Jun 29

Game 85, 2019

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:15 PM PDT, TV: Fox

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.

Lineup when available.


May 05

Game 36, 2019

Dodgers at Padres, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: FSSD, SPNLA

RHP Kenta Maeda (3-2, 4.41 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and rookie LHP Nick Margevicius (2-3, 3.23 ERA) goes for the Friars. I’m sure Maeda’s start has not been what he or the Dodgers had hoped, but he’s improving. His last time out he threw five scoreless innings against the Giants despite allowing seven hits and two walks. Margevicius walked eight men in his last two starts (10 2/3 innings), but he allowed only four hits in each game. He’s struck out 7.6 men per nine innings, too.

In case you missed it, Kevin Pillar made an amazing high jump of a catch against the Reds Saturday:

Muncy’s home run in the sixth on Saturday was a no-doubter:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1953 In the second game of a twin bill at Milwaukee’s County Stadium, Braves’ hurler Max Surkont strikes out the hitter for the third out of the second inning, and will continue to fan batters until there is one out in the fifth inning en route to a 10-3 victory over the Reds. The eight consecutive strikeouts establish a new major league record, surpassing the mark of seven straight strikeouts shared by Dazzy Vance (Robins aka Dodgers, 1924) and Van Mungo (Dodgers, 1936).
  • 1955 In his first major league start, Dodger rookie starter Tommy Lasorda ties a record, throwing three wild pitches in the first inning of the team’s 4-3 victory over St. Louis at Ebbets Field. The future Dodgers’ Hall of Fame skipper, during his one inning of work, will be spiked by Wally Moon, covering a play at home plate after uncorking on of his errant pitches.
  • 1962 In just his fourth big league start, Bo Belinsky throws the first hitless game in Angels history and the first one ever tossed at Dodger Stadium, beating the Orioles, 2-0. The 25 year-old southpaw is only the tenth rookie to throw a no-hitter.
  • 2000 Former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda is named manager of the United States’ Olympic baseball team. The Hall of Fame pilot won four National League pennants and two World Series titles with Los Angeles.
  • 2008 At Coors Field, Derek Lowe throws 43 pitches before he retires the first Rockies batter of the game. The Dodgers starting pitcher never recovers from the 50-pitch, three-run first inning, leaving after the fifth of a 7-2 eventual loss to Colorado.
  • 2008 In the 4,000th game played at Dodger Stadium, Joe Torre’s Dodgers beat the Mets, 5-1. The Los Angeles skipper also managed in the 1,000th game at the Astrodome (Mets – 1977) and Coors Field (Yankees – 2007), the 2,000th at Busch Stadium (Cardinals – 1991), the 3,000th at Angel Stadium (Yankees – 2003), and the 6,000th at Yankee Stadium (Yankees -2001).
  • 2009 The Dodgers tie the major league record of 12 consecutive wins at home to start the season with their 3-1 victory over Arizona. L.A.’s 12-0 start at home equals the mark set by the Tigers in 1911.

Lineup when available.


Apr 29

Game 31, 2019

Dodgers at Giants, 6:45 PM PDT, TV: NBCS BA, SPNLA

RHP Kenta Maeda (3-2, 5.20 ERA) v. RHP Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 3.00 ERA). Maeda’s walks are up and strikeouts down compared to his career numbers, but the last eight guys he faced in a four-inning start against the Cubs last week went out meekly. Maeda is 4-3 with a 4.58 ERA against the Giants. Samardzija gave up two runs to the Blue Jays in 5 1/3 innings his last time out and got the win. He’s 1-4 with a 4.06 ERA against the Dodgers.

