Saturday, May 31, 2014

Post-Game 57 Thread: Dodgers Enjoy Rare Laugher


Hanley was the straw that stirred the Dodgers' drink today, going 4 for 4 with five RBI. He hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning and a solo homer in the sixth.

Ryu was good but not great, allowing two earned runs and scattering 10 hits over six innings. He only had one 1-2-3 inning, but the 10-run cushion the Dodgers had created by the fourth inning helped.

Kemp (finally!), Turner and Butera had two RBI each, and AGon chipped in with one. Ethier and Puig had two runs apiece. Dodgers go for the banana split tomorrow.

Game 57 Thread: May 31 vs. Pirates, 4p

Marge: Homer, if the baby's a boy, what do you think about the name Larry?

Homer: Marge, we can't do that. All the kids will call him Larry Fairy.

Marge: How about Louie?

Homer: They'll call him Screwy Louie.

Marge: Bob?

Homer: Slob.

Marge: Luke?

Homer: Puke.

Marge: Marcus?

Homer: Mucus.

Marge: What about Bart?

Homer: Hmmm, let's see. Bart, Cart, Dart, E-art....Nope, can't see any problem with that.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-2, 3.10) vs. Brandon Cumpton (0-1, 3.38).

The thoroughly mediocre Dodgers are 14-15 in the month of May. If they're to break even this month, Ryu has to beat the pitcher with the last name that's impossible to mock. Impossible! Let us know if you think of anything.

No, This Isn't Brandon League's Pitch Chart

After a recent woeful ceremonial first pitch from 50 Cent, the Washington Post recently did an analysis of notable first pitches and compiled it into a chart.

Careful analysis shows that we need to sign Snoop and two former presidents.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Post-Game 56 Thread: Everybody Lose Now


Well, that was fucking depressing. The Kings led 3-2 with 12 minutes left in the third period, then promptly gave up two goals to send the series to a Game 7 in Chicago. Beckett returned to earth in his post-no-no start, giving up two earned runs in five innings. A two-run deficit would normally be surmountable, but this is the Dodgers we're talking about. Let's hear it for L.A. sports!

Game 56 Thread: May 30 vs. Pirates, 7p

Alanna, nooooooo!!!

Josh Beckett (3-1, 2.43) vs. Francisco Liriano (0-5, 5.83)

In one of the weirdest trivia tidbits ever, tonight's starting catcher, Droopy Terra, caught both Beckett's and Liriano's no-hitters. (Wait, that guy who's 0-5 with a 5.83 ERA threw a no-hitter? Butera is magic.)

Will Beckett be able to pull a Johnny Vander Meer and throw two straight no-nos, or would that tear a hole in the fabric of the universe? As cool as that would be, I think most of us would be happy with just getting a victory.


Let this also serve as a GT for Kings/Blackhawks Game 6. Puck drops at 6pm.

Photo by Jon SooHoo, via @Dodgers.

Hey! Dodgers Are In First Place!

When it comes to charging people to do a marriage proposal in-game.

Accordingly to Swimmingly.

Post-Game 55 Thread: League Turns Back Into Pumpkin

Former Dodger, former Bruin team up to beat formerly good team.


The Dodgers have won four of their past five series (Marlins, Mets, Phils, Reds), but mediocrity returned to Dodger Stadium tonight. Dan Haren pitched a so-so game, allowing three earned runs (two off solo home runs, including one to Russell Martin) over six innings.

Puig, Dee and Hanley each had RBIs to tie it 3-3 going into the seventh, but that's when the newly respectable League came in. With the help of a Hanley error, League allowed two runs and left two on for Maholm, who allowed one more, and that's all she wrote.

On the plus side, Dee stole two more bases. On the down side, Kemp went 0 for 4. Dodgers fall to an utterly mediocre 29-26.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Game 55 Thread: May 29 vs. Pirates, 7p

Hey look, it's our disabled list!

Dan Haren (5-3, 3.16) vs. Gerrit Cole (4-3, 3.76).

The Dodgers, who had been "surging" until Clayton Kershaw's loss yesterday, invite the Pirates to Chavez Ravine for four games. Dan Haren will be greeting Pittsburgh with a ERA almost a full point less than his overall ERA (2.39 in four starts).

The Pirates start Gerrit Cole, who has helped the Bucs win four of his last five starts (Cole went 2-1 with two NDs). The SoCal native and UCLA Bruin has only faced the Dodgers once in his two MLB seasons, beating us 6-3 in June of last year by going a modest 5.2 IP, yielding three runs, and getting the win. Last year, however, the Pirates streaked; they're now sitting in fourth place in the NL Central; and even though the Dodgers have struggled this season, Los Angeles still ranks third in the NL in batting average (.258), OBP (.326), and slugging percentage (.416).

