In the last game of the year the Central Division champion Brewers hand the ball to LHP Brett Anderson (4-5, 4.26 ERA). The Dodgers counter with RHP Walker Buehler (15-4, 2.49 ERA).
If the Dodgers win and the Giants lose to the Padres up north, the two California teams will play a tiebreaker game tomorrow, Oct. 4, to determine who wins the NL West. Any other result sends the Dodgers to a wild card game against the Cardinals on Wednesday, Oct. 6.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1947 In Game 4 of the Fall Classic, Bill Bevens comes within one out from pitching the first no-hitter in World Series history. The Yankee hurler loses his claim to fame and the game when Cookie Lavagetto, pinch-hitting for Eddie Stanky, hits a two-out ninth-inning double giving the Dodgers a 3-2 improbable victory.
1951 In Game 3 of the National League playoff series at the Polo Grounds, Bobby Thomson’s one-out three-run homer off Ralph Branca beats the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4, and the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant. The round-tripper, better known as the ‘shot heard around the world,’ becomes one of the famous home runs in baseball history.
1962 At Dodger Stadium, the Giants beat Los Angeles, 6-4, to take the rubber game of the best-of-three National League playoffs, clinching the National League pennant. LA shortstop Maury Wills sets a major league record for the most games played in a season, appearing in all of his team’s 165 games.
1976 After being at the Dodger’s helm for 23 years, Walter Alston’s managerial career ends when the team drops a 3-2 decision to the Padres, finishing the campaign ten games behind the Reds. During his tenure, beginning in Brooklyn in 1954, the skipper known as Smokey to his players compiles a 2040-1613 (.523) record en route to capturing seven pennants and four World Series titles.
1987 Benito Santiago’s consecutive game hitting streak ends at 34 when the backstop is held hitless in three trips to the plate by Dodger hurler Orel Hershiser, who tosses a complete game in a 1-0 loss to the Padres. The stretch of straight games with a hit by the 23-year-old represents a new mark for rookies and catchers.
1993 The Giants, despite winning 103 games, are eliminated from the Western Division race when the Dodgers derail their division dreams, 12-1. Catcher Mike Piazza, who will be named the league’s Rookie of the Year, hits two home runs in the game.
1999 In the final regular-season game played at the Astrodome, Mike Hampton (22-4) beats the Dodgers, 9-4. The victory clinches the division title as the Astros finish one game ahead of the Reds in the National League Central.
2005 The ax begins to fall when two managers lose their jobs the day after the season ends. Skippers Jim Tracy (Dodgers/5 years/427-383) and Alan Trammell (Tigers/3 years/186-300) are the first to go.
2009 Needing only a win or a Colorado loss for the past week, the Dodgers finally clinch the National League West title with a 5-0 victory over the wild-card Rockies. The title marks Joe Torre’s 14th consecutive season in the postseason, having won thirteen previous divisional titles, ten with the Yankees, one with the Braves, and now his second with LA.
LHP Eric Lauer (7-5, 2.93 ERA) pitches for the Brewers while LHP Clayton Kershaw (10-8, 3.38 ERA) takes the mound for the Dodgers.
Because the Dodgers have been in more tie-breaking series than any other team in baseball, they’ve had a lot of activity on the first day of October over the years. On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1944 Dixie Walker, an outfielder on the seventh-place Dodgers, wins the National League batting crown with a .357 batting average, finishing ten points higher than runner-up Stan Musial. In 1947, the ‘People’s Cherce’s younger brother, Harry ‘the Hat’, will also lead the Senior Circuit, hitting .363 in the year when he is traded, after playing ten games for St. Louis, to Philadelphia.
1946 The Dodgers and Cardinals, who both finished the season with a 96-58 record, play the first game of a best-of-three series to determine the National League’s championship, marking the first time in major league history a playoff is needed to send a team to the World Series. St. Louis wins today’s Sportsman’s Park contest, 4-2, and will clinch the pennant in Game 2, beating the Brooklyn at Ebbets Field, 8-4.
1950 On the last day of the season, Pee Wee Reese, ignoring second base ump Frank Dascoli’s directive to slow down when his high outfield fly becomes stuck between the screen and the right field wall, continues sprinting around the bases at full speed, crossing home plate with the tying run in a game the team needs to win to finish tied with Philadelphia for the NL flag. The Dodgers shortstop’s unusual inside-the-park homer, due to an odd ground rule, will be the only run Robin Roberts allows in the Phillies’ pennant clinching 4-1 victory at Ebbets Field.
