The visiting Dodgers trot out RHP Walker Buehler (12-3, 3.28 ERA) to take the mound in the Orioles’ gem of a ball park. He’ll face LHP Ty Blach (1-2, 10.95 ERA), who shut the Dodgers out for five innings on Opening Day when he was with the Giants. The Orioles claimed him off waivers and sent him to AAA Norfolk after he had three rough starts with them. He went five innings in his first start back up against Tampa Bay, giving up two hits and two runs. Buehler has been outstanding in most of his starts this year, but his last one was horrible: the Rockies got six runs off him in five innings.
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.
Updated lineup: Pollock LF Freese 1B Taylor 3B Bellinger CF Hernández RF Seager SS Smith C Pederson DH Lux 2B (Buehler P)
The Dodgers send RHP Kenta Maeda (2-1, 3.10 ERA) to the hill to face the Giants’ LHP Ty Blach (1-3, 4.31 ERA). Maeda has faced the Giants twice already this season, once in relief, and has held them without an earned run in six innings. Blach has struggled since Opening Day when he defeated the Dodgers.
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.
It’ll be LHP Ty Blach for the visiting Giants and LHP Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers. Blach has been very good at Dodger Stadium in his four appearances: he’s got a 1.38 ERA. Kershaw will be making his eighth Opening Day start for the Dodgers, a new franchise record. He had previously shared the record of seven with Don Drysdale and Don Sutton. This will be Kershaw’s 41st career start against the Giants: he’s 22-9 with a 1.60 ERA in the first 40.
The Dodgers are virtually the same team as the NL Champions of last year, albeit temporarily without third baseman and team leader Justin Turner. They do have a left-field platoon which includes prodigal Matt Kemp; I think it’s fair to say most fans didn’t expect to see him still here on Opening Day. And I wonder: Andre Ethier is still a free agent and would have been cheaper to keep than Kemp is.
This is the 12th season opener between the clubs since they moved west in 1958. The Giants have won 6 of the previous 11.
An Opening Day Quiz from George Will at the Washington Post. I started off like a house afire and faded in the later innings. I scored 21 of 41.
The Giants send LHP Ty Blach (6-6, 4.50 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (7-4, 3.48 ERA).
Blach gave up five runs on eight hits on Sunday against the Padres, but the Giants have won seven of his last twelve starts. Hill has gone 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA in his last six starts.
Friday’s game marked the first time there was a 30-game difference or larger between the Giants and Dodgers entering a series. The last time these teams met with a 30-game difference in the standings was Sept. 27, 1985, when the Dodgers were exactly 30 games ahead of the Giants.
This day 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.
Here’s a nice sight for the morning, but does it look to you like he’s got a bit of a belly?
LHP Rich Hill (1-1, 3.38 ERA) tries to avoid blister problems while making his third start of the year; after each of his first two he had to go on the 10-day DL while his fingers healed. He pitched five innings Wednesday in a rehab assignment with Rancho Cucamonga with no physical effects. The Giants counter with YALHP Ty Blach (0-2, 4.88 ERA), who has taken Madison Bumgarner’s spot in the rotation while Bumgarner recovers from his dirt bike accident. Blach has gone 1-1 with a 1.13 ERA in three games (two starts) against the Dodgers in his career. In the game he won he shut out the Dodgers over eight innings on three hits. That was in October of 2016.
1967 Reliever Phil Regan loses his first game in 77 appearances. The ‘Vulture’ gets pinned with his first defeat in over a year when Astros’ third baseman Bob Aspromonte hits a two-run triple in the tenth to beat the Dodgers, 5-3.
2000 After a fan steals Los Angeles’ catcher Chad Kreuter’s hat and hits him in the back of the head, many Dodgers, including coaches John Shelby and Rick Dempsey, go into the stands and start fighting with the Wrigley Field faithful. When the melee ends, several fans are arrested as the game is delayed nearly ten minutes, and there is litter all over the field.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Dodger lineup at Giants: Taylor 2B Gutierrez LF Turner 3B Hernández SS Barnes C Puig RF Pederson CF Van Slyke 1B Hill P pic.twitter.com/s8mX0v2sbo
Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 2.54 ERA) faces YALHP Ty Blach (0-0, 4.76 ERA). These two pitchers have met once before, on October 1 of last year, and Blach came out ahead. He gave up three hits but no runs and got two hits himself in his first (and only) major league win. Kershaw’s 18-8 lifetime against the Giants and 10-4 at AT&T Park.
The miserable Giants have won the season series against the Dodgers four of the past five years, and the Dodgers have been really pitiful at the Giants’ home park: they’re 2-8 there in each of the last two years.
It’s a mound mismatch, if you look at the records of the two starters. The Dodgers send out Clayton Kershaw (12-3, 1.65 ERA) to face the Giants’ rookie lefthander Ty Blach (0-0, 2.00 ERA). Kershaw has been pretty successful in the Giants’ home park; he’s 10-3 with a 1.30 ERA lifetime. This will be Blach’s second major league start, but he’s seen the Dodgers before: he pitched three scoreless innings against them on September 21. The Giants need to win badly: they’re a game ahead of the Cardinals for the second Wild Card and need both a win and a St. Louis loss today to clinch a spot in the postseason. If they get one but not the other they clinch a tiebreaker game in St. Louis.
Charlie Culberson asked Vin Scully to sign the bat Charlie hit the walkoff HR with last weekend.