Yesterday Shohei Ohtani made his spring training debut for the Dodgers and homered in three at-bats. Today it was Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s turn to make his first appearance. He performed really well, and it wasn’t his fault the Dodgers lost their first game after five consecutive wins to open the Cactus League season.
In his first Cactus League start Wednesday against the Rangers at Surprise Stadium, the Japanese phenom tossed two scoreless innings, striking out three and allowing just one hit in what ended up being the Dodgers’ first loss of the spring, a 6-4 defeat. Yamamoto threw 19 pitches, 16 for strikes, displaying his wide arsenal of pitches.
In total, Yamamoto threw 11 four-seam fastballs and was clocked between 94-96 mph. He threw three curveballs, all of which went for strikes. Yamamoto also threw the splitter and cutter, showing why he won the Eiji Sawamura Award three consecutive years in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league.
In other news, Max Muncy got hit with a curveball in his first AB and left the game with a contusion. He’s day-to-day (as Vinnie said, “aren’t we all”).
Tomorrow’s starter is yet another new acquisition: James Paxton. He’s a 6’4″, 212-lb lefthander with a lifetime record of 64-38 and 3.69 ERA. His career started well; he went 56-32 with a 3.50 ERA from 2013-2019. He’s had a tough three-year stretch since:
He was limited to just five starts during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season after a strain of his left flexor tendon. Paxton also underwent spinal surgery in February 2020 as well.
One year later, Paxton’s 2021 season with the M’s lasted just one start after he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. He missed all of 2022.
LHP Jordan Montgomery (1-0, 3.27 ERA postseason) pitches for the Rangers and RHP Justin Verlander (1-0, 0.00 ERA postseason) goes for the Astros. Here’s a preview of Game One.
The Rangers added Max Scherzer and Jon Gray to the ALCS roster. To make room, Brock Burke and Matt Bush were left off. The Astros’ right-hander Ronel Blanco was added to their roster, replacing outfielder Jake Meyers.
1917 A letter signed by 24 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox members and manager Pants Rowland contains complaints about not receiving their full share after beating the New York Giants. The written request, discovered as a tattered document more than 40 years later among boxes stored at the Hall of Fame library, may explain the ‘Black Sox’ motivation for fixing the Fall Classic two years later.
1923 At the Polo Grounds, the visiting Yankees score five runs in the eighth inning, beating the Giants in Game 6 of the Fall Classic, 6-4. The victory over their crosstown rivals gives the franchise its first World Championship.
1946 In Game 7 of the World Series, the Cardinals beat the Red Sox, 4-3, when Enos Slaughter streaked home from first on a long single into the left-center gap by Harry Walker, who stayed a first to avoid making the last out before the run score. The play surprises everyone, including cut-off man shortstop Johnny Pesky who hesitates, as legend has it, throwing the ball home.
“In the year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.” – VIN SCULLY, commenting on Kirk Gibson’s dramatic World Series walk-off home run.
In his only plate appearance in the Fall Classic, a limping Kirk Gibson, appearing as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Game 1, sends a two-out, 3-2 pitch from relief ace Dennis Eckersley over the right-field fence, giving the Dodgers a 5-4 victory over the A’s. The round-tripper marks the first time a World Series game ends on a come-from-behind home run in the final inning.
2017 Twenty-nine years later, Justin Turner follows Kirk Gibson into franchise folklore when he hits a postseason walk-off three-run home run in the 12th inning of LA’s 4-1 victory over the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS. In his only Fall Classic appearance, a hobbled Kirk Gibson came off the bench in 1998 to hit one of the most memorable round-trippers in World Series history, giving the Dodgers a come-from-behind victory against the A’s in Game 1.
1929 The A’s, trailing 8-0 during Game 4 of the World Series, erupt for ten runs in the seventh inning off three Cub pitchers en route to a 10-8 victory. Chicago’s Hack Wilson becomes one of the game’s goats when he loses two balls in the sun in center field.