Here’s Muncy’s go-ahead RBI in the 7th inning of yesterday’s game:

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1978 The Cardinals tie a franchise record for the quickest nine-inning game played in their history, taking only one-hour and thirty-three minutes to beat the Dodgers at Busch Stadium, 1-0. The contest marks the managerial debut of Ken Boyer, replacing Vern Rapp, the Redbird skipper fired four days ago.
  • 1994 Kirk Rueter becomes the first pitcher in 13 seasons to begin his major league career with a 10-0 record when the Expos beat San Diego at Olympic Stadium, 3-2. In 1981, Dodgers southpaw Fernando Valenzuela started the year with eight victories to improve his overall record to 10-0 for the Dodgers, somewhat similar to the Montreal left-hander, who started his streak last season with an 8-0 mark before winning his first two decisions this year.
  • 2005 Although Eric Gagne is on the disabled list and hasn’t thrown a pitch this season, he is suspended for two games and fined. The action is taken because after being ejected on April 6 for heckling home plate umpire Bill Hohn, MLB warned the Dodgers closer he was in violation of Rule 3.17, which states players on the disabled list may not take part in any activity during the game, the former Cy Young winner continued to dress and participate in game activities.

Here’s a terrifying note: on this day in 1930 (which should be called the Year of the Hitter — look it up) an average of 17+ runs a game is scored in the seven major league games played today. After the dust settles, players from 14 teams will cross the plate 123 times. On a sadder note, on this day in 1939 on a chilly Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, Lou Gehrig comes to the plate in the fourth inning and singles off Washington hurler Ken Chase for his 2,721st and last hit, the most ever in franchise history. The ‘Iron Horse’s’ record will stand for over 70 years until Derek Jeter, another 35 year-old team captain, surpasses the mark in 2009.

Lineup when available.


Dec 14

Roberts on rosters

Newly-inked manager Dave Roberts used his media availability requirement at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday of this week to answer a few questions:

On the position player side, Roberts said he expects Cody Bellinger to be an everyday player in 2019.

“Just the way he can defend and how he can affect a game and impact a game with his legs, with the bat, the goal is to have him out there and handle lefties and righties,” Roberts said.

“I think for Cody, it was a tough year,” Roberts said. “It was a grind for him with a slow start. But if you look at the surface line, it wasn’t bad. Now you kind of introduce the defense and the versatility, for a second-year player, still pretty good.”

But if you have Bellinger in the lineup every day, what position will he play? CF or 1B? “Reply hazy, try again.”

Well, what about Muncy? Kiké? CT3?

Roberts said Muncy, Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernández will all be options at second base, with Muncy also getting at-bats at first.

On the pitching side, Roberts said he sees Kenta Maeda and Alex Wood, who transitioned to bullpen roles by the end of 2018, as starters in 2019. Roberts said Ross Stripling will also compete for a starting job after an All-Star 2018 season.

I think Roberts was in a good mood, as shown by this:

On former Diamondbacks All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt going to the Cardinals:

“Goldy, he can stay in the (National League) Central as long as he wants. I’m trying to work on getting him to the American League next. But Goldy, one of my favorite players to watch. To get him out of our division is great. Hope he’s happy. I’ve got to send him flowers.”

Oct 30

Gather ’round the stove, y’all

We go into the offseason earlier than we hoped and without the ultimate prize, so who’s coming back to ensure we get back to the Series for the third consecutive year?

…the Dodgers retain their nucleus. Hill will return for the final year of a three-year deal he signed after 2016. Justin Turner and Jansen will be back. Max Muncy, this year’s breakout star, will be back and cost-controlled. Seager is expected to be healthy. A young nucleus of position players that includes Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernández and Joc Pederson will also come back, with Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo perhaps ready to take on bigger roles.

Kershaw or not, the rotation could post a combination of Buehler and Julio Urías that is currently a combined 45 years old.

Besides Kershaw, other free agents include Machado, Freese, Dozier, and Grandal. Despite the current dissatisfaction with Grandal,

…only J.T. Realmuto was a more valuable catcher by Baseball Prospectus’ WARP metric, and he is coming off the best offensive season of his career. He will be paid, and handsomely, as the Dodgers will look to find a catching partner to join the light-hitting Austin Barnes.

Beyond Kershaw’s decision, which must be made this week, the biggest question is whether Dave Roberts will manage the team next year. You’d think three consecutive playoff appearances and two trips to the World Series would make that question ludicrous, but baseball owners have done screwier things*.

