The bright young career of Sandy Koufax reaches the first of what would be many peaks as the left-hander fires his first no-hitter, a 5-0 gem over the New York Mets before a crowd of 32,769 at Dodger Stadium in 1962.
The no-hitter is the first by a Los Angeles Dodger pitcher and second at Dodger Stadium. Bo Belinsky of the Los Angeles Angels was the first to toss a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium, on May 5, 1962 over the Baltimore Orioles.
Koufax, who would go on to pitch four no-hitters including the only perfect game in franchise history gave an early indication of his domination against New York when he struck out the side on nine pitches in the first inning. He battled some control problems, walking five and reaching 3-and-2 counts nine times, but did not allow a runner to reach second base.
The native of Brooklyn became the first Dodger left-hander to throw a no-hitter in 54 years, following Nap Ruckers gem during the 1908 campaign.
A Hall of Famer and one of the most dominating pitchers in history, Koufax threw no-hitters in each of the next three seasons. His perfect game came on Sept. 9, 1965 in a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium.
Koufax also had two one-hitters during his Los Angeles career.
Per Dodgers Site.
To help everyone forget about the Freeway series…let’s just go back in time. What do ya say?
June 13th, 2000…just 12 years ago.
Eric Karros was wearing Dodger Blue at the time and was playing the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. He knocked his 229th homerun as a Dodger over the left field wall and became Los Angeles’ All-Time Homerun Leader. Karros finished his career with 270 homeruns and still owns the record to this day. Will a current Dodger break the record? Kemp maybe? Only time will tell.
It has just been made official by Dodgers sources. Andre Ethier has signed a 5 year, $85 Million extension through 2017. Vesting options for 2018 at $17.5 Million would push it to around $100 Million with a $2.5 Million buyout. Andre is going to be a Dodger for a while! It is good news in L.A. and for Andre Ethier fans.
After being traded from the Oakland Athletic’s he has been a Dodger the rest of the time. Andre has repeatedly not put a deadline on extension talks but the time has finally come. I posted earlier about speculation I had about his agent and Ned Colletti being in Seattle together, that I thought an extension agreement was close to being settled. Turns out, I was correct. I love that ‘Dre is going to be a Dodgers for at least five years, most likely six, and I think its going to be great for this organization to have a base of Kemp and Ethier for the next half decade.
A formal announcement is expected sometime tomorrow (Tuesday), at which point Ethier will officially be the owner of the third-largest contract in Dodgers history, behind Matt Kemp and Kevin Brown.
The past couple days, I have been on the topic of Tommy Lasorda. As most of you know already, Tommy recently suffered a heart attack, and was released yesterday morning. I have enjoyed posting random tid bits about Tommy such as him throwing 300+ pitches in one game, striking out 25 batters, or winning his 1,500th game as a Dodgers manager in 1995. Today, we talk about something else Tommy related that happened on this day, in 1955. Let’s go back…
June 8, 1955.
After a very short major league career (8 games total) Tommy was optioned down to the minor leagues in order to make room for none other than, Sandy Koufax. It was a move that proved to be one of the biggest in Dodgers history, considering Tommy Lasorda would go on to be one of the games greatest managers, and Koufax would go on to be one of the game’s most dominant pitchers.
Lasorda jokes about his demotion by saying, “It took the greatest left-hander in the history of baseball to knock me off that Brooklyn club.” Lasorda, as we all know, has an incredible sense of humor, and is one of the most humble men in sports.
Lasorda went on to win 1,599 games in his managerial career that included two world series titles, four National League pennants, and eight division titles. He is one of the games most visible and tireless goodwill ambassadors and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.
Koufax, just 19 years of age at the time of his promotion, went on to record a 165-87 career record including four no hitters, and the only perfect game in Dodgers history. According to the Dodgers website, from 1962-66 alone, he went 111-34, with 1,444 strikeouts and five consecutive ERA titles. In 1972, he was the youngest player to ever be elected into the Hall of Fame, at just 36 years old.