1950 After they retire today, Burt Shotton of the Dodgers and the A’s Connie Mack will become the last managers to wear street clothes. Although no edict specifically mandates a skipper must wear a uniform, there is now a rule that states that a person not wearing a uniform, except medical personnel, isn’t allowed on the field of play during a game.
1950 In the season finale, Robin Roberts, in the first of his six consecutive 20-win seasons, becomes the first Phillies right-hander to win twenty games for the team since Grover Cleveland Alexander accomplished the feat with a total of 30 victories in 1917. The complete-game, ten-inning 4-1 Ebbets Field victory over the Dodgers hurled by the Whiz Kid from Springfield (IL) clinches Philadelphia’s first NL pennant since 1915.
1951 The Giants’ 3-1 victory over the Dodgers in the first game of the National League playoffs is the first major league contest to be televised coast-to-coast. CBS, who obtained rights to the game, transmits the picture from Ebbets Field, but has to get the signal from ABC, who had made previous arrangements with WOR-TV, the New York station which carried Brooklyn’s regular season games.
1955 After losing the first two contests in the Bronx, the Dodgers even the World Series at a pair of games apiece when they defeat the Yankees at Ebbets Field, 8-5. Brooklyn will make it three victories in a row tomorrow with a 5-3 victory over the Bronx Bombers, but it will take a dramatic Game 7 for the ‘Bums’ to capture their first World Championship.
1961 The Wrigley Field on the West Coast hosts its last professional baseball game when the Angels, who will play at Dodger Stadium next season, are defeated by Cleveland, 8-5, in front of 9,868 fans at the 36 year-old ballpark, which will be torn down in five years to make room for an eventual public playground and senior center. In addition to being the home for the American League expansion team, the venue housed the PCL’s Angels from 1925 through 1957 and served as the location for the 1960 television series Home Run Derby.
1974 At the Astrodome, Mike Marshall establishes the major league mark for the most appearances by a pitcher when he throws two innings in the Dodgers’ 8-5 victory over Houston. With his 106 appearances, the right-handed reliever appears in 65% of the games that his team played this season.
1993 Mike Piazza plates Jose Offerman with a first-inning single to set a new team mark for runs driven in by a rookie with 107. The 24 year-old Dodgers catcher breaks the franchise record for rookie RBIs established by Del Bissonette, a freshman first baseman who played with Brooklyn in 1928.
2009 The Rockies’ 9-2 win over Milwaukee assures the team of a wild card berth in the postseason, and puts the team in position to still win the NL West by sweeping the Dodgers this weekend in L.A. Although the team was 12 games under .500 on June 3, today’s victory, their 91st – a club record – puts Colorado 23 games over .500, another first in the 17 year history of franchise.
Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: Bally Sports San Diego, ESPN (out-of-market only), SPNLA
RHP Yu Darvish (8-10, 4.21 ERA) takes the mound for the visiting Padres, facing the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (14-4, 2.58 ERA).
The Giants have put their slugging first baseman (29 HRs, 59 RBI) Brandon Belt on the IL with a fractured thumb.
As noted in the comments to the previous post, Albert Pujols has been put on the IL; Cody Bellinger has been activated.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1924 Rogers Hornsby finishes the season with a .424 batting average to lead the National League. The Cardinal second baseman easily outdistances Zack Wheat, who finishes second in the race, batting .375 for the Dodgers.
1952 On the last day of the season at Ebbets Field, the Braves’ 77 years of representing Boston is extended by three innings when Eddie Mathews’ ninth-inning, two-out double ties the game. The contest is called due to darkness and ends in the 12th inning in a 5-5 tie with the Dodgers.
1955 In the bottom of the second inning, Elston Howard, in his first World Series at-bat, knots the score at 2-2 when he homers off Dodgers’ right-hander Don Newcombe. The round-tripper to deep left field at Yankee Stadium marks the first time a black batter has hit a home run off a black pitcher in the history of the Fall Classic.
1959 The Braves, who ended the National League regular season in a first-place tie with the Dodgers, lose Game 1 of the three-game series, 3-2, in front of a sparse crowd of 18,297 at County Stadium. Milwaukee will lose tomorrow’s game in L.A., spoiling their chance for a three-peat as NL Champs.
1966 At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Larry Jaster throws a four-hitter, blanking Don Sutton and the Dodgers, 2-0. It’s the southpaw’s fifth shutout against LA this season, equaling a post-1900 major league mark held by the Senators’ Tom Hughes (against the Indians in 1905) and Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Phillies (against the Reds in 1916).
