Jan 24

2024 Hot Stove League #5

The Dodgers added another starting pitcher to their rotation. They have signed LHP James Paxton to a one-year deal for $11 million plus incentive bonuses.

These are the guys they have penciled in as starters: Tyler Glasnow, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Paxton, Bobby Miller, and a bunch of choices including Walker Buehler, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Clayton Kershaw, Gavin Stone, Emmet Sheehan, Ryan Yarbrough and Michael Grove. Buehler will have an innings limit in hopes he’ll be fully capable for the postseason; May and Gonsolin are recovering from injuries and won’t be ready immediately, and Kershaw is both recuperating and still a free agent. Juan Toribo goes over the list in his column at MLB.com.

This would seem to push the Dodgers toward a six-man rotation, at least to start the year. Some of their arms are fragile, and Yamamoto is used to pitching just once a week in Japan.

Aug 26

Game 128, 2023

Dodgers at Red Sox, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: NESN, SPNLA

LHP Julio Urías (11-6, 4.15 ERA) takes the Fenway mound. He’ll face the Red Sox’ LHP James Paxton (7-4, 3.79 ERA).

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1939 At Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, NBC televises the first major league game in history on experimental station W2XBS, covering a doubleheader split in which the Reds win the first game, 5-2, and the Dodgers take the nightcap, 6-1. The network employs two cameras, one behind home plate, showing a wide view of the field, and the other on the third base line to capture the plays at first base.
  • 1947 Dan Bankhead becomes the major league’s first black pitcher. The 27 year-old right-hander doesn’t do well in a relief stint, giving up ten hits and six runs in 3.1 innings in a 16-3 loss to the Pirates, but the Dodger rookie hits his only big league home run in his first major league at-bat.
  • 1965 At Shea Stadium, the Mets beat the Dodgers, 5-2, making Tug McGraw (2-2) the first Mets pitcher to defeat Sandy Koufax (21-7). Previously, New York had lost 13 consecutive times to the future Hall of Fame southpaw.
  • 1993 The Mets announce that Vince Coleman will remain on paid administrative leave until the end of the season, effectively ending his playing career with the team. Co-owner Fred Wilpon’s unequivocal decision that the controversial outfielder, who signed a four-year $11.95 million contract before the 1991 season, will not ever put on a Mets uniform again is the result of Coleman admitting to tossing a M-100 firecracker from a Jeep departing from a Dodger Stadium parking lot last month, injuring three people.
  • 2020 “Our team and the Reds felt that with our community and our nation in such pain, tonight we wanted 100 percent of the focus to be on issues that are much more important than baseball,” – BRENT SUTER, the team’s MLB Players Association representative.

    MLB postpones the Miller Park contest to respect the Brewers’ decision not to participate in the game against the Reds following the police shooting of a 29-year-old Wisconsin black man. Later in the day, the Mariners, who have more Black players than any team in the sport, and the Dodgers also choose not to play.

Lineups when available.

Oct 12

ALCS 2019

Game One: Yankees at Astros, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: Fox

Two righthanders go at one another: Masahiro Tanaka for the Yankees and Zack Greinke for the Astros. Tanaka’s career postseason ERA is 1.54. Greinke has not been his usual dominant self in recent postseason appearances: he’s got a 9.49 ERA in his last three.

Game Two: Yankees at Astros, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: FS1

LHP James Paxton takes the hill for the Yankees. He’ll try to match innings with the Astros’ RHP Justin Verlander. Paxton faced the Houstonians twice during the year, giving up five runs in an April game but just one in a game in July. Verlander beat the Yankees twice in the 2017 playoffs, but of course that was a different Yankee team. He made two starts against them in 2019 for a total of 13 innings, giving up six runs and going 1-0.

Game Three: Astros at Yankees, 1:08 PM PDT, TV: FS1

The Series is tied at one game apiece. The Astros give the ball to RHP Gerrit Cole, who’s been virtually untouchable in his first two postseason starts, giving up six hits and only one run in two wins against the Rays in the ALDS. The Yankees counter with RHP Luis Severino, who went four scoreless innings against the Twins in Game Three of the Yankees’ side of the ALDS. Four innings, oddly, is the average length of the seven postseason outings he’s made in his career, posting a 1-2 record with a 5.33 ERA.

Game Four has been postponed until Thursday at 8:08 p.m. ET due to inclement weather.

Game Four: Astros at Yankees, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: FS1

The Astros send RHP Zack Greinke to the mound in the Bronx to face the Yankees’ RHP Masahiro Tanaka, who, thanks to yesterday’s rainout, will be pitching on regular rest. He’s been spectacular in his postseason appearances: 1.32 ERA over 41 innings in seven starts. Despite a quality start in Game One, Greinke was the loser as Tanaka shut out the Astros over six innings and the bullpen did the rest.