1949 Vin Scully, working his first broadcast ever, does the play-by-play when Maryland defeats Boston University at Fenway Park, 14-13. The football assignment marks the start of a 67-year career in the broadcast booth for the Hall of Fame baseball announcer, who becomes the iconic voice of the Dodgers.
1986 The Angels, ahead 5-4 and one strike away from going to the World Series, see their lead vanish when Dave Henderson, who had Bobby Grich’s fly ball bounce over the fence off the heel of his glove, hits a two-run homer off Donnie Moore, putting the Red Sox ahead, 6-5. California will tie the Anaheim Stadium contest in the bottom of the frame, but Boston will prevail, scoring the deciding run in the 11th inning on a Henderson sac fly.
2003 Thirty-five years after creating controversy with his non-traditional rendition of the song, Jose Feliciano sings the Star-Spangled Banner at the Marlins’ NLCS game against the Cubs at Pro Player Stadium. The singer’s gospelized version of the national anthem sung before Game 5 of the 1968 World Series at Tiger Stadium caused such a flap that some radio stations stopped playing his records on the air.
1948 At the Polo Grounds, Dodger Rex Barney no-hits the Giants, 2-0. The Brooklyn 23 year-old right-hander had to endure a one-hour rain delay, as well as showers in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings to finish his gem.
1965 Sandy Koufax’s perfect game against the Cubs bests Bob Hendley’s one hit effort, 1-0. The Dodger Stadium gem is the southpaw’s record fourth no-hitter.
“And there’s 29,000 people in the ballpark and a million butterflies.” – Vin Scully’s description Of Koufax’s masterpiece.
2013 Juan Uribe homers in each of his first three trips to the plate in the Dodgers’ 8-1 victory over Arizona. Los Angeles goes yard six times in the Chavez Ravine contest, falling two shy of the franchise record established in 2002.
1945 A moment in American history takes place in Brooklyn as Branch Rickey meets with Jackie Robinson to share his plans to integrate the major leagues. During the three hour meeting, the Dodgers’ president will shout racial epithets to ‘test’ the 26 year-old ballplayer’s mettle to withstand the abuse which will come with being the first player to cross the color line this century.
1951 The Giants’ 16-game winning streak comes to end when Howie Pollet six-hits the team in the Pirates’ 2-0 victory at the Polo Grounds. The consecutive victories enable Leo Durocher and his club to narrow the Dodgers’ lead from 13.5 to six games.
1967 Giants hurler Gaylord Perry begins the longest consecutive inning scoreless streak in franchise history when he shuts out the Dodgers at Candlestick Park, 7-0. The right-hander will not give up another run over a span of 40 innings, a feat the son of a tenant farmer from North Carolina will repeat three seasons later.
1977 Steve Garvey collects five extra-base hits in one game when he bashes three doubles and two homers, including a grand slam, in the Dodgers’ 11-0 rout over St. Louis at Chavez Ravine. The LA first baseman becomes just the fourth major leaguer to accomplish the feat, joining Lou Boudreau (1946 Indians – HR, four 2B), Joe Adcock (1954 Braves – four HR, 2B), and Willie Stargell (1970 Pirates – two HR, three 2B).
2003 Eric Gagne earns his 44th straight save in the Dodgers’ 6-3 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Los Angeles reliever’s effort establishes a new major league record, surpassing Tom Gordon, who had saved 43 in a row to begin a season with the Red Sox in 1998.
2008 In the 11-2 victory over the Dodgers, Cristian Guzman becomes the second player in Nationals history to hit for the cycle, joining Brad Wilkerson, who accomplished the feat in 2005, the team’s first year in Washington, D.C. The 30 year-old shortstop completes his cycle with an eighth inning triple.
2015 “Vin will be back for one more year (at least). God bless us, everyone” – JIMMY KIMMEL’s cue card message to the crowd.
Team executive Magic Johnson, appearing on the Dodger Stadium video board, introduces Jimmy Kimmel to report “big, breaking news.” The ABC late-night television host, who waves to the fans without saying a word, displays a succession of cue cards, informing the Chavez Ravine crowd the 87 year-old Vin Scully will be returning to broadcast Dodgers games in 2016 for his 67th season.