To win the World Series, the Dodgers would have had to play better than they had for any seven-game stretch all season. Roberts would have had to nail every single decision, which he did not. Puig would have had to throw to the cutoff man, which he did not. Their pitchers would have had to pitch to their strengths, which they did not. Their hitters would have had to, well, hit.

“You have to realize that we are a really good team to get to go to the World Series two years in a row,” Kershaw said. “It might not be a personnel thing. It might just be a ‘play better’ thing.”

So, what’s next? Here are selected events from Major League Baseball’s calendar:

  • Nov. 2, 2018 Deadline for teams to extend qualifying offer to own free agents, 5 p.m. ET
  • Nov. 8-15, 2018 Japan All-Star Tour (including CT3)
  • Nov. 12, 2018 Deadline for players to accept or reject qualifying offer, 5 p.m. ET
  • Nov. 30, 2018 Non-tender deadline
  • Dec. 9-13, 2018 Winter Meetings in Las Vegas
  • Dec. 13, 2018 Rule 5 Draft

*Back in 1964 the Cardinals’ owner Gussie Busch fired the team’s entire senior management in August, leaving field manager Johnny Keane as sole survivor for the time. Shortly after the Cardinals won the World Series, Keane surprised management by resigning (and then being hired by the Yankees, who’d just lost to Keane’s former team).

Oct 27

World Series Game Four, 2018

This is a 1971 Commemorative Trading Card. Its text is now obsolete.


Red Sox at Dodgers, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The Dodgers send Rich Hill to the mound tonight while Alex Cora is still puzzling over who he might start for the Red Sox.

“We’ll sit down now and we’ll go over it, and we’ll decide,” Cora said. “Somebody will start. Most likely a lefty.”

The options range from logical (Eduardo Rodriguez) to highly intriguing (Chris Sale on three days’ rest) to someone who would be utterly stunning (Pomeranz).

The Athletic recounts the Muncy tale from unemployed to Game Three hero.

Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post on momentum:

For those who wonder whether a powerful Game 3 showing by a star pitcher can swing a whole World Series, even if that ace’s team trails by two games when he takes the mound, I refer you to Game 3 of the 1978, ’81 and ’85 World Series. Ron Guidry, Fernando Valenzuela and Bret Saberhagen were the complete-game star pitchers for the Yankees, Dodgers and Royals. All three of their teams came back to win the Series.

Roberts thinks the Dodgers’ bullpen is “in pretty good shape.”

Amazing facts about Game Three.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2017 Yu Darvish has his first bad outing of the postseason, giving up four runs in 1 2/3 innings in Game Three of the World Series. The Dodgers couldn’t come back against the Astros’ Lance McCullers and Brad Peacock and fell behind two games to one.

Today in Red Sox’ history:

  • 2013 Johnny Gomes hit a three-run homer off the Cardinals’ Lance Lynn in the sixth inning and the Red Sox won Game Four of the World Series.

Lineups when available.

Dodgers:


Red Sox:


Aug 25

Game 130, 2018

Padres at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Friars send rookie RHP Brian Kennedy (0-2, 8.36 ERA) to perform a thankless task: try to beat the Dodgers behind LHP Clayton Kershaw (6-5, 2.40 ERA). Kennedy’s first two big league starts were poor, but his last one was pretty good: he gave up just two runs in five innings in a game the Padres’ bullpen lost. Kershaw has given up one run in each of his last two starts and, like Kennedy, watched the bullpen cough up a lead late against San Francisco. He won the other game in Seattle.

Ha! Justin Verlander got a surprise when he had lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel yesterday.

By the time this game starts we’ll know whether the Hawai’i Little Leaguers have won their fifth US Championship.