Keeping the pitchers theme consistent, I wanted to give a quick shoutout to Don Drysdale, another historic Dodgers pitcher that pitched in the same era as Koufax (Could you imagine those guys together? For those of you that were alive, I am envious). On this day, in 1968, Don surpasses Walter Johnson’s major league record of 56 consecutive scoreless innings as he ran a streak of 58 2/3 before Philadelphia Phillies’ Howie Bedell drove in Tony Taylor in the fifth inning of that game to end it. Orel Hershiser, yet another Dodgers pitcher, would later go on to beat that record by recording 59 scoreless innings in 1988.
You can’t have a pitcher without a catcher, and in the 80′s, the Dodgers had a great one. Mike Scioscia is the current manager of the Anaheim Angels (No, thats not a typo. In my opinion, they have, are, and forever will be the Anaheim Angels. You have to play in a city for it to count). Scioscia played for the Dodgers from 1980-1992, and on this day in 1991, he became the clubs all-time leader in games caught when he knelt behind the plate for the 1,219th time.
Scrappy. It’s the best possible way for me to describe this Dodgers team. My reaction to that? I love it! Here’s a quick recap of last night’s 2-1 victory over the Phillies.
I’m probably going to get a lot of hate for this, because about 95% percent of all Dodgers fans that I know or have talked to are sick of Chad Billingsley. But what the heck…I’m going to say it anyways. He pitched a very good game last night, and is the reason we won. I’ll get to Herrera and the quote-unquote “hero of the night” in a little bit, but for right now I want to just take a moment and give Bills the credit that he hasn’t been getting from anywhere else.
“When Cliff throws a game like that,” Don Mattingly said after the game, “our guy’s got to throw right with him. That’s what happened. Bills gave us a chance, and we got a big hit.”
After a first inning run, Bills shut down the Phillies offense scattering five hits over the following six innings. He would be pulled after seven innings, finishing with three strikeouts, and one walk. It was definitely the start that he had been looking for. It was his first win in close to two months and you could tell it was on his mind. It’s never easy being a big league pitcher under a this HUGE microscope people call a fan base (not like I would know). And its also never easy when that microscope is smack dab in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the United States. For everything that he’s been through this year, with all the criticism he’s endured, I have to give him some credit. Now I’m not saying that he’s pitched well. I’m not on that bandwagon. In fact, to say that he’s even been just inconsistent is putting it incredibly mild. What I am saying though, is to give credit where credits due. Let him enjoy this. He pitched his heart out, and if he hadn’t, the Dodgers would not have won this ballgame.
Now its time to talk about what everyone will agree on…that stud we have at third base, well, and second base, and…center… Ya know what? This guy can do everything. Honestly, what can’t this guy do?
Last night, he was the hero for the second straight night by knocking a double (which was so close to being a homerun) off the wall which scored Bobby Abreu (who had just pinch hit for Billingsley) and Dee Gordon. It put the Dodgers ahead 2-1 and that’s where the score would stay.
Lindblom came in for the eighth inning and did what he’s been doing all year. And that’s be incredibly consistent. He had another 1-2-3 inning in the eighth and got Juan Pierre, Hunter Pence, and Carlos Ruiz to all fly out to Tony Gwynn Jr to record his 12th hold of the season. Then Kenley Jansen came in to close things out, and that’s exactly what he did. After Ty Wiggington got a one out single, Jansen zoned in and struck out the next two batters to end the game. That was his eighth save of the year.
