The Dodgers continue their road trip tonight with RHP Walker Buehler (1-1, 4.02 ERA) trying to get his second win and his ERA down. He’s gone no longer than 5 2/3 innings so far this season. He’ll face the D-Backs’ RHP Merrill Kelly (1-0, 0.59 ERA), who’s been increasing his innings in each start and got a win in the last one, giving up a run on six hits to the Nationals over 6 1/3 innings. That was the first run he’d given up this year.
Today in Dodgers history:
1937 Cliff Melton becomes the first rookie to fan at least 10 batters in his major league debut, finishing with 13 strikeouts in a complete-game loss to the Braves at the Polo Grounds. The 25 year-old southpaw, who loses the 3-1 contest due to the poor defense of the Giants in the ninth inning, will hold the rookie record for K’s in his debut until Dodger freshman Karl Spooner whiffs 15 batters in his first major league start in 1954.
1958 In front of 60,635 fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Dodgers, who beat St. Louis, 5-2, set a National League record for the largest crowd to attend a night game during the regular season. The mark will be broken next season when 61,552 fans show up on Opening Night at the Coliseum to watch their team defeat the Redbirds again.
1967 Jim Lefebvre commits three errors in the fourth frame, paving the way for the Braves’ 7-1 victory at Dodger Stadium. The Los Angeles third baseman commits a fourth error, booting Hank Aaron’s grounder in the top of the ninth inning.
1975 LA hurler Andy Messersmith strokes three doubles at Candlestick Park. The trio of two-baggers contributes to the Dodgers’ 6-5 victory over San Francisco with the right-hander scoring two runs and driving in another en route to his victory.
1976 During the fourth inning of the game being played at Dodger Stadium, Rick Monday becomes a national hero when he takes away an American Flag about to be set on fire by the two trespassers (a father and son) in the outfield. The Cubs’ 30 year-old fly chaser, who served six years in the Marine Reserves, will be presented the flag a month later in a pregame ceremony at Wrigley Field by L.A. executive Al Campanis as a gesture of patriotic thanks.
1995 The 257-day strike ends when the Dodgers beat the Marlins 8-7. The work stoppage caused last season to end early, forced the cancellation of the World Series, and delayed the opening of this season.
Old friend LHP Rich HIll (6-4, 4.08 ERA) goes for the Mets and RHP Max Scherzer (10-4, 2.89 ERA) goes for the Dodgers.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1975 The Reuschel brothers of the Cubs join forces to blank the Dodgers, 6-0. Rick goes 6 1/3 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.
Whodaguy starts for the Dodgers (we’ll know more at game time) and LHP Ranger Suárez (5-3, 0.98 ERA) goes for the Phillies. That’s one heck of an ERA.
This day in Dodgers’ history:
1984 Former Dodgers Don Drysdale and Pee Wee Reese, along with Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew, American League hurler Rick Ferrell, and perennial All-Star shortstop Luis Aparicio are inducted into the Hall of Fame.
In 2006 the Portland Beavers honor Rodney McCray, the former Vancouver Canadian who gain everlasting notoriety in 1991 when he literally ran through the right field plywood fence trying to catch Chip Hale’s fly ball in Portland’s Civic Stadium. The PCL team commemorates the memorable play with a bobble head promotion which features the moment of impact and renames the right field area of their current ballpark “McCray Alley.”
In a great moment of fan history, in 2014 Tim Pinkard, attending his first game at Minute Maid Park, catches two home run balls, both off the bat of the Astros’ DH Chris Carter. In the third inning of Houston’s 10-4 victory over Minnesota, the Springfield (VA) resident gets his first souvenir of the night when the ball rebounds off a sign in left field, and then in the fifth frame, against astronomical odds, catches the second round-tripper stroked by the same batter, which is a laser shot hit directly to his seat.
The Padres haven’t named a starter yet. Update: It’ll be Zach Davies. LHP Clayton Kershaw will pitch for the Dodgers. Should Kershaw get the win he’d even his career postseason record at 11-11.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1952 In the decisive Game 7, the Yankees beat the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 4-2, to win their fourth consecutive World Championship. Gil Hodges finishes the Fall Classic hitless in twenty-one at-bats, which had prompted some Brooklyn fans to gather at local churches asking for divine help for their beloved first baseman.
