In the last game of the year the Central Division champion Brewers hand the ball to LHP Brett Anderson (4-5, 4.26 ERA). The Dodgers counter with RHP Walker Buehler (15-4, 2.49 ERA).
If the Dodgers win and the Giants lose to the Padres up north, the two California teams will play a tiebreaker game tomorrow, Oct. 4, to determine who wins the NL West. Any other result sends the Dodgers to a wild card game against the Cardinals on Wednesday, Oct. 6.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1947 In Game 4 of the Fall Classic, Bill Bevens comes within one out from pitching the first no-hitter in World Series history. The Yankee hurler loses his claim to fame and the game when Cookie Lavagetto, pinch-hitting for Eddie Stanky, hits a two-out ninth-inning double giving the Dodgers a 3-2 improbable victory.
1951 In Game 3 of the National League playoff series at the Polo Grounds, Bobby Thomson’s one-out three-run homer off Ralph Branca beats the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4, and the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant. The round-tripper, better known as the ‘shot heard around the world,’ becomes one of the famous home runs in baseball history.
1962 At Dodger Stadium, the Giants beat Los Angeles, 6-4, to take the rubber game of the best-of-three National League playoffs, clinching the National League pennant. LA shortstop Maury Wills sets a major league record for the most games played in a season, appearing in all of his team’s 165 games.
1976 After being at the Dodger’s helm for 23 years, Walter Alston’s managerial career ends when the team drops a 3-2 decision to the Padres, finishing the campaign ten games behind the Reds. During his tenure, beginning in Brooklyn in 1954, the skipper known as Smokey to his players compiles a 2040-1613 (.523) record en route to capturing seven pennants and four World Series titles.
1987 Benito Santiago’s consecutive game hitting streak ends at 34 when the backstop is held hitless in three trips to the plate by Dodger hurler Orel Hershiser, who tosses a complete game in a 1-0 loss to the Padres. The stretch of straight games with a hit by the 23-year-old represents a new mark for rookies and catchers.
1993 The Giants, despite winning 103 games, are eliminated from the Western Division race when the Dodgers derail their division dreams, 12-1. Catcher Mike Piazza, who will be named the league’s Rookie of the Year, hits two home runs in the game.
1999 In the final regular-season game played at the Astrodome, Mike Hampton (22-4) beats the Dodgers, 9-4. The victory clinches the division title as the Astros finish one game ahead of the Reds in the National League Central.
2005 The ax begins to fall when two managers lose their jobs the day after the season ends. Skippers Jim Tracy (Dodgers/5 years/427-383) and Alan Trammell (Tigers/3 years/186-300) are the first to go.
2009 Needing only a win or a Colorado loss for the past week, the Dodgers finally clinch the National League West title with a 5-0 victory over the wild-card Rockies. The title marks Joe Torre’s 14th consecutive season in the postseason, having won thirteen previous divisional titles, ten with the Yankees, one with the Braves, and now his second with LA.
The Braves hand the ball to RHP Kyle Wright, who’ll be making his first postseason appearance. He last pitched on September 25 against the Red Sox; he gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings. That was the longest outing of his short career. He’ll face the Marlins’ RHP Sixto Sánchez. who went five scoreless innings against the Cubs in the Marlins’ Wild Card Series.
The Dodgers haven’t named a starter as of 8:25 PM HST, but my guess would be RHP Tony Gonsolin or LHP Julio Urias, since they’ve both started this season. The Padres will send out LHP rookie Adrian Morejon, who will make his first postseason start. He pitched three innings in two appearances against the Cardinals in the Wild Card Series.
Here are nine of the best reactions to Bellinger’s catch.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1929 In front of 50,000 fans at Wrigley Field, surprise starter Howard Ehmke establishes a new World Series record, striking out 13 Cubs en route to a 3-1 A’s victory in Game 1 of the Fall Classic. The mark will last for 34 years until Dodger hurler Carl Erskine fans 14 Yankees in 1953.