Tonight is Fan T-shirt Stadium Giveaway Night, so there should be a good crowd on board to cheer on the team (not like we can watch the game at home, can we?). As for whether Gerrit will serve as judge and jury? It might not be a picnic out there for the Dodgers tonight, but on the other hand I don't expect to see Cole's Law.

Wow, that pun was not worth the effort.

Jerry Reuss Autograph Event

I had a day off and woke up to news that Jerry Reuss was signing autographs at a US Bank in Panorama City sponsored by ESPN LA.  I arrived about 11 o'clock and Mr. Reuss started to sign about 12 noon. He was so very gracious and when I had mentioned that I had reviewed his book Bring in the Right-Hander, he really lit up.  I also forgot to mention that he emailed us to thank us for reviewing the book.

Many thanks for the kind words regarding my book, Bring In the Right-Hander! 

When I first related the story to Vin a few years ago, he fondly recalled those days of some 40 years ago. Then he proceeded to tell me the story of how transistor radios played a large part in Dodger history.

Hope you enjoyed the rest of my story and look forward to saying hello in person.

Jerry Reuss

What a classy guy.  I think this was the first time a Dodger has emailed us (that is emailed to thank us instead of asking where to serve that restraining order).  They even had pizza and soda afterwards.  Thanks to US Bank, ESPN LA, and Mr. Reuss for putting on this great event.

Line o' People

Not That Long of a Wait

To The Sons!

Topps Breaks Out A Cool 1988 Dodgers Memorabilia Set

Every once in a blue moon, there's a banner ad that is worth a click-through. Check out this memorabilia collection from Topps, with a sweet Gibby t-shirt, along with buttons, patches, and a retro pennant:

Orel, Sax, and Stubbs all got patches. No sign of DeShields.

Post-Game 54 Thread: Red Bailey Boots [Dodgers]: Ugg

These items really exist! Ugg, indeed!


Clayton Kershaw has always been a stopper for the Dodgers, but rarely is he the stopper of a Dodgers winning streak led by great starting pitching. But Kershaw was just on the wrong side of a one-run decision tonight, giving up 3 ER over 7.0 IP despite striking out nine. A two-run HR by Brandon Phillips in the first was enough to give Cincinnati an early lead, and though the Dodgers battled back to get two runs (one on a Yasiel Puig solo HR), we wasted enough scoring opportunities (0-for-7 with RISP) to give the game, and the series sweep, away.

The Pirates come into town tomorrow for a four-game set. Let's not get stuck underfoot of this game, Dodgers. Show some sole and get back into the W column!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Game 54 Thread: May 28 vs. Reds, 7p

Homer, baley.

Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 3.49) vs. Homer Bailey (4-3, 5.34).

Speaking of no-hitters, in today's series finale, the Dodgers go for the sweep against a starter who has pitched a no-hitter in each of the last two years. To be fair, Bailey's second no-no was against the woeful Giants. But it still doubles Beckett's number of no-hitters; and our staff ace, Clayton Kershaw, doesn't even have a single no-hitter (nor is Kershaw that close to getting one, opined Jon Weisman).

However, can Bailey channel Jackson Pollock? (And yes, those marks are created by Kershaw throwing foam balls, dipped in paint, against the canvas on the wall; the finished piece is in the MLB Fan Cave art gallery, until I can pull of my epic heist that is.)

But I digress.

Carl Crawford's injury late in yesterday's game probably means Matt Kemp's startless streak will end at five (though who knows; there's always Scott Van Slyke, I suppose). I just want us to get a win without anyone else getting hurt. I've had enough moaning and Groening as it is.

photo, uncredited, swiped from here

That Beckett Free Pizza Thing Didn't Work Out So Well

From Deadspin, a recap on that Domino's free-pizza-for-a-no-hitter promotion, which (unlike the revitalized Beckett, I might add) had redemption difficulties:

Josh Beckett's no-hitter was a story of redemption—the redemption, by you, of a coupon code in exchange for a medium two-topping pizza from Dominos. Americans love free pizza, but there's a necessary corollary: they hate not having free pizza. was unprepared for the crush at 3 p.m. EDT today, when registered users were first allowed to try and claim their coupon code. The site was slow, and down, and timed out, and did whatever it could to keep you from your hot, savory pizza (carryout only). There were only 20,000 codes available—far too few to sate the gaping maws of baseball fans. By the time most people got through, it was too late: All the codes had been claimed.

What follows, on the link, is a cavalcade of angry tweets aimed at Domino's and MLB.

Did any of you SoSG readers try? And were you, like the Reds, shut out?

Things Looking Up For The Dodgers?

A no-hitter by Josh Beckett, a perfect game through seven innings by Hyun-Jin Ryu, and yet another solid outing by Zack Greinke. It's enough to start getting people thinking that the Dodgers are about to turn a very important corner, as these three wins may point to something big finally happening.

