LHP Jordan Montgomery (1-0, 3.27 ERA postseason) pitches for the Rangers and RHP Justin Verlander (1-0, 0.00 ERA postseason) goes for the Astros. Here’s a preview of Game One.
The Rangers added Max Scherzer and Jon Gray to the ALCS roster. To make room, Brock Burke and Matt Bush were left off. The Astros’ right-hander Ronel Blanco was added to their roster, replacing outfielder Jake Meyers.
1917 A letter signed by 24 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox members and manager Pants Rowland contains complaints about not receiving their full share after beating the New York Giants. The written request, discovered as a tattered document more than 40 years later among boxes stored at the Hall of Fame library, may explain the ‘Black Sox’ motivation for fixing the Fall Classic two years later.
1923 At the Polo Grounds, the visiting Yankees score five runs in the eighth inning, beating the Giants in Game 6 of the Fall Classic, 6-4. The victory over their crosstown rivals gives the franchise its first World Championship.
1946 In Game 7 of the World Series, the Cardinals beat the Red Sox, 4-3, when Enos Slaughter streaked home from first on a long single into the left-center gap by Harry Walker, who stayed a first to avoid making the last out before the run score. The play surprises everyone, including cut-off man shortstop Johnny Pesky who hesitates, as legend has it, throwing the ball home.
“In the year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.” – VIN SCULLY, commenting on Kirk Gibson’s dramatic World Series walk-off home run.
In his only plate appearance in the Fall Classic, a limping Kirk Gibson, appearing as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Game 1, sends a two-out, 3-2 pitch from relief ace Dennis Eckersley over the right-field fence, giving the Dodgers a 5-4 victory over the A’s. The round-tripper marks the first time a World Series game ends on a come-from-behind home run in the final inning.
2017 Twenty-nine years later, Justin Turner follows Kirk Gibson into franchise folklore when he hits a postseason walk-off three-run home run in the 12th inning of LA’s 4-1 victory over the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS. In his only Fall Classic appearance, a hobbled Kirk Gibson came off the bench in 1998 to hit one of the most memorable round-trippers in World Series history, giving the Dodgers a come-from-behind victory against the A’s in Game 1.
throwing about 30 pitches, which is closer to his normal workload. He also threw sliders and curveballs for the first time.
Betts may play at 2B today, and Muncy could start today as well.
This day in Dodgers’ history:
1945 A moment in American history takes place in Brooklyn as Branch Rickey meets with Jackie Robinson to share his plans to integrate the major leagues. During the three hour meeting, the Dodgers’ president will shout racial epithets to ‘test’ the 26 year-old ballplayer’s mettle to withstand the abuse which will come with being the first player to cross the color line this century.
1951 The Giants’ 16-game winning streak comes to end when Howie Pollet six-hits the team in the Pirates’ 2-0 victory at the Polo Grounds. The consecutive victories enabled Leo Durocher and his club to narrow the Dodgers’ lead from 13.5 to six games.
1967 Giants hurler Gaylord Perry begins the longest consecutive inning scoreless streak in franchise history when he shuts out the Dodgers at Candlestick Park, 7-0. The right-hander will not give up another run over a span of 40 innings, a feat the son of a tenant farmer from North Carolina will repeat three seasons later.
1977 Steve Garvey collects five extra-base hits in one game when he bashes three doubles and two homers, including a grand slam, in the Dodgers’ 11-0 rout over St. Louis at Chavez Ravine. The LA first baseman becomes just the fourth major leaguer to accomplish the feat, joining Lou Boudreau (1946 Indians – HR, four 2B), Joe Adcock (1954 Braves – four HR, 2B), and Willie Stargell (1970 Pirates – two HR, three 2B).
2003 Eric Gagne earns his 44th straight save in the Dodgers’ 6-3 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Los Angeles reliever’s effort establishes a new major league record, surpassing Tom Gordon, who had saved 43 in a row to begin a season with the Red Sox in 1998.
2008 In the 11-2 victory over the Dodgers, Cristian Guzman becomes the second player in Nationals history to hit for the cycle, joining Brad Wilkerson, who accomplished the feat in 2005, the team’s first year in Washington, D.C. The 30 year-old shortstop completes his cycle with an eighth inning triple.
2015 “Vin will be back for one more year (at least). God bless us, everyone” – JIMMY KIMMEL’s cue card message to the crowd.
Team executive Magic Johnson, appearing on the Dodger Stadium video board, introduces Jimmy Kimmel to report “big, breaking news.” The ABC late-night television host, who waves to the fans without saying a word, displays a succession of cue cards, informing the Chavez Ravine crowd the 87 year-old Vin Scully will be returning to broadcast Dodgers games in 2016 for his 67th season.
