Aug 14

Game 122, 2019

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

LHP Clayon Kershaw (11-2, 2.77 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while LHP Elieser Hernandez (2-4, 4.94 ERA) pitches for the home team. Kershaw has gone at least six innings in each of his 20 starts this season, and his last one was a seven-inning nine-strikeout gem against the Cardinals. Hernandez’s last start might have been his career best (he’s only made 14 overall), when he threw six innings of shutout ball against the Braves.

Astros, Dodgers or Yankees? Which is best right now and in October? The question is addressed by an ESPN panel.

Baseball’s 20-Something Sluggers Are Saving The Sport, say the stat guys at 538. Take note: measured by WAR, the Dodgers have two of the best 23-year-olds in all of baseball history in Bellinger and Verdugo.

Americana: Yasiel Puig became a naturalized citizen today.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1919 In a total of two hours and seventeen minutes, the Dodgers and Cubs split a doubleheader. In the opener, the Cubs blank Brooklyn 2-0, in one hour and ten minutes, and in the nightcap, it takes the Dodgers one hour and seven minutes to shut out Chicago, 1-0.
  • 1932 Brooklyn’s 10-inning, 2-1 victory over the Giants at the Polo Grounds makes reliever John Quinn, at the age of 49, the oldest player to win a major league game. Johnny Frederick, who will have a total of only six home runs during the entire season, hits a ninth inning game-tying homer off Carl Hubbell, his fourth round-tripper as a pinch hitter, establishing a new major-league record.

Also, in 2015 the Padres’ Matt Kemp hits a ninth-inning triple to complete the cycle, making him the first player in the 35-year history of the franchise to accomplish the feat. The San Diego outfielder’s home run in the first, single in the third, and double in the seventh contribute to the team’s 9-5 victory over Colorado at Coors Field.

Lineup:

Jul 24

Game 104, 2019

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

RHP Jaime Barria (3-3, 7.36 ERA) tries to maintain his position in the Angels’ rotation after a dreadful game his last time out. He gave up ten runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings against the Mariners last Friday. He’ll face the Dodgers’ RHP Ross Stripling (4-3, 3.64 ERA), who had a good five-inning stint against the Phillies last week but hasn’t really reached the success he was pitching with in April, his first period of injury replacement starts.

Here’s video of the damage Calhoun did to the Dodgers last night, including the last out of the game:

If the Reds trade Puig, where might he fit?

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1909 At Washington Park, the Superbas sweep a twin bill from the visiting Cardinals with identical 1-0 scores. Brooklyn’s southpaw Nap Rucker, who will finish second in the NL with 200 strikeouts, whiffs 16 Redbirds in one of the contests.
  • 1931 For the second time in ten days, Babe Herman hits for the cycle. The Dodger outfielder joins “Long John” Reilly and Bob Meusel as one of only three ‘tricyclists’ to have accomplished the feat of collecting a single, double, triple, and home run in one game three times.
  • 1965 Unbeknownst to him at the time, 75 year-old Mets skipper Casey Stengel, who compiled a managerial record of 1,905-1,842 with the Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, and Mets, manages his final baseball game, a 5-1 loss to Philadelphia at Shea Stadium. After leaving a party after midnight at Toots Shor’s, the ‘Old Perfesser’ loses his balance and fractures his left hip, resulting in the unexpected retirement with the team.
  • 1968 ChiSox reliever Hoyt Wilhelm breaks Cy Young’s record when he makes his 907th career appearance, pitching a third of an inning in which he gives up a run on two hits to be on the short side of the team’s 3-2 loss to Oakland. The 45 year-old knuckleballer, who will retire in 1972 after pitching in 1,070 games, will finish his 21-year major league career with a 143-122 (.540) won-loss record and 228 saves, hurling for the Giants, Cardinals, Indians, Orioles, White Sox, Angels, Braves, Cubs, and Dodgers.
  • 1970 Tommy Agee steals home with two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning, giving the Mets a 2-1 walk-off victory over the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, the New York center fielder stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, before scoring the winning run with his thievery of home plate.
  • 1977 After his two-out foul pop-up is dropped by Mets’ right fielder Bruce Boisclair, Davey Lopes responds with a game-ending three-run home run off Bob Apodaca. The L.A. second baseman’s ninth-inning dramatics provide the Dodgers with a 5-3 win and spoil the opportunity for a win for Nino Espinosa, who left the game needing just one more out for a complete-game victory.
  • 1993 Following the game at Dodger Stadium, Vince Coleman tosses an M-80 from a car, resulting in reported injuries to three fans in the Chavez Ravine parking lot, including an 11 year-old boy and a two year-old girl. The Mets’ player was a passenger in the 1991 Jeep Cherokee driven by LA outfielder Eric Davis, who acknowledges Coleman flipped the firecracker out of his vehicle as a ‘joke,’ but not into a crowd of people.
  • 1993 In a 5-4 loss to the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, Mets right-hander Anthony Young extends his record losing streak to 27 games. The latest defeat is the result of the hard-luck hurler walking Dave Hansen in with the winning run with two outs in the 10th inning.
  • 2015 Michael Conforto becomes the 1,000th player in Mets history when he makes his major league debut, going 0-3 in the team’s 7-2 loss to the Dodgers at Citi Field. Tomorrow, the 24 year-old rookie left fielder will enjoy a 4-for-4 day at the plate when he will collect three singles and a double en route scoring four runs.