1988 In his last start of the regular season, Dodger Orel Hershiser tosses 10 shutout frames to extend his streak to 59, breaking Don Drysdale’s record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings.
1997 With his 40th home run, catcher Mike Piazza sets a single season Los Angeles Dodger record. Duke Snider holds the franchise record, slugging 43 round-trippers for Brooklyn in 1956.
2003 At Turner Field in Atlanta, Jose Reyes becomes the second Mets player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in one game. Lee Mazzilli was the first when he went yard twice against the Dodgers in LA on September 3, 1978.
2006 At Coors Field in Colorado, James Loney collects four hits, including two homers, and drives in nine runs in the Dodgers’ 19-11 victory over the Rockies. The rookie first baseman, who had one homer and eight runs batted in in 93 previous at-bats with the team, ties the franchise RBI mark set by Gil Hodges in his 1950 four-homer game for Brooklyn and breaks the Los Angeles club mark held by Ron Cey.
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.
RHP Joe Musgrove (10-8, 2.87 ERA) takes the hill for the Friars. He’ll face LHP Julio Urías (16-3, 3.11 ERA) of the Dodgers.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1992 Cardinals vice chairman Fred Kuhlman tells reporters that a “security check” had revealed serious issues involving the two out-of-state investors, Vince Piazza and Vincent N. Tirendi, part of the six-man group trying to buy the Giants and move the franchise to Florida. The candid reply to the press will cost baseball more than $6 million to settle a suit that includes a letter of apology from acting Commissioner Bud Selig to Vince Piazza, whose son Mike started his major league career with the Dodgers nine days before his father’s rejection by the MLB owners.
1974 Lou Brock ties and then breaks Maury Wills’s 12 year-old single season stolen base record with his 104th and 105th swipes. The Cardinal left fielder’s thievery against the Phillies doesn’t help when the Redbirds drop the Busch Stadium contest, 8-2.
LHP Patrick Sandoval (3-5, 3.38 ERA) pitches for the visiting Angels and LHP David Price (4-1, 3.55 ERA)) takes the mound for the Dodgers.
This day in Dodgers’ history:
1981 The players approved a split-season format necessitated by the seven-week strike. The Yankees, A’s, Phillies, and Dodgers are declared the first-half champions and will be automatically qualified for the divisional series.
2016 Giancarlo Stanton drives a pitch thrown by Rockies starter Chad Bettis deep into the Rockpile seats, a 504-foot blast that becomes the longest round-tripper in the 21-year-old history of Coors Field. The Miami Marlins slugger’s fifth-inning solo shot in the team’s 12-6 loss surpasses the 496-footer hit in 1997 by Dodger catcher Mike Piazza off current Colorado bullpen coach Darren Holmes.
Great moments in labor-management relations: In 1908 Detroit outfielder Ty Cobb gets married, having departed the Tigers three days ago to participate in the ceremony without the team’s permission. The 21 year-old Georgia Peach’s six-day defection during a pennant race will be described by club co-owner Frank Navin as the most arrogant act he had ever heard of in baseball. (Note: The Tigers got to the World Series anyway. They lost to the Cubs, the last time the Chicago team would win a World Series until 2016.)
RHP Taylor Widener (1-0, 2.63 ERA) goes for the visiting D-Backs while the Dodgers ask their bullpen to carry them again, starting with LHP David Price (4-0, 3.58 ERA).
Today in Dodgers history:
1956 After Commissioner Ford Frick shares his belief that hurlers lack support in the MVP voting, the BBWAA, by a narrow margin of 14-12, votes to establish the Cy Young Award to honor the major leagues’ most outstanding pitcher. The first recipient of the Cy Young Award will be Dodger Don Newcombe, ironically the winner of the Most Valuable Player Award.
1996 Mike Piazza, named the All-Star Game’s MVP, hits a moon shot into the upper-deck at Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium. The Dodger backstop also strokes an RBI double, helping the National League beat the AL, 6-0.
