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 Dodgers ask LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-1, 3.86 ERA) to defeat old friend and fellow LHP Brett Anderson (0-0, 1,89 ERA). Ryu went 4 2/3 innings last Friday and gave up two runs on six hits while keeping his velocity above 91mph.
This will be Anderson’s first start at home for the Cubs and his first start against his former teammates as well. He went 11-11 with a 4.18 ERA in 35 games (34 starts) with the Dodgers in 2015-2016 but pitched in only four games last year after shutting down due to disk surgery in his back in March. He came back in August but struggled. The Dodgers didn’t offer him a new contract over the winter and he signed with the Cubs in January of this year.
Lineup when available.
Today's Dodger lineup at Cubs: Forsythe 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Puig RF Van Slyke 1B Grandal C Thompson CF Hernández LF Ryu P pic.twitter.com/J0pXljCysi
And it starts with the announcement that nine Dodgers are officially free agents. Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen top the list, followed by by starting pitchers Rich Hill and Brett Anderson, relievers Joe Blanton, J.P. Howell and Jesse Chavez, outfielder Josh Reddick and second baseman Chase Utley. Scott Kazmir and Carlos Ruiz could join the list depending on their respective opt-outs.
My personal opinion? Keeping Turner and Jansen should be management’s first priority. After that it’s mixed. I doubt they’ll keep Utley. I think I’d keep Blanton and Howell, I’d try to keep Hill, and I’d watch Reddick and Chavez go.
Here’s an interesting point about Vinnie’s broadcasting style: Bob Costas pointed this out to Jason Stark, and Stark repeats it here: the production follows him. He doesn’t get directed “Okay, now insert a 10-second blurb about the upcoming homestand or bobblehead day.” Nope, he tells his stories and the guys in the truck just follow along.
Brett Anderson makes his third start of the year for the Dodgers after first recovering from back surgery and then going on the DL for blisters. He’s 0-2 with a 24.75 ERA in the four innings he’s pitched this season. His opponent will be Tyler Chatwood, who’s 11-9 with a 4.13 ERA this year. He’s given up five home runs in his last four starts and given up at least six runs in three of the four.
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup: Utley 2B Toles LF Seager SS González 1B Grandal C Reddick RF Pederson CF Kendrick 3B Anderson P
LHP Brett Anderson (0-1, 45.00 ERA) makes his second start of the year after coming back from four months on the DL. He gave up five runs in the first inning of his first start, then he hurt his wrist diving for a comebacker in the second inning and had to come out of the game. His opponent will be LHP Brandon Finnegan (7-9, 4.54 ERA), who has struggled with pitch counts all season. He’s had only two starts in which he’s made it into or past the seventh inning, none since June 9.
Neither team does well against lefties: the Dodgers are hitting .228 against them, and the Reds are hitting .236.
Tonight's Dodger lineup at Reds: Kendrick LF Hernández 2B González 1B Turner 3B Segedin RF Pederson CF Ellis C Taylor SS Anderson P
The Dodgers’ Brett Anderson makes his season debut after rehabbing all year from arthroscopic back surgery in March. He’ll face Chad Kuhl (2-0, 3.91 ERA), who made his big league debut against the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw back on June 26 and won.
Anderson has made three rehab starts between Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga and Triple-A Oklahoma City, topping out at 71 pitches and five innings in his final start.
Brandon McCarthy is likely headed for the 15-day DL with a newly-disclosed hip injury. He and the Dodgers both hope that’s what caused his control to disappear in his last four starts. He says he hurt the hip fielding a bunt in Colorado last month.
McCarthy and Ravin both go to 15-day DL, Ravin with right triceps soreness and McCarthy with the hip problem described above.
Lineup when available.
Today’s Dodger lineup vs. Pirates: Utley 2B Reddick RF Seager SS González 1B Grandal C Pederson CF Kendrick LF Segedin 3B Anderson P
Rookie righthander Brock Stewart (0-1, 9.00 ERA) spot-starts for the Dodgers, filling in for the newly-acquired Rich Hill and the possibly-injured Bud Norris, not to mention the disabled Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brett Anderson and Clayton Kershaw. In his first and only other MLB start he went five innings, gave up five runs, struck out seven and walked two. He’s been very good in the minors, posting a 1.80 ERA across Double-A and Triple-A and has a 3.00 ERA in four Triple-A starts since he went back down after that MLB start. He’ll be opposed by the Rockies’ rookie lefty Tyler Anderson, (3-3, 3.33 ERA), who’s had six quality starts in his first nine in the big leagues. He hasn’t given up a dinger in his last 22 1/3 innings.
Personnel news: Stewart, Fields and Urias up; Toles and Josh Ravin down (the latter after reinstatement from the restricted list for PED usage; he also recuperated from broken bone surgery while out); Coleman (right shoulder fatigue) and Liberatore (left elbow inflammation) to DL. And the biggest and most unpleasant news of all: Kershaw moved to 60-day DL. Eligible to return August 27.
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup at Rockies: Kendrick 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Van Slyke RF González 1B Hernández LF Pederson CF Ellis C Stewart P
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.
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.
The Dodgers were expected to spend WHATEVER IT COSTS to retain the services of Zack Greinke. Absent Greinke, or maybe even with Greinke, the Dodgers were expected to acquire one of the other big-time pitchers out there: David Price or Johnny Cueto.
Greinke signed with the Diamondbacks, Price with the Red Sox, and Cueto with the Giants. Ergo, the Dodgers had (or are having) a lousy winter. Right?
Before exploring that question in some detail, we should start with this salient fact: The Dodgers won 92 games last season.
Thank you, Mr. Neyer. The pundits and fans do somehow forget the team has won three titles in a row, and only two of them were Greinke-aided. It can survive without him.
Neyer points out that the Dodgers re-signed Anderson, who was pretty good and figures to be close to that again. They signed Kazmir, who figures to be better than Anderson. They signed Maeda, who only has to be an average pitcher for him to replace the 12 guys who tried to fill that role at the back end of the rotation last year. They also still have Wood, who’s young and whose history is better than his performance with the Dodgers last season. They’ll get Ryu back, and we don’t know yet how complete his recovery might be. Finally, they’ll get McCarthy back mid-season, and if he’s recovered most of his form that will be the equivalent of getting a mid-season trade for a starter done without giving up a player or two.
Neyer thinks the Dodgers will be pretty good this season. So do I.