May 16

Game 34, 2022

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: BS Arizona, SPNLA

LHP Madison Bumgarner (2-1, 1.78 ERA) goes for the D-Backs and RHP Tony Gonsolin (3-0, 1.33 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. Bumgarner won his last start going 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on six hits. Gonsolin won his last start going five innings and surrendering no runs on just one hit.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1913 Alfredo Cabrera, born in the Canary Islands, becomes the first person from Spain to appear in the majors. The 32 year-old Cardinals shortstop will go 0-for-2 in the only big league game he will play, a 6-5 loss to the Dodgers at Ebbets Field.
  • 1967 Reliever Phil Regan loses his first game in 77 appearances. The ‘Vulture’ gets pinned with his first defeat in over a year when Astros’ third baseman Bob Aspromonte hits a two-run triple in the tenth to beat the Dodgers, 5-3.
  • 1970 During a game against the Giants at Dodger Stadium, Alan Fish, sitting with friends from the Poinsettia Playground in the second row seats along the first base line, is struck in the head by a foul ball off the bat of Manny Mota. The 14 year-old boy will die four days later to become the first fatality as a result of a batted ball in major league history.
  • 1983 In an 11-4 rout of the Pirates, rookie right fielder Darryl Strawberry hit his first major league home run, a two-run round-tripper off Pittsburgh’s Lee Tunnell at Three Rivers Stadium. The troubled Mets outfielder, the eventual franchise leader with 252 homers, will hit a total of 335 during his turbulent 17-year career with the Mets, Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees.
  • 2000 After a fan steals Los Angeles’ catcher Chad Kreuter’s hat and hits him in the back of the head, many Dodgers, including coaches John Shelby and Rick Dempsey, go into the stands and start fighting with the Wrigley Field faithful. When the melee ends, several fans are arrested as the game is delayed nearly ten minutes, and there is litter all over the field.

Lineups when available.

Apr 08

Opening Day, Game One, 2022

Dodgers at Rockies, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet RM, SPNLA

After an off-season which induced doubt that this season would begin even close to its scheduled date, here we are. The Dodgers send RHP Walker Buehler to make the first Opening Day start of his career. He’ll face the Rockies’ LHP Kyle Freeland. This is the second year in a row the Dodgers have opened the season on the road in Colorado.

The Dodgers only made one major addition to their starting lineup — Freddie Freeman at first base. He had a slash line of .295/.384/.509 with the Braves last year. The Rockies added Kris Bryant and Randal Grichuk to their outfield. Bryant had a slash line of .265/.353/.481 between the Cubs and Giants in 2021, while Grichuk had a slash line of .241/.281/.423 with the Blue Jays.

Today in Dodgers history:

  • 1966 Thanks to the Monsanto chemical company’s experimental nylon playing surface, the Astros and Dodgers play baseball’s first game on synthetic grass. The original plan to play all-dirt field, necessitated by the need to paint the Astrodome’s glass panes to reduce the glare, which prevented natural grass from growing, is alleviated by the use of ‘AstroTurf.’
  • 1974 Braves outfielder Hank Aaron passes Babe Ruth as the all-time home run leader with his 715th, going deep in the fourth inning off Dodger hurler Al Downing in Atlanta’s home opener. ‘Hammerin’ Hank’ equaled the Bambino’s mark on Opening Day in Cincinnati.
  • 1994 Kent Mercker, throwing his first major league complete game, no-hits the Dodgers, 6-0 at Chavez Ravine. The Braves left-hander was one of the three Atlanta pitchers, along with Mark Wohlers and Alejandro Pena, to throw a combined no-no against the Padres in 1991.
  • 1994 Chan Ho Park becomes the first Korean to play in the major leagues when he makes his pitching debut at Chavez Ravine. In one inning of work, the 21-year-old Kongju City native gives up two runs on one hit, walking two and striking out two batters in the Dodgers’ 6-0 loss to Atlanta.
  • 2008 On the last Opening Day in the Queens ballpark, the Mets unveil a disc with William Shea’s name, honoring the namesake of their stadium. The New York attorney played an instrumental role in bringing the National League back to the Big Apple following the Giants and Dodgers’ departure after the 1957 season.
  • 2015 Adrian Gonzalez becomes the first major league player to hit five home runs in the first three games of the season when he goes deep three times in the Dodgers’ 7-4 victory over San Diego at Chavez Ravine. The Los Angeles first baseman joins Carl Furillo (1955) and Jimmy Wynn (1974) as the only players in franchise history to have homered in the first three games of a campaign.
  • 2019 Chris Davis breaks the record for the longest hitless streak in major league history at 0-for-47, surpassing Eugenio Velez’s dubious mark with the Giants and Dodgers in 2010-11. The Baltimore fans, who had begun regularly booing the Orioles outfielder with the $161 million fully guaranteed contract, were very supportive when he lined out to deep left field in the fifth inning in the game against the A’s to take his place in baseball infamy.

