Sep 01

Game 133, 2017

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Dodgers’ lefty ace Clayton Kershaw (15-2, 2.04 ERA) returns from the disabled list tonight to face the Padres’ RHP Dinelson Lamet, (7-5, 4.60 ERA).

Kershaw may be on a five-inning, 75-pitch limit. He struck out eight in five innings earlier this week in a rehab assignment for OKC. Lamet has had a 2.68 ERA in his last seven starts and allowed no more than four hits in any of them. He has, however, walked 16 in his five August starts.

On the first day of roster expansion the Dodgers called up Rob Segedin, Alex Verdugo and O’Koyea Dickson and reinstated André Ethier and Clayton Kershaw. To make room they moved Grant Dayton to the 60-day DL and designated Brett Eibner and Luis Ysla for assignment.

In hurricane relief news, Yasiel Puig’s foundation donated 20K to the American Red Cross.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1890 On Labor Day at Brooklyn’s Washington Park, the Bridegrooms, later to be known as the Dodgers, win all three games against Pittsburgh in the first tripleheader ever played. The home team sweeps the visiting Alleghenys, who will be renamed the Pirates next season, 10-9, 3-2, and 8-4.
  • 1953 The Cardinals tie a major league mark, hitting five homers in a 12-5 loss to Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. The solo shots hit by Stan Musial, Harry Elliot, Rip Repulski, and Steve Bilko (2), all off starter Preacher Roe, aren’t enough to offset the Dodgers’ 17-hit attack, which includes six doubles but no round-trippers.
  • 1969 At Dodger Stadium, Willie Davis ties the franchise record by hitting in 29 consecutive games with his second-inning single in LA’s 10-6 victory over New York. The mark was established by Zack Wheat in 1916.

Today in questionable sportsmanship: In 1980 on the final day of the season, PawSox infielder Wade Boggs loses the International League batting title when he grounds out to first base in his final turn at-bat of the season. The plate appearance is necessitated when the Mud Hens, who are ahead 6-0, issue a two-out intentional walk in the ninth inning to light-hitting Ray Boyer, who makes every attempt to be put out to end the game, but is allowed to stroll around the bases and score on a deliberate error by the Toledo pitcher, forcing Boggs to make one last unnecessary plate appearance that will put him .007 of a percentage point behind Dave Engle, who plays in the outfield for the opponents.

Lineup when available.

Verdugo starts his first MLB game tonight. Seager still has a sore arm, I imagine.

Aug 18

Game 120, 2017

Dodgers at Tigers, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-D

On “University of Michigan” night in Detroit, it’s fitting that the Dodgers send former Michigan baseball standout lefty Rich Hill (8-4, 3.44 ERA) to the mound to face righty Jordan Zimmermann (7-9, 5.62 ERA).

Hill was the NL Pitcher of the Month for July but has yet to get a decision in August. He went six innings in his last start against the Padres while giving up two runs on five hits. He’s pitched at Comerica park seven times while in the AL, but only once as a starter. That was last year for Oakland before the Dodgers acquired him. Zimmermann gave up seven runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings in his last start but somehow avoided taking a loss. The Dodgers are familiar with him from his years with the Nationals. He was 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA against them.

The Dodgers activated Adrian Gonzalez and optioned Rob Segedin.

From Dodgers Insider

An entire baseball team could be fielded with the number of different Dodger players who’ve hit a walk-off this year. With Puig’s game-winning two-run double, he became the ninth different player to walk the Dodgers off with a win in their 10 walk-offs this season.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 Long time baseball executive Branch Rickey is named president of the newly formed Continental League. The 77 year-old former Dodger general manager is currently serving as an advisor with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • 1982 In the second longest game in franchise history, the Cubs lose to the Dodgers, 2-1. The Wrigley Field contest, which is played over two days, takes a Dusty Baker sacrifice fly and 21 innings to complete.

Lineup when available.

Adrian’s first day off the DL and he’s in the lineup at 1B, Seager gets to sit on the bench and think about hitting, Bellinger roams left field, and Taylor moves to shortstop for the day.

It just struck me how many guys on this team have names that begin with “C.” On days when Kershaw pitches and Utley plays 2B, the Dodgers could have 5/9 or nearly 56% of their lineup made up of them.

Aug 15

Game 118, 2017

White Sox at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, WGN, MLBN (out-of-market only)

RHP Miguel Gonzalez (6-10, 4.85 ERA) goes for the Sox in this two-game interleague series, while LHP Alex Wood (14-1, 2.37 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers.

Four of the five starts Gonzalez has made since the All Star break meet the “quality start” standard. Seven of Wood’s last nine starts do. The Sox hit southpaws very well: they have the third-highest batting average (.279) and slugging percentage (.435) in their league against lefties.

Chris Hatcher has been traded for international bonus pool space and Segedin has been reinstated from the 60-day DL.

This day 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.
  • 1951With 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.

Puig moves to 6th from 8th in the order. Roberts says production will dictate whether he stays there.

Aug 02

Game 107, 2017

Dodgers at Braves, 4:35 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSE

The Dodgers have won nine in a row. They have already had two 10-game winning streaks this year; only two teams have had three since 1913.

