Clayton wins 20th game

September 21, 2011

While not a masterpiece, Clayton Kershaw pitched another great game topping the Giants 2-1, getting that much closer to a Cy Young award.  Yesterday’s performance brought the Giants eight game winning streak to a halt and made Kershaw the first Dodger to win 20 games since Ramon Martinez accomplished the feat in 1990.  It is much harder to win 20 games now than it was forty or fifty years ago.  In fact, since 1978, only 28 men have won 20, not including this year.  See http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/blog_article/last-20-game-winners-for-all-30-teams/ for the list.

Today’s pitchers have to work with limitations including pitch counts and five man rotations making for fewer chances to reach the elusive 20 win goal.

This Day in Dodgers History

September 21, 1961 – In a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the tenth inning at Candlestick Park, LA’s Pete Mikkelsen quickly retires the first two Giants batters, but then is ordered to intentionally walk Willie McCovey, who is 4-for-4 in the game.  The Dodger reliever proceeds to issue free passes to the next two hitters unintentionally, loading the bases, and then loses the game when shortstop Maury Wills boots pinch-hitter Jim Davenport’s ground ball.

How many times have we heard Vin Scully say that once a pitcher issues an intentional walk, he will struggle to throw strikes?


Thank you sir, may I have another?

September 14, 2011

The Dodgers, who were still flying high less than a week ago, took another paddling yesterday from the still scorching Arizona Diamondbacks.  The boys in blue, blew a 4-2 lead after climbing back from their own 0-2 deficit.  The D’backs climbed back and tied the score with a run in the third and seventh innings.  The Dodgers could not respond and the game went into extra innings.  The normally lights out Javy Guerra melted down and after a single, sacrifice bunt and a swinging strikeout by Justin Upton, Guerra intentionally walked Miguel Montero to put runners on first and second with two outs.

As Vin Scully so often points out, walking a batter intentionally sometimes messes up a pitchers control.  Unfortunately, that was the case with Javy Guerra.  He next walked Paul Goldschmidt, loading the bases and causing a visit from Rick Honeycutt.  Whatever Bunnynutts said had no effect as Guerra then walked Chris Young on four straight with Geraldo Parra scoring the go-ahead run.

In the bottom of the 10th, after Justin Sellers struck out swinging, Matt Kemp was then called out on strikes.  After Rod Barajas, pinch hitting for Javy Guerra, drew a walk and was replaced by pinch runner Eugeni0-for-ever, James Loney grounded meekly out to second baseman Aaron Hill to end the game.

The Dodgers have now had their butts whipped for the last three games.  Hopefully Sergeant Kershaw can put an end to the corporal punishment and stop the spanking.

This Day in Dodgers History

September 14, 2002 – Chin-Feng Chen becomes the first Taiwan-born player to appear in the major leagues as he walks and scores as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers against the Rockies. The 24-year-old first baseman-outfielder played for the 1990 Taiwan team which won the Little League World Series.


Dioner Navarro Fired!

August 24, 2011

I have been too busy the last few days to keep up with the Dodgers.  Instead of hearing about Navarro being DFA’d when it happened, I just found out about it after midnight.  It is bad enough to get canned because you suck, but to be shown the door due to “philosophical differences” including lack of hustle and being unprepared is really embarrassing.

This Day in Dodgers History

August 24, 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 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!'”.


Can Kershaw Match Van Lingle Mungo?

July 26, 2011

Vin Scully put up a graphic during Monday’s game that showed Dodger pitchers who have led the league in strikeouts. He posed the question, “Can Clayton Kershaw maintain his current lead in that department throughout the year?”

Hideo Nomo was the last Dodger to be the N.L. strikeout champ, fanning 236 in 1995. Fernando Valenzuela led with 180 in the strike-shortened 1981 season. Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale dominated the 1960’s (starting in 1959) with the former leading the league four times, while the latter accomplishing that feat three times.
Don Newcombe topped the list in 1951. Dazzy Vance led the National League in strikeouts every year in an amazing string from 1922 to 1928!

The only other Dodger to make the list was the pitcher with the best name of them all – Van Lingle Mungo, who prevailed in 1936. No other Dodger ever inspired the title and chorus for a cool jazz song. And Mungo was doing a high leg kick in his delivery before Juan Marichal was even born.

 

This Day in Baseball History

On July 26, 1948, Babe Ruth makes his final public appearance. Ruth visits the film premiere of “The Babe Ruth Story.” Ruth will succumb to throat cancer only three weeks later.


Kershaw takes on Jhoulys Chacin of the Rockies at 7:10 tonight.