Jul 19

Game 95, 2021

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: NBCSBA, SPNLA

Ace RHP Kevin Gausman (9-3, 1.73 ERA) takes the mound for the Giants and RHP Tony Gonsolin (1-0, 2.13 ERA) goes for the Dodgers.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2017 Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernandez and Corey Seager each hit home runs as the Dodgers defeated the White Sox in a rain-shortened interleague game in Chicago behind Kenta Maeda’s five strong innings and two innings of relief from Ross Stripling.

Lineup when available.

Apr 18

Game 16, 2021

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: Bally Sports San Diego, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

RHP Trevor Bauer (2-0, 2.70 ERA) takes the hill at Petco Park for the Dodgers in hopes of sweeping the Padres, who send out LHP Blake Snell (0-0, 4.35 ERA), last seen being removed from Game Six of the World Series despite his complete mastery of the Dodgers to that point of the game. He had a terrible outing his last time out, not getting out of the first inning against Pittsburgh. Bauer, meanwhile, has been terrific through six innings in each of his first three starts, giving up no more than two hits and striking out nine during those periods.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1925 At his Waldorf-Astoria apartment, Dodgers’ owner Charles H. Ebbets dies of a heart attack at the age of 65. Later in the day, his team opens the home season in Brooklyn losing to the Giants at Ebbets Field, 7-0.
  • 1939 In Brooklyn, Red Barber calls the action in the first broadcast of a regular-season Dodger game, a 7-3 loss to New York at Ebbets Field. The future Hall of Fame announcer was brought in from Cincinnati by the team’s new president, Larry MacPhail, who had hired the ‘Ol Redhead’ when he was in a similar post with the Reds.
  • 1947 Dodger president Branch Rickey names team scout Burt Shotton to replace Leo Durocher, who was suspended ten days ago by Commissioner Happy Chandler for acts “unbecoming to a major league manager.” Brooklyn’s new 62 year-old skipper reluctantly takes over the team two games into the season and will manage the club for one year in his street clothes along with wearing the team’s hat and jacket.
  • 1950 Vin Scully calls the first game of his illustrious 67-year career with the Dodgers, detailing Brooklyn’s 9-1 defeat to the Phillies on Opening Day at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park. The 22-year old broadcaster, who will be awarded the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award by Bud Selig in 2014, will become the team’s primary announcer just three seasons later.
  • 1950 The Phillies play their first game with name official changed back from Blue Jays, routing the Dodgers at Shibe Park, 9-1. The team wears red pinstriped uniforms designed by manager Eddie Sawyer that are reminiscent of club’s look in the early 1900s.

  • 1952 On Opening Day in Brooklyn, Willie Mays is knocked unconscious when he smashes into the Ebbets Field wall after chasing pinch hitter Bob Morgan’s seventh-inning, two-out base-loaded line drive into the gap in left field. All three Dodgers base runners cross the plate but do not score when the motionless Giants center fielder comes to his feet and jogs into the dugout, apparently unhurt, having held onto the ball after making a fantastic catch for the third out to end the inning.
  • 1958 At the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of a National League record crowd of 78,672, the Dodgers play their first game in the City of Angels. Carl Erskine gets the win, besting Al Worthington and the Giants, 6-5.
  • 1959 Branch Rickey, former general manager of the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Pirates, is appointed the president of the Continental League. The third potential major league never materializes, but helps to accelerate the expansion of the existing leagues, including putting a National League team in New York to fill the void created by the Giants’ and the Dodgers’ departure to the west coast in 1958.
  • 1964 L.A. southpaw Sandy Koufax throws the second of his two career immaculate innings when he strikes out the side on nine pitches. Although Leo Cardenas, Johnny Edwards, and Jim Maloney all strike out quickly in the top of the third inning, Cincinnati will score all of the game’s runs in the next frame, thanks to a three-run homer hit by Deron Johnson, to beat the Dodgers in the Chavez Ravine contest, 3-0.
  • 1966 Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills singles to center off future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts, becoming the first batter to hit on artificial turf in a major league game. The Astrodome’s new playing surface, called Chemgrass initially by its manufacturer, the Monsanto Company, couldn’t be made quickly enough, so the season begins with the artificial material only on the infield with the outfield remaining painted dirt until July.
  • 2008 The Dodgers announce Joe Beimel has been selected by fans, in an online poll during Spring Training, as the player whose likeness will now be used in an August 12 bobblehead promotion. The 30 year-old southpaw reliever, considered a long shot for the honor, gets the nod due to a strong internet campaign orchestrated by his parents, Ron and Marge.

    Lineup when available.

