Can history repeat itself? Or does it just have a bad memory?

This pinch-hit post is dedicated to Wally Moon, whom I believe led the Dodgers in pinch hits in the 1960s. (It’s hard to figure accurately. Also, the Dodgers had bad pinch hitters at that time. They also had bad starting hitters for much of the decade too.)

So you’re thinking to yourself, have the Dodgers ever swept TWO series in San Francisco in one season? Isn’t that asking a lot?

Well, Sherman, let’s set the WABAC machine back to 2007. The Dodgers open the season by dropping two of three in Milwaukee. They travel to San Francisco and then Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, and Randy Wolf lead the Dodgers to a sweep from April 6-8.

The Dodgers returned to AT&T Park on July 13. The Dodgers won the first game easily, 9-1. Then the Dodgers survived a joint bullpen meltdown by Chun-hui Tsao (4 runs in 2/3 IP in the 8th) and Takashi Saito (walk to Bonds, who came around to score on a single by Pedro Feliz), to win 8-7 in 12 innings on a Rafael Furcal sacrifice fly. The Dodgers completed the sweep the next day, 5-3. The Dodgers were in first place by one game over the Padres with a 52-40 record.

When the dust cleared at the end of the season, the Dodgers were in fourth place, eight games out of first. The Giants were in last at 71-91. The Padres were in third place after losing a wild card tiebreaker to the Rockies, who finished behind Arizona. Does this seem like it should be familiar?  You mean we don’t all miss the Luis Gonzalez season for the Dodgers?

Prior to 2007, the last time the Dodgers had two series sweeps in San Francisco was 1977. In 1971, the Dodgers swept three two-games series in San Francisco (and still finished in second place behind the Giants.) The last time the Dodgers swept two series from the Giants at the Polo Grounds was back in 1953.

Surprisingly, the Giants have never swept two series from the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The last time the Dodgers were swept in two home series in one season by the Giants was 1938.

Most of this information does not indicate one team’s superiority over the other, but more just how the schedule was laid out in a particular season. When both teams were in New York, the Dodgers and Giants would play series of varying lengths from one to five games, depending on a variety of factors.

When the schedule became a little more regular after the teams moved west, the Dodgers and Giants would battle each other to a draw most seasons. Since 1901, the Giants lead the alltime series against the Dodgers by just 17 games: 1105 Giants wins to 1088 Dodgers wins. The Dodgers lead in California by a margin of 492-465.

And if you’re really curious, the Dodgers best record against any NL team since moving west is a .580 winning percentage against the Montington Expationals. .592 mark against the Brewers. The worst is a .500 mark against the Cardinals.

 

  • Anonymous

    >> Since 1901, the Giants lead the alltime series against the Dodgers by just 17 games: 1105 Giants wins to 1088 Dodgers wins.

    If I’m not mistaken, the all-time series against the Cubs and against the Cardinals are both even closer.

    • Anonymous

      The Cardinals have put some distance between the Dodgers in the post-1901 race. They lead by 31 games. If you go back to when both teams joined the NL in 1890 it should be closer because the Cardinals were really bad during that time.
      The Dodgers have beaten the Cubs just two more times since 1901: 947-945

      • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

        Those pre-1901 numbers must be included in the stats both Vin and the Fox people use, because I remember them marveling at the closeness of the series (within three games of absolute equality at some point) earlier this year.

    • Anonymous

      Correct regarding the Cubs, not correct regarding the Cards.  Since 1901, per http://www.baseball-reference.com/games/head2head.cgi?teams=LAD&from=1901&to=2012&submit=Submit

      Arizona Diamondbacks: 137-119
      Atlanta Braves: 1096-928
      Baltimore Orioles: 5-1
      Boston Red Sox: 4-5
      Chicago Cubs: 947-945
      Chicago White Sox: 6-12
      Cincinnati Reds: 1030-1002
      Cleveland Indians: 4-2
      Colorado Rockies: 181-137
      Detroit Tigers: 9-6
      Florida Marlins: 84-72
      Houston Astros: 388-320
      Kansas City Royals: 2-4
      Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: 38-54
      Milwaukee Brewers: 58-40
      Minnesota Twins: 3-6
      New York Mets: 314-258
      New York Yankees: 3-3
      Oakland Athletics: 9-16
      Philadelphia Phillies: 1060-831
      Pittsburgh Pirates: 1007-897
      San Diego Padres: 387-353
      San Francisco Giants: 1088-1105
      Seattle Mariners: 12-13
      St. Louis Cardinals: 930-961
      Tampa Bay Rays: 3-3
      Texas Rangers: 11-8
      Toronto Blue Jays: 6-6
      Washington Nationals: 254-184

      • Anonymous

        And for the person who’s been complaining about how often the Dodgers play the Chicago White Sox, please note that they only have the fifth highest number of games among AL teams. Next year, that will change to sixth (Houston Astros).

        • Anonymous

          But the other four make at least some sense as they are all AL West teams.  I believe the White Sox number is skewed by one year where MLB tried to “relive” some great World Series of the past matchups and 1959 was one of them.  I’m working from memory, so I could be wrong.

          • Anonymous

            They did indeed play at the Cell in 2009, and at one of the games they brought out six of the Sox who played in the 1959 series.

  • Anonymous

    I miss the griddle.  Hell, I miss the whole toaster.

    Often, when I say stuff like that, people look at me funny.

  • Anonymous

    “The worst is a .500 mark against the Cardinals.”

    So the Dodgers have a .500 or better (i.e. winning, as Charlie Sheen might say) record against EVERY team in the NL since moving to Los Angeles?

    • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      Yes, the Dodgers, with the exception of 1992, have managed to avoid hitting rock bottom as frequently as the other teams. Even some of the teams we think of as dominant recently, like the