ESPN's David Schoenfield called it right after Beckett's game:

Dodgers announcer Charley Steiner, perhaps caught up in the moment, called it the greatest game Beckett ever pitched. I'm not sure I'd agree with that. Beckett, after all, pitched a five-hit shutout against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium to clinch the 2003 World Series. Earlier, in the NLCS against the Cubs with the Marlins facing elimination, he pitched a two-hit, 11-strikeout shutout.

That was a different Beckett than the one we see now. That was a 23-year-old kid from Texas with the monster fastball and cocky attitude that had made him the second overall pick in the 1999 draft. Now he's crafty 34-year-old, working in the low 90s, mixing in more cutters and changeups then he did as a fireballing youngster. Back with the Marlins and during his early years with the Red Sox, Beckett would throw his fastball more than 60 percent of the time. That percentage has slowly declined, dropping to less than 40 percent his year. He doesn't blow you away any longer.

Actually, it makes you wonder: What if Beckett had learned to "pitch" earlier in his career? The promise of that 2003 postseason perhaps created unrealistic expectations for his career. He's been inconsistent -- posting a 5.01 ERA his first year with the Red Sox but winning 20 games and finishing second in the Cy Young voting his second season in Boston. That was 2007, when he further cemented himself as a big-game pitcher when he tossed his third career postseason shutout, won both his starts in the ALCS and then his lone start in the World Series as the Red Sox swept the Rockies. He wasn't as effective in the 2008 and 2009 postseason, and then had the chicken-and-beer issues with the Red Sox in 2011 and Boston happily shipped him out of town in that 2012 blockbuster trade with the Dodgers.

Will he get another chance in the postseason? The Dodgers are difficult team to peg right now. They're 27-24, below expectations, even though they've had strong performances from Beckett, Zack Greinke (7-1, 2.01 ERA), Yasiel Puig (hitting .349/.438/.623), Adrian Gonzalez (.277, 12 home runs) and Dee Gordon (.293, 30 stolen bases). The rotation, despite great work from Beckett and Greinke, has been mediocre overall as Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu have both missed time. The bullpen has struggled with a 4.15 ERA.

This could be the time the Dodgers make a nice run, however. The rotation is now intact. Puig is on fire. Sixteen of their next 23 games are at home (although the Dodgers are just 9-13 at home). Beckett's strong start is just another reason to still think the Dodgers are as good as everyone predicted back in March.

Mark Saxon jumped on the bandwagon, right after Ryu's outing:

What that really tells us is that the Dodgers have a very good starting rotation that is trending toward special. After all, this was 17 hitless innings from the Nos. 3 and 4 starters. The next two guys to pitch are both Cy Young winners -- Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw.

If ever the Dodgers had a chance to get on a roll, it’s now, behind a rotation humming and purring its way through the schedule. And if ever they needed to fix their defensive shortcomings to appease those pitchers and go all-in on stopping the other team from scoring, it was now.

So, if it’s uncomfortable to see one of the team’s most talented players -- Matt Kemp -- stuck to the bench and, according to scouting reports, one of the organization’s weakest hitters -- Erisbel Arruebarrena -- playing every day, keep the prime directive in mind. The Dodgers are about pitching and defense ... always were, really.

They just lost some of their identity while they were jousting with the Washington Nationals for most errors in the league.

So, that’s why Andre Ethier and his two home runs are playing center field every day. That’s why Arruebarrena was tapped as Hanley Ramirez’s replacement. That’s why the Dodgers won’t think about moving Yasiel Puig out of right field, where they think he’s the best defender at his position in the league.

The organization has been in frantic, fix-the-fielding mode for a while now.

“It wasn’t about trying. We were trying, but it was just costing us too much,” Mattingly said. “I know it’s not sexy to play good defense and nobody talks about it too much. But when you watch games, it can cost your pitchers an extra 25 pitches and force you to use your bullpen in different ways.

“It tells you you’ve got to catch the baseball. This pitching is that good that we’ve got to be able to catch the ball for them.”

But look, there are still signs of worry. The Dodgers might have had three error-less games right there, but the Monday game saw the Dodgers' 4-0 lead evaporate into a scary one-run victory, and even yesterday's 6-1 lead got a lot closer before the Dodgers prevailed 6-3. We're not out of the woods just yet, guys.

Good luck tonight, Clayton!

Beckett's No-Hitter Keeps On Giving

20,000 free pizzas to America isn't enough! Now Josh Beckett is giving out ticket discounts to his next start at Dodger Stadium on Friday vs. the Pirates:

In celebration of Josh Beckett delivering the 11th no-hitter in Los Angeles Dodgers history, the Dodgers are offering a limited number of $11 Infield Reserve, Preferred Reserve and Left Field Pavilion tickets to Josh Beckett’s next start Friday against Pittsburgh.

But wait, it's the 21st no-hitter in Dodgers history; shouldn't the discount be $21? And why aren't Jerry Reuss and Bill Singer and Sandy Koufax also listed on the Dodgers' graphic? Hmmm...