Game Five: Astros at Yankees, 4:08 PM PDT, TV: FS1

This is a rematch of Game Two with the Astros’s Verlander going against the Yankees’ Paxton. That game displayed a stark difference in the teams’ pitching philosophy: Verlander went 6 2/3 innings while Paxton came out after 2 1/3, not because he was injured or tipping pitches or getting shelled (one run on four hits), but because Yankees manager Aaron Boone trusts his bullpen more than he does most of his starters.

Game Six: Yankees at Astros, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: FS1

Both managers are calling this a bullpen game, so no “starters” have been named by either side. It’ll be a surprise!

Oct 04

ALDS Games One, 2019

This day in baseball history. One item of interest to Dodgers’ fans: the Sandy Amoros catch saved the 2-0 shutout Johnny Podres threw to win Game Seven of the 1955 World Series for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The early game features the Rays at Astros, 11:05 AM PDT, TV: FS1

The Rays send RHP Tyler Glasnow to the mound to face the Astros’ grizzled veteran RHP Justin Verlander. In an injury-shortened season in which he missed nearly four months, Glasnow had the best W-L record of his short career. He was 6-1, with all the wins coming before he hurt his forearm. His four September starts were short but effective. Verlander’s season may have been the best of his already brilliant career. He was 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA, struck out 300 for the first time and notched his 3,000th career strikeout in his last start of the season. Oh, and he threw his third career no-hitter this year too.

Rays lineup:

Astros lineup:

The late game features the Twins at Yankees, 4:07 PM PDT,TV: MLBN.

These teams battled all year for the “Home Runs, Team” title (won by the Twins, 307-306), so of course it’ll be a pitchers’ duel. The Twins send RHP José Berríos to the hill in the Bronx to face the Yankees’ LHP James Paxton. This will be the first postseason start for each pitcher, although Berríos took the loss in the 2017 Wild Card Game between the Twins and Yankees.

Twins lineup:

Yankees lineup:

Aug 23

Game 130, 2019

Yankees at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: FB-WATCH (out-of-market only), SPNLA, YES

LHP James Paxton (9-6, 4.53 ERA) takes the hill for the Bronx Bombers while LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-3, 1.64 ERA) does the same for the Dodgers. Paxton has won all four of his starts this month and has averaged a below-4.00 ERA in each of his six MLB seasons, although he’s never reached double digits in wins. Ryu is having a Cy Young-caliber year. He did give up back-to-back HRs in his last start, only the third time all year he’s given up more than one home run in a start.

Here’s the Dodgers’ ninth-inning rally last night:

Dodgers – Yankees history via WBBsAs in comments to the previous post:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1958 Gil Hodges hits his 14th career grand slam in the Dodgers’ 10-1 victory over Milwaukee at LA Memorial Coliseum. The first baseman’s bases-full round-tripper establishes a new National League record, but is far fewer than Lou Gehrig’s major league mark of 23.
  • 1989 In the 11th frame of an eventual 22-inning 1-0 loss, the Expos’ Youppi! becomes the first mascot to be thrown out of a game when Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda complains to the umpires about the hairy orange giant’s behavior at Olympic Stadium. The L.A. skipper takes exception to the loud noise caused by the hairy creature’s running leap onto the visitors’ dugout before sneaking back into a front row seat.
  • 1989 In that same game, the second-longest shutout in big league history ends when Rick Dempsey hits a home run in the top of the 22nd inning, giving the Dodgers an eventual 1-0 victory over the Expos at Olympic Stadium. The Astros blanked the Mets for 24 frames en route to a 1-0 win at the Astrodome in 1968.
  • 2000 Team president Bob Graziano apologizes to a female couple who were asked to leave Dodger Stadium on August 8th because the two shared a kiss during a game. The pair felt the action of the eight security guards was discriminatory because the couple’s friends, a man and a woman, also kissed but were not ejected.
  • 2013 At a Dodger Stadium press conference, LA announces Vin Scully will continue to broadcast Dodgers’ games for his 65th consecutive season. Some of the historic moments the Hall of Fame broadcaster has called include Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, 19 no-hitters, including four thrown by Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, and Kirk Gibson’s dramatic walk-off in the 1988 Fall Classic.

Lineup when available.

Apr 13

Game Seven, 2015

Mariners at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

The Mariners trot out James Paxton to face the Dodgers’ Brandon McCarthy.

The left-handed Paxton (0-1) started 2014 with the Mariners in April and then went down to Tacoma in AAA. He came back up to Seattle in August and stuck. He had a 6-4 record with a 3.04 ERA and a WHIP of 1.20 over the final two months of last year. He’s made one start this year, pitching six innings of four-hit ball, giving up two runs and losing.

McCarthy (1-0) hopes to go longer than the five innings he got in his first start. He gave up nine hits, four earned runs, struck out nine and won the game. In his career he’s 2-6 with a 3.88 ERA against Seattle, not that that means much.

Lineup when available.

In other news, the Dodgers released RHP Ryan Webb today.