2020 On the same day MLB celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, Chadwick Boseman, the actor who portrayed the Brooklyn Dodgers star in the 2013 movie 42, dies of colon cancer. The 43-year-old actor, best known for the title role in Marvel’s blockbuster Black Panther, also played music legend James Brown and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshal on the big screen.
1941 During a double-header against the Cardinals, a rag-tag group of five ‘musicians’, dubbed the Dodger SymPhony by announcer Red Barber, makes their Ebbets Field’s debut. This band, in which none of the members can read music, performs their zany antics at all evening and weekend games.
1955 A telegram sent to Brooklyn president Walter O’Malley by the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce offers the team “thirty acres or more of dry flat land in open country in the heart of Long Island’s densest Dodger fan concentration.” The village’s attempt to attract the fleeing franchise to the south shore of Suffolk County will not materialize, and the club, after exploring many different venues as an alternative to Ebbets Field, will leave the East Coast in 1958 to play in Los Angeles.
1957 The Dodgers, in a 13-3 loss to Milwaukee at Ebbets Field, use eight pitchers in one game, tying a major league record. Johnny Podres gives up three home runs in the fourth frame when Nippy Jones, Hank Aaron, and Andy Pafko all go deep off the Brooklyn starter.
1960 During a dull game, Vin Scully, the play-by-play voice of the Dodgers, knowing that many fans in the stands follow the game on transistor radios, asks his listeners to help him surprise third base umpire Frank Secory. His ballpark audience responds when the veteran broadcaster tells them, “Let’s have some fun. As soon as the inning is over I’ll count to three, and on three everybody yell, ‘Happy birthday, Frank!'”
1974 Davey Lopes steals five bases, tying a National League record established in 1904 by Giants first baseman Dan McGann. The Dodger second baseman’s quintet of stolen bags adds to the team’s franchise mark of eight stolen bases in their 3-0 victory over the Redbirds at Chavez Ravine.
1975 Davey Lopes steals his major league record 38th consecutive base, but the streak will be stopped by Montreal backstop Gary Carter when he attempts to swipe another base in the Dodger Stadium contest. The second baseman will be thrown out in the 12th inning of the team’s 5-3 loss in fourteen innings.
2014 Joc Pederson becomes the fourth player in the history of the Pacific Coast League to have a 30-30 season, and the first to accomplish the feat in 80 years, when he steals his 30th base for the Isotopes. The 22 year-old Albuquerque slugger, who has 32 home runs and a .432 slugging percentage in 116 games this season, will join the Dodgers when rosters expand next week.
1958 Gil Hodges hits his 14th career grand slam in the Dodgers’ 10-1 victory over Milwaukee at LA Memorial Coliseum. The first baseman’s bases-full round-tripper establishes a new National League record, but is far fewer than Lou Gehrig’s major league mark of 23.
1989 In the 11th frame of an eventual 22-inning 1-0 loss, the Expos’ Youppi! becomes the first mascot to be thrown out of a game when Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda complains to the umpires about the hairy orange giant’s behavior at Olympic Stadium. The L.A. skipper takes exception to the loud noise caused by the hairy creature’s running leap onto the visitors’ dugout before sneaking back into a front row seat.
1989 In that same game, the second-longest shutout in big league history ends when Rick Dempsey hits a home run in the top of the 22nd inning, giving the Dodgers an eventual 1-0 victory over the Expos at Olympic Stadium. The Astros blanked the Mets for 24 frames en route to a 1-0 win at the Astrodome in 1968.
2000 Team president Bob Graziano apologizes to a female couple who were asked to leave Dodger Stadium on August 8th because the two shared a kiss during a game. The pair felt the action of the eight security guards was discriminatory because the couple’s friends, a man and a woman, also kissed but were not ejected.