Dodgers at Braves, 10:20 AM PDT, TV: Bally Sports Southeast, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA
The visiting Dodgers hand the ball to RHP Trevor Bauer (6-3, 2.24 ERA) and ask him to win the rubber match. The Braves counter with LHP Max Fried (2-3, 5.12 ERA), whom the Dodgers last saw in Game Six of the 2020 NLCS. They got three runs off him in the first inning but nothing in the remainder of his 6 2/3 inning effort.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1941 The Giants join the Dodgers and Senators in requiring their players wear protective headgear. The durable plastic liners, which are sewn into the hat, don’t provide a defense against defeats when the team drops both ends of a doubleheader to Pittsburgh at the Polo Grounds, 5-4 and 4-3.
1957 After an 86-minute delay, the first fog out in major league history occurs at Ebbets Field when the umpires call off the Dodgers’ game against the Cubs due to extremely poor visibility. Brooklyn has a 1-0 lead when the game is postponed with one out in the bottom of the second inning.
1968 The day after Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles, Maury Wills refuses to play in a 4-2 loss to the Dodgers, his former team. The 35 year-old shortstop stays in the Chavez Ravine training room, reading RFK’s book, To Seek a New World.
1994 Mike Piazza hits the longest home run recorded in the history of Joe Robbie Stadium when his first career grand slam is estimated to travel 477 feet. The catcher’s Ruthian blast, one of four Dodger round-trippers during the Florida contest, isn’t enough to thwart the Marlins’ 11-10 come-from-behind victory.
2006 On the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year of the century, the Dodgers score six runs in the sixth inning during the sixth game of the homestand, beating the Mets, 8-5. On 05/05/05, the Twins scored five times in the fifth inning en route to a 9-0 victory over the Indians.
2007 At Petco Park, Trevor Hoffman becomes the first reliever to save 500 games. It takes the all-time saves leader 10 ninth inning pitches, including an 87 mph fastball thrown past Russell Martin for the final out, to reach the milestone in the Padres’ 5-3 victory over the Dodgers.
Another event of note: in 1944 Baseball canceled its scheduled eight-game slate due to the Allied invasion of Normandy known as D-Day. The military operation has 60,000 Allied troops, including six minor leaguers who will be killed in action, landing along a heavily protected 50-mile stretch of the coastline in France to begin an offensive assault against Hitler and the Nazi party. Of less momentous note, in 2000, thanks to the Angels’ video crew playing a clip from the 1994 movie “Ace Ventura, Pet Detective” on the JumboTron, the Rally Monkey is born. With the words “Rally Monkey” superimposed over a monkey jumping up and down in the Jim Carrey movie, the crowd goes wild when Anaheim scores two runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Giants, 6-5.
RHP Walker Buehler (2-0, 2.98 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. He’ll face old friend LHP Scott Kazmir (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who’s replacing the injured Logan Webb.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1998 The Mets trade Preston Wilson, Geoff Goetz, and Ed Yarnell to the Marlins for Mike Piazza. Florida had acquired the All-Star catcher last week from the Dodgers along with Todd Zeile in exchange for Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios.
1999 Mark McGwire becomes the third player to launch a ball out of Dodger Stadium when one of his two home runs travels 483 feet in the Cardinals’ 10-7 victory at Chavez Ravine. The slugging first baseman joins Willie Stargell, who accomplished the feat twice in 1969 and 1973, and Mike Piazza, whose Ruthian blast cleared the ballpark two seasons ago.
1958 At the Los Angeles Coliseum, Gene Fodge picks up his only major league victory when the Cubs beat the Dodgers, 15-2. Outfielder Lee Walls carries the day with three homers and eight RBIs.
1962 Dodger southpaw Sandy Koufax ties his major league record, a mark he shares with Bob Feller, when he strikes out 18 batters in a nine-inning contest during the team’s 10-2 rout of the Cubs at Wrigley Field. In 1938, nineteen year-old right-hander Bob Feller established the record, whiffing 18 batters in the Indians’ 4-1 loss to the Tigers at Cleveland Stadium.
1965 Casey Stengel wins his 3,000th game as a manager when his Amazin’ Mets score three runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat San Francisco at Candlestick Park, 7-6. The ‘Old Perfessor’, who served as the skipper for the Dodgers, Braves, and Yankees, won more than a third of his games (1,149) during his 12-year tenure with the Bronx Bombers.
1998 Dodger backstop Mike Piazza ties a major league record, hitting his third grand slam of the month. The blast highlights a nine-run second inning which leads Los Angeles to a 12-4 victory over the visiting Cubs.
Also, in 2003 Chase Utley gets his first major league hit, blasting a third inning grand slam off Rockies starter Dennis Cook. The rookie second baseman’s big fly to right field contributes to the Phillies’ 9-1 victory at Veterans Stadium.