Game 149, 2014

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-BA

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key’s most famous composition, there will be special events honoring the National Anthem before today’s games. In Baltimore (site of Ft. McHenry, class, had you forgotten?) there will be a special program, and in other ballparks the video montage PBS has been using to promote its production Star-Spangled Banner: The Bicentennial of our National Anthem will be shown.

One hopes the Dodgers didn’t wear out their bats in yesterday’s 17-run explosion.

Clayton Kershaw goes after win number 19 this afternoon at AT&T Park. There’s not much left to say about what he’s done this season, except that his hitting has fallen off. He’s hitting just .161 this year with 19 strikeouts in 56 at-bats after hitting .182 last year, .207 in 2012 and .225 in 2011. His ERA has, unbelievably, also dropped from last year. In 33 games and 236 innings last season Kershaw’s ERA was 1.83. This season over 24 games and 177 innings it’s 1.67.

His opponent will be Yusmeiro Petit, a 30-year-old right-hander who first came to the big leagues in 2006 with the Marlins. He’s bounced between the minors and majors with two more teams since then, going 19-24 overall. Earlier this season he set a major league record by retiring 46 consecutive batters before allowing one to reach base. In his last outing he threw 84 pitches in a complete game win over the D-Backs.


34 thoughts on “Game 149, 2014

  1. Just thinking…years from now, former players will note proudly, “yeah, I got a hit off Kershaw”…or an RBI, or, rarely, a HR, the way they’ll talk about lighting up lesser pitchers.

  2. Couldn’t follow much, surprised to find out Gordon is still alive and well.

    “Puig and Gordon collided, both shaken but remaining in the game.”

    • Wasn’t all that much of a collision. Gordon went down and Puig jumped over him, just catching his ankle on Dee’s body and falling. Gordon was up quickly and throwing the ball back in to the infield, and Puig wasn’t shaken up much either.

  3. As I’m thinking about it, I’m impressed Kenley had a perfect 9th, especially in the opponent’s park.

  4. just turned up to work to a nice surprise (well with Clayton it shouldn’t be a surprise really)

  5. Good, tight game so far. I thought Petit was going to get hammered after the second inning, but he really settled down.

  6. Since we’ll see the current great Dodger lefty today, pregame may be a good time for an outstanding story about the gold standard of Dodger lefties, whose greatness level the current edition is fast approaching–

    From 1999, one of the best Koufax stories I’ve read. IMO any Dodger fan should bookmark it to read later if not now.

    Way more excerpting than I’d normally do. Since I’m big into opinion right now, worth it.

    “Koufax is 63, in terrific shape and, thanks to shoulder surgery a few years back, probably still able to get hitters out. (In his 50s Koufax was pitching in a fantasy camp when a camper scoffed after one of his pitches, “Is that all you’ve got?” Koufax’s lips tightened and his eyes narrowed — just about all the emotion he would ever show on the mound — and he unleashed a heater that flew damn near 90 mph.)

    “statistics that border on the absurd. A favorite: Every time he took the mound, Koufax was twice as likely to throw a shutout as he was to hit a batter.

    “He’s the greatest pitcher I ever saw,” says Hall of Famer Ernie Banks. “I can still see that big curveball. It had a great arc on it, and he never bounced it in the dirt. Sandy’s curve had a lot more spin than anybody else’s — it spun like a fastball coming out of his hand — and he had the fastball of a pure strikeout pitcher. It jumped up at the end. The batter would swing half a foot under it. Most of the time we knew what was coming, because he held his hands closer to his head when he threw a curveball, but it didn’t matter. Even though he was tipping off his pitches, you still couldn’t hit him.

    “Koufax was so good, he once taped a postgame radio show with Vin Scully before the game.

    “He was so good, the relief pitchers treated the night before his starts the way a sailor treats shore leave. On one rare occasion in which Koufax struggled to go his usual nine innings — he averaged 7.64 per start from ’61 to ’66 — manager Walter Alston visited his pitcher while a hungover Bob Miller warmed in the bullpen.”How do you feel, Sandy?” Alston asked.”I’ll be honest with you, Skip,” Koufax said. “I feel a hell of a lot better than the guy you’ve got warming up.”

    Also, Q&A from Verducci about the story, which adds to it–

    This likely is the longest post ever on Link’s blog. But, as usual, IMO worth it.

    • I am a Koufax partisan – saw him plenty on TV and once at Dodger Stadium – but Kershaw has achieved more at this age than Sandy did. Had the ridiculous “bonus baby” rule not kept Sandy from apprenticeship in the minors, he would probably have done at least as well by Clayton’s age. That said, I think the two compare well.

  7. I’d like today’s game to be as relaxing as yesterday’s. Didn’t get to see it because of the blackout, but I enjoyed reviewing the video highlights on Gameday.