Sep 10

Game 45, 2020

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

RHP Dustin May (1-1, 2.88 ERA) goes for the Dodgers while LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 8.44 ERA) takes the mound for just the second time since coming off the IL, where he’d been since August 9 with a mid-back strain. May seems to have developed a slurve to use when his sinker isn’t doing what he likes, MLB says. Bumgarner gave up two runs on three hits in four innings in his first post-injury start against the Giants.

If there are no fans allowed into the stadium anyway, I guess it doesn’t matter where the World Series and Championship Series games are held, although rewarding Texas Rangers ownership for extorting a new taxpayer-funded ball park sticks in my craw, although the team seems to have absorbed more than half the cost.

How is Charlie Steiner broadcasting the Dodgers’ games from home? Like this.

RHP Joe Kelly off IL and up, RHP Walker Buehler back on IL. Kelly’s five-game suspension begins tonight.

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.

Lineup when available.

No Twitter explanation of Mookie’s appearance at 2B, but maybe Joe and Orel or Rick and Charlie will know.

Update: He’s starting at second just to gain some game-level experience.

Betts, traditionally the starting right fielder, came up as a middle infielder but has played the outfield throughout his major league career. Thursday’s game, the finale of a three-game road series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, will mark Betts’ first start at second base since he played 14 games there with the Boston Red Sox in 2014. Betts also moved to second base from right field early in a game on Aug. 3, 2018.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Betts takes ground balls in the infield on a daily basis. A couple of weeks ago, the two talked about the unforeseen circumstances in a short playoff series that might prompt Roberts to pinch hit one of his outfielders in the early innings and might force Betts to play second base. Betts embraced the idea.

Sep 08

Game 43, 2020

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

RHP Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.60 ERA) goes to the Chase Field mound to face the home team’s RHP Luke Weaver. Coincidentally the last outing for each of these guys was against the other’s team. Buehler went five innings, gave up just two hits and walked just one while striking out six on September 2, while Weaver went 5 1/3 innings against the Dodgers on September 3, giving up four hits and two runs and taking the loss.

Here are Seager’s two home runs from Sunday’s game:

Old friend note: Dee Gordon has changed his name to Dee Strange-Gordon to honor his mother, who was killed by her boyfriend when Dee was just seven years old.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1955 The Dodgers clinch their eighth National League pennant with a 10-2 victory over the Braves at Milwaukee’s County Stadium. Brooklyn’s 17-game lead makes it the earliest date that a team has captured a flag in baseball history.
  • 1957 Before their departure to play on the West Coast for next season, the Dodgers and Giants face one another for the final time in New York. The Jints beat the Bums at the Polo Grounds, 3-2, to finish the intense 68 year-old storied rivalry with a 656-606 advantage over Brooklyn in the battle between the boroughs.
  • 1967 The Mets, at the urging of their fans, honor former Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax, who retired last season when arthritis ended his career prematurely at the age of 30. The Brooklyn-born southpaw, who threw a no-hitter against New York in 1962, started twenty games against the Amazin’s, compiling a 17-2 record that included 14 complete games and 5 shutouts.
  • 2007 Alex Rodriguez, hitting his 50th and 51st home runs, joins Babe Ruth (1920-54, 1921-59, 1927-60, 1928-54), Roger Maris (1961-61), and Mickey Mantle (1956-52, 1961-54) to become only the fourth player in Yankee history to hit 50 or more homers in a single season. The Yankee infielder’s second homer breaks the major league mark of 49 homers hit by a third baseman, shared with Mike Schmidt (Phillies-1980) and Adrian Beltre (Dodgers-2004).
  • 2017 The Dodgers, who just a couple of months ago seemed poised to challenge the major league record of 116 wins in a season, lose again, their 8th straight defeat and 13th in 14 games, as they bow to the Rockies, 5 – 4. They blow an early 4 – 1 lead as D.J. LeMahieu hits a two-run double in the 5th to put Colorado ahead to stay. On a positive note, Yu Darvish records the 1000th strikeout of his career, punching out Carlos Gonzalez in the 5th, becoming the fastest starting pitcher to reach the mark, in 812 innings over 128 games.

Lineup:

Sep 02

Game 38, 2020

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

RHP Walker Buehler (1-0, 4.32 ERA) pitches for the home team, while the visitors send RHP Zac Gallen (1-0, 2.70 ERA) out to face him. Buehler is returning from the IL, where he went with a blister after his best game of the year, when he gave up just four hits, one run, struck out 11 and walked none in six innings. Gallen’s last start was equally brilliant: he went seven innings and gave up five hits and just one run, getting his first win of the year.