    Huh. Lux to the IL, so they bring Neuse up to play 2B rather than slide Taylor or Muncy over there.

  • Apr 04

    Game Four, 2021

    Dodgers at Rockies, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: ATTSportsNetRM, SPNLA

    LHP Julio Urias (0-0, 0.00 ERA), last seen closing out Game Six of the World Series, makes his first start of the season. He’ll face LHP Austin Gomber (0-0, 0.00 ERA) who’s doing the same. Urias is just 24 years old, but it seems like he’s been a big part of the Dodgers’ success the last couple of years. Gomber came over to the Rockies from the Cardinals in the Nolan Arenado trade this off-season.

    Today in Dodgers history:

    • 1968 Due to today’s assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, most of the major league teams will decide to postpone their Opening Day games until the reverend’s funeral takes place in five days. Surprisingly, the Dodgers, at first, are the notable exception, even though the Phillies, their opponents on April 9th, say they will forfeit rather than play on the national day of mourning. [See below]
    • 2016 The Dodgers hand the Padres the worst Opening Day shutout loss since at least 1913, and most likely in the history of the game, blanking the Friars at PetCo Park, 15-0. The contest marked the managerial debut of both skippers with LA’s Dave Roberts and San Diego’s Padres Andy Green both piloting their first major league game.

    So what did MLB do to acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder? Initially, not much. It took the Pirates, the most thoroughly integrated team in all of baseball, whose numbers included Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, Maury Wills, Donn Clendenon and Matty Alou, to make a stand and refuse to play on Monday, April 8, Opening Day. The Dodgers’ Walter O’Malley and Buzzie Bavasi were positively tone-deaf.

    The last holdouts, the Dodgers, were due to host the Phillies in Los Angeles. Team owner Walter O’Malley, who was the club’s vice president in 1947 when the team signed Jackie Robinson, wanted to go ahead with the game. According to an Associated Press story, O’Malley figured King’s funeral would be over by the time his team took the field on the West Coast.

    Dodgers general manager Buzzie Bavasi explained the club’s position to the press: “We are going to follow the schedule,” he said. “We would not play the game if the interment was not completely over. I’m not sure Mr. Giles [Warren Giles, president of the National League] has any jurisdiction in a case like this.”

    I rarely agreed with anything Dick Young wrote in those days, but I can concur with this:

    Dick Young was equally incredulous at the Dodgers’ strategy. “Teams in the East and Midwest, which would be playing during the funeral hours, should postpone their games,” he wrote, summarizing O’Malley’s and Eckert’s plan. “[But] teams in California, which would be opening an hour after the funeral had concluded, would play. It was as though someone was standing by the side of the bier with a stopwatch and a starter’s gun.”

    The Phillies’ GM John Quinn announced they’d forfeit rather than play. O’Malley conferred with Quinn and Giles and finally agreed to postpone the game.

    Lineup when available.

    Bellinger and Seager sit this one out, replaced by CT3 and McKinstry.

    Apr 03

    Game Three, 2021

    Dodgers at Rockies, 5:10 PM PDT, TV: ATTSportsNetRM, FS1, SPNLA

    RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his first start of the year for the Dodgers and RHP Jon Gray (0-0, 0.00 ERA) does the same for Rockies. Buehler only pitched 36 2/3 innings in last year’s shortened regular season; he went 1-0 in eight starts. He beat the Braves in the NLCS and Tampa Bay in the World Series, though. Gray was 2-4 in the same number of starts last season, pitching just 2 1/3 innings more than Buehler.

    Today in Dodgers’ history:

    • 1968 The Tigers trade left-hander Hank Aguirre to the Dodgers for a player to be named later, minor leaguer Fred Moulder. The All-Star southpaw, better known for being the worst hitter in major league history, will compile a .085 batting average during his 16-year major league career, striking out in an astounding 61% of his 388 at-bats. In his sole season with the Dodgers he appeared in 25 games, threw 39 innings, earned three saves and put up a .069 ERA.
    • 1974 The Indians trade Pedro Guerrero to Dodgers for pitcher Bruce Ellingsen. The 17 year-old infielder/outfielder will compile a .309 batting average and will be named to the All-Star team five times during his 11 seasons with the team.
    • 2008 Twenty minutes before their game, the Dodgers announce reliever Hong-Chih Kuo will start in place of Chad Billingsley, who in turn will be in the bullpen. The unusual move, made due to the threat of rain at the start of the contest, is also employed by the Giants with Merkin Valdez beginning the game on the mound and the announced starter, and eventual winner Tim Lincecum entering the game in the fourth inning.

    Lineup:

    Mookie and JT get the day off, CT3 gets a start as does Edwin Rios.