Lineup:

Jul 03

Game 88, 2019

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, SPNLA

RHP Merrill Kelly (7-8, 4.00 ERA) makes his 18th big league start after spending four years in the Korean Baseball League, where he compiled a 48-32 record with a 3.86 ERA. Pretty good for a league known more for hitting than pitching. As his W-L record shows, he’s had an up-and-down season thus far. He didn’t face the Dodgers in the D-Backs’ previous three series against them. He’ll face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (8-1, 3.43 ERA), who’s headed for the All Star Game. His last start was awful; he gave up seven runs on 13 hits to the Rockies in 5 2/3 innings. He avoided the loss in that game as the Dodgers came back with four runs in the ninth inning to win.


Here are the Dodgers’ five consecutive walks in the ninth last night to win the game.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1925 Milt Stock sets a National League mark by having his fourth consecutive four-hit game, going 16-for-23 during the span to compile a .696 batting average. The 31 year-old second baseman’s offensive output, which includes three singles and a triple, helps the Robins beat the Giants at Ebbets Field, 6-3.
  • 1949 En route to a 16-0 shutout of the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds, starting pitcher Monte Kennedy hits a grand slam. Another 51 seasons will pass by before another Giants hurler hits a four-run homer when Shawn Estes accomplishes the feat in 2000.
  • 1958 In their 35th home date in L.A., the transplanted Dodgers reach the one million mark in attendance. Last season, the team drew only 1,028,258 fans, playing in Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field.
  • 2013 Yasiel Puig becomes the first player to be named Player of the Month for the first month he plays in the major leagues in the 55-year history of the award. The Dodger outfielder played in 26 games in June, compiling a .436 batting average, with his 44 base hits being the second-most ever by a first-month player, only behind Joe DiMaggio’s total of 48 in 1936.

Lineup when available.


Feb 23

Spring Training Game One and other thoughts

Dodgers v. White Sox, 12:05 PM PST



I’m worried about Kershaw’s sudden shutdown just a week or so into spring training.

Jan 08

Hot stove stagnating?

Jacob Rudner of Sports Illustrated says

Andrew Friedman needs to rethink his strategy. Instead of being reluctant and hoping the roster pans out for another year, there has to be some benefit in going and making the changes you need to make to get the roster to the promise land. After two years of reserved salary acquisition, the Dodgers roster is cheap enough that the team should be going all out for a trophy.

Michael Wittman of SI says

Yasmani Grandal on the other hand, is the best catcher left on the market.

While passed balls became an issue behind the plate towards the end of the season, Grandal is still a better backstop than 95% of the catchers in the league and he could be primed for a nice bounce back season in 2019, especially if the Dodgers get him back on a one year deal. Then he would help bridge the gap to Keibert Ruiz in 2020, while re-establishing his own market before hitting free agency again at the end of next season.

Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times is equally impatient

Because of their relative frugality last year, the Dodgers will be penalized as first-time offenders if their payroll for next season exceeds the luxury-tax threshold. And because they traded Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to the Cincinnati Reds, they can take on another outfielder.

So where’s Bryce Harper?

Hernandez argues that the fans expect and deserve better than this sudden apparent unwillingness to spend on payroll given the higher ticket prices and inability to watch Dodgers’ games on television, among other things.

