Oct 18

NLCS Game Four, 2017

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

The Dodgers send the very well-rested LHP Alex Wood (16-3, 2.72 ERA) to the mound to try to close out the series. The Cubs will ask RHP Jake Arrieta (14-10, 3.53 ERA) to put up a roadblock in front of the Dodgers’ seemingly-unstoppable steamroller.

Wood hasn’t pitched in three weeks; he was scheduled to start Game Four of the Dodgers’ NLDS but they swept the D-Backs in that series. He’s been throwing simulated games and yesterday he declared himself ready to go. Arrieta pitched in Game Four of the Cubs’ NLDS against the Nats, going four innings, throwing 90 pitches, giving up an earned run and losing 5-0. He’s a former Cy Young Award winner and once threw a no-hitter at the Dodgers; presumably they won’t take him lightly.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1988 At Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Mark McGwire goes deep off LA’s Jay Howell with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the A’s a 2-1 victory for its only win in the Series. With Kirk Gibson’s heroics in Game 1, ‘Big Mac’s’ walk-off home run marks the first time that two game-winning round-trippers are hit in the same Fall Classic.
  • 2013 The Cardinals advance to their second World Series in three seasons, routing the Dodgers, 9-0, in Game 6 of the NLCS. St. Louis, behind the timely hitting of Carlos Beltran and the strong pitching performance of rookie right-hander Michael Wacha, beats Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83) for the fourth time this season, including a pair of victories in this round of the postseason.

Lineup when available.

Grandal gets a start, Ethier and Utley get second starts, and Granderson gets a start. This may be the Dave Roberts “keep guys happy as much as I can within the needs of the team” approach to managing.

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.

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:

Jun 04

Game 58, 2017

Dodgers at Brewers, 11:10 AM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI, Telemundo

RHP Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.21 ERA) will pitch for the Dodgers and RHP Zach Davies (5-3, 5.18 ERA) goes for the Brewers.

Maeda has had two successive starts in which he’s given up three runs in the first inning and held the opposition scoreless in the next four. He’s 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA lifetime against the Brewers. Davies gave up two earned runs on six hits over five innings to the Mets his last time out but got no decision for his trouble. He’s only faced the Dodgers twice, both times in 2016. He gave up HRs to Turner, Grandal, Trayce Thompson and Seager in those games.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1940 The Cardinals play their first night game at home, losing to Brooklyn, 10-1, despite Joe Medwick’s 5-for-5 performance that included three doubles. The honor of hosting the first evening tilt in St. Louis that took place on May 24 was given to the Browns, after the two teams finally agreed to split the $150,000 cost of installing lights at Sportsman’s Park, the ballpark they share.
  • 1957 At a seventy-five minute show-down meeting at City Hall with Walter O’Malley and Horace Stoneham, the club presidents of the Dodgers and Giants, respectively, Mayor Robert Wagner is told by the owners neither club has a commitment to move out of New York – and none to stay in the Big Apple. The teams, who have been given permission by the National League to explore the possibility of moving their franchises to the West Coast, are assured by His Honor that the city will be of assistance in replacing the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field, the aging ballparks the clubs call home.
  • 1964 At Connie Mack Stadium, Sandy Koufax throws his third no-hitter in three years, blanking the Phillies 3-0. The Dodgers’ southpaw, who will add a perfect game to his resume next season, joins Bob Feller as the only other modern major leaguer to pitch three career hitless games.
  • 1968 Don Drysdale, pitching his sixth consecutive shutout, defeats the Pirates, 5-0. The Dodger right-hander will extend his major league record scoreless streak to 58.2 innings before yielding a run in his next start. Later that evening at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Robert Kennedy, giving his victory speech for his win in the California primary before being fatally shot, tells his followers in the packed ballroom, “I’d like to express my high regard to Don Drysdale, who pitched his sixth straight shutout tonight.”
  • 1972 The Dodgers retire Roy Campanella’s uniform number 39. Campy, who won the MVP three times catching for Brooklyn in the fifties, joins Jackie Robinson (42) and Sandy Koufax (32) to be honored in this manner.
  • 1976 In an 11-0 victory at Dodger Stadium, Mets right fielder Dave Kingman hits three home runs. Sky King’s two-run dinger and two three-run round trippers drive in eight runs, a new club record.
  • 1990 En route to a 6-0 complete-game victory, 22 year-old Dodger right-hander Ramon Martinez limits Atlanta to three hits. Pedro’s older brother, who will finish the season with a 20-6 record, strikes out 18 batters during the contest.
  • 1998 The Dodgers trade the 1995 National League Rookie of the Year Hideo Nomo (2-7 with a 5.05 ERA) and reliever Brad Clontz to the Mets for pitchers Dave Mlicki and Greg McMichael.

Lineup when available.

Apr 30

Game 26, 2017

Phillies at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-P

The Phillies send RHP Nick Pivetta out to make his major league debut. He was 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA in three starts in Triple-A. He’ll face the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-4, 4.64 ERA), who had a good start his last time out, holding the Giants to one run in six innings.

Note: Yasmani Grandal has a 1.117 OPS against the Phillies, the highest of any active player.

Lineup when available.