Footage Of SoSG Dusty At Last Night's Game?

You be the judge.

Beckett Earns POW Award

If you look to the right of Beckett, you can see A.J. Ellis' last moment of joy.

Along with Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals, Josh Beckett's no-hitter has earned him a Player of the Week Award:

Beckett, 34 years old, became the oldest pitcher to throw a no-hitter since 40-year-old Randy Johnson threw a perfect game against the Braves in 2004. The right-hander also joined an honor roll of six other players -- Johnson, Dave Stewart, Don Larsen, Lew Burdette and Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax -- who have won the World Series Most Valuable Player and thrown a no-hitter in their careers.

Beckett also won his other start last week, finishing the week with a 2-0 record and a 2.57 ERA. He previously won the American League Player of the Week Award in July 2009 when he was with Boston.

Beckett's achievement comes one week after Yasiel Puig's POW award. (As of this post's writing, the site hadn't been updated for Puig's week [update: it now has been updated to show both Puig and Beckett], but the never-inaccurate* Wikipedia entry has the details.) It definitely seems like the Dodgers might be starting to get some momentum (finally), right?

Congrats, Josh!

(*) Except when it's not accurate. Photo: Eric Hartline / USA TODAY Sports

Life Is Not So Good: Crawford To DL

It was clear from the video that Carl Crawford's ankle sprain in last night's game was not of the mild type. And Crawford is not only headed to the 15-day DL, he was also on a wheelchair post-game:

LOS ANGELES -- Carl Crawford is headed to the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left ankle.

The Dodgers left fielder was injured in the eighth inning of Tuesday night's 6-3 win over the Reds at Dodger Stadium, rolling the ankle as he chased down a leadoff double in the corner by Chris Heisey.

"It doesn't look good," manager Don Mattingly said after the game. "The video didn't look good."

Crawford, limping badly, was replaced in left field by Scott Van Slyke and had to be helped from the field. He was taken into the clubhouse for X-rays, which were negative.

Crawford went from the trainer's room to his locker in a wheelchair after the game, but then opted to hop into the shower room.

Brutal, but this is why you carry twenty-three outfielders on the roster, right Ned? Get well soon, Crawdaddy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Post-Game 53 Thread: Life Is Good


It was the Zack & Andre show at Chavez Ravine tonight. Greinke went 7 2/3 innings and was holding the Reds to one run until Devin Mesoraco's two-run home run in the eighth inning knocked him out of the game. Ethier hit a solo homer in the second and a Rancho Ardiendo-clearing triple in the fourth for his four RBIs.

Hanley (finally back in the lineup) and Figgy chipped in with an RBI apiece. Howell got the hold and Kenley the 1-2-3 save. Amazing what the bullpen can do with a little rest.

This being a Dodgers victory, there had to be a downside. And that was Crawdaddy injuring his ankle chasing down a double in the eighth. X-rays were negative (they need to cheer up!) but Donnie said "It didn't look good." So expect the Dodgers to put Kemp on the DL instead.

Ryu: Almost Perfect Yesterday, Head In The Clouds Today

From SoSG's AC, at the game tonight--here's a picture with Ryu (sort of):

And another perspective, sans Ryu bobblehead, from AC's vantage point:

It's 1-0 Dodgers, Bottom 4.

Game 53 Thread: May 27 vs. Reds, 7p

Zack Greinke (7-1, 2.01) vs. Alfredo Simon (6-2, 2.31).

If I can remember exactly how this sequence goes, we've got red Simon up against blue Greinke and a Dodgers team that is pretty green against Simon (Simon has never started a game against the Dodgers, and is lifetime 2.1 IP having given up 2 H and 1 ER).

Meanwhile, Greinke's talk is all about the consecutive streak he has put together, stretching 22 consecutive starts with two or fewer earned runs allowed (topping Roger Clemens' 1990-1991 run). If you rewind to Greinke's last start, he allowed three runs but only one earned in the Dodgers' 5-3 loss to the Mets. I think it will be no surprise to see Greinke bounce back this outing, especially given his trickster portfolio of pitches. Let's build off of Josh Beckett's outing two days ago, and Hyun-Jin Ryu's first seven innings yesterday, Zack! Repeat after me!

Oh, and of course, there's this tonight:

A.J. Ellis, Unlikely DL Visitor

Josh Beckett may have gotten tips from A.J. Ellis preceding his no-hitter Sunday. But it was still Drew Butera who caught Beckett's masterpiece. And now, fate is hitting Ellis once again, as Ellis heads to the DL:

These major accomplishments can prove costly.

Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis sprained his right ankle in the on-field celebration after Josh Beckett’s no-hitter Sunday in Philadelphia, stepping on, of all things, catcher Drew Butera’s mask.

The Dodgers put Ellis on the 15-day disabled list before Monday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds and called up Tim Federowicz from triple-A Albuquerque.