The visiting Dodgers give RHP Brock Stewart (0-0, 0.00 ERA) the ball and ask him to hold off the hometown Braves, who counter with RHP Julio Teheran (7-9, 5.09 ERA).

Stewart went only 3 2/3 innings against the Twins last Wednesday, but all five of the runs scored on him were unearned and he got off the hook when the Dodgers rallied to win 6-5. Teheran has lost three straight games and posted a 6.88 ERA since the All Star break. It doesn’t get any easier: Corey Seager is 3-for-9 against Teheran, all of them home runs. Yasiel Puig (5-for-10, HR), Chase Utley (7-for-28, HR), Logan Forsythe (3-for-5, HR), Yasmani Grandal (6-for-13, three doubles) and Joc Pederson (4-for-13) have been successful against him as well.

Yu Darvish has been activated. To make room, Josh Ravin was optioned to OKC.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1938 As an experiment, bright yellow baseballs are used in the first game of a doubleheader. The teams go back to the traditional white ball in the nightcap as the Dodgers swept the twin bill from the Cardinals, 6-2 and 9-3.
  • 1982 During a ceremony held in Cooperstown, NY, the United States Postal Service unveils a 20-cent stamp commemorating baseball great Jackie Robinson as part of its annual Black Heritage series. The Dodger infielder becomes the first individual baseball player to be depicted on a U.S postage stamp.

  • 2002 Reds general manager Jim Bowden is fined by commissioner Bud Selig for the comments he made to reporters prior to yesterday’s game against the Dodgers comparing a baseball strike with the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Quickly realizing the use of such analogy was inappropriate and insensitive, the Cincinnati GM issues an immediate apology after the game.
  • 2008 In the first game after the Manny Ramirez trade to the Dodgers, the Fenway Faithful enthusiastically welcome Jason Bay, the player replacing the Boston icon. The former Pirates outfielder doesn’t disappoint, tripling and scoring the winning run in the 12th inning of the Red Sox’s 2-1 victory over the A’s.

In non-Dodgers history of note, in 1921 with the jurors lifting the men onto their shoulders, the eight White Sox players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series are acquitted by the jury. The next day, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis will say the overwhelming evidence clearly shows the Black Sox fixed the games with gamblers, and all involved will be banned from playing professional baseball again.

Lineup:

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.

Jun 25

Game 77, 2017

Rockies at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM

YALHP Tyler Anderson (3-5, 5.75 ERA) goes for the Rockies and RHP Brandon McCarthy (6-3, 2.87 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers.

Anderson has been on the DL for much of June with an inflamed left knee. He’d had a bad April but a good May. He’s 0-3 with a 5.74 ERA in three starts vs. L.A. this year. McCarthy’s had right knee tendinitis since Spring Training and it flared up on May 27, when he threw six scoreless innings in a victory over the Cubs. In the four starts since then he has a 1.59 ERA while holding opponents to a .218 batting average.

Seager is still day-to-day, and we may get some news about Puig, who looked like he twisted or pulled something when he took second base in the 7th inning Saturday night.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1937 Augie Galan becomes the first National Leaguer to hit a homer from each side of the plate. The switch-hitter’s pair of round-trippers, a homer from the left side off Freddie Fitzsimmons in the fourth frame and from the right side in the eighth against Ralph Birkofer, helps the Cubs beat Brooklyn at Wrigley Field, 11-2.
  • 1968 Bobby Bonds hits a grand slam in his third at-bat of his first major league game, going deep off Dodger right-hander John Purdin in the Giants’ 9-0 victory at Candlestick Park. The 22 year-old Giant outfielder joins Philadelphia National pitcher Bill Duggelby (1898 – first at-bat) as the only other player to hit a base-loaded home run in his major league debut.
  • 1984 Dodger infielder Bill Russell plays his 1,953rd game to become the team’s leader in games played. The shortstop, who will extend the mark to 2181 during his 18-year tenure with the club, is hitless in three trips to the plate, but will walk twice in LA’s 9-4 loss to San Diego at Chavez Ravine.

Lineup when available.

As I suspected, Puig is not in the lineup. Gutierrez has been put on the 10-day DL with an episode of ankylosis spondylitis and his roster spot taken by Mike Freeman. Also, according to management, Seager is feeling much better today.

Jun 24

Game 76, 2017

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Rockies send out RHP Tyler Chatwood (6-7, 4.08 ERA) to face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (10-2, 2.61 ERA).

Chatwood has been on a roll in June, allowing two runs or fewer in each start since June 3. In his career he’s 3-2 with a 1.62 ERA over 39 innings in six starts at Dodger Stadium. This year he’s 3-1 on the road with a somewhat gaudy 1.41 ERA and he’s held opponents to a .182 batting average away from Coors Field. Kershaw’s coming back from a poor (for him) start against the Mets on June 19th when he gave up six runs on four HRs and threw 112 pitches over 6 1/3 innings. With all of that, he still got the win.

Alex Wood has started 2017 like a house afire. He’s “the first Dodgers starter since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 to start a season 8-0, and he’s the first Dodgers starter since Orel Hershiser in ’85 to remain unbeaten 11 starts into a season.”