Jun 11

Game 63, 2016

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

The Dodgers send Scott Kazmir (5-3, 4.46 ERA) to do battle with Jeff Samardzija (7-4, 3.33 ERA). Kazmir has made two starts against the Giants this season and they haven’t been good: he’s given up 10 runs in eight innings in the two games. In Samardzija’s last start he went five innings against the Cardinals and gave up six runs on nine hits, four of them HRs.

Puig goes to Lake Elsinore Rancho Cucamonga to begin rehab on Monday. The Dodgers want him to shorten his swing a bit while there, hoping to reduce his rotation and “eliminate some of the strain he exerts.”

Lineup when available.


I just noticed that in this lineup all members of the infield hit first. Then Roberts goes off script and has C Yasmani hitting between CF Joc and LF Howie. Come on, Doc, symmetry is important!

Apr 25

Game 20, 2016

Marlins at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-F

Don Mattingly returns to Dodger Stadium with a team that’s lost 11 of its first 17 games. The Marlins are not very good right now, and they face the added burden of being in the same division as the Washington Nationals, so they’re already 7 1/2 games behind in the NL East. They do have Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez, and they have some guy named Bonds as their new hitting coach with Frank Menechino as his assistant. Fun fact: back in 2001 Bonds and Menechino swung at the lowest percentage of pitches of all major leaguers and still reached base at a combined .447 rate. One was more successful than the other: Bonds hit 73 home runs that season; Menechino’s slash line was .242/.369/.374.

They’ll send lefty Wei-Yin Chen to the hill. He’s 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in three starts. When he was with the Orioles he faced the Dodgers in 2013 and got a win. The Dodgers will counter with the second of their two surprising starters, Ross Stripling, who has a 2.65 ERA in 17 innings but hasn’t gotten a decision yet. Stripling stumbled his last time out in Atlanta when he gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.

Lineup when available.

Huh. Utley gets a day off. Fine. Gonzalez gets a day off. Okay, but I didn’t know Grandal even owned a first-baseman’s mitt. Pederson and Seager also get days off, presumably because the Marlins are starting a lefty.

Apr 13

Game 9, 2016

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

Old friend Rubby De La Rosa has had horrid luck against the Dodgers, going 0-3 with an 11.21 ERA against them in his career. Overall he’s 22-25 with a 4.61 ERA in his five previous seasons in the big leagues. Alex Wood has similar career stats: he’s 26-27 with a 3.36 ERA in three previous seasons.

Lineup when available.

I hadn’t thought of getting both Kendrick’s and Utley’s bats in the lineup in quite this way, but…we also see Yasmani Grandal making his first start of the season after he came off the DL Tuesday.

Here are some highlights from Opening Day:

First, Mr. Puig at second base switching hands on the base.

Now, here are the two throws to get Castillo at home, Puig to Turner to Ellis.

Apr 12

Game 8, 2016 (aka Opening Day at Dodger Stadium)

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN (out of market only)

The visiting D-Backs send Patrick Corbin (0-1, 5.14 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (1-0, 0.00 ERA). The next run Maeda gives up will be the first one of his American MLB career. All the runs Corbin gave up in his first start were via home runs; the Dodgers only have three so far this season so he may be safe. On the other hand, Maeda has one of the Dodgers’ HRs; Corbin may need to be careful pitching to him.

The Dodgers are expected to activate Howie Kendrick and Yasmani Grandal from the disabled list for this game, which means they’ll have to put two players on it or send two down to Oklahoma City. I hope I don’t have to type that too often. I still think of Albuquerque as the location of the AAA affiliate, even though Las Vegas was the site for a few years recently.

Lineup when available.

And there’s this news from Ken Gurnick as well: “Roberts said Van Slyke on DL. Grandal active.”

Mar 22

Tibias, forearms, obliques, oh my!

Andre Ethier broke his lower leg (the tibia, for the purists) when he fouled a ball off it last Friday. He’ll be out 10-14 weeks. This means in all likelihood that Carl Crawford will be the Dodgers’ starting left-fielder for the first three months of the season.

That stinks.

So do all these injuries:

pitcher Frankie Montas had a rib removed and was placed on the 60-day disabled list. Brett Anderson suffered a bulging disk and had surgery. Hyun-Jin Ryu’s recovery from shoulder surgery has been slow and he won’t pitch in a spring game. Pitcher Josh Ravin broke his non-throwing left arm in an auto accident. Brandon McCarthy is still recovering from Tommy John surgery. Brandon Beachy (elbow) and Mike Bolsinger (oblique) have had their fifth-starter candidacies derailed by injuries.

Seager sprained his knee almost two weeks ago, but is expected back by Opening Day. Starter Alex Wood missed a start with forearm soreness. Julio Urias was slowed with slight groin tightness. Caleb Dirks never pitched because of a back injury.

Yasmani Grandal missed several games with strained forearms and came out of Monday’s game after aggravating the right one. Alex Guerrero missed a week with a twisted knee. Adrian Gonzalez missed a couple games with a bulging disk in his neck. Howie Kendrick missed a handful of games with a tight groin muscle. Justin Turner has been eased back slowly after offseason microfracture knee surgery. Crawford missed a game last week because of a sore back.

Other than that, Dodgers’ fans, it’s been a great spring training.