In case you missed it:

“I always thought, ‘Of course, Joe Buck’s going to be at Fox forever,’” Davis said. ‘“Joe Buck’s always going to be calling the World Series.’”

But Buck didn’t stay at Fox forever and he won’t call any more World Series. That job, officially as of Friday, belongs to Davis, the Dodgers’ TV play-by-play man. Davis was named to Fox’s lead play-by-play position upon Buck’s departure last month to ESPN. Hall of Famer John Smoltz will be his color analyst.

Lineups:

Dodgers

I wonder if this is the first time Bellinger has hit 8th in the lineup since he got to the major leagues.

Rockies

Feb 02

Open Thread #7, 2022

As if losing Seager and Scherzer and possibly Kershaw aren’t enough, now comes word that the Dodgers tried to extend RHP Walker Buehler’s contract last spring and he turned the offer down. Now, he’s under club control for another three years, hard as that may be to believe, but he’s in line for big raises through arbitration in each of the next two years, and by the time he hits free agency he’ll be about to enter his age-30 season in 2025. What if Turner, Kershaw, Bellinger and Urias are gone by that point? All of them will have completed their current contracts by that season. Will the team want to spend millions on one pitcher if the entire roster has been depleted?

Or maybe their roster will have been reloaded by then, given their Baseball American farm system ranking of #8. But is that a good bet?

The future is occasionally scary to contemplate.

Sep 28

Game 157, 2021

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: Bally Sports San Diego, ESPN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

RHP Yu Darvish (8-10, 4.21 ERA) takes the mound for the visiting Padres, facing the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (14-4, 2.58 ERA).

The Giants have put their slugging first baseman (29 HRs, 59 RBI) Brandon Belt on the IL with a fractured thumb.

As noted in the comments to the previous post, Albert Pujols has been put on the IL; Cody Bellinger has been activated.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1924 Rogers Hornsby finishes the season with a .424 batting average to lead the National League. The Cardinal second baseman easily outdistances Zack Wheat, who finishes second in the race, batting .375 for the Dodgers.
  • 1952 On the last day of the season at Ebbets Field, the Braves’ 77 years of representing Boston is extended by three innings when Eddie Mathews’ ninth-inning, two-out double ties the game. The contest is called due to darkness and ends in the 12th inning in a 5-5 tie with the Dodgers.
  • 1955 In the bottom of the second inning, Elston Howard, in his first World Series at-bat, knots the score at 2-2 when he homers off Dodgers’ right-hander Don Newcombe. The round-tripper to deep left field at Yankee Stadium marks the first time a black batter has hit a home run off a black pitcher in the history of the Fall Classic.
  • 1959 The Braves, who ended the National League regular season in a first-place tie with the Dodgers, lose Game 1 of the three-game series, 3-2, in front of a sparse crowd of 18,297 at County Stadium. Milwaukee will lose tomorrow’s game in L.A., spoiling their chance for a three-peat as NL Champs.
  • 1966 At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Larry Jaster throws a four-hitter, blanking Don Sutton and the Dodgers, 2-0. It’s the southpaw’s fifth shutout against LA this season, equaling a post-1900 major league mark held by the Senators’ Tom Hughes (against the Indians in 1905) and Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Phillies (against the Reds in 1916).
  • 1988 In his last start of the regular season, Dodger Orel Hershiser tosses 10 shutout frames to extend his streak to 59, breaking Don Drysdale’s record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings.
  • 1997 With his 40th home run, catcher Mike Piazza sets a single season Los Angeles Dodger record. Duke Snider holds the franchise record, slugging 43 round-trippers for Brooklyn in 1956.
  • 2003 At Turner Field in Atlanta, Jose Reyes becomes the second Mets player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in one game. Lee Mazzilli was the first when he went yard twice against the Dodgers in LA on September 3, 1978.
  • 2006 At Coors Field in Colorado, James Loney collects four hits, including two homers, and drives in nine runs in the Dodgers’ 19-11 victory over the Rockies. The rookie first baseman, who had one homer and eight runs batted in in 93 previous at-bats with the team, ties the franchise RBI mark set by Gil Hodges in his 1950 four-homer game for Brooklyn and breaks the Los Angeles club mark held by Ron Cey.

