Oct 17

NLCS Game Three, 2017

Dodgers at Cubs, 6:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The visiting Dodgers send RHP Yu Darvish (10-12, 3.86 ERA) out to keep the Cubs at bay and take a 3-0 lead in the series. The Cubs counter with RHP Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA). Darvish had a good outing in Game Three of the ALDS against the Diamondbacks, giving up one run on two hits in five innings while striking out seven and not walking anyone. Hendricks had an excellent start against the Nats in Game One of the NLDS when he allowed no runs, but a less-than-stellar one in Game Five when he gave up four runs on nine hits in four innings. He may take some confidence from his two NLCS starts against the Dodgers last year when he gave up only one run on five hits in 12 2/3 innings.

Here are several news items pertaining to the Dodgers and this series: first, from MLB: Memories of last year’s Game Six loss and the subsequent ring ceremonies this year might be a prod for the Dodgers. Second, SI’s Jay Jaffe writes about Yasiel Puig’s discipline and flair. And finally, Rich Hill is known for his curve, but it’s his fastball that’s doing heavy lifting this season.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1978 The Yankees capture their twenty-second and second consecutive World Championship, beating Los Angeles with a 7-2 victory at Dodger Stadium. Playoff hero Bucky Dent, who collects ten hits in the six-game series, is named the the Fall Classic’s Most Valuable Player.

Other historical note: in 1989 as the Giants and A’s get ready to play Game 3 of the World Series, the Bay Area is hit by the massive 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake, which will be responsible for 63 deaths. The Candlestick Park contest is quickly postponed by Commissioner Fay Vincent, and he orders the evacuation of the ballpark.

Lineup:

Puig at cleanup. Pederson, Ethier and Utley starting. Grandal not starting. No siree, no lineup shakeups here.

Sep 25

Game 157, 2017

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

What incentives do the Dodgers have to win these games beyond pride? Well,

Los Angeles holds a 4 1/2-game lead on the Nationals for the best record in the NL, positioning the Dodgers for home-field advantage up to the World Series. The Indians trail the Dodgers by one game for the best record in baseball, which will determine home-field advantage in the Fall Classic.

LHP Travis Wood (4-6, 6.55 ERA) pitches for the Friars while RHP Yu Darvish (9-12, 3.96 ERA) goes for the Dodgers.

Wood held the D-Backs to two runs over six innings in his last start, a marked improvement over his previous two when he gave up 15 earned runs in just 4 1/3 innings. Darvish is hoping to finish the season with a third consecutive good outing. In his previous two he gave up just one run in 12 1/3 innings.

Today 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 Spanger, breaking the 2-2 deadlock at Chavez Ravine.
  • 1974 In a 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 commonplace 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, 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:

Apparently Roberts is still annoyed and frustrated by Puig. I can’t imagine any other reason for him not to play, considering he’s 5-for-8 off Wood in his career, reaching in seven of his 10 plate appearances.

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.