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 The Dodgers win, 4 – 2, over the Pirates, as Jackie Robinson swipes home for the first of 19 times in his career.
  • 1956 Ed Bailey of the Redlegs hits three home runs in a 10 – 6 first-game win against the Dodgers. The Redlegs win the nitecap, 2 – 1. Eleven Cincinnati players then make an appearance on the What’s My Line? television show that night.
  • 2013 Rookie Yasiel Puig hits his 7th homer in 20 games and drives in the deciding run in the 8th in leading the Dodgers to a 3 – 1 win over the Giants.

Lineup when available.

Hmm. Utley at 1B, Bellinger in LF, Seager on the shelf.

May 24

Game 47, 2017

Cardinals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-M, MLBN (out-of-market only)

RHP Mike Leake (4-2, 2.03 ERA) tries to recapture his lead in the NL ERA race one night after he was overtaken by the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (2.01 ERA after last night’s gem). He’ll face the Dodgers’ Rich Hill (1-1, 2.77 ERA), who’ll be pitching on seven days’ rest.

Leake has been impressive all season; in fact he’s the only NL pitcher to post a quality start every time he’s gone to the mound in 2017. This will be Hill’s second start since coming off the 10-DL; he hasn’t faced the Cardinals since 2008.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 Carl Furillo hits a three-run homer as a pinch-hitter in the first frame of the Dodgers’ 4-3 ten-inning loss to Philadelphia at Ebbets Field. The unusual substitution occurs when Phillies manager Ben Chapman uses his right-handed starter Al Jurisch to pitch only to Brooklyn’s first two hitters, Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson, and then brings in southpaw Oscar Judd, who had been warming up from the start of the game, to face the next three lefty hitters, Pete Reiser, Dixie Walker, and Gene Hermanski, the batter replaced by Furillo.
  • 1973 In a 19-inning marathon, LA outfielder Willie Davis collects six hits in a 7-3 loss to the Mets at Dodger Stadium. The two clubs establish a National League mark by hitting into a combined nine double plays.
  • 2000 Sixteen Dodger players and three coaches are suspended by the commissioner’s office for going into the stands during the Wrigley Field scuffle with fans on May 16. The suspensions totaling 60 games for players and 24 games for coaches is the harshest penalty ever handed down by major league baseball.

In non-Dodger history I thought this was interesting:

  • 1964 The major league mark for shutouts in one day is broken as seven of the twenty major league teams do not cross home plate. The Twins, White Sox, Yankees, Mets, Phillies, Cardinals, and Pirates are all blanked. The record is now eight, set on June 4, 1972. Yes, the Dodgers were participants. Claude Osteen lost to Bob Gibson 4-0.

Lineup when available.

Puig’s ribs can’t hurt him too much if he’s in the outfield again tonight.

Apr 28

Game 24, 2017

Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, TCN

The Phillies start RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 2.55 ERA). This will be his second appearance against the Dodgers; he gave up four runs in a six-inning start last season. The Dodgers will counter with Kenta Maeda (1-2, 8.05 ERA), who had some extra days of rest and spent it working on his mechanics. Maeda leads the major leagues this season in an unenviable category: among the 17 runs he’s allowed in his 19 innings of work are seven home runs.

Surprising news (to me, anyway): Ethier won’t be back any time soon:

Ethier has still not been cleared to resume baseball activities, and manager Dave Roberts indicated there is no timetable for that process to begin. Given Ethier’s extended downtime, Roberts admitted on Thursday that Ethier will not be ready to rejoin the Dodgers until June — “at the earliest,” he said.

And arriving even that soon is predicated on Ethier making significant progress in the next week or so.

Puig, on the other hand, has shown plate discipline and a willingness to take walks that he hasn’t shown since 2014. He’s letting that low outside pitch go by so far this year, after a year or more of lunging after it.

Lineup when available.

Hmm. Is this the first day Puig has had off since the season began?

Apr 23

Game 19, 2017

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

RHP Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 2.12 ERA) takes the mound for the Dodgers and RHP Shelby Miller (2-1, 3.50 ERA) does so for the D-Backs. Both pitchers had forgettable 2016 seasons — McCarthy with Tommy John surgery and Miller with poor performances all round (3-12, 6.15 ERA for the year with no wins at Chase Field).

McCarthy, 33, has bounced around the big leagues — the Dodgers are his sixth team. He’s never had a brilliant season but has been serviceable when healthy. His career record is 59-68 with a 4.13 ERA in 1069 innings.

Miller, 26, was a 15-game winner in 2013 and 2014 with the Cardinals before going to the Braves in exchange for outfielder Jason Heyward. He had a horrible W-L record (6-17) but a good ERA (3.02) in 2015 with the Braves. He was traded to the D-Backs following that season. For his career he’s 37-48 with a 3.68 ERA in 694 innings.

The Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Andrew Toles and Yasiel Puig are a combined 16-for-33 (.485) against Miller. On the other hand, before Saturday’s game Goldschmidt was a career .313 hitter (121-for-386) with 24 homers and 80 RBIs vs. the Dodgers.

Lineup when available.