Lineup:

Sep 10

Game 142, 2021

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: Bally Sports San Diego, SPNLA

RHP Joe Musgrove (10-8, 2.87 ERA) takes the hill for the Friars. He’ll face LHP Julio Urías (16-3, 3.11 ERA) of the Dodgers.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1992 Cardinals vice chairman Fred Kuhlman tells reporters that a “security check” had revealed serious issues involving the two out-of-state investors, Vince Piazza and Vincent N. Tirendi, part of the six-man group trying to buy the Giants and move the franchise to Florida. The candid reply to the press will cost baseball more than $6 million to settle a suit that includes a letter of apology from acting Commissioner Bud Selig to Vince Piazza, whose son Mike started his major league career with the Dodgers nine days before his father’s rejection by the MLB owners.
  • 1974 Lou Brock ties and then breaks Maury Wills’s 12 year-old single season stolen base record with his 104th and 105th swipes. The Cardinal left fielder’s thievery against the Phillies doesn’t help when the Redbirds drop the Busch Stadium contest, 8-2.

Lineup when available.

No Bellinger, Lux in left field. I don’t like that much.

Jul 05

Game 85, 2021

Dodgers at Marlins, 3:40 PM PDT, TV: Bally Sports Florida, SPNLA

RHP Walker Buehler (8-1, 2.35 ERA) takes the mound for the Dodgers, facing LHP Trevor Rogers (7-5, 2.14 ERA). Rogers will represent Florida on the NL All Star Team; Buehler is one of several Dodger pitchers who was left off the team.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1935 The Cuccinellos become the third pair of brothers, following the Waners (2) and Ferrells, and the first on opposing teams to homer in the same game when Al goes deep in the bottom of the ninth in the Giants’ 14-4 loss to Brooklyn at the Polo Grounds. The New York’s third baseman’s sibling, Tony, playing second base for the Dodgers, had homered in the previous inning.
  • 1952 In their final season in Boston, the Braves play in front of the largest home crowd of the season when 13,405 fans watch Brooklyn beat their team for the 12th consecutive time, a 5-3 complete-game victory by Carl Erskine. The most memorable moment of the contest occurs in the second inning when the game is delayed because a small dog has to be escorted off the field by Dodger outfielders Carl Furillo and Duke Snider.
  • 1961 Cardinals first baseman Bill White collects 14 total bases when he hits three home runs and a double. The 27 year-old infielder’s offensive output helps the Redbirds rout the Dodgers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 9-1.
  • 2004 At Dodger Stadium, Diamondback third baseman Chad Tracy’s ninth inning run-scoring single on an 0-2 changeup ends Eric Gagne’s record streak of 84 consecutive saves. The new mark established by the Los Angeles closer is 30 more than the prior mark set by Tom Gordon for the Red Sox in 1999.
  • 2007 At Dodger Stadium, Chipper Jones’ two solo home runs are the difference in the Braves’ 8-6 victory over Los Angeles. With his pair of round-trippers, the team’s third baseman surpasses Dale Murphy for the Atlanta team record of 372 homers.