1956 Don Larsen pitches the first perfect game in World Series history, defeating the Dodgers, 2-0 in Game 5 of the Fall Classic at Yankee Stadium. The 27 year-old right-hander, who had a poor start in Game 2 because of a lack of control, throws only 97 pitches, striking out pinch-hitter Dale Mitchell looking for the final out.
1957 Club President Walter O’Malley makes it official, announcing the Dodgers will play in Los Angeles next season. The club’s departure from Brooklyn corresponds with the massive social shift taking place in the borough that finds many of its former residents leaving for the suburbs of Long Island.
1959 Chicago’s speed and quickness weren’t enough to overcome Los Angeles’ hitting and pitching as the ‘Go-Go Sox’ drop a 9-3 decision, losing the World Series in six games to the Dodgers, who win their first championship representing the City of Angels. In the Comiskey Park, LA’s Chuck Essegian sets a record with his ninth-inning shot off of Ray Moore to become the first player to hit two pinch-hit homers in the Fall Classic.
1966 The Orioles managed only three hits off Claude Osteen, but Paul Blair’s fifth-inning 430-foot home run proves to be the difference as Baltimore beats the Dodgers in Game 3 of the World Series, 1-0. Wally Bunker throws a six-hitter to get the victory in the first Fall Classic game ever played in Baltimore.
1977 In Game 4 of the NLCS played at Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium, Dodger hurler Tommy John goes the distance and beats Steve Carlton and the Phillies, 4-1. The LA southpaw considers this pennant-clinching performance the best game he has ever pitched in the major leagues.
1995 After dropping the first two games of the series, the Mariners make a dramatic comeback in Game 5 to beat the Yankees with a 6-5 extra-inning victory to capture the ALDS. Ken Griffey Jr. ties a major league record when he hits his fifth home run in the postseason series, an eighth-inning round-tripper off David Cone, equaling the mark Reggie Jackson established in 1977 when he went deep five times in the World Series against the Dodgers.
2009 A ninth-inning error by left fielder Matt Holliday with the bases empty and two-out leads to the Dodgers’ stunning 3-2 walk-off victory and gives LA a commanding 2-0 game advantage in the NLDS. After the crucial miscue on the sinking line drive, Cardinals’ closer Ryan Franklin gives up RBI singles to Ronnie Belliard and pinch-hitter Mark Loretta to complete the improbable two-run comeback rally.
Today in Padres’ history:
2002 The Tigers select their former All-Star shortstop Alan Trammell (1977-1996) to manage the faltering franchise. The California native had been a coach with the Padres for the last three seasons.
2006 In the inaugural season in their new ballpark, the Cardinals beat the Padres 6-2 at Busch Stadium to take the NLDS playoff three games to one. The Redbirds advance to the championship series for the third consecutive season when Chris Carpenter gets the win, earning his second victory in the best-of-five series.
The Dodgers’ Roberto Hernandez is possibly pitching for a playoff roster spot with the Dodgers tonight. In his last four starts he’s gone no longer than 4 1/3 innings in any game and given up 11 runs in those 15 innings.
The Rockies will send out Jordan Lyles, who’s 7-3 with a 4.15 ERA on the year. On August 6 he returned from two months on the DL with a fractured hand, and he hasn’t gone longer than 6 1/3 innings in any start since then.
Dan Haren and Zack Greinke are scheduled to go this weekend for the Dodgers, but they may be on limited pitch counts or be scratched altogether, depending on how Mattingly wants to set up his rotation for the NLDS, which begins a week from today in LA. Hyun-Jin Ryu threw off a mound today for the first time since his shoulder inflammation flareup took him out of his start against the Giants on September 12.
Update: News from Phoenix: The D-Backs hired Dave Stewart to be GM, which means Matt Kemp will have to find another agent, and they fired Kirk Gibson and Alan Trammell.
Tonight's Dodgers lineup: