jul 28

Game 5, 2020

Dodgers at Astros, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet-SW, FS1, SPNLA

The Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler makes his first start of the season. Also making his first start of the year is the Astros’ LHP Framber Valdez, who’s in his second full season in the big leagues.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Astros’ sign-stealing methods of 2017 were revealed in the off-season.

A number of Astros players and coaches apologized when spring camps opened in February, but many, including Dodgers center fielder and reigning National League MVP Award winner Cody Bellinger, were critical of the team’s response.

[snip]

Many of the core players [from the 2017 World Series] on both sides remain the same, including Bellinger, Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen for the Dodgers, and José Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer and Alex Bregman for the Astros.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1991 Expos right-hander Dennis Martinez pitches a perfect game, defeating Los Angeles 2-0 at Dodger Stadium. Ron Hassey becomes the first backstop to ever catch two perfect games, as he also was behind the plate on May 15, 1981 when Indian hurler Len Barker faced 27 batters, beating the Blue Jays, 3-0.
  • 2017 Alex Wood won his twelfth game against just one loss, going seven innings while giving up eight hits and four runs to the Giants. The Dodgers came from behind with four runs in the seventh and won 6-4.

Lineup when available.

Jul 18

Opening day roster speculation

Who’s gonna be on it?

Pitchers: Pedro Báez, Walker Buehler, Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Clayton Kershaw, Ross Stripling, Blake Treinen, Julio Urías, Alex Wood, Brusdar Graterol and Dustin May

Starting depth could be an issue. After losing Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill (68 starts combined last year) over the offseason, the only veteran starters the Dodgers added were Price and Jimmy Nelson, but both are out for the season. That leaves Urías, Wood and youngsters May, Gonzalez and White to pick up those 68 starts.

Will Smith and Austin Barnes are the catchers. Infielders are Enrique Hernández, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Matt Beaty and Edwin Rios. Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Joc Pederson, A. J. Pollack and Chris Taylor are the outfielders.

Subject to change at any moment, of course.

Mar 10

Kershaw named Opening Day starter

For the ninth time in ten years. He started last season on the injured list. Buehler will start Game Two and Price Game Three of the first series against the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

That assumes that MLB starts its season on time, of course. The coronavirus is moving quite quickly around the country; some events (SXSW!) have been canceled altogether, others (Coachella) have been postponed. Some events have turned away spectators, playing games in empty arenas.

In an abundance of caution all of the major sports leagues (MLB, NHL, MLS and NBA) have closed their locker rooms to the press. One wonders how quickly they’ll rescind that order once the virus is controlled (assuming it is).

In other Dodgers’ news, Corey Seager says he’s feeling better than he has since his Rookie of the Year season of 2016.

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: