Nov 19

Open Thread #2, 2021

The Dodgers have issued qualifying offers to Corey Seager and Chris Taylor. Both rejected them, as expected.

As of a week ago the Dodgers seemed to express some interest in several members of the Reds’ pitching staff, Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray. There’s been no news since the initial report, so who knows?

Your turn.

Sep 26

Game 156, 2021

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: Bally Sports Arizona, SPNLA

LHP Julio Urías (18-3, 3.10 ERA) of the Dodgers tries to right his personal ship after he gave up seven hits and four earned runs in six innings in his last start. He’ll face the D-Backs’ RHP Humberto Mejía (0-2, 7.20 ERA). Note this is the second time in three games that the Diamondbacks have started a pitcher named Humberto.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1908 Cubs right-hander Ed Reulbach pitches two shutouts in the same day, whitewashing the Brooklyn Superbas in the opener 5-0 on a five-hitter and 3-0 on three hits in the nightcap. The entire Washington Park doubleheader takes less than three hours to complete.
  • 1954 Willie Mays, with three hits in the season finale, wins the batting title, finishing the campaign with a .345 average. The ‘Say Hey Kid’ goes third to first in batting average with his performance passing teammate Don Mueller (.342) and Dodger center fielder Duke Snider (341).1975 Burt Hooton sets a Dodger record for starting pitchers by winning his twelfth consecutive game. The 25 year-old right-hander, who was traded to LA in May for Eddie Solomon and Geoff Zahn, accomplishes the feat by beating J.R. Richard and the Astros at Dodger Stadium, 3-2.
  • 1981 Nolan Ryan becomes the first pitcher to throw five no-hitters when the Astros defeat the Dodgers at the Astrodome, 5-0. The Ryan Express, who will finish his 27-year major league career with a record seven no-hitters, previously has thrown hitless gems against the Royals (1973), Tigers (1973), Twins (1974), and Orioles (1975).

  • 1997 Dodger catcher Mike Piazza, in a 10-4 win over the Rockies, hits the longest home run in the history of Coors Field. The 28 year-old backstop’s sixth-inning blast travels 496 feet and hits the left-center field billboard between the scoreboard and the Rockpile.

Lineup when available.

Jul 30

Game 105, 2021

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: Bally Sports Arizona, SPNLA

RHP Tony Gonsolin (2-1, 2.38 ERA) goes for the visiting Dodgers. He’ll face the Diamondbacks’ RHP Zac Gallen (1-5, 4.80 ERA).

Also,

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2004 In a blockbuster trade, the Marlins deal Brad Penny, the winner of two World Series games last season, first baseman Hee Seop Choi, and southpaw prospect Bill Murphy (who will be traded to the Diamondbacks tomorrow) to the Dodgers for backstop Paul Lo Duca, relief pitcher Guillermo Mota, and much-traveled outfielder Juan Encarnacion.
  • 2017 Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre collects his 3000th hit when he doubles in the fourth inning in the Rangers’ 10-6 loss to the Orioles at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The twenty-year veteran, who has also spent time with the Dodgers, Mariners, and the Red Sox, is the first-ever Dominican-born player to reach the coveted milestone.

Lineup

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 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.

Mar 16

Momma told me there’d be days like this

Kershaw started today’s game and Bauer picked up after him. The two of them went the full nine innings and gave up 11 hits and seven runs.

The game was notable only in that it occasioned Bellinger’s first start of Spring Training, a test of his surgically-repaired shoulder.

Oh by the way, Seager had hit 5 HRs in his last six games before going 1 for 3 today.

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 25

Game 58, 2020

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

The visiting Angels send out old acquaintance (he was a Dodger for about three hours before they traded him to the Angels for Howie Kendrick on December 11, 2014)) Andrew Heaney (4-3, 4.02 ERA) to face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (6-2, 2.15 ERA). In Heaney’s last start he gave up three runs over 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision against the Rangers. Kershaw’s probably not going to win a Cy Young Award this year (he’s got the fewest starts and innings of the top ten contenders) but his credentials are pretty darned good nonetheless.

Here’s Seager’s oh-so-close-to-a-grand slam sacrifice fly from yesterday’s game:

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1941 Combined with a Cardinal defeat, the Dodgers win their first pennant in 21 years when they beat Boston at Braves Field, 6-0. Whitlow Wyatt throws a five-hitter and Pete Reiser hits a homer in the winning cause.
  • 1956 Dodger right-hander Sal Maglie no-hits the Phillies at Ebbets Field, 5-0. The ‘Barber’s’ gem helps second-place Brooklyn to keep pace in the pennant race with Milwaukee and Cincinnati.

  • 1962 After appearing in 60 games over a two-year span, Dodger reliever Ed Roebuck suffers his first loss. The LA right-hander gives up a 10th inning home run to Houston’s Al Spangler, breaking the 2-2 deadlock at Chavez Ravine.
  • 1974 In the first-of-its-kind operation, Dr. Frank Jobe transplants a tendon from Tommy John’s right wrist to the Dodger pitcher’s left elbow. The revolutionary ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, which will become a standard surgical procedure better known as Tommy John surgery, enables the southpaw to win an additional 164 games, more than half of his career total of 288 victories.
  • 1996 Giants slugger Barry Bonds draws an intentional walk which gives him the National League record with 149 bases-on-balls in a season. The free pass is issued in the seventh inning by LA’s Mark Guthrie with two outs and a runner on third base in the team’s 7-5 loss at Dodger Stadium. (Note: Bonds wasn’t done. He now holds down the top three spots in Most Walks, Hitter, Season).
  • 2008 The Diamondbacks, defending division champions, lose to St. Louis, 12-3, allowing the Dodgers to clinch the NL West. Los Angeles first-year skipper Joe Torre’s 13-year postseason streak continues, unlike the Yankees, his former team.

Lineup when available.

Sep 08

Game 43, 2020

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

RHP Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.60 ERA) goes to the Chase Field mound to face the home team’s RHP Luke Weaver. Coincidentally the last outing for each of these guys was against the other’s team. Buehler went five innings, gave up just two hits and walked just one while striking out six on September 2, while Weaver went 5 1/3 innings against the Dodgers on September 3, giving up four hits and two runs and taking the loss.

Here are Seager’s two home runs from Sunday’s game:

Old friend note: Dee Gordon has changed his name to Dee Strange-Gordon to honor his mother, who was killed by her boyfriend when Dee was just seven years old.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1955 The Dodgers clinch their eighth National League pennant with a 10-2 victory over the Braves at Milwaukee’s County Stadium. Brooklyn’s 17-game lead makes it the earliest date that a team has captured a flag in baseball history.
  • 1957 Before their departure to play on the West Coast for next season, the Dodgers and Giants face one another for the final time in New York. The Jints beat the Bums at the Polo Grounds, 3-2, to finish the intense 68 year-old storied rivalry with a 656-606 advantage over Brooklyn in the battle between the boroughs.
  • 1967 The Mets, at the urging of their fans, honor former Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax, who retired last season when arthritis ended his career prematurely at the age of 30. The Brooklyn-born southpaw, who threw a no-hitter against New York in 1962, started twenty games against the Amazin’s, compiling a 17-2 record that included 14 complete games and 5 shutouts.
  • 2007 Alex Rodriguez, hitting his 50th and 51st home runs, joins Babe Ruth (1920-54, 1921-59, 1927-60, 1928-54), Roger Maris (1961-61), and Mickey Mantle (1956-52, 1961-54) to become only the fourth player in Yankee history to hit 50 or more homers in a single season. The Yankee infielder’s second homer breaks the major league mark of 49 homers hit by a third baseman, shared with Mike Schmidt (Phillies-1980) and Adrian Beltre (Dodgers-2004).
  • 2017 The Dodgers, who just a couple of months ago seemed poised to challenge the major league record of 116 wins in a season, lose again, their 8th straight defeat and 13th in 14 games, as they bow to the Rockies, 5 – 4. They blow an early 4 – 1 lead as D.J. LeMahieu hits a two-run double in the 5th to put Colorado ahead to stay. On a positive note, Yu Darvish records the 1000th strikeout of his career, punching out Carlos Gonzalez in the 5th, becoming the fastest starting pitcher to reach the mark, in 812 innings over 128 games.

Lineup:

Aug 19

Game 26, 2020

Dodgers at Mariners, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: ROOTNW, SPNLA

LHP Julio Urias (2-0, 2.53 ERA) goes to the mound in Seattle’s T-Mobile Park (formerly Safeco). He’ll face the Mariners’ RHP Taijuan Walker (1-2, 4.05 ERA). In his last start Urias gave up back-to-back HRs in the first inning and then kept the Padres confined to first base into the seventh. Walker missed most of the last two years with Tommy John surgery and recovery. He had a rough first start this season but boasts a 2.16 ERA and only 10 hits allowed in his last 16 2/3 innings.

Here’s how the winning run scored in yesterday’s game:

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1955 For the sixth consecutive season, Robin Roberts is a 20-game winner. The Phillies right-hander, who will finish the season with a 23-14 record, beats Don Newcombe and the first place Dodgers at Connie Mack Stadium, 3-2.
  • 1957 Citing poor attendance as the reason, Giants’ president Horace Stoneham, ignoring baseball’s edict of banning announcements about relocation of franchises until after the World Series, informs the press the club has signed a lease to play its home games in San Francisco next season. The club’s Board of Directors voted 8-1 approving the shift to the West Coast, with the only dissenting vote cast by M. Donald Grant, who will become the chairman of the Mets, an expansion team located in New York to fill the National League void created by the departure of the Giants and Dodgers to California.
  • 2004 Pitching a perfect bottom of the ninth inning, John Smoltz establishes the franchise record with his 142nd save in a Braves uniform. The right-handed reliever surpasses Gene Garber as Atlanta beat the Dodgers in Los Angeles, 6-5.
  • 2008 The Dodgers reacquired Greg Maddux (6-9, 3.99) from the Padres for cash and two minor leaguers to be named or an additional monetary sum. The 42 year-old future Hall of Fame right-hander, obtained to help the club down the stretch run, played in LA for part of the 2006 season, winning six of nine decisions.

Lineup when available.