Dec 08

Rumors, alarums and excursions

Over at MLB Trade Rumors Connor Byrne notes the recent Times story about Yasiel Puig’s ostensible “disgruntlement” about his diminished playing time last year. He also speculates about a Matt Kemp trade, but wonders how and to whom that might happen. So do I. I can’t imagine another NL team wanting the Bison, a 34-year-old outfielder who had an excellent first half of last year but then fell off drastically at the midpoint of the season. He did win the Players’ Choice Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2018 but was beaten out for the MLB one by Atlanta’s LHP Jonny Venters. He could be a useful DH for an American League team.

Here’s a wonderful Christmas gift idea. You can purchase it at ALL BLUEA for $28.99-$34.99.

Sep 28

Game 160, 2018

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBC-Bay Area, MLBN (out-of-market only)

I imagine MLB hoped that the Giants and Dodgers would be fighting it out for the NL West title when they scheduled this series. They got it half-right. The Dodgers need to win all three games and hope the Nationals can take two of three from the Rockies if they hope to win the division. Otherwise it’s a cat’s cradle of possibilities with wild card games, tiebreakers to get into wild card games, and who knows what else.

Tonight the Dodgers ask LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-3, 2.00 ERA) to keep them in the game until they can either get to LHP Madison Bumgarner (6-6, 3.20 ERA) or knock him out. Both of these pitchers have spent lengthy amounts of time on the disabled list this season, and Ryu has done better since his return than has Bumgarner. Ryu has given up no more than three unearned runs in any of his fourteen starts this year including eight since his recovery. Bumgarner has a 1-1 record with a 5.48 ERA for the month of September.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1924 Rogers Hornsby finishes the season with a .424 batting average to lead the National League. The Cardinal second baseman easily outdistances Zack Wheat, who finishes second in the race, batting .375 for the Dodgers.
  • 1952 On the last day of the season at Ebbets Field, the Braves’ 77 years of representing Boston is extended by three innings when Eddie Mathews’ ninth-inning, two-out double ties the game. The contest is called due to darkness and ends in the 12th inning in a 5-5 tie with the Dodgers.
  • 1955 In the bottom of the second inning, Elston Howard, in his first World Series at-bat, knots the score at 2-2 when he homers off Dodgers’ right-hander Don Newcombe. The round-tripper to deep left field at Yankee Stadium marks the first time a black batter has hit a home run off a black pitcher in the history of the Fall Classic.
  • 1959 The Braves, who ended the National League regular season in a first-place tie with the Dodgers, lose Game 1 of the three-game series, 3-2, in front of a sparse crowd of 18,297 at County Stadium. Milwaukee will lose tomorrow’s game in L.A., spoiling their chance for a three-peat as NL Champs.
  • 1966 At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Larry Jaster throws a four-hitter, blanking Don Sutton and the Dodgers, 2-0. It’s the southpaw’s fifth shutout against LA this season, equaling a post-1900 major league mark held by the Senators’ Tom Hughes (against the Indians in 1905) and Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Phillies (against the Reds in 1916).
  • 1988 In his last start of the regular season, Dodger Orel Hershiser tosses 10 shutout frames to extend his streak to 59, breaking Don Drysdale’s record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings.
  • 1997 With his 40th home run, catcher Mike Piazza sets a single season Los Angeles Dodger record. Duke Snider holds the franchise record, slugging 43 round-trippers for Brooklyn in 1956.
  • 2003 At Turner Field in Atlanta, Jose Reyes becomes the second Mets player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in one game. Lee Mazzilli was the first when he went yard twice against the Dodgers in LA on September 3, 1978.
  • 2006 At Coors Field in Colorado, James Loney collects four hits, including two homers, and drives in nine runs in the Dodgers’ 19-11 victory over the Rockies. The rookie first baseman, who had one homer and eight runs batted in in 93 previous at-bats with the team, ties the franchise RBI mark set by Gil Hodges in his 1950 four-homer game for Brooklyn and breaks the Los Angeles club mark held by Ron Cey.

Lineup when available.


No Bellinger? No Puig?

