Apr 19

Game 22, 2024

Mets at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SNY, SPNLA

LHP Sean Manaea (1-1, 4.30 ERA) pitches for the Mets and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (1-1, 4.50 ERA) does so for the Dodgers.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1890 The Brooklyn Bridegrooms, who will later be known as the Dodgers, play their first National League game. The former American Association team loses to the Beaneaters, who will become known as the Braves in 1912, at Boston’s South End Grounds, 15-9.
  • 1938 During the first inning, both Dodgers’ Ernie Koy and Phillies’ Emmett Mueller homer in their first major league at-bats. The pair of rookies will collectively hit a total 42 home runs during their nine seasons in the major leagues.
  • 1956 In the first major league game ever played in New Jersey, the Dodgers begin their Jersey City home game experiment with a 10-inning 5-4 victory over the Phillies at Roosevelt Stadium. A sparse crowd of 12,214, limited by inclement weather, sees Brooklyn backstop Roy Campanella tie the score in the tenth inning with his 1000th career hit, a double down the left field line.
  • 1968 Nolan Ryan makes quick work of the Dodgers when he strikes out the side on nine pitches in the top of the third inning of the Mets’ 3-2 loss at Shea Stadium. The 21 year-old New York fireballer, who will also accomplish the feat with the Angels in 1972, strikes out 11 batters in 7.1 frames, including Claude Osteen, Wes Parker, and Zoilo Versalles, the victims of his immaculate inning.
  • 2000 Veteran hurler Orel Hershiser ties a major league mark, equaled by 19 others, hitting four batters in one game. Astro Richard Hidalgo also ties a modern major league record by getting hit three times in a game, twice by Hershiser and a third time by Dodger reliever Matt Herges.
  • 2002 Mariners’ third baseman Jeff Cirillo ties the major league record for consecutive errorless games at the hot corner by playing his 99th contest without a miscue. John Wehner, a journeyman infielder with the Dodgers, Pirates, and Marlins, established the mark during a span of eight-plus seasons.

Lineups when available.

Apr 12

Game 16, 2024

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: MLBN (out-of-market only), San Diego Padres, SPNLA

RHP Michael King (2-0, 3.14 ERA) pitches for the Padres and RHP Yoshinobu Yamamoto (1-1, 4.19 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1906 At Brooklyn’s Washington Park, Boston Beaneater rookie Johnny Bates becomes the first modern player to homer in his first major league at-bat. The 23 year-old outfielder connects off Harry McIntire in the top of the second inning in the team’s 2-0 Opening Day victory over the Superbas.
  • 1962 Pete Richert, making his major league debut, comes out of the bullpen and strikes out the first six batter he faces, a major league record. The rookie southpaw fans four in the third inning in LA’s 11-7 comeback victory over the Reds at Dodger Stadium.
  • 1976 The game against the Padres is rained out at Dodger Stadium for only the second time in the 14-year history of the ballpark. The washout ends a streak started in April 1967, covering a span of 724 straight contests, with subsequent postponements coming much sooner when inclement weather cancels two consecutive home dates in September.

Lineups when available.

Apr 07

Game 12, 2024

Dodgers at Cubs, 11:20 AM PDT, TV: Marquee Sports Network, SPNLA

RHP Gavin Stone (0-0, 5.40 ERA) takes the hill for the Dodgers; he’ll face LHP Shota Imanaga (1-0, 0.00 ERA). Here’s what MLB.com’s Thomas Harrigan had to say about Imanaga’s first start in the big leagues:

Although it came on a chilly day at Wrigley Field against a Rockies lineup that isn’t exactly a juggernaut, Shota Imanaga’s debut was still mighty impressive. The left-hander, who signed a four-year, $53 million deal with the Cubs in the offseason after a stellar career in his native Japan, carried a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings and finished with nine K’s and no walks over six scoreless frames. Including Spring Training, Imanaga has struck out 34 of the 81 batters he has faced (42%) in a Cubs uniform, which is a great indication that he has the stuff to excel at the Major League level.

Imanaga leaned heavily on his four-seamer during his dominant debut, throwing it 60.9% of the time and holding Colorado hitters hitless with four strikeouts in 13 at-bats ending on the pitch. The southpaw’s splitter, though, was the true star of the show.

Imanaga consistently threw his splitter down and out of the strike zone, but Rox batters had trouble laying off of it. Of the 15 swings they took against Imanaga’s splitter on the day, 12 came up empty, good for an 80% whiff rate. That included the final pitch in a 13-pitch battle with Ryan McMahon. Given how similar Imanaga’s four-seamer and splitter look coming out of his hand, the two pitches could prove to be a devastating combo all year long.

