Jul 03

Articles I noted in passing

What’s it like to be Latino in MLB today? Prospects, starters and future Hall of Famers share their stories.

From ESPN: Beisbol Experience MLB 50-man interview

“We are not understood. We have to adapt. There are things we are not used to doing in our countries. When you keep doing things wrong, people get tired; I even got tired myself. There should not be so many rules. You just have to do your job and let people have fun, which is what I was doing in 2013. They’ve wanted to change so many things about me that I feel so off. I don’t feel like the player I was in 2013.”

YASIEL PUIG, DODGERS, CUBA

Unused sports venues can represent millions in wasted money, but also in lost moments of joy and sorrow.

Via the Dodgers Dugout email from Houston Mitchell of the LA Times:

Since the All-Star game began in 1933, which Dodgers have pitched the most career innings for the team without ever appearing in the game?

  1. Doug Rau, 1,250 2/3
  2. Ismael Valdez, 1,065
  3. Tom Candiotti, 1,048
  4. Luke Hamlin, 1,011
  5. Joe Hatten, 961 1/3
  6. Pedro Astacio, 886 2/3
  7. Darren Dreifort, 872 2/3
  8. Hugh Casey, 867 2/3
  9. Roger Craig, 814
  10. Tim Belcher, 806

And which Dodgers batters appeared in the most games without ever making the All-Star team?

  1. Eric Karros, 1,601
  2. Wes Parker, 1,288
  3. Steve Yeager, 1,219
  4. Willie Crawford, 989
  5. James Loney, 896
  6. Dave Hansen, 884
  7. Billy Cox, 742
  8. Dave Anderson, 713
  9. Joe Ferguson, 699
  10. Alex Cora, 684

It doesn’t startle me that none of those pitchers ever made the All Star Game, but I am surprised that neither Karros nor Parker ever made it. It may be that first base has been a traditionally star-laden position.

May 31

Game 54, 2017

Dodgers at Cardinals, 5:15 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ESPN (out-of-market only), FS-M

LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-5, 4.28 ERA) comes off a four-inning relief stint last Thursday in which he got his first career save. He’ll take the place of Alex Wood, currently on the 10-day DL. Ryu will pitch against hard-luck RHP Carlos Martinez (3-4, 3.32 ERA). Two starts ago Martinez pitched nine innings of shutout ball against the Giants and got no decision, and his last time out he gave up three runs in 7 1/3 innings against the Rockies and lost. He’s 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA in five starts in May.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1937 In Game 1 of a Memorial Day doubleheader, Carl Hubbell’s consecutive-game winning streak, compiled over two seasons, ends at 24 when the Dodgers, led by Babe Phelps’ 5-for-6 performance, defeat the Giants at the Polo Grounds, 10-3. ‘King Carl’ is honored between games when the southpaw is presented with the National League’s 1936 MVP Award by Babe Ruth.
  • 1948 Tommy Lasorda, best known as the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame skipper, strikes out 25 batters and collects the game-winning hit when the Schenectady Blue Jays defeat the Amsterdam Rugmakers, 6-5, in 15 innings. The promising southpaw, who goes the distance in the CanAm minor-league contest played in McNearney Stadium, believes he probably threw more than 300 pitches during the game.
  • 1965 For the first time in history, an all-switch-hitting infield starts a big league game. In the nightcap of a twin bill, the Dodgers, with Wes Parker at first base, Jim Lefebvre at second, Maury Wills at shortstop, and Jim Gilliam at third, lose to the visiting Reds, 6-1.
  • 1968 Don Drysdale’s shutout streak stays intact when home plate umpire Harry Wendelstedt rules that Dick Dietz, who is hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, did not make an attempt to get out of the way of the right-hander’s delivery. The Giants catcher finishes the at-bat by popping up‚ and the next two batters also make outs to give ‘Big D” his fifth straight shutout, tying a major league established by White Sox hurler Doc White in 1904.

Lineup when available.

May 07

Game 32, 2017 (PPd.)

Dodgers at Padres, 1:40 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD, KTLA

It’s not clear (ha!) whether the weather will allow this game to be played, but if it is it will be RHP Brandon McCarthy (3-0, 3.10 ERA) for the Dodgers and Trevor Cahill (2-2, 3.60 ERA) for the Padres. This may portend well for the Dodgers:

McCarthy’s greatest success has come against the Padres. He is 8-1 with a 3.79 ERA in his career against San Diego, and he beat them, 10-2, on April 6 in Los Angeles.

Two years ago Cahill was in the Dodgers’ minor league system rehabilitating his career; now he’s pitching against them in the bigs. He lost in the opening series of the season to them. He’s been striking out a lot more hitters than usual this year: 30 percent of them instead of the 17 percent he’s averaged over his career. It may be his curveball: opponents are 2-34 against that pitch this season.

Regarding the weather, there’s this:

There have been only two rainouts in Petco Park history, the most recent coming on July 19, 2015, between the Padres and the Rockies. The other took place in 2006, two years after the park opened.

Today in Dodger history:

  • 1959 At the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Yankees defeat the Dodgers, 6-2, in an exhibition game played to benefit Roy Campanella, who was paralyzed in an auto accident prior to the team moving to the West Coast in 1958. The game, which draws the largest crowd ever for a baseball game, 93,103 fans with another estimated 15,000 turned away from the sellout, begins with an emotional ceremony in which Pee Wee Reese pushes the wheelchair-bound catcher into the darkened stadium that is totally illuminated by fans holding candles or matches.
  • 1960 The Sherry boys become the tenth pair of siblings to appear as battery mates in a major league game when Norm replaces John Roseboro behind the plate in the top of the eighth to catch Larry, who is starting his first inning in relief. The backstop will hit a two-out home run in the bottom of the 11th inning, assuring his brother of a victory in the Dodgers’ 3-2 walk-off win over Philadelphia.
  • 1969 Willie Davis, furious with the Wrigley Field Bleacher Bums because of their continual verbal abuse of him, tells his Dodgers teammates that he wants to hit a home run in the middle of the group, which he does in the sixth inning to tie the score. The LA center fielder exacts a bit more more revenge on the heckling horde when his 12th-inning two-run round-tripper proves to be the difference in the 4-2 defeat of the Cubs.
  • 1970 At Shea Stadium, Wes Parker hits a triple off Jim McAndrew to beat the Mets in the tenth inning, 7-4. The three-bagger completes the cycle for the Dodger first baseman.
  • 2011 After a first-inning walk in the Dodgers’ 4-2 loss to the Mets, Andre Ethier goes 0-for-4, ending his 30-game hitting streak. The L.A. outfielder falls one game short of the franchise record set in 1969 by Willie Davis, who enjoyed a 31-game hitting streak that season.

Lineup when available.