Yesterday was Kiké Hernández’s 27th birthday; today is Max Muncy’s 28th.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1979 In a Hollywood Stars vs. the Media game played at Dodger Stadium, Robin Williams, the star of the hit television series, Mork and Mindy, a show in which he plays an alien, runs the bases backwards. The comedian explains circling the bags clockwise is very common on the Planet Ork, his character’s home in the universe.
  • 1995 At Veterans Stadium, Gregg Jefferies hits for the cycle when Philadelphia crushes the Dodgers, 17-4. The Phillies’ first baseman, who has four RBIs and scores four runs, collects all of his extra-base hits off of LA starting pitcher Hideo Nomo.
  • 2008 After being swept in a four-game series earlier in the month in L.A., the Phillies return the favor, beating the Dodgers, 5-0, to complete its own four-game sweep. It is the first time in franchise history that Philadelphia has swept the Dodgers in a four-game series at home.
  • 2009 With a 5-4 win in ten innings over the Dodgers, the Rockies move 18 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history. The wild-card leader, winning 52 of their last 74 games, the latest on a Troy Tulowitzki bases-loaded single, has cut LA’s Western Division lead from 15.5 games on June 3 to just two games.
  • 2012 In a nine-player blockbuster trade, the Dodgers obtain Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto, and cash considerations for James Loney, Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, Jr., and two players to be named later (Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands). The deal gives the new Dodgers ownership an opportunity to show their fans they are serious about making a run for the postseason, while giving an under-performing Boston team more financial flexibility in the offseason.

Lineup when available.

Aug 02

Game 110, 2018

Brewers at Dodgers, 6:00 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI, Dish455

The Brewers send ace RHP Jhoulys Chacín (10-3, 3.45 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ ace LHP Clayton Kershaw (4-5, 2.52 ERA). Had Kershaw not been on the DL for nearly a month this season I suspect his W-L record would be as scintillating as his ERA is. Chacín has gone 18 innings in his last three starts and given up just three earned runs over that stretch. People are fussing about Kershaw’s lower velocity so far this year, but he’s still getting people out and his strikeouts-per-nine-innings ratio of 9.17 is only one below what he averaged from 2014-2017.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1938 Bright yellow baseballs designed by Frederick Rah, who believes the visibility of the dandelion-hue sphere will help players avoid getting hit by a pitch, are used in the first game of a doubleheader. The one-game experiment draws mixed reactions and the Dodgers complete their sweep of the twin bill from the Cardinals, 6-2 and 9-3, using the traditional white ball in the nightcap.
  • 1982 During a ceremony held in Cooperstown, NY, the United States Postal Service unveils a 20-cent stamp commemorating baseball great Jackie Robinson as part of its annual Black Heritage series. The Dodger infielder becomes the first individual baseball player to be depicted on a U.S postage stamp.

  • 2002 Reds general manager Jim Bowden is fined by commissioner Bud Selig for the comments he made to reporters prior to yesterday’s game against the Dodgers comparing a baseball strike with the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Quickly realizing the use of such analogy was inappropriate and insensitive, the Cincinnati GM issues an immediate apology after the game.
  • 2008 In the first game after the Manny Ramirez trade to the Dodgers, the Fenway Faithful enthusiastically welcome Jason Bay, the player replacing the Boston icon. The former Pirates outfielder doesn’t disappoint, tripling and scoring the winning run in the 12th inning of the Red Sox’s 2-1 victory over the A’s.
  • 2017 The Dodgers lost to the Braves, ending their nine-game winning streak. Had they won it would have been the third time that season they’d have won ten straight. The bullpen gave up the go-ahead runs in the eighth inning at Sun Trust Park in Atlanta.

Lineup when available.


Turner’s back from the DL, which moves Machado back to SS. Muncy’s back after a day off and Bellinger moves to CF. That means Kemp and Taylor get the night off unless they’re need for pinch-hitting duties.