Here’s CT3’s four-RBI game yesterday:

On this date in Dodgers history:

  • 1969 Willie Davis, with his sixth-inning double in the team’s 5-4 loss to New York at Dodger Stadium, breaks a 53 year-old franchise record by hitting safely in thirty consecutive games. The LA outfielder surpasses the streak established by Zack Wheat in 1916 when the team played in Brooklyn.
  • 1971 Cesar Cedeno hits an inside-the-park grand slam when Dodger second baseman Jim Lefebvre and right fielder Bill Buckner collide, trying to make the fifth inning catch. The 200-foot dropped bloop contributes to the Astros’ 9-3 victory over LA at the Astrodome.
  • 1972 In his major league debut, Doug Rau throws a three-hitter, beating St. Louis at Busch Stadium, 5-1. In his first big-league at-bat, the 23 year-old Dodger southpaw helps his cause with a RBI-triple in the second inning.
  • 1993 The Rockies, drawing a crowd 47,699 for their 62nd home game, surpass the 1982 Dodgers when the team attracts 3,617,863 fans to Denver’s Mile High Stadium, setting a new National League single-season attendance record. The expansion club will also break the 1992 Blue Jays’ major league mark of 4,028,318 before the season is over.
  • 2002 In the top of the ninth inning, Diamondback first baseman Mark Grace hurls an inning of relief with the team trailing the Dodgers, 18-0. The All-Star infielder retires three of the four batters he faces in the Bank One Ballpark, yielding a two-out home run to David Ross.

Lineup:

Sep 01

Game 37, 2020

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, SPNLA

With six days rest LHP Julio Urias (2-0, 3.67 ERA) goes for the home team. He’ll face the D-Backs’ LHP Alex Young (1-1, 4.70 ERA), who will be making his fourth start as the replacement for an injured Madison Bumgarner. Urias has been “throwing his fastballs slower and his offspeed pitches faster than last year,” says MLB. In Young’s last start he gave up three runs on five hits over five innings.

The D-Backs traded their crusty relief pitcher Archie Bradley to the Reds over the weekend, so the Dodgers won’t have to face him anytime soon.

Here are the three home runs which the Dodgers hit on Sunday to set the NL record for most dingers in a month:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1890 On Labor Day at Brooklyn’s Washington Park, the Bridegrooms, later to be known as the Dodgers, win all three games against Pittsburgh in the first tripleheader ever played. The home team sweeps the visiting Alleghenys, who will be renamed the Pirates next season, 10-9, 3-2, and 8-4.
  • 1953 The Cardinals tie a major league mark, hitting five homers in a 12-5 loss to Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. The solo shots hit by Stan Musial, Harry Elliot, Rip Repulski, and Steve Bilko (2), all off starter Preacher Roe, aren’t enough to offset the Dodgers’ 17-hit attack, which includes six doubles but no round-trippers.
  • 1969 At Dodger Stadium, Willie Davis ties the franchise record by hitting in 29 consecutive games with his second-inning single in LA’s 10-6 victory over New York. The mark was established by Zack Wheat in 1916.

Lineup when available.

Aug 21

Game 28, 2020

Rockies at Dodgers, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: ATT Sportsnet RM, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA

The visiting Rockies send RHP Jon Gray (1-2, 5.74 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 5.21 ERA). Gray won his last start, giving up three runs on three hits while striking out seven in seven innings. Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts says Buehler is close to his normal self, but his ERA surely doesn’t reflect it yet.

Kershaw passed Don Drysdale in career strikeouts as a Dodger yesterday:

Today in Dodgers’ history, two very different events, one a calamitous bullpen meltdown I witnessed on Friday Night baseball and one hilarious overreaction on the part of a baseball team’s supposedly-professional management:

  • 1975 The Reuschel brothers of the Cubs join forces to blank the Dodgers, 6-0. Rick goes 6.1 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.

Lineup:

Aug 15

Game 22, 2020

Dodgers at Angels, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-W, SPNLA

The visiting Dodgers send RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 4.40 ERA) to the mound tonight in Anaheim. He’ll face the Angels’ LHP Andrew Heaney (1-1, 4.26 ERA). Buehler’s “Summer Camp” was too short and he’s working his way into shape. In his last start he got into the sixth inning, an improvement over his first two games. He gave up two runs on just one hit while walking four and striking out six.

You may remember Heaney as the guy who was a Dodger for five hours before being traded to the Angels for Howie Kendrick. That was six years ago, and if that seems impossible to you you’re not alone. He missed half of the 2016 season and most of 2017 as well after undergoing Tommy John surgery in July of 2016. He was the Angels’ Opening Day starter this season, going 4 2/3 innings, giving up one run on two hits while striking out six and walking none.

MLB’s Mark Feinsand has selected one guy each team could trade at the trade deadline, which is August 31 in this topsy-turvy year. He asks, “If Joc Pederson was tradeable in the off-season, why would he not still be tradeable this month? He would be.”