As per ESPN, at least x-rays were negative:

Ellis, batting .170 in 15 games, had had returned from the DL less than two weeks earlier after missing five weeks following left knee surgery. X-rays to Ellis' knee were negative, but he told Dodgers trainer Stan Conte Monday morning he was too sore to play.

And, as Deadspin linked in its article, it could be worse.

Get well soon, A.J.!

Kemp Connects Four

Running with a games theme today on SoSG. But there's nothing playful about Matt Kemp and his response to being out of the starting lineup for four straight games:

Manager Don Mattingly, since first coming out and acknowledging Kemp’s defensive play in center field was no longer acceptable, sat Kemp for the fourth consecutive game Monday.

He became the first of the Dodgers' Big Four outfielders -- Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford and Kemp -- to sit four consecutive games this season. And this one came against Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto, against whom he is six for 12 with two home runs.

Mattingly has said he wants Kemp to start practicing in left field and he said Monday that Ethier was now his main center fielder.

“I’m just here to play baseball, man,” Kemp said. “As long as I’m in the lineup, it doesn’t matter.” [...]

Kemp is proud and said he still considers himself a center fielder, so the success in this transition – temporary or not – could well hinge on how he reacts to the change. Mattingly said he expects him to embrace it.

“I hope so,” Mattingly said. “I expect him to.”

Kemp had surgery on his left ankle in the off-season and Mattingly said he doesn’t currently have the same burst he had a couple years ago. Kemp maintains the ankle is fine.

“I’m healthy, man,” Kemp said. “I feel good. Like I said, I just want to play.”

It's tough to know what's going on here, what with the lingering defensive concerns (speed and routes to the ball) that seem to be swirling over Kemp. I credit Kemp for keeping positive and on the company line, however. Let's hope his maturity reflects well on Kemp as a growing individual, who definitely deserves a chance to show his stuff again in center field.

SoSG Mailbag: Bay Area Dodger Hijinks

Got an email from our regular reader Ron Johnstone, whose son had a great viral video of his graduation speech, and then raised money that was contributed toward the Bryan Stow support fund. Well, Ron is up to his old Dodger-loving tricks in enemy territory:

Hi SOSG, I have a quick story that your readers might get a kick out of.

This year, I was in charge of ordering uniforms for my son's youth baseball league in Burlingame, CA (10 miles south of SF). Choosing design, colors, etc. for 54 teams, 600 kids. No major complaints from anyone, but as we approach the end of the season, conspiracy theorists have begun to fixate on the uniform numbering system -- more specifically, why each of the league's 54 teams has a #13, #22, #23, #27, #42, #66, etc.

No idea how that happened.

This morning I awoke to this article on the league's website.

Nicely played.

We'll let you link through to see how the Burlingame Youth Baseball Association addressed Ron's treachery.

Nice work, Ron!

Ethier Hits the Spot

"Remember when he used to hit 'em out?" asks a wistful goodchild27.

Last year SoSG reader goodchild27 attended the Dodgers-Orioles series at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, in which Andre Ethier crushed a home run that reached Eutaw Street, which runs in front of the famous warehouse behind right field.

The Orioles have a tradition in which a home run hit by any player, home or away, in that area is commemorated by a plaque. Above is Ethier's.

Thanks, goodchild, for the photo update! It's hard to believe that was only last year.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Post-Game 52 Thread: Missed It By That Much


This one is hard to write, folks. Fresh off yesterday's Beckett no-hitter, Ryu took this one into the 8th without allowing a base runner. How improbable would it be to have a perfect game the day after a no-hitter, we all wondered. Ryu had retired the first 21 batters and seemed unstoppable. Sadly, he grooved a high changeup to Tommy Frazier, who doubled to left and broke up the magic.

While it lasted, it was indeed magic. The world was watching (except for those of us in greater Los Angeles) and the buzz was growing on social media. But because of a bad cold, Vinny wasn't able to call the game; SoSG Nomo-san speculated that the Baseball Gods had called the whole thing off because Vin was unavailable. But as SoSG readers have allowed over the years, "We'll take it." The legit double was better than a b.s. little nubber past first or a painful error involving a dropped ball between the shortstop and left fielder.

It got scary after that. As so often happens after a pitcher takes it this far, Ryu allowed another hit and then clearly started to fade. Donnie got him out of there. Brian Wilson proceeded to suck-diddly-uck, which threatened quickly to turn what could have been an historic night into a shit sundae. Ultimately, Kenley Jansen came in to get the final four outs and preserve the win.

Props to Ryu, props to a great defense behind him tonight, and as I noted in the GT post, let's use these great pitching outings as a springboard for the rest of the season. Tomorrow night will be a proper time to honor Ryu on his bobblehead night, even if he wasn't quite able to close the deal.

Caption Contest

Have at it.

Winner gets something of some value.

