Jul 09

Game 90, 2017

Royals at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSKC

The Royals try to salvage one game of what’s been an unsatisfying return to Dodger Stadium for the first time since 2003. The trouble is they have to get past Clayton Kershaw (13-2, 2.19 ERA) to do it. They’ll ask LHP Danny Duffy (5-4, 3.51 ERA) to shut the high-powered Dodgers’ offense down while they try to put together some hits and runs against the Dodgers’ ace.

Duffy has made one start since returning from the disabled list and he did pretty well, going 5 2/3 innings against the Mariners, giving up two runs and five hits in a 7-3 win. Kershaw went seven shutout innings against the D-Backs Tuesday and gave up just two hits in a game the Dodgers held on to win 4-3 despite a three-run HR off Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning.

The Dodgers won their 60th game last night, becoming just the 4th team in 40 years to do that before the All Star break.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1956 The BBWAA, by a narrow margin of 14-12, votes to establish the Cy Young Award to honor the major leagues’ most outstanding pitcher. Commissioner Ford Frick initiated the idea because he felt hurlers were not recognized in the MVP voting, but ironically the first recipient of the Cy Young Award, Dodger Don Newcombe, also won the Most Valuable Player Award.
  • 1996 In Philadelphia, Dodger backstop Mike Piazza hits a moon shot into the upper-deck at Veterans Stadium and also bangs a RBI double, helping the NL to blank the AL, 6-0, in All-Star action.

In non-Dodger history, it seems fitting that in 1968, the Year of the Pitcher, the All Star Game would play out this way: In the first All-Star game played indoors, American Leaguers are held to just three hits in the Astrodome, with the National League winning the first Mid-Summer Classic to end with a score of 1-0. The contest’s lone tally comes in the bottom of the first frame when Willie Mays, who had been picked off but stayed on the bases due to Luis Tiant’s throwing error, scores an unearned run on a double play ball.

Lineup:

Jul 02

Game 84, 2017

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

The Dodgers ask RHP Kenta Maeda (6-3, 4.15 ERA) to pitch them to a sweep of the Padres, who’ll counter with RHP Jhoulys Chacin (6-7, 4.76 ERA).

Maeda had an excellent start his last time out, pitching seven shutout innings against the Angels last Wednesday. He faced the Padres and Chacin in San Diego in May, going five innings, allowing only one run and striking out eight in a no-decision. Chacin has been exceptional at home this season, putting up a 1.83 ERA at Petco Park. He had five consecutive quality starts in June. Against the Dodgers his results have been mixed: on Opening Day in LA they got nine runs off him in 3 1/3 innings, but in the May game against Maeda he held them to one run in 5 1/3 innings. He too got no decision.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1962 Johnny Podres ties a major league mark record, striking out eight consecutive batters in LA’s 5-1 victory over Philadelphia. The 29 year-old southpaw’s streak begins with the third out in the top fourth frame and ends after the first out in the seventh inning of the Dodger Stadium contest.
  • 1995 Dodger right hander Hideo Nomo, who is leading the National League in strikeouts, becomes the first player from Japan to be selected for the major league All-Star game.

Today is also the anniversary of the 1963 16-inning marathon in which 42-year-old Warren Spahn and 25-year-old Juan Marichal pitched 15 scoreless innings against one another before Willie Mays homered in the 16th off Spahn.

Lineup when available.

Jun 28

Game 80, 2017

Dodgers at Angels, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-W

The visiting Dodgers will send LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6, 4.30 ERA) to the Orange County mound to face RHP Alex Meyer (3-4, 4.20 ERA) of the Angels.

Ryu allowed two home runs and five hits against the Mets in his last start but avoided the loss as Turner, Hernandez and Pederson all homered in the Dodgers’ 6-3 win. Meyer gave up five earned runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings and lost to the Red Sox last Friday. Before that he’d had a streak of seven consecutive starts allowing three or fewer runs.

This date in Dodgers’ history, from the sublime to the ridiculous, or possibly vice versa:

  • 1964 Take a look at the Giants’ 3rd inning here. Was Willie Mays surprised to find Roseboro on the basepaths?
  • 1969 After ending an 11-game losing streak in their previous contest, the expansion Padres are the victims of a 19-0 shutout for the second time this season when Dodgers right-hander Don Drysdale equals the National League-record for the largest margin of victory in a shutout. L.A. will score more than half of their runs when they tally ten times in the third inning.
  • 2008 In Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers, without the benefit of a hit for the entire game, defeat the Angels, 1-0. The combined losing effort of Halo hurlers Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo isn’t considered officially as a no-hitter because the home team didn’t have to bat in the ninth.

Lineup when available.

May 27

Game 50, 2017

Cubs at Dodgers, 4:15 PM PT, TV: Fox

RHP John Lackey (4-4, 4.82 ERA) goes for the Cubs in this late-afternoon game on Big Fox. His opponent will be the Dodgers’ RHP Brandon McCarthy (4-1, 3.76 ERA). Lackey had a three-game winning streak snapped his last time out when he gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings against the Giants. McCarthy had his best outing of the year in his last start when he went six innings and gave up three hits to the Marlins. He beat the Cubs in April, too. In fact, in four career starts against the Baby Bears he’s 1-1 with a 1.47 ERA, 18 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP. But wait! Lackey holds a 1.73 ERA against the Dodgers in 12 career starts!

This day in Dodgers’ history: The source site is unreachable so far today, so here’s an old game.

  • 1955 Oisk lost to The Barber 3-1, giving up all three runs in the 7th and 8th innings. The first was on a home run by Bobby Hofman, a lifetime .248 hitter with 32 career HRs to his credit. Oddly, Hofman was pinch-hitting for Davey Williams, a lifetime .252 hitter who also had 32 career HRs. The second and third runs were provided by the much more notable Willie Mays, who homered with a man on in the 8th.

Lineup:

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.