1977 In Game 3 of the NLCS, the Dodgers rally for three runs with none on and two outs in the top of the ninth inning to take a one-run lead in their eventual 6-5 victory over the Phillies at Veterans Stadium. The game appeared to be over when LA’s Davey Lopes is picked off first base for the final out, but a throwing error by Gene Garber advances him to second base, from where he will score the decisive run on Bill Russell’s single.
1978 In Game 4 of the NLCS, Ron Cey scores in the 10th inning on Bill Russell’s two-out game winning single, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Phillies and their second consecutive National League pennant. Cey, who walked after the first two batters were retired, advanced into scoring position when Garry Maddox misplayed Dusty Baker’s fly ball in center field.
2001 Barry Bonds extends his major league record for home runs in a season to 73 as he drives a 3-2 first inning knuckleball off Dodger Dennis Springer over the right field fence. The blast also secures two more major league records for the Giants’ left fielder when he surpasses Babe Ruth (1920 – .847) with a .863 season slugging percentage and bests Mark McGwire (1998 – one HR every 7.27 AB) by homering in every 6.52 at-bats.
2006 The Mets defeat Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, 9-5, to complete a three-game sweep in the NLDS. The Dodgers have won only one postseason game in 13 attempts since beating the A’s in the 1988 World Series.
Today in Padres’ history:
1984 In a game that will be best remembered for Cubs first baseman Leon Durham’s seventh-inning error on an easy ground ball, the Padres win the NLCS when Tony Gwynn’s seventh-inning two-run double breaks a 3-3 tie en route to a 6-3 victory at Jack Murphy Stadium. Chicago had a 2-0 game advantage as well as a 3-0 lead in the decisive Game 5 but was unable to end their thirty-nine year World Series appearance drought.
2001 On the last day of the season, Rickey Henderson bloops a double down the right-field line off Rockies’ hurler John Thomson to become the 25th major leaguer to collect 3000 hits. Tony Gwynn, who is playing in his last major league game and is also a member of the 3000 hit club, meets the Padre outfielder at home plate in front of a sellout crowd Qualcomm Park.
Pitchers: Pedro Báez, Walker Buehler, Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Clayton Kershaw, Ross Stripling, Blake Treinen, Julio Urías, Alex Wood, Brusdar Graterol and Dustin May
Starting depth could be an issue. After losing Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill (68 starts combined last year) over the offseason, the only veteran starters the Dodgers added were Price and Jimmy Nelson, but both are out for the season. That leaves Urías, Wood and youngsters May, Gonzalez and White to pick up those 68 starts.
Will Smith and Austin Barnes are the catchers. Infielders are Enrique Hernández, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Matt Beaty and Edwin Rios. Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Joc Pederson, A. J. Pollack and Chris Taylor are the outfielders.
The Braves haven’t yet announced their starter, but an informed guess would be Dallas Keuchel or Julio Teheran. Whoever it is will face the Cardinals’ rookie RHP Dakota Hudson, whose 16 wins led all MLB rookies this year. He had a 2.75 ERA at home in Busch Stadium, too.
The Dodgers start LHP Rich Hill, who may be pitching with a knee brace and is not expected to go more than three or four innings. He’ll face RHP Max Scherzer, last seen striking out the side in the eighth inning of Game Two of this series on Friday.
Who is hot and who is not? Dodgers: Turner had a homer, double and single in Game 3 and has hit safely in 10 straight NLDS games, batting .390 (16-for-41) with two homers and 10 RBIs. Since 2015, he has hit safely in 19 of 20 NLDS games. David Freese is equally a postseason monster and on Sunday became only the fourth player in postseason history to come off the bench with a three-hit game.
Every game in baseball begins at the same time today. I’m sure MLB is hoping for a repeat of the events of September 28, 2011, when within thirty minutes two teams were eliminated from the playoffs after leading in their respective games. There are two games which are important today, but neither has quite the same amount of weight as those games eight years ago:
The Cardinals’ magic number to win the NL Central is one. That means a St. Louis win or Milwaukee loss Sunday would make the Cardinals division champs, while a Brewers win and Cardinals loss would force a tiebreaker Monday at Busch Stadium (3:09 p.m ET on ESPN) to determine the division winner. If both teams win Sunday, the Cardinals win the NL Central.