I’m interested to see what Donnie is going to do when Juan Uribe gets back. He has said on multiple occasions that Uribe will get his spot back. But with the way Elian’s been playing, you have to find a way to keep him in your lineup. I’ve seen more offensive production from Herrera in the past couple weeks since being brought up than I had from Uribe all year before his injury. Maybe Elian will get a chance to get his spot the old-fashioned way and just keep outperforming Uribe and earn it straight up. Or…what most people don’t consider a possibility, what if Uribe took this as motivation, and got better because of it? Maybe got some of his power back after his wrist heals? Unlikely, I know, but possible? Anything is. I bet no one predicted Herrera would make this much of an impact right away either…I know I didn’t. All I know is, I’m pumped that one of our biggest issues right now is finding room for young studs. That’s never a bad issue to have.
After being hit by a pitch, and successfully stealing a base before being called back, Alex Castellanos gets his first major league appearance tonight as the Dodgers look to turn things around in Colorado. Chris Capuano takes on Josh Outman and the Rockies and seeks his league leading eighth win on the season.
De Jesus, 3B
Hairston Jr, 2B
Van Slyke, 1B
Not appearing to be running full speed, Matt Kemp rounded third base on his way to home after Andre Ethier’s RBI double to score him from first. Kemp immediately seemed to be limping. He was taken out of the game at the end of the first inning, and replaced by Tony Gwynn at Center Field. Vin Scully announced, officially, that it was a re aggravated left hamstring.
Kemp, in his second game back from the DL, never seemed to be able to get back on track before his injury. Matt went into the dugout and almost immediately snapped a bat over his knee, and Gwynn started warming up. He would eventually disappear from the dugout and into the clubhouse.
He will undergo an MRI tomorrow to see how bad the injury really is. More details coming soon.
I’ve been sitting and reading comments from all sorts of Dodgers fan forums, and comment bars and I’ve basically learned one thing from the fans. People are already in panic mode. Now I’m not saying that everyone is in the wrong, the Dodgers very rarely lose two games in a row, and are once again on the brink of losing three games in a row for the first time this season. But here’s why I wouldn’t panic.
1. We only have one out of our originally five opening day starters off the DL.
- Hairston just came off of the disabled list last night, and he already had the sole RBI of the night. Kemp, Uribe, Rivera and Ellis are all still on the DL, and it is a huge factor. Kemp and Ellis alone were some of the biggest run producers we had on our lineup the opening month, besides Ethier.
- Kemp and Rivera are both rehabbing very well. Sue Falsone said that they were both running extremely well before Friday night’s game. They will be doing a two-game stint with AAA Albuquerque tomorrow (Sunday, the 27th) and the next day. Rivera’s stint may be extended a day or two if needed. That’s a huge bonus for the team to have that power back in the lineup. That’s 3/5 players back.
- Uribe’s wrist is doing MUCH better than anticipated. When the MRI came back negative for serious damage, Uribe replied by saying, “I’m really happy about it. I feel like it will go quick now.” The return of Uribe won’t be quite as anticipated as the others will, and not even due to performance issues, but mainly because the Dodgers have Hairston back at third who has been nothing but incredible there all year, making remarkable plays and taking good at-bats. Thats 4/5.
- Mark Ellis is the one that hurts. Ellis had been one of the many bright spots in our lineup in the early going of 2012. He was great at getting on base, and even better at sacrificing himself to get a runner over. Unfortunately, Ellis had a very serious couple of surgeries to reduce swelling in his leg which originally was suppose to be a six week recovery, after an incident with Tyler Greene at second base. Ellis has since learned that he also has some strained ligaments in his knee, and now sources say that his return will be at least two months from now.
- Long story short…we should be getting four out of our five original DL’ers back by May 29th, and Justin Sellers’ DL stint is only 15 days. We will soon be close to opening day form.
2. It is still very early, AND we haven’t lost three games in a row the entire season.
- The fact we haven’t lost three games in a row is highly impressive. Especially in the past week. Our young stars are finding a way to get the job done, without the help of major power in Matt Kemp.
