Reds at Braves, 9:08 AM PDT, TV: ESPN
The Reds send Cy Young candidate RHP Trevor Bauer to the mound to face the Braves’ LHP Max Fried. Bauer was 5-4 but had a sparkling 1.73 ERA for the season. All Fried did was go 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA this year.
Marlins at Cubs, 11:08 AM PDT, ABC
RHP Sandy Alcantara takes the mound for the Marlins while RHP Kyle Hendricks does so for the Cubs. Alcantara missed a months with the COVID-19 virus but posted a 3-2, 3.00 ERA in the seven starts he made. Hendricks has a scintillating postseason ERA: 2.98 in 11 appearances. He went 3-1 with a 1.45 ERA in September.
Cardinals at Padres, 2:08 PM PDT, TV: ESPN2
The Cards give the ball to LHP Kwang Hyun Kim, who started out the year as the team’s closer but was quickly moved into the rotation, where he went 3-0 with a 1.62 ERA. He’ll face the Padres’ RHP Chris Paddack, who was their Opening Day starter but was inconsistent, posting a 4-5 record with a 4.73 ERA in twelve starts. He’s starting mostly because starters Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet are questionable with elbow impingement and biceps tightness respectively.
Brewers at Dodgers, 7:08 PM PDT, TV: ESPN
The Brewers’ Corbin Burnes would have started this game but he hurt his oblique on Friday and is probably out for the year. This will be a bullpen game and LHP Brent Suter will serve as the “opener.” The Dodgers send a rested RHP Walker Buehler to face him, trusting that the blister problem which has allowed him to pitch just four innings in three weeks has healed.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
- 1923 It’s Zack Wheat Day at Ebbets Field, and the retiring Dodger outfielder collects two hits and is given an automobile. Cy Williams of the Phillies spoils the special day as he ties the score in the seventh inning with his 39th homer and his 40th in the 12th frame gives Philadelphia the victory, 6-4.
- 1933 At Sportsman’s Park in a 12-2 Cubs rout of the Cardinals, Babe Herman hits for the cycle, becoming the first player in baseball history to do it three times. The Chicago outfielder, playing for the Dodgers, also accomplished the feat on two other occasions in 1931.
- 1947 Ralph Branca becomes the youngest player to start a World Series opener. At Yankee Stadium, the 21-year and 9 months old right hander and the Dodgers lose to the Bronx Bombers, 5-1.
- 1951 Knowing the Giants have won their game in Boston, the Dodgers rally from a five-run deficit to beat Philadelphia in 14 innings, 9-8, forcing a three-game playoff for the National League pennant. After Jackie Robinson makes a game-saving catch in the thirteenth to preserve an 8-8 tie, he hits a home run in the next frame that proves to be the difference in Brooklyn’s victory at Shibe Park.
- 1953 George Shuba, best known as the Montreal Royal teammate who shook Jackie Robinson’s hand after the rookie had homered, becomes the third major leaguer and the first National League player to pinch hit a home run in the World Series when he goes deep off Allie Reynolds in the Dodgers’ 9-5 Game 1 loss at Yankee Stadium. ‘Shotgun’ joins Yogi Berra (1947) and Johnny Mize (1952), who both accomplished the feat playing for the Bronx Bombers.
- 1956 Don Newcombe, a three-time twenty-game winner, goes the distance to earn his major-league leading 27th victory when the Dodgers beat Pittsburgh at Forbes Field, 8-6, on the last day of the campaign. Newk’s win is the most ever in a season by an African-American pitcher.
- 1962 On the last day of the season, Gene Oliver’s eighth-inning homer off Johnny Podres proves to be the difference in St. Louis’ 1-0 victory over the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. The loss to the Cardinals forces Los Angeles into a best-of-three-game playoff with the Giants for the National League pennant, a series the team will lose to San Francisco.
- 1999 The largest regular-season crowd in Candlestick Park history, 61,389 fans, watches the Dodgers beat the home team, 9-4 in the last baseball game to ever be played at the ‘Stick’. Giant greats help mark the occasion with Juan Marichal tossing out the ceremonial first pitch before the game and Willie Mays throwing out the ballpark’s final pitch after the game.
For other notable events on this day in baseball, see here.