The Dodgers will make the last game of the season a bullpen game, starting LHP Rich Hill (4-1, 2.59 ERA) but not allowing him to go more than three innings, I imagine, thanks to his balky knee. The Giants have changed their minds; Madison Bumgarner was originally scheduled to start but was scratched by manager Bruce Bochy after Friday night’s game. Instead they’ll give RHP Dereck Rodríguez (6-10, 5.27 ERA) his 16th start of the season. He’s 0-1 with an 11.32 ERA in four lifetime appearances against the Dodgers.
Here’s Mr. Ryu’s excellent game Saturday: seven strikeouts, an RBI base hit, seven scoreless innings and the NL ERA title.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1951 Don Newcombe becomes the first black pitcher to win twenty games in a season. In a must-win for the Dodgers, the right-hander bests Robin Roberts, also a 20-game-winner, when he blanks the Phillies at Shibe Park, 5-0.
1959 At the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the Dodgers capture the NL flag with a dramatic 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Braves, taking the first two games of the three-game playoff necessitated by the teams being tied on the last day of the season. The deciding run comes in the bottom of the 12th inning, after the first two batters make outs, when Gil Hodges walks and scores on singles by Joe Pignatano and Carl Furillo.
1976 Tommy Lasorda is named to succeed Walter Alston as Dodger manager. ‘Smokey’ compiled a 2040-1613 record (.558), during his 23-year tenure with the club, winning seven pennants and four world championships.
1979 Manny Mota sets a major league record with his 146th career pinch hit, a single to right field, in LA’s 6-2 victory over Chicago at Dodger Stadium. The Dominican Republic native surpasses the all-time record set by Smoky Burgess, who collected his last hit as a pinch-hitter in 1967.
2000 Gary Sheffield ties the Dodgers’ franchise single-season home run record when he goes deep off Woody Williams in the team’s 3-0 victory over San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium. The left fielder, with his career best 43rd round tripper, now shares the team mark with Duke Snider, who established the record in 1956 when he played for Brooklyn.
LHP Rich Hill (4-1, 2.68 ERA) tries to come back from his spell on the IL and the torn scar tissue in his knee which forced him out of his last start in the first inning. He’ll be wearing a knee brace. His opponent will be rookie RHP Ronald Bolaños (0-1, 5.79), who’s made just three big league appearances, all this month. Two of those were starts in which he went a total of 11 innings and gave up seven runs on ten hits, walking six and striking out ten.
Here is Ryu’s first career home run:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1957 Grounding out, Pirates left-handed first baseman Dee Fondy becomes last player ever to bat in Ebbets Field when the Dodgers blank the Bucs, 2-0, in the final major league game ever played in Brooklyn.
1971 Al Downing becomes a 20-game winner when he blanks the Braves at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, 2-0. The Dodger left-hander, best remembered for giving up Hank Aaron’s historic 715th home run, will compile a 123-107 record during his 17-year major league career.
1981Dodgers 7, Giants 5 at Candlestick. The Dodgers got a three-run homer from Mike Scioscia and two more runs in the third inning to put themselves ahead. The game was — marred? supplemented? — when a fan threw a helmet and — well, here:
Reggie Smith went into the stands after a fan who had been heckling him during the game; the fan had just thrown a batting helmet into the dugout before Smith climbed into the stands; Smith punched the fan and tried to pull him over the rail onto the field; Dodger teammates grabbed Smith; eight fans were arrested and Smith was ejected by HP umpire Harry Wendelstedt; as two policemen walked with Smith down the RF line to the clubhouse, someone threw a beer bottle and missed.
2001 Batting for reliever Joe Beimel in the bottom of the sixth inning, Craig Wilson drives the first pitch he sees into the seats in left center for his seventh pinch-hit home run, tying the major league mark established last season by Dodger infielder Dave Hansen. The Pirate rookie’s two-run round-tripper sparks a five-run frame, enabling the Bucs to overcome a 5-0 deficit in their eventual 7-6 victory over the Chicago at PNC Park.