Today is also the anniversary of the first game Larry Doby played for the Indians, integrating the American League. He ended up with 1,515 hits, only three behind Jackie Robinson. Also on this date in 1953, Robin Roberts pitched his 28th consecutive complete game, shutting out Pittsburgh at Forbes Field, 2-0. Twenty-eight straight complete games! We’ll never see that again!

Lineup:

May 29

Game 52, 2021

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

The visitors send RHP Logan Webb (3-3, 4.09 ERA) to the Dodger Stadium mound to face the home team’s LHP Julio Urias (7-1, 3.03 ERA). Webb is coming off the IL where he’d been with a shoulder strain. Urias has gone 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA in his last three stsrts.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1905 According to legend, Dodger hurler Elmer Stricklett introduces the spitball, helping Brooklyn to beat the Giants, 4-3. Prior to the 1921 season, the spitball will be totally banned, except for 17 existing spitballers who are allowed to keep throwing the slippery pitch legally until they are retired, including Burleigh Grimes, who will be the last player to legally throw a doctored pitch before retiring in 1934.
  • 1928 At Ebbets Field, Bill Terry hits for the cycle to pace the Giants to a 12-5 victory over the Robins (Dodgers). The New York first baseman is the first player in major league history to include a grand slam as part of the cycle.
  • 1956 In a 10-1 loss to the Dodgers at Forbes Field, Dale Long is held hitless by Don Newcombe, ending his consecutive-game home run streak. The Pirates’ first baseman had established a new major league mark by homering in the last eight Pittsburgh contests.
  • 1979 At Dodger Stadium, Dusty Baker, Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Garvey, Gary Thomasson, Derrel Thomas, Joe Ferguson, and Davey Lopes set a team record by hitting seven home runs as the Dodgers crush the Reds, 17-6.
  • 2000 At the age of 104, Fred Roberts, the oldest living Dodger fan, makes his first visit to Dodger Stadium. Wearing a jersey with the number 104, the World War I veteran cheers as Shawn Green’s sixth inning grand slam helps to beat Al Leiter and the Mets, 4-1.

Lineup when available.

Apr 09

Game Eight, 2021

Nationals at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: MASN, MLBN, SPNLA

This is the home opener for 2021, but it’s more than that. The Dodgers will be raising their World Series Chanpionship banner, handing out World Series rings, and welcoming fans back into the stadium for the first time since October 2019. There are some great photos of the stadium as it was being prepared here.

RHP Joe Ross (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his first start of the season for the Nationals. He’ll face RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 3.00 ERA) of the Dodgers. Ross opted out last season due to the pandemic; he’s got a 7.02 ERA against the Dodgers in 16 2/3 career innings. Buehler struck out four and gave up two runs in six innings in his first start against the Rockies.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1913 The Phillies spoil the debut of Ebbets Field, beating the Dodgers, 1-0, in front of a small crowd of approximately 10,000 fans, who brave the frigid weather to witness the pitching duel. Given special permission, Brooklyn opens the season a day early to properly inaugurate its new $75,000 Brooklyn ballpark, which took a year to build.
  • 1947 Dodger skipper Leo Durocher, feuding with the Yankees, is suspended for one year by commissioner Happy Chandler for an assortment of actions deemed detrimental to baseball, including association with known gamblers. The Brooklyn and New York clubs are both fined $2,000 and by order of the commissioner are not allowed to discuss the matter.
  • 1966 After sharing space at Wrigley Field in 1961 and Dodger Stadium from 1962-65 during their first five seasons in Los Angeles, the Angels move to nearby Anaheim into their own stadium. The ‘Halos’, now known as the California Angels, host the San Francisco Giants in a pre-season exhibition game in the first contest ever played at Anaheim Stadium.
  • 1981 On Opening Day, Fernando Valenzuela, making his first major league start in place of scheduled starter Jerry Reuss, blanks Houston on five hits at Dodger Stadium, 2-0. During the strike-shortened season, the 20 year-old rookie from Mexico will lead the league in game starts (25), complete games (11), and shutouts (8).

Lineup:

Betts and Bellinger are out with injuries. Bellinger will miss his third straight game after getting spiked in Monday’s win over the Athletics. Betts will miss his second consecutive game with a lower back injury.

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.