Why are baseball games always scheduled to start at five or ten minutes after the hour?
The Dodgers open their final series of the 2017 season with LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-8, 3.47 ERA) pitching in the rarefied air of Coors Field against RHP Chad Bettis (1-4, 5.72 ERA).
Ryu has been very good since the All Star break, going 2-2 in ten starts with a 2.42 ERA. He’s in a tussle with Alex Wood for a spot in the post-season rotation. Bettis had a good outing his last time out, giving up just one run on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings last weekend in San Diego. He’s battling for a spot on the Rockies’ post-season roster if they get in. The Rockies have a two-game lead over the Brewers for the second National League Wild Card spot. If they win and a Brewers lose tonight they’ll clinch it.
1951 Don Newcombe becomes the first African-American to win twenty games in a season. In a must win for the Dodgers, the right-hander bests Robin Roberts, also a 20-game-winner, when he blanks the Phillies at Shibe Park, 5-0.
1959 At the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the Dodgers capture the NL flag with a dramatic 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Braves, taking the first two games of the three-game playoff necessitated by the teams being tied on the last day of the season. The deciding run comes in the bottom of the 12th inning, after the first two batters make outs, when Gil Hodges walks and scores on singles by Joe Pignatano and Carl Furillo.
1976 Tommy Lasorda is named to succeed Walter Alston as Dodger manager. ‘Smokey’ compiled a 2040-1613 record (.558), during his 23-year tenure with the club, winning seven pennants, and four world championships.
1979 Manny Mota sets a major league record with his 146th career pinch hit, a single to right field, in LA’s 6-2 victory over Chicago at Dodger Stadium. The Dominican Republic native surpasses the all-time record set by Smoky Burgess, who collected his last hit as a pinch-hitter in 1967.
2000 Gary Sheffield ties the Dodgers’ franchise single-season home run record when he goes deep off Woody Williams in the team’s 3-0 victory over San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium. The left fielder, with his career best 43rd round tripper, now shares the team mark with Duke Snider, who established the record in 1956 when he played for Brooklyn.
Today is also the anniversary of The Catch (the Willie Mays one, not the Dwight Clark one):
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup at Rockies: Granderson CF Seager SS Turner 3B Bellinger 1B Puig RF Ethier LF Grandal C Forsythe 2B Ryu P
The Dodgers are up three games in the win column over the Indians for the best record in baseball (and home field advantage through the playoffs and World Series if they get that far) with four games left to play.
The Padres send LHP Clayton Richard (8-14, 4.63 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (11-8, 3.50 ERA).
These pitchers have faced their respective opposing teams before this season:
Hill will be making his final tuneup ahead of a probable start in Game 3 of the NL Division Series. The southpaw is 2-0 in four starts vs. the Padres this season, owning 1.50 ERA to go along with 25 strikeouts. Richard is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts at Dodger Stadium this season. The southpaw is 3-4 with a 3.61 ERA over his last 11 starts.
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.
The Braves plan to start YALHP Jaime Garcia (3-7, 4.33 ERA) unless they trade him during the day. He seems to be a hot commodity, although from his record an objective observer might wonder why. He (or somebody) will face the Dodgers’ LHP Alex Wood (11-0, 1.56 ERA), who’ll be making his second start against his former team. The first one didn’t go well: in April of 2016 he allowed six runs (three earned) on seven hits over four innings and took the loss.
This date in Dodgers’ history:
1930 Harvey Henrick’s ninth-inning three-run round-tripper off the bench gives the Dodgers a dramatic 9-8 come-from-behind victory over the Redbirds at Ebbets Field in the first game of a twin bill. Redbirds George Puccinelli and Jim Bottomley and Brooklyn’s Hal Lee also homer appearing as pinch-hitters in the game.
1956 In a 13-6 defeat to the Cubs, Dodgers’ shortstop Pee Wee Reese becomes one of five active players to collect 2000 hits, and teammate Junior Gilliam sets a major league record by handling 12 assists at second base.
1963 The usually mild-mannered Dodger manager Walter Alston is thrown out of both games of a doubleheader when the Braves sweep a twin bill from Los Angeles for the first and only time in Milwaukee, 7-2 and 13-7. To make matters worse, the manager has beer thrown in his face by a hometown fan as he leaves the second game. (My thanks to Lee for sharing this entry. He attended the game at County Stadium as a ten year-old. -LP)
2003 At Dodger Stadium, Vladimir Guerrero hit his 226th career home run, breaking Andre Dawson’s club record. The Expos’ right fielder hits his milestone round-tripper off Odalis Perez, a 454-foot blast over left field wall.
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup vs. Braves: Taylor LF Seager SS Turner 3B Bellinger 1B Forsythe 2B Hernández CF Grandal C Puig RF Wood P pic.twitter.com/i3KCgBKlLG
YALHP Gio Gonzalez (4-1, 3.03 ERA) takes the hill for the Nats. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-5, 3.91 ERA). Gonzalez has hit a rough patch. After putting up a 1.62 ERA during April he ballooned to a 4.37 ERA for May. Ryu had his best start of the year his last time out, allowing just one run in six innings against the Cardinals.
This day in Dodgers’ history:
1977 On Old Timers’ Day, the Dodgers retire former manager Walter Alston’s uniform number 24. ‘Smokey’ compiles a 2040-1613 (.558) record along with seven pennants that results in four World Championships during his 23 years in the dugout.
2000 The Marlins select 16-year-old Adrian Gonzalez as their first overall pick in the first-year player draft. The first baseman, a student at Eastlake High School in Bonita, California, comes to terms with Florida on the same day he is drafted. Note: He was 18 according to Dodgers.com
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Dodger lineup vs. Nationals: Forsythe 3B Seager SS Taylor 2B Gutierrez LF Hernández 1B Barnes C Puig RF Eibner CF Ryu P pic.twitter.com/1Frk7DbEce