Aug 01

Game 109, 2018

Brewers at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI, Dish455, MLBN (out-of-market only)

RHP Chase Anderson (7-7, 3.69 ERA) brings his current hot streak to the mound at Dodger Stadium. He’s given up two or fewer runs in each of his last seven starts and has a 1.93 ERA over those 37 1/3 innings. He’ll face the Dodgers’ lefty Rich Hill (4-4, 3.82 ERA), who went 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA for July.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1906 After pitching 10.2 innings of no-hit ball, Harry McIntire yields a single to Pirates second baseman Claude Ritchey. The Dodgers and McIntire lose the game in the 13th on an unearned run, 1-0.
  • 1924 Dazzy Vance strikes out seven consecutive batters to establish a major league record when the Brooklyn Robins defeat the Cubs at Ebbets Field, 4-0. The future Hall of Famer, who will compile a 28-6 record for the Brooks this season, will lead the National League in strikeouts with 262.
  • 1957 Gil Hodges, in a 12-3 win over the Cubs, hits his 13th and last career grand slam in Brooklyn Dodger history. The first baseman’s bases-loaded shot off Dick Littlefield establishes a new National League record, previously shared by Rogers Hornsby and Ralph Kiner.
  • 2011 After popping out in a pinch-hitting appearance, Craig Counsell remains without a hit in his last 45 at-bats, tying the longest single-season hitless streak by a position player in history, established by Brooklyn backstop Bill Bergen in 1909. The major league record is 0-for-70, established in 1970 by Bob Buhl, a pitcher who toiled with the Braves and Cubs that season.
  • 2015 Clayton Kershaw strikes out Mike Trout looking with a wicked curveball, marking the first time that reigning MVPs have faced one another in a major league game. The interleague contest between the two LA teams ends with Dodger southpaw keeping the Angel outfielder 0-for-3 while hurling eight innings in the team’s 3-1 victory over the Halos at Chavez Ravine.

Lineup when available.


Dozier’s first start in a Dodgers uniform means someone has to sit. Tonight it’s Muncy who gets the night off.

Jul 26

Game 103, 2018

Dodgers at Braves, 4:35 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSE, MLBN (out-of-market only)

LHP Rich Hill (3-4, 4.26 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while the Braves send RHP Aníbal Sánchez (5-2, 2.76 ERA) to the hill. Hill went six innings in his last start against Milwaukee, giving up five hits and one run while striking out nine. Sánchez has a 2.92 ERA for the month of July and is having his best year since 2013 when he went 14-8 with a 2.57 ERA for the Tigers.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1900 In Brooklyn, a sheriff seizes the St. Louis share of gate receipts to reimburse Gus Weyhing, recently released by the Cardinals after posting a 3-4 record in eight starts with the team, who claims to have been cheated out of ten days of pay. Next week, the right-hander, known as Cannonball by his teammates, will sign with the Superbas as a free agent.
  • 1948 Former Dodger skipper Leo Durocher, who left the team ten days ago, makes his first appearance at Ebbets Field since taking over the Giants. The return of ‘the Lip’ is less-than-triumphant when his new team drops a 13-4 decision to Brooklyn.
  • 1951 In a 9-1 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, Jim Russell becomes the first player in major league history to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in a game in two different games. The Dodger outfielder’s accomplishment will be surpassed in 1956 when Yankee slugger Mickey Mantle goes deep both right and left-handed in the same game for a third time.
  • 1960 The Phillies end their scoreless streak of thirty-eight consecutive innings when Johnny Callison plates Tony Gonzalez with a sixth-inning single in the team’s 4-3 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Philadelphia’s drought began when the team failed to score in the last six frames of a 3-0 win against the Giants, and continued when they were shut out in three straight games ( 2-0, 2-0, and 9-0) by the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
  • 1991 Mark Gardner no-hits the Dodgers for nine innings, but Los Angeles wins the game in the bottom of the tenth on two singles off the Expos’ starter and Darryl Strawberry’s RBI single off reliever Jeff Fassero. It’s the first time the Dodgers had been held hitless at home for nine innings since Johnny Vander Meer’s second straight no-hitter in 1938.

Lineup when available.


One wonders why Muncy is starting at second base and why Bellinger is at first, and why Hernandez is not starting at all.