The Dodgers’ Japanese pitcher got some high praise from his own team and the opponents after his outing today too.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1969 After throwing just two pitches to start the season, Don Drysdale finds himself and his team trailing by two runs when Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan hit back-to-back homers. The 32 year-old right-hander settles down, and the Dodgers come back to win the Crosley Field contest, 3-2.
  • 1969 Bill Singer becomes the first major league reliever to officially record a save, a new stat which will be kept starting this season, in the Dodgers’ 3-2 win over Cincinnati in the season-opener at Crosley Field. The ‘Singer Throwing Machine’ does not allow a hit, hurling three scoreless innings en route to saving Don Drysdale’s victory.
  • 1977 Gary Thomasson starts the game by walloping the first pitch in the Dodgers’ opener for a home run off Don Sutton, who had apparently thrown a gopher ball. Unbeknownst to the Giants’ leadoff hitter, the ball was to be taken for a pitch and handed to the home plate umpire to be sent to Cooperstown.
  • 1977 Frank Sinatra keeps his promise to Tommy Lasorda by singing the Star-Spangled Banner on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium. ‘Old Blue Eyes’ had told the team’s new skipper he would perform the National Anthem if his friend ever became the L.A. manager.

  • 2012 Octavio Dotel, playing for his 13th team, breaks a major league record he previously shared with Mike Morgan, Matt Stairs, and Ron Villone. The 39 year-old Tiger reliever, who throws 1.1 scoreless innings against Boston, has also appeared with the Mets, Astros, A’s, Yankees, Royals, Braves, White Sox, Pirates, Dodgers, Rockies, Blue Jays, and Cardinals.

Lineups when available.

Apr 06

Game 11, 2024

Dodgers at Cubs, 1:05 PM PDT, TV: FS1, Marquee Sports Network, SPNLA

RHP Yoshinobo Yamamoto (0-1, 7.50 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and LHP Jordan Wicks (0-0, 4.50 ERA) goes for the Baby Bruins.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2001 In the home opener at Veterans Stadium, Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning’s number 14 jersey is retired. Kentucky’s Republican U.S. senator, who compiled a 224-184 record in his 17-year career pitching for the Tigers, Phillies, Pirates, and Dodgers, joins Richie Ashburn (1), Robin Roberts (36), Steve Carlton (32), and Mike Schmidt (20) as the fifth player to have his number retired by the Phillies.
  • 2004 Adrian Beltre becomes the 36th player in baseball history to hit 100 home runs before the age of 25. The Dodger third baseman joins Cal Ripken Jr. and Lou Gehrig to have exactly 100 homers on their 25th birthday.
  • 2016 The Padres, with their 7-0 loss at Petco Park, become the first team to be shut out in the first three games of the regular season, surpassing the dubious mark set by the Browns, who opened the 1943 campaign with 26 straight scoreless innings. San Diego also dropped their first two decisions of the three-game series against the Dodgers, 15-0 and 3-0.

Lineups when available.

Mar 30

Game 5, 2024

Cardinals at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: Bally Sports Midwest, SPNLA

RHP Lance Lynn (0-0, 0.00 ERA) pitches for the Redbirds and RHP Yoshinobo Yamamoto (0-1, 45.00 ERA) makes his home debut for the Dodgers. Yamamoto lasted just one inning against the Padres in Seoul last week, giving up five runs on four hits.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1966 Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale’s refusal to report to spring training ends when the hurlers agree to the Dodgers’ offer of $235,000, signing for $130,000 and $105,000, respectively. The LA starters’ joint holdout lasts for 32 days, paving the way for other players to be more aggressive when negotiating with owners.
  • 2012 Jamie Moyer becomes the oldest starting pitcher to make an Opening Day roster when the Rockies announce that the 49 year-old southpaw will face Houston in the second game of the season. Knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm was the same age as the Colorado left-hander when he opened the season with L.A. in 1972, but ‘Old Sarge’ appeared strictly in relief for the Dodgers.

Lineups when available.

Mar 24

Freeway Series, Game One, 2024

Angels at Dodgers, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: Bally Sports West, SPNLA