RHP Jon Gray (6-8, 3.68 ERA) goes for the Rockies and rookie RHP Josiah Gray (0-0, 9.00 ERA) does the same for the Dodgers.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1962 At Sportsman’s Park, Stan Musial surpasses Giants’ legend Mel Ott as the National League’s all-time RBI leader. ‘Stan the Man’s’ two-run home run off Don Drysdale in a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers gives the Cardinals’ right fielder 1,862 career runs batted in with the Redbirds.
2017 The Dodgers defeat the Minnesota Twins to run their record to 70-31. Kenta Maeda gets his ninth win of the season and Josh Ravin posts his first save.
LHP David Price (4-0, 3.23 ERA) starts for the Dodgers and RHP Jon Gray (6-6, 3.77 ERA) goes for the Rockies.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1939 The Red Sox send 21 year-old farmhand Pee Wee Reese to the Dodgers for $35,000 and a player to be named later (Red Evans), along with three minor leaguers due to a less-than-enthusiastic scouting report filed by Joe Cronin, the team’s current player-manager, who deliberately downplayed the prospect’s talent to keep his own job in the Boston infield. The Louisville Colonels regular shortstop, a future Hall of Famer, will become a crowd favorite, helping Brooklyn to win seven pennants during his 16 seasons with the team.
1949 Jackie Robinson testifies in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, reading a carefully worded statement put together with the help of Dodger GM Branch Rickey. The Brooklyn second baseman’s statement makes it clear he disagrees with singer and actor Paul Robeson’s belief that American Negroes would refuse to fight in any war against Russia due to the country’s racial discrimination toward blacks.
The visiting Rockies send RHP Jon Gray (1-0, 1.54 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ RHP Dustin May (1-0, 0.00 ERA). Gray went five innings against the Dodgers in his first start while giving up just one run, and followed that with a two-hit one run outing over 6 2/3 innings against the D-Backs. May made his first start this season eight days ago, and it was brilliant: he went six shutout innings and gave up just two hits.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1931 At Braves Field, Jack Quinn becomes the oldest pitcher to start an Opening Day game. The 47 year-old Robin right-hander gives up six runs on nine runs in six innings of work, taking the loss when Brooklyn bows to Boston, 7-4.
1968 Jim Bunning becomes the first pitcher since Cy Young to collect a thousand strikeouts in both leagues when he whiffs eight Dodgers during his first win for the Pirates, a 3-0 complete-game victory in Chavez Ravine. The 37 year-old right-hander, acquired from the Phillies in December, sent 1,406 American League batters back to the bench with a bat in their hands for nine seasons while pitching for the Tigers at the start of his Hall of Fame career.
1993 After establishing the all-time career major league record last night with his 358th save, Cardinal reliever Lee Smith breaks the National League mark, recording his 301st in the Senior Circuit when he tosses a perfect 15th frame in the Cardinals’ 2-1 victory at Dodger Stadium. The right-handed reliever will extend the big league mark to 478, pitching for the Cubs (1980-1987), Red Sox (1988-1990), Cardinals (1990-1993), Yankees (1993), Orioles (1994), Angels (1995-1996), Reds (1996), and Expos (1997).
2004 In the game played after teammate Mike Mussina earns his 200th career victory, Kevin Brown, who was obtained from the Dodgers for Jeff Weaver and two minor-leaguers in an off-season trade, reaches the same plateau, beating the Devil Rays, 5-1. It is the first time in baseball history members of the same pitching staff have won their 200th career victory in consecutive starts.
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.
The visiting Rockies send RHP Jon Gray (1-2, 5.74 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 5.21 ERA). Gray won his last start, giving up three runs on three hits while striking out seven in seven innings. Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts says Buehler is close to his normal self, but his ERA surely doesn’t reflect it yet.
Kershaw passed Don Drysdale in career strikeouts as a Dodger yesterday:
Today in Dodgers’ history, two very different events, one a calamitous bullpen meltdown I witnessed on Friday Night baseball and one hilarious overreaction on the part of a baseball team’s supposedly-professional management:
1975 The Reuschel brothers of the Cubs join forces to blank the Dodgers, 6-0. Rick goes 6.1 innings, and Paul finishes the game for the first shutout thrown by siblings.
1990 The Phillies overcome an eight-run deficit, scoring nine runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat the Dodgers, 12-11. John Kruk’s pinch-hit three-run homer ties the game, and two batters later, Carmelo Martinez’s double plates Rod Booker with the eventual winning run in the Chavez Ravine contest.
2005 Florida suspends their bat boy for six games after the 11 year-old accepts former Marlin and current Dodger hurler Brad Penny’s $500 dare to drink a gallon of milk in less than an hour without throwing up. The Milk Processor Education Program will promise to pay off the dare and to cover the lost wages resulting from the suspension if the sixth grader, who is able to drink the quantity in the allotted time but cannot keep it down, agrees to drink three glasses every 24 hours.