Game 52 Thread: May 26 @ Reds, 5p

Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-2, 3.00) vs. Johnny Cueto (4-3, 1.86)

Today, on Memorial Day, we give thanks to the men and women who gave their lives in defense of our great country. Teams around the league wear gaudy digi-camo caps with the best of intentions. The bunting is hung and flags fly vibrant against the early summer skies in ballparks across America.

Here in Los Angeles, we celebrate the return of a team from a mediocre 5-4 road trip punctuated by a masterful no-hitter by Josh Beckett, the buzz around which is still evident in the sports world and on the lips of LA-area sports fans (though many were locked out of being able to view the first Dodger no-hitter in 18 years thanks to Time Warner Cable and carriers unwilling to make a deal with them).

Will the no-hitter be the spark the Dodgers have been looking for to help them build up a head of steam and string together some wins? Will good starting pitching be contagious and spread to the bullpen? And, what will the makeup of the outfield be by midseason with Kemp taking practice in left and Ethier again the subject of trade rumors?

Lots of unanswered questions, but this somehow feels like the time to start asking and answering them, with almost a third of the season in the books. Let's see how the team responds.

More On "More On Beckett's No-Hitter"

So I was staring at this last post and realized that there was one game, in 1940, in which there was no score of the game listed. Tex Carleton's no-hitter was the only Dodgers no-hitter (provided by which didn't have that accompanying game information.

So I did some sleuthing. James Otto "Tex" Carleton was born in 1906 and died in 1977. His baseball reference page has a nice picture, and the relevant game log page gives the box score of the April 30 no-hitter: Dodgers 3, Reds 0.

Carleton gave up 2 BBs but had 4 Ks, and also went 0-for-2 from the plate, reaching base on a walk.

Credit the footnote on Carleton's player page, along with the wonders of google, which allowed me to find a nice article on the no-hitter in The Eugene Oregon Register Guard newspaper of May 1, 1940:

There you go, Tex.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

More On Beckett's No-Hitter

List of all the Dodgers' no-hitters:

  • Josh Beckett, May 25, 2014. Dodgers 6, Phillies 0.
  • Hideo Nomo, Sept. 17, 1996. Dodgers 9, Rockies 0.
  • Ramon Martinez, July 14, 1995. Dodgers 7, Marlins 0.
  • Kevin Gross, Aug. 17, 1992. Dodgers 2, Giants 0.
  • Fernando Valenzuela, June 29, 1990. Dodgers 6, Cardinals 0.
  • Jerry Reuss, June 27, 1980. Dodgers 8, Giants 0.
  • Bill Singer, July 20, 1970. Dodgers 5, Phillies 0.
  • * Sandy Koufax, Sept. 9, 1965. Dodgers 1, Cubs 0.
  • Sandy Koufax, June 4, 1964. Dodgers 3, Phllies 0.
  • Sandy Koufax, May 11, 1963. Dodgers 8, Giants 0.
  • Sandy Koufax, June 30, 1962. Dodgers 5, Mets 0.
  • Sal Maglie, Sept. 25, 1956. Dodgers 5, Phillies 0.
  • Carl Erskine, May 12, 1956. Dodgers 3, Giants 0.
  • Carl Erskine, June 19, 1952. Dodgers 5, Cubs 0.
  • Rex Barney, Sept. 9, 1948. Dodgers 2, Giants 0.
  • Ed Head, April 23, 1946. Dodgers 5, Braves 0.
  • Tex Carleton, April 30, 1940. Dodgers vs. Reds
  • Dazzy Vance, Sept. 13, 1925. Dodgers 10, Phillies 1.
  • Nap Rucker, Sept. 5, 1908. Superbas 6, Braves 0.
  • Mal Eason, July 20, 1906. Superbas 2, Cardinals 0.
  • Tom Lovett, June 22, 1891. Grooms 4, Giants 0.
(*) Perfect game. Previously known as the Robins, Superbas, Bridegrooms and Grooms.

On the other 23 Dodgers no-hitters:

The Dodgers hadn't enjoyed a no-no since Hideo Nomo accomplished the feat against the Rockies on Sept. 17, 1996. There have been 11 no-hitters since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958.

Nomo did it at hitter-friendly Coors Field, the first no-hitter in the ballpark's history. He also became the first pitcher born in Japan to toss a no-hitter in the Major Leagues. Nomo struck out eight and walked four.

Sandy Koufax threw four no-hitters, one in each season from 1962-65. Three of those games came at Dodger Stadium -- including Koufax's perfect game against the Cubs on Sept. 9, 1965. That's the only perfect game in the history of the Dodgers.

Koufax also no-hit the Mets and Giants at home, and the Phillies on the road. The Hall of Famer is the only Dodgers pitcher with more than two no-hitters.

Bill Singer held the Phillies hitless on July 20, 1970, the club's only no-hitter of the decade.

The Dodgers then went without a no-no for nearly 10 years, until Jerry Reuss ended the drought on June 27, 1980, in San Francisco.