    Mar 01

    Lux-ury?

    Molly Knight at The Athletic:

    Lux’s 2020 campaign was a train wreck.

    He reported late to the Dodgers’ summer camp due to an unexplained absence, but he did reveal that he did not take part in baseball activities for two weeks. He began the season at the team’s alternate site at USC, and when he finally did get called up to the Dodgers, he looked like a mess. In 19 games, Lux had an OPS of .596. He made throwing errors that made it look like he had the yips. He was left off the postseason roster as the Dodgers went on to win the franchise’s first World Series title since 1988.

    This year, the Dodgers can make do with some combination of Chris Taylor, Zach McKinstry and Max Muncy at second base in the event that Lux can’t immediately rebound from his disappointing 2020. But he is only 23 years old and can be forgiven for experiencing a lost season during the pandemic.

    Cubs star Javier Báez said earlier this week that he simply was not mentally prepared for last season, and here’s betting Lux wasn’t, either. It’s not fair to judge anyone on how well they performed amid COVID-19. And that is why I’m excited to see if Lux can put last year behind him, secure the second base job and rake his way back into the hearts of Dodgers fans.

    Today’s lineup, including one Trevor Bauer making his first start in Dodger Blue:

    Dec 15

    Too early to talk lineups?

    Adam Weinrib of Fansided doesn’t think so. He has the usual suspects in the usual places, although handing left field to A.J. Pollock and leaving Chris Taylor on the bench might be premature.

    Betts, RF
    Seager, SS
    Turner, 3B
    Muncy, 1B
    Smith, C
    Bellinger, CF
    Pollock, LF
    Lux, 2B

    I agree with Lux at second assuming the season is close to a normal length, which it just might be if the vaccines for COVID-19 really do pan out as effectively as the trials seem to have shown. Lux needs more time to show whether his prospect status was warranted; his 2020 season was horrible (19 Games Played, .175 BA, 3 HR, 8 RBI). He was late reporting to the second training camp before the abbreviated season began and never rounded into the form he’d shown as a September callup in 2019.

    This assumes that Turner is awarded a new contract, that Kiké Hernández finds a new home where he can play regularly, and that Taylor and Pederson don’t object to a lot of bench time.

    Sep 02

    Game 38, 2020

    Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

    RHP Walker Buehler (1-0, 4.32 ERA) pitches for the home team, while the visitors send RHP Zac Gallen (1-0, 2.70 ERA) out to face him. Buehler is returning from the IL, where he went with a blister after his best game of the year, when he gave up just four hits, one run, struck out 11 and walked none in six innings. Gallen’s last start was equally brilliant: he went seven innings and gave up five hits and just one run, getting his first win of the year.

    Here’s CT3’s four-RBI game yesterday:

    On this date in Dodgers history:

    • 1969 Willie Davis, with his sixth-inning double in the team’s 5-4 loss to New York at Dodger Stadium, breaks a 53 year-old franchise record by hitting safely in thirty consecutive games. The LA outfielder surpasses the streak established by Zack Wheat in 1916 when the team played in Brooklyn.
    • 1971 Cesar Cedeno hits an inside-the-park grand slam when Dodger second baseman Jim Lefebvre and right fielder Bill Buckner collide, trying to make the fifth inning catch. The 200-foot dropped bloop contributes to the Astros’ 9-3 victory over LA at the Astrodome.
    • 1972 In his major league debut, Doug Rau throws a three-hitter, beating St. Louis at Busch Stadium, 5-1. In his first big-league at-bat, the 23 year-old Dodger southpaw helps his cause with a RBI-triple in the second inning.
    • 1993 The Rockies, drawing a crowd 47,699 for their 62nd home game, surpass the 1982 Dodgers when the team attracts 3,617,863 fans to Denver’s Mile High Stadium, setting a new National League single-season attendance record. The expansion club will also break the 1992 Blue Jays’ major league mark of 4,028,318 before the season is over.
    • 2002 In the top of the ninth inning, Diamondback first baseman Mark Grace hurls an inning of relief with the team trailing the Dodgers, 18-0. The All-Star infielder retires three of the four batters he faces in the Bank One Ballpark, yielding a two-out home run to David Ross.