RHP Griffin Canning (Spring Training 0-1, 2.25 ERA) goes for the Angels and RHP Bobby Miller (Spring Training 0-1, 4.32 ERA) goes for the Dodgers.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1947 During a four-hour hearing with Commissioner Chandler at the Sarasota Terrace Hotel, Dodger manager Leo Durocher admits to playing occasional card games for money with Kirby Higbe. Before Opening Day, Chandler will suspend the Brooklyn skipper for the 1947 season for “association with known gamblers.”
  • 1959 A photo of Pete Whisenant taken before an exhibition game played against the Dodgers in Havana, Cuba, shows the Reds outfielder toting a machine gun. The weapon shown in the posed picture belongs to a rebel from Fidel Castro’s revolutionary army.
  • 1982 When Fernando Valenzuela ends his three-week holdout, the Dodgers automatically renew the southpaw’s contract for a reported $350,000. The National League Cy Young Award and Rookie of the Year Award recipient, after earning just $42,500 in his freshman season, still refuses to sign the deal that makes him the highest-paid second-year player in baseball history, having asked for a raise to $850,000.
  • 2006 At Mickey Mantle’s Manhattan restaurant, the U.S. Postal Service unveils the Baseball Sluggers postage stamps, to be issued before the game against the White Sox at Yankee Stadium on July 15. The four featured Hall of Famers all have roots in New York, with Mickey Mantle (Yankees), Mel Ott (Giants), and Roy Campanella (Dodgers) playing their entire careers in the Big Apple, and the fourth, Hank Greenberg, setting schoolboy records at James Monroe High School in the Bronx.

Lineups:

Mar 20

Game 2, 2024

I didn’t think to put up the Game 1 thread, probably because the game started at midnight my time. Sorry!

Padres at Dodgers, 3:05 AM PDT, TV: ESPN (out-of-market only), San Diego Padres, SPNLA

It surprises me that MLB is enforcing its blackout rules even for a game being played in Asia, where the walkup crowd in the US is non-existent.

RHP Joe Musgrove pitches for the Padres and RHP Yoshinobu Yamamoto makes his MLB debut for the Dodgers.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1934 Babe Didrikson, a renowned female athlete, gives up no hits and walks only one Dodger when she pitches the first inning of the Philadelphia A’s spring training game at McCurdy Field in Frederick, Maryland. The LPGA founder and Olympic track and field Gold Medalist will also participate in exhibition contests with the Indians and Cardinals.
  • 1979 In Puerto Rico, Willie Mays, in the second game of an annual exhibition series to benefit a youth sports program started by the late Roberto Clemente, pilots a mini-squad of the Mets to an 8-3 win over the Pirates. Last night, after a 5-3 victory in Game 1, New York manager Joe Torre and many players returned to Florida to play the Dodgers in a Grapefruit League contest.
  • 2002 The Commissioner’s office announces MLB will continue the practice that began after the September 11 attacks of singing ‘God Bless America’ during the seventh-inning stretch in each team’s first homestand. Also, an American flag patch will be worn on the jackets of 28 major league teams this season with distinctive logos for Opening Day, Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July, and Canadian versions designed for the Blue Jays and Expos.

  • 2006 In his first appearance in a Nationals uniform, Alfonso Soriano refuses to play the outfield in an exhibition game against the Dodgers. The All-Star second baseman, slated to start in left field, could be placed on the disqualified list for insubordination, preventing him from getting paid his $10 million salary and accruing service time used to determine a player’s free-agent status.
  • 2008 Behind Brad Penny’s strong pitching, the Dodgers make their Cactus League debut, beating the White Sox in Phoenix, 8-2. On the mound where he made his professional debut, the right-hander’s outing earns him the Opening Day start against the Giants.

Lineups when available.

Mar 13

Spring Training #3, 2024

A week from today the Dodgers open the 2024 season with the Padres in Seoul, South Korea. This will be the third time the Dodgers will open their season in a foreign country: 2014 in Australia and 2018 in Mexico were the others. It’s also the third continent they’ll open on, more than any other team in MLB.

They still have some spring training games to play though, and today’s is against the Mariners at Camelback Ranch. The Dodgers’ Yoshi Yamamoto will be making his third start of the spring; he’s gone five innings, struck out seven, walked three, and had one good outing and one poor one.

The Dodgers are 13-4 so far this spring, which doesn’t mean anything except as a hopeful precursor of what’s to come this season.

Feb 28

Spring Training #2, 2024

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.

[snip]

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.

Jan 24

2024 Hot Stove League #5

The Dodgers added another starting pitcher to their rotation. They have signed LHP James Paxton to a one-year deal for $11 million plus incentive bonuses.

These are the guys they have penciled in as starters: Tyler Glasnow, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Paxton, Bobby Miller, and a bunch of choices including Walker Buehler, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Clayton Kershaw, Gavin Stone, Emmet Sheehan, Ryan Yarbrough and Michael Grove. Buehler will have an innings limit in hopes he’ll be fully capable for the postseason; May and Gonsolin are recovering from injuries and won’t be ready immediately, and Kershaw is both recuperating and still a free agent. Juan Toribo goes over the list in his column at MLB.com.

This would seem to push the Dodgers toward a six-man rotation, at least to start the year. Some of their arms are fragile, and Yamamoto is used to pitching just once a week in Japan.