Another decade passed before Fernando Valenzuela no-hit the Cardinals on June 29, 1990. Valenzuela had the second no-hitter in baseball that day. Oakland's Dave Stewart completed his no-hitter in Toronto roughly 30 minutes before Valenzuela took the mound at Dodger Stadium.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia caught Valenzuela's no-hitter, and he was also behind the plate two years later when Kevin Gross no-hit the Giants on Aug. 17, 1992.

Ramon Martinez fired a no-hitter against the Marlins on July 14, 1995, with Mike Piazza catching. Piazza also caught Nomo's no-hitter.

Meanwhile, it was Dodgers backup catcher Drew Butera's second time catching a no-no:

PHILADELPHIA -- It's still something new, even for those who have witnessed, participated in and even caught a Major League no-hitter.

That's where Drew Butera found himself on Sunday afternoon, again a big part of baseball history as he caught the second no-hitter of his career during Josh Beckett's first career no-no. Butera, who caught Francisco Liriano's no-hitter on May 3, 2011, in the Twins' 1-0 win over the White Sox, admitted it's something he'll never get used to.

"I was a nervous wreck from the fourth inning on," said Butera, who worked with Beckett over a 128-pitch afternoon. "He told me he had never gotten a no-hitter into the fourth and I'm like, great, now I'm off my thinking pattern. But he said it every inning. You try not to think too far ahead. One hitter and one pitch at a time. It never gets old."

Beckett Earns America Free Pizza

Doesn't quite have the same ring as "free chalupas!", but I'll take it:

The hot, fresh and tantalizing #DomiNoNo opportunity has been back in play during this Major League season, and it's a reality once again. Domino's had pledged to give away 20,000 pizzas after each of the first two no-hitters to registered users, and that's exactly what will happen on Tuesday after Sunday saw the big leagues' first no-no of 2014.

If 2013 is any indication, it will be quite an event.

Spurred by furious social media activity and fan excitement, last year's first two no-hitters, which took place less than two weeks apart in July, saw the entire allotment of pizzas claimed in under two hours. There have been at least two no-hitters each season in Major League Baseball since 2006.

"Domino's is thrilled to recognize and celebrate one of the great achievements in sports -- the no-hitter -- by continuing this very cool partnership with," said Chris Brandon, Domino's Pizza spokesperson. "This is now bigger and better as we prepare to give away 40,000 pizzas both seasons, and make it easier for all baseball fans to get in on the excitement."

Thanks to Sunday's no-hitter, the first 20,000 accounts to register at can carry out a FREE medium 2-topping Handmade Pan Pizza. The redemption period begins 3 p.m. ET Tuesday.

You've got less than two hours, people. Get working!

(And by the way, Domino's, if there ever was an opportunity to promote your chicken wings rather than pizza--a Josh Beckett no-hitter would be it. Missed opportunity.

Post-Game 51 Thread: Beckett Throws Dodgers' First No-Hitter in 18 Years


This was pretty much the only thing that could make a 5-4 road trip against crappy teams seem like a huge shot in the arm for the Dodgers. Congratulations to Josh Beckett, who threw the Dodgers' first no-hitter since Hideo Nomo's miracle in Colorado on September 17, 1996.

Let's look at what had to happen to make today's achievement possible:

1. A.J. Ellis PowerPointed Beckett. If you haven't read it yet, check out Pedro Moura's excellent piece on how Ellis convinced Beckett to utilize his curveball more.

Of course, a curve isn't very useful without a fastball to contrast it against. Consider that Beckett threw two 93-mph fastballs in the ninth inning (he threw 128 pitches overall) and struck out Chase Utley to end the game on a 94-mph fastball. Ellis? One less rib? Whatever it is, it's working.

2. Runs! The good kind! The Dodger bats gifted Beckett with a relative windfall of six runs, including two RBI by Adrian Gonzalez and a solo home run by Justin Turner. Yasiel Puig went 2 for 5 with a run scored.

But most important may have been the three runs (two unearned) scored by the Dodgers in the seventh inning, giving Beckett the wiggle room he needed to finish the game. With a three-run lead, maybe not so much.

Also lost in the chaos: Whither Matt Kemp? Perhaps left field? I don't know when Kemp went from being a Gold Glover to a defensive liability, and you have to wonder if the problem is physical or mental. Or both.

3. Arruebarrenacuda! Do you trust Hanley Ramirez to play no-hitter-caliber defense? Miguel Olivo eats Alex Guerrero's ear, Hanley goes down, and defensive specialist Erisbel Arruebarrena (who also just happened to have an RBI single today) steps up. Not an insignificant series of coincidences.

We said earlier the Dodgers need a cure. Let's hope Josh Beckett's shot in the arm contains some good medicine!

Game 51 Thread: May 25 @ Phils, 10:30a

Kings of the hill.