2003 Eric Gagne ties John Smoltz’s National League mark for saves with 55 when he helps the Dodgers defeat the Padres, 5-3. The Los Angeles closer equals the NL mark in consecutive opportunities, which is also a record.
The Dodgers send LHP Rich Hill (4-1, 2.55 ERA) to the mound for the first of four expected starts before the playoffs begin. He hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since June 19 when he strained a flexor tendon, and he’s not expected to go more than a couple of innings. His opponent will be RHP Dylan Bundy (6-13, 5.06 ERA), who’s had an odd schedule: before 18 of his 27 starts he’s had an extra day of rest and has had one before today’s start, which has seemed to be beneficial. When he’s had that extra day he’s cut his ERA a full run from what it had been entering the game.
The Dodgers held a lead in yesterday’s game, believe it or not:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1930 The last major league bounced home run is hit by Dodger catcher Al Lopez at Ebbets Field as the NL joins the American League, which had enacted the rule change in 1929. The player who hits the ball over the wall on a bounce will now be awarded a ground-rule double.
1932 In the bottom of the ninth, Johnny Frederick hits his major league record-setting sixth pinch-homer of the season, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Cubs. The Brooklyn outfielder’s major league mark will not be broken for 68 years until another Dodger, Dave Hansen, strokes seven round-trippers coming off the bench in 2000.
1953 The Dodgers clinch a pennant at the earliest date ever in baseball history with a 5-2 victory over the Braves at County Stadium. Carl Erskine gets the win when Brooklyn, who clinches consecutive titles for the first time in franchise history, goes up 13 games up on Milwaukee with 12 left to play.
1962 One game behind the front running Dodgers, the Giants lose Willie Mays, their All-Star center fielder, when he is hospitalized for nervous exhaustion. The ‘City by the Bay’ will drop six games in a row, but will recover along with ‘Say Hey Kid’ in time to beat Los Angeles in a playoff to win the National league pennant.
“I look up into the stands, and it looks like Ebbets Field. The Mets are wonderful, but you can’t take the Dodger out of Brooklyn” – DUKE SNIDER, – addressing the Mets fans on his special night at the Polo Grounds.
In a pregame ceremony with his former Dodgers teammates, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, and Ralph Branca in attendance, Duke Snider is honored by the Mets with a special ‘night’ at the Polo Grounds, which coincidentally marks the last time the Giants, now located in San Francisco, will ever play in their once long-time home in Harlem. The ‘Silver Fox’, obtained by the last-place expansion team in April, has recently requested to be traded to a contender.
1995 During a WGN pre-game radio broadcast at Wrigley Field, Cubs announcer Harry Caray remarks to the team’s skipper Jim Riggleman, “Well, my eyes are slanty enough, how ’bout yours?”, referring to Hideo Nomo, the Japanese rookie hurler scheduled to start for the Dodgers. The veteran announcer, known for not backing off for his on-the-air off-handed comments, does issue an apology, calling the incident “unfortunate.”
2000 On the same date the mark was established 68 years ago, Dave Hansen breaks Johnny Frederick’s 1932 record for pinch-hit home runs in a single season with his seventh round-tripper coming off the bench. The Dodger pinch-hitter’s historic homer, a seventh-inning three-run blast off Diamondback right-hander Curt Schilling, isn’t enough to prevent the team’s 5-4 loss to Arizona at Bank One Ballpark.
RHP Ross Stripling (3-3, 3.79 ERA) makes his fourth start replacing the injured Rich Hill. He hasn’t been really successful as a starter yet this season; he’s not gotten past the fifth inning in any start and he’s given up four runs in each of the last two. He’ll face LHP Chris Sale (3-8, 4.04 ERA), who’s not been his usual ace-like self this year. In fact, he gave up five runs in each of his last two starts prior to the All Star break.
In about the only Dodger highlight of Friday’s game, Alex Verdugo curls a home run around the Pesky Pole in right field:
This has nothing to do with the Dodgers or the Red Sox, but I found it interesting: a history of the walk-up song.