Here are Cody’s two homers from last night’s game:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1914 Brooklyn’s Jake Daubert sets a National League record with four sacrifices in one game. The first baseman’s efforts aren’t enough when the Dodgers drop an 8-7 decision to Philadelphia at Ebbets Field.
  • 1926 When Babe Herman doubles with the bases loaded, three Dodgers wind up on third base. The runner on second rounds third but decides to go back as the runner from first reaches the same base, and a few seconds later Herman slides in to join his two teammates.
  • 1951 With one out in the top of the eighth inning and a runner on third base in a 1-1 tied game, Willie Mays, running at full speed, makes an incredible catch of Carl Furillo’s drive to deep centerfield. After grabbing the ball, the rookie outfielder turns counterclockwise and throws a perfect strike to home to nail a surprised Billy Cox at home to complete the double play. Some believe the catch, in the Giants’ eventual 3-1 Polo Grounds victory over the Dodgers, is the impetus for the beginning of the team’s incredible comeback from an 11.5 game deficit to win the National League pennant.
  • 2006 The Dodgers, with their 4-0 blanking of the Marlins, win their sixth consecutive game and 17th in the last 18 contests. The stretch is the team’s best run since the Brooklyn Superbas went 20-1 in 1899.

Lineup when available.

Aug 09

Game 16, 2020

Giants at Dodgers, 1:10 PM PDT, TV: MLBN (out-of-market only), NBCS-BA, SPNLA

RHP Kevin Gausman (0-1, 5.27 ERA) goes for the visitors and RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 5.19 ERA) takes the hill for the Dodgers. Gausman gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings in his last start. Buehler hasn’t yet hit his stride this year, and one symptom is the four HRs he’s given up in his 8 2/3 innings of work; last year he averaged 1 HR every nine innings.

Mookie Betts, water boy? Yep. When he went to high school in Nashville his mother wouldn’t allow him to play football, so he volunteered to be an assistant to the coaches, helping out with water, equipment, etc.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1975 At Shea Stadium, Davey Lopes steals his 32nd consecutive base without being caught, breaking Max Carey’s 1922 record in the Dodgers’ 2-0 victory over New York. The Dodger second baseman’s mark will be broken by Vince Coleman in 1989.
  • 1976 John Candelaria becomes the first Pirate since 1907 to throw a no-hitter in Pittsburgh. Nick Maddox threw the first and only Buc home no-hitter until the ‘Candyman’ beat the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium. (There was never a no-hitter pitched in the 61-year history of spacious Forbes Field.)
  • 2001 Mike Hampton ties the National League record for pitchers with his seventh homer when he goes deep off Felix Heredia in the Rockies’ 14-5 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Colorado southpaw equals the mark established by Dodger hurlers Don Drysdale (1958, 1965) and Don Newcombe (1955), and two shy of the major league standard set by Wes Ferrell, playing for the Indians in 1931.
  • 2013 The Dodgers rally for four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, overcoming a six-run, seventh-inning deficit, for their fifth walk-off victory of the season. The team’s 7-6 victory over Tampa Bay is their 11th consecutive win in a one-run games, a span in which they have defeated ten different clubs.

Also on this date, in 2013 Dan Haren becomes the thirteenth pitcher in history to record a victory over all 30 major league franchises when he hurls seven solid innings in the Nationals’ 9-2 win over Philadelphia. The 32 year-old right-hander joins Al Leiter, Randy Johnson, Barry Zito, A.J. Burnett, Kevin Brown, Terry Mulholland, Curt Schilling, Woody Williams, Jamie Moyer, Javier Vazquez, Vicente Padilla, and Derek Lowe in accomplishing the feat.

Lineup:

Jul 28

Game 5, 2020

Dodgers at Astros, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet-SW, FS1, SPNLA

The Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler makes his first start of the season. Also making his first start of the year is the Astros’ LHP Framber Valdez, who’s in his second full season in the big leagues.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Astros’ sign-stealing methods of 2017 were revealed in the off-season.

A number of Astros players and coaches apologized when spring camps opened in February, but many, including Dodgers center fielder and reigning National League MVP Award winner Cody Bellinger, were critical of the team’s response.

[snip]

Many of the core players [from the 2017 World Series] on both sides remain the same, including Bellinger, Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen for the Dodgers, and José Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer and Alex Bregman for the Astros.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1991 Expos right-hander Dennis Martinez pitches a perfect game, defeating Los Angeles 2-0 at Dodger Stadium. Ron Hassey becomes the first backstop to ever catch two perfect games, as he also was behind the plate on May 15, 1981 when Indian hurler Len Barker faced 27 batters, beating the Blue Jays, 3-0.
  • 2017 Alex Wood won his twelfth game against just one loss, going seven innings while giving up eight hits and four runs to the Giants. The Dodgers came from behind with four runs in the seventh and won 6-4.

Lineup when available.

Jul 18

Opening day roster speculation

Who’s gonna be on it?

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.

Subject to change at any moment, of course.

Mar 10

Kershaw named Opening Day starter

For the ninth time in ten years. He started last season on the injured list. Buehler will start Game Two and Price Game Three of the first series against the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

That assumes that MLB starts its season on time, of course. The coronavirus is moving quite quickly around the country; some events (SXSW!) have been canceled altogether, others (Coachella) have been postponed. Some events have turned away spectators, playing games in empty arenas.

In an abundance of caution all of the major sports leagues (MLB, NHL, MLS and NBA) have closed their locker rooms to the press. One wonders how quickly they’ll rescind that order once the virus is controlled (assuming it is).

In other Dodgers’ news, Corey Seager says he’s feeling better than he has since his Rookie of the Year season of 2016.