Josh Beckett (2-1, 2.89) vs. A.J. Burnett (3-3, 3.32).

It's the Battle of the Guys Who Were Really Good in 2007 & 2008! This morning Beckett helps determine whether this nine-game road trip against three of the worst teams in the NL is a winning or losing one (Dodgers are 4-4 so far).

The Dodgers have fallen into their old frustrating pattern of alternating wins and losses; they haven't won three straight since sweeping the Twins at the beginning of the month. Although League and Wilson seem to have stabilized the bullpen, the outfield situation remains tenuous. What the hell is going on with Matt Kemp?

And so here we are, at a rare time when the Kings are inarguably the best professional team in Los Angeles. The Dodgers have frustrated their fans by creating a cable channel most of us can't watch. The Lakers are, to put it mildly, in a state of transition. The Clippers are trying to shed their old baggage, which could take years.

But you know what they say: Winning cures all. Time to find a cure!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Post-Game 50 Thread: Battery Error


You expect these Dodgers to commit two errors in a game. You just don't expect the pitcher-catcher battery to do it.

A.J. Ellis let a Chase Utley foul ball clank off his mitt in the first inning; with his extra life, Utley promptly hit a two-run home run. In the fifth, Dan Haren fielded a Ben Revere chopper and tossed it into right field, allowing Revere to take third. He scored on the next play.

Those three unearned runs were the difference, as RBIs by Crawford and Gordon and a triple-PB combo by Puig weren't enough to make up the difference. Rubber game tomorrow morning!

Game 50 Thread: May 24 @ Phillies, 12n

No more of this today, okay?

Dan Haren vs. (5-2, 3.18) vs. David Buchanan (0-0, -.--).

Rookie pitcher alert! Buchanan is taking Cliff Lee's place in the Phillies rotation and, you know, first-time pitcher — although the Dodgers did okay against the first-timer they saw in New York.

Yesterday's offensively challenged lineup eked out a win, although Haren is no Kershaw, so it remains to be seen if Mattingly starts the likes of Arruebarrena and Figgins. And will Kemp sit again, this time against the right-handed Buchanan? Let us know in the comments.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Post-Game 49 Thread: Kershus Interruptus

Not an ad for Phillies Blunt.


A 43-minute rain delay during the fourth inning? No problem. Kershaw struck out nine over six loooooong innings, redeeming himself like a coupon after his disastrous start in Arizona.

Offensively, there was barely enough from the Dodgers, something Kershaw is certainly used to. It was the Dee Show in the first inning; he singled, stole second, stole third and stole our hearts when he scored on a Puig single. Crawford hit a 420-foot home run in the second inning for that luxurious second run.

In his Dodgers debut, Erisbel Arruebarrena went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts and a walk.

Game 49 Thread: May 23 @ Phillies, 4p

At least Mitch Poole has one fewer U to deal with now.

Clayton Kershaw (2-1, 4.43) vs. Roberto Hernandez (2-1, 3.98)

IT'S ARRUEBARRENANABOBANAFEEFIMOMANNA TIME! Hanley Ramirez is getting a (needed?) day off, meaning today marks the major league debut of 25-million-dollar-man Erisbel Arruebarrena. Word on him is "slick fielder, can't hit," so I guess that makes him Bizarro Hanley. I wonder if that also means his helmet stays on.

It will also be interesting to see* if Kershaw's disastrous last start was as flukey as can be, or if there's something really wrong. Hoping it's the former, because this team really can't take any more bad news.

*And by "see," I mean "not see," because no, you still don't have SportsNet LA.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Post-Game 48 Thread: Niese Guys Finish...In Front


I didn't see this game, but it sounds like Dodgers miscues (two more errors) caused us to giftwrap a victory for Jon Niese and the Mets. And in the post-game wrap, Matt Kemp is the key player being scrutinized (and to his credit, owning up to it in a mature fashion):

Kemp hasn't regained his power, as five home runs will attest. But in this game it was his defense in general, and ability to chase down deep flies in particular, that came under scrutiny.

"We continue to look at it and give Matt the opportunity to keep working and get better," Mattingly said. "He doesn't look the same. The burst, the outrun-the-ball thing. We've talked to Matt and don't hear anything medically that he's not feeling good. We just want to see the same burst. We don't know if it's a matter of him being out a few years. He's trying, been working and we'll continue to go from there."

Four extra-base hits cleared Kemp's head, contributing to all four Mets runs, one of them scoring because Kemp dropped a ball he picked up off the warning track.

"I just need to play better defense," said Kemp. "Burst or anything, I'm not getting as good a jump as I need to. I cost us one run bobbling the ball, and it's nobody's fault but mine. No excuses. I've made a couple bad plays in the outfield. It happens."

We need you back, Matty! With the Giants / Rockies game getting suspended, I believe due to lack of fan interest (they plan to resume the game Sept 1), the Dodgers sit 4.5 games out of first place.