Sep 25

Game 158, 2018

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, ESPN

The Dodgers send RHP Walker Buehler (7-5, 2.74 ERA) to the hill to face RHP Matt Koch (5-5, 4.26 ERA) in Game Two of a crucial series. In Buehler’s last start he went six innings and struck out 12 while giving up just three hits and two unearned runs in a game won by the Dodgers on a seventh-inning pinch-hit home run by Yasiel Puig. Koch is taking the place of Clay Buchholz, who’s out for the year with a strained flexor tendon. Koch’s last start was on September 13. He lasted just three innings, giving up eight hits and four runs and taking the loss.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1941 Combined with a Cardinal defeat, the Dodgers win their first pennant in 21 years when they beat Boston at Braves Field, 6-0. Whitlow Wyatt throws a five-hitter and Pete Reiser hits a homer in the winning cause.
  • 1956 Dodger right-hander Sal Maglie no-hits the Phillies at Ebbets Field, 5-0. The ‘Barber’s’ gem helps second-place Brooklyn to keep pace in the pennant race with Milwaukee and Cincinnati.

  • 1962 After appearing in 60 games over a two-year span, Dodger reliever Ed Roebuck suffers his first loss. The LA right-hander gives up a 10th inning home run to Houston’s Al Spangler, breaking the 2-2 deadlock at Chavez Ravine.
  • 1974 In the first-of-its-kind operation, Dr. Frank Jobe transplants a tendon from Tommy John’s right wrist to the Dodger pitcher’s left elbow. The revolutionary ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, which will become a standard surgical procedure better known as Tommy John surgery, enables the southpaw to win an additional 164 games, more than half of his career total of 288 victories.
  • 1996 Giants slugger Barry Bonds draws an intentional walk which gives him the National League record with 149 bases-on-balls in a season. The free pass is issued in the seventh inning by LA’s Mark Guthrie with two outs and a runner on third base in the team’s 7-5 loss at Dodger Stadium.
  • 2008 The Diamondbacks, defending division champions, lose to St. Louis, 12-3, allowing the Dodgers to clinch the NL West. Los Angeles first-year skipper Joe Torre’s 13-year postseason streak continues, unlike the Yankees, his former team.

Lineup:


Aug 15

Game 122, 2018

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBCS BA, MLBN (out-of-market only)

LHP Derek Holland (6-8, 3.57 ERA) goes for the Giants in their attempt to sweep the Dodgers, who’ll counter with their fresh-off-the-DL lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-0, 2.12 ERA). The Giants have won Holland’s last three starts, while Ryu has been shelved since May 2 with a left groin strain. He made two rehab starts and gave up seven hits and one earned run in nine innings.

MLB’s Will Leitch compiles a timeline of Puig’s on-field incidents over his career and concludes

We can argue all we want about Puig, what he’s like off the field, whether he rubs other players the wrong way. But on the field … the problems are rarely his fault, and the scuffles are usually started by other people. (And usually the Giants.) People always want to start something with Puig. But on the field, that’s on them, not him.

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.


Jul 25

Game 102, 2018

Dodgers at Phillies, 9:35 AM PDT, TV: SPNLA, NBCSP, MLBN (out-of-market only)

If any member of either team is awake enough to play well behind the two rested starting pitchers I’ll be surprised. The Dodgers send out their young righthander Walker Buehler (4-2, 3.45 ERA) to face the Phillies’ righty Jake Arrieta (7-6, 3.47 ERA). Buehler arrived in Philadelphia from Oklahoma City Tuesday. He’d been sent there as a roster move before the All Star break but didn’t pitch an inning for the team there on this latest visit. Arrieta started the year with two good months, going 5-2 in April and May. His June was awful: he lost four out of five starts. He’s bounced back in July to win two games and lose none so far.

Manager Dave Roberts says he expects Buehler “to stick around for a while.”

Injury updates were announced before Tuesday’s marathon. Tom Koehler is done for the year without throwing a pitch for the Dodgers. Puig and Baez are rehabbing in OKC and will be back for Thursday’s game in Atlanta, and Ryu is about to start rehabbing in the minors. The Dodgers expect him to make at least four starts before returning to the big club.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1962 At Sportsman’s Park, Stan Musial surpasses Giants’ legend Mel Ott as the National League’s all-time RBI leader. ‘Stan the Man’s’ two-run home run off Don Drysdale in a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers gives the Cardinals’ right fielder 1,862 career runs batted in with the Redbirds.
  • 2017 The Dodgers defeat the Minnesota Twins to run their record to 70-31. Kenta Maeda gets his ninth win of the season and Josh Ravin posts his first save.

Lineup when available.