    Lineup:

    Aug 07

    Game 14, 2020

    I bought a pre-owned copy of Miracle Men recently. It’s a chronicle of the 1988 Dodgers’ season, and I’ve just gotten to Game One of the World Series. The author mentions a fan named Josie Becker who recreated the entire ninth inning with Nintendo’s RBI Baseball and uploaded it to YouTube:

    Giants at Dodgers, 6:30 PM PDT, TV: MLBN (out-of-market only), NBCS-BA, SPNLA

    The visiting Giants give RHP Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 9.31 ERA) the ball this evening. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Julio Urias (1-0, 2.45 ERA). Samardzija had a blister which kept him from using his splitter in his last outing against the Rangers on Sunday; we’ll see if it’s back for tonight’s game. Urias went five innings against the Giants and gave up just one run in his first start this year; he went six innings in his second start against the D-Backs. In his seven career starts against San Francisco he’s posted an ERA of 1.16.

    Here’s CT3’s game-ending throw from Wednesday night:

    From Houston Mitchell’s Dodger Dugout column at the LA Times:

    MLB and the players’ union came to an agreement earlier this week that allows the roster to remain at 28 players for the remainder of the season, instead of cutting down to 26 in a couple of weeks, which was the original plan.

    Today in Dodgers’ history:

    • 2003 Fireballer Eric Gagne ties the single-season record for consecutive saves to start a season, established in 1995 by Jose Mesa of the Indians. The Dodger closer strikes out the Reds’ side in the ninth inning for his 38th save this season and 46th consecutive regular-season save overall.

    Lineup when available.

    Jul 23

    Opening Day, 2020

    It’s the first game of this bizarre 60-game season, in which each win and each loss has much more weight than in most seasons. Lose ten straight in a 162-game season and you’ve got a chance to make it up; do so in a 60-game season and you’re probably dead. If last year had been a 60-game season, the World Series Champion Nationals would not have made the playoffs. They were 27-33 in their first 60 games.

    Giants at Dodgers, 7:00 PM PDT. TV: ESPN

    The Dodgers send LHP Clayton Kershaw to the mound for his ninth Opening Day start in ten years. The 32-year-old was 16-5 last season with the highest ERA of his career, a whopping 3.03. He’ll face the Giants’ RHP Johnny Cueto, who was 1-2 with a 5.06 ERA last year in four September starts after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August of 2018.

    Here’s the Dodgers’ official 30-man roster to start the season:

    Today in Dodgers’ history:

    • 1939 Using yellow dyed balls, the Cardinals beat the Dodgers 5-2 at Sportsman’s Park. The experimenting with the use of the colored sphere, which is designed to make the ball easier to see for the players and the fans, started in Brooklyn last week and will be tested once more, in a September game played at Wrigley Field.
    • 1962 Jackie Robinson becomes the first black player inducted into the Hall of Fame. Joining the Dodger infielder in the Cooperstown ceremony are fireballer Bob Feller, veteran manager Bill McKechnie, and outfielder Edd Roush.

    • 1965 Dick Stuart homers in the first inning in the Phillies’ 5-1 win over New York at Shea Stadium. ‘Dr. Strangeglove’, who played in Boston for the previous two seasons, becomes the first player to have gone deep in each of the 19 major league ballparks now in use. (Ed. note – Nineteen ballparks because both Los Angeles teams, the Angels and Dodgers, share the ballpark in Chavez Ravine. – LP)
    • 1974 At Three Rivers Stadium, Dodger first baseman Steve Garvey, a write-in All-Star starter, singles and doubles to help the National League beat the Junior circuit, 7-2. Mike Schmidt, also a write-in, plays in his first Midsummer Classic thanks to radio intern Howard Eskin’s on-air campaign which urged Phillies fans to stuff the ballot box for their young third baseman.

    Also, Nomah! In 2002 Nomar Garciaparra establishes the record for consecutive home runs in the shortest time in terms of innings. In a 22-4 rout of the Devil Rays at Fenway Park, the Red Sox shortstop homers three times in two frames – two two-run homers in the second and a grand slam in the third.

    Lineup when available.

    Kershaw is a late scratch due to back pain and has been replaced as the Dodgers’ starting pitcher by Dustin May, the first rookie to start an Opening Day game for the team since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981.

    Jul 18

    Opening day roster speculation

    Who’s gonna be on it?

    Pitchers: Pedro Báez, Walker Buehler, Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Clayton Kershaw, Ross Stripling, Blake Treinen, Julio Urías, Alex Wood, Brusdar Graterol and Dustin May

    Starting depth could be an issue. After losing Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill (68 starts combined last year) over the offseason, the only veteran starters the Dodgers added were Price and Jimmy Nelson, but both are out for the season. That leaves Urías, Wood and youngsters May, Gonzalez and White to pick up those 68 starts.

    Will Smith and Austin Barnes are the catchers. Infielders are Enrique Hernández, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Matt Beaty and Edwin Rios. Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Joc Pederson, A. J. Pollack and Chris Taylor are the outfielders.

    Subject to change at any moment, of course.