2013 At a Dodger Stadium press conference, LA announces Vin Scully will continue to broadcast Dodgers’ games for his 65th consecutive season. Some of the historic moments the Hall of Fame broadcaster has called include Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, 19 no-hitters, including four thrown by Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, and Kirk Gibson’s dramatic walk-off home run in the 1988 Fall Classic.
1938 At Crosley Field, Yankees’ hurler Lefty Gomez is defeated for the first time in four All-Star starts as the NL wins the All-Star game 4-1. National League shortstop Leo Durocher becomes the first Dodger to start in an All-Star Game and gets a ‘bunt’ home run.
1953 In his first major league start, 24 year-old right-hander Al Worthington throws a two-hitter, blanking the Pirates, 6-0. The Giants’ rookie, known as ‘Red’, will become the first National League freshman to throw consecutive shutouts at the start of a career, when he repeats the feat in his next outing, also blanking the Dodgers, 6-0.
2000 Vin Scully, 72, is voted the No. 1 sportscaster of the 20th century by members of the American Sportscasters Association. The Dodger veteran broadcaster’s 51-year career has included play-by-play of 25 Fall Classics and a dozen All-Star Games.
1947 During the pregame infield practice, a barrage of racial slurs is directed at Jackie Robinson by the Cincinnati fans during the Dodgers’ first visit to Crosley Field this season. Brooklyn shortstop Pee Wee Reese, captain of the team and a Southerner from Kentucky with friends attending the game, engages the black infielder in conversation, and then put his arm around his teammate’s shoulder, a gesture that stuns and silences the crowd.
Statue of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese outside MCU Park, 08/02/10: zoom-lens close-up of Pee Wee’s arm around Jackie (IMG_1908)
Photo from Flickr by Gary Dunaier
1952 Larry Miggins hits the first of his two major league home runs, going deep off Preacher Roe in the fourth inning of the Cardinals’ 14-8 loss to the Dodgers at Ebbets Field. The round-tripper hit by the Bronx-born outfielder, who had once shared his dream of playing in big leagues during a prep school assembly with a buddy with aspirations to be a baseball broadcaster, is called by an overwhelmed Vin Scully, Brooklyn’s play-by-play announcer who had wondered that day with his friend “what the odds against that would be.”
1958 San Francisco teammates Willie Mays and Darryl Spencer each have four long hits, driving in four and six runs, respectively, in the team’s 16-9 victory over the Dodgers at LA’s Memorial Coliseum. The Giants’ center fielder and shortstop combine for 28 total bases, with Mays hitting two homers, two triples, a single, and Spencer adding two round-trippers, a three-bagger, and a double to the offensive outburst.
2013 Thanks to a seventh-grade history class project, a three-mile stretch of the Kansas K-79 highway, from K-16 highway to Circleville, is designated by the Kansas legislature as the Barnes Brothers Memorial Highway in honor of Ozzie and Virgil, who grew up in the community and played with the Braves, Giants, and Dodgers in the 1910-20s. The McAlister middle schoolers’ research brought to light the many major league accomplishments of the two siblings, including being participants in first brother matchup in big league history.
2001 After two and a half years in the post, Kevin Malone resigns as the general manager of the Dodgers. Despite having the league’s largest payroll, Los Angeles has failed to make the playoffs during his tenure.
2008 Brad Penny’s 96-mph fastball is missed by Dodger batterymate Russell Martin and knocks out umpire Kerwin Danley. After the players are asked to leave the field, the home plate arbitrator, who lost consciousness briefly, is placed on a stretcher and leaves the Dodgers-Rockies game in an ambulance.
2008 “We can’t tell you to survive the storms of life, we can tell you to dance in the rain, and you can do it. You really can do it. Very difficult, but possible.” – VIN SCULLY, delivering the commencement address at Pepperdine University. (Take note of the graduates’ headgear.)
Vin Scully receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, the institution’s highest honor. The Dodgers’ Hall of Fame broadcaster delivers a stirring commencement address to the 2008 Class of Seaver College, telling the graduates that achieving dreams may be “very difficult, but possible”.