RHP Kenta Maeda (7-7, 3.81 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game series. He went 4 1/3 innings on Tuesday against the Angels and gave up three runs, taking the loss when Bellinger was thrown out by Calhoun to end the game. His opponent will be RHP Jon Gray (9-7, 4.05 ERA), who has surrendered three or fewer runs in six of his last seven starts. The Rockies have lost three of the last four of those games, but they’ve gone 9-22 for the last month-plus so that’s not altogether surprising.
About the only bright spot in yesterday’s game was Corey Seager’s three-run HR in the ninth:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1915 Pirates third baseman Honus Wagner reaches Robins hurler Jeff Pfeffer for a grand slam in the eighth inning, helping Pittsburgh beat Brooklyn at Forbes Field, 8-2. The inside-the-park round-tripper makes the 41 year-old infielder the oldest player ever to hit a home run with the bases full, a record which will last until 1985.
1996 After a mild heart attack last month, Tommy Lasorda, 68 year-old Dodger manager of twenty years, announces his retirement due to his health. The future Hall of Fame skipper, who was named the National League Manager of the Year in 1983 and ’88, led Los Angeles to four pennants and two World Series championships during his 21 seasons at the helm.
LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 3.07 ERA) tries to hold the Rockies down in the third game of this four-game set while RHP Jon Gray (8-5, 3.92 ERA) attempts to do the same to the Dodgers. In his career Kershaw is 22-7 against the Rockies and 10-4 with a 4.57 ERA at Coors Field. Gray is 3-5 with a 4.98 ERA lifetime against the Dodgers, 2-1 at Coors Field.
There wasn’t much to cheer about in yesterday’s game, but here’s Muncy’s third homer in seven ABs in the series, which was also the longest HR any Dodger has hit this season at 464 feet:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1923 Dodger first baseman Jacques Fournier goes 6-for 6, collecting a home run, two doubles, and three singles. The southpaw-swinging slugger’s 11 total bases contribute to Brooklyn’s 14-5 victory over the Phillies at the Baker Bowl.
1960 The Phillies strike out a dozen times in each end of a doubleheader when they are swept by the Dodgers at Connie Mack Stadium, 6-3 and 5-2. The 24 Ks tie a major league record for strikeouts in a twin bill.
1990 For the first time since 1917 (Hippo Vaughan and Fred Toney), two no-hitters are thrown on the same day when the A’s (and ex-Dodger) Dave Stewart shuts out the Jays 5-0 and the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela blanks the Cardinals, 6-0.
2012 In the Diamondbacks’ 9-3 victory over Milwaukee at Miller Park, Aaron Hill becomes the first modern-era player to hit for the cycle twice in one season since Babe Herman accomplished the feat with the Brooklyn Robins in 1931. Eleven days ago in Seattle, the Arizona second baseman also collected a single, double, triple, and home run in the game.
2015 Joc Pederson becomes the third rookie in major league history to hit 20 home runs before July when he goes deep off Allen Webster in the Dodgers’ 10-6 loss to Arizona at Chase Field. The 23 year-old center fielder joins Wally Berger (Braves, 1930) and Albert Pujols (Cardinals, 2001) in accomplishing the feat as a freshman.
The Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 15.00 ERA) tries to notch his first win of the young season. He gave up five runs in the fourth inning to the D-Backs in his first start after very little spring training time. He was 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA at Coors Field in three starts last year. He’ll face the Rockies’ RHP Jon Gray (0-1, 4.05 ERA), who struck out 10 in his first start of the year against the Marlins and left after 6 2/3 innings with a cramp in his right calf.
Here’s Bellinger’s 6th HR of the season, a three-run clout in the fifth inning of Friday’s game:
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
2001 In the home opener at Veterans Stadium, Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning’s number 14 jersey is retired. Kentucky’s Republican U.S. senator, who compiled a 224-184 record in his 17-year career pitching for the Tigers, Phillies, Pirates, and Dodgers, joins Richie Ashburn (1), Robin Roberts (36), Steve Carlton (32), and Mike Schmidt (20) as the fifth player to have his number retired by the Phillies.
2004 Adrian Beltre becomes the 36th player in baseball history to hit 100 home runs before the age of 25. The Dodger third baseman joins Cal Ripken Jr. and Lou Gehrig to have exactly 100 homers on their 25th birthday.
2016 The Padres, with their 7-0 loss at Petco Park, become the first team to be shut out in the first three games of the regular season, surpassing the dubious mark set by the Browns, who opened the 1943 campaign with 26 straight scoreless innings. San Diego also dropped their first two decisions of the three-game series against the Dodgers, 15-0 and 3-0.