- I keep hearing fans say “the no-names have stopped hitting!” “Our lead in the NL West is falling!” Even though those thoughts, I’m sure, have crossed all of our minds, I wouldn’t take them so seriously. These quote-unquote no-names we’re referring to are players that weren’t even in the major leagues a week ago. They came out of the gates sprinting, but just like any normal minor league player making the transition, it is going to take time. Them dropping off the incredible numbers they all started with isn’t the most absurd thing to happen. Plus, once our players come off the DL one at a time, they will go back to get more playing time in the minors, and help out our team in the future, when they are needed.
3. The Dodgers are still putting themselves in positions to win.
- With Sunday’s loss aside, last night the Dodgers had runners on base a lot. They also had the eighth inning, which they loaded the bases with one out. The reason this young, injury-stricken team had been doing so well was because they were the best in the league at capitalizing on situations. Every team will go through games in which they don’t make good on certain opportunities, and that has just been the Dodgers in the past couple nights. Nothing to fret over. Happens to everyone.
With all that being said, I know that dreaded “third loss in a row” is on everyone’s mind, but the way I’m looking at it is this: it is going to happen eventually. To think that a team will go the entire season without losing three games in a row is just ridiculous. So personally, I’d rather have it when half of our starters are on the DL and knowing that are replacements have been doing an incredible job up until this point.
Chad Billingsley faces Bud Norris tonight. Bills, to say the least, has been struggling in this month of May. He has only gone six innings in just two starts this entire year. His ERA for May has gone from 2.64 to 5.85. After allowing just seven walks in April, he has already allowed thirteen in May. It’s hard to know sometimes which Billingsley will show up, but I feel like if he will start to turn it around any night, itcouldbe tonight. The Astros are hitting only .209 in 67 career at-bats against Bills. Bud Norris is doing quite the opposite, by allowing only one earned run in 26 innings this month. The Astros are 8-1 when Norris starts, averaging 5.5 runs per game.
Scheduled start time is 7:10 PT.
I feel like I haven’t done one of these in a while, so I figured I might as well…Let’s go back.
May 19, 1988.
A couple days ago at Dodger stadium, we recognized one of the greatest pitchers in Dodgers History, Orel Hershiser. He was the ace for the 1988 World Series team, but who most people don’t talk about, or even sometimes know about, was our right hander Tim Leary. Leary was as solid of a number two pitcher as you could get. An ace on most teams that didn’t include Hershiser. A native out of Santa Monica, and a standout at UCLA, Leary ended up being a very vital part of the ’88 Dodgers pitching staff. He posted a 17-11 record, with a 2.91 ERA, nine complete games, and six shutouts on the year.
On May 19th, Leary had surprisingly been winless for over a month, however, it wasn’t due to his pitching. He had a crazy lack of run support through that stretch, and to be honest, May 19th wasn’t much different. The Dodgers were playing the Expos and Leary went on to throw ten strikeouts, not walking any batters, and getting out of seven of Montreal’s run threats, to toss his second shutout of the year as the Dodgers won 2-0.
“Tonight was just as rewarding, if not more than the other (shutout),” Leary said after his standout effort against Montreal. “We didnt score a lot of runs, and the Expos put a lot of runners in scoring position.”
Let’s go back a bit….
May 9th, 1974
Don Sutton got to bed incredibly late after a delayed flight home from Montreal the night before. According to Don, he said he got to bed around 4:30 in the morning. Typically, that wouldn’t be a big deal….but he had to pitch the next day against the San Diego Padres. It ALSO wouldn’t be as big of a deal, if there wasn’t a random man wearing overalls that woke him up a mere six hours later. Apparently a man said he was responding to an for painters help at the hotel the Don was staying in, and was wondering if his hotel was the right spot.
Through all that happened to him the night before….Don prevailed. He went on to pitch a one hit shutout against the Padres as the Dodgers won 6-0. John Grubb got the only hit for padres, but was later erased by a double play. Don retired the last 13 batters he faced.
Sutton, the Hall of Fame right-hander who is the Dodger franchise career leader with 233 victories, went on to post a 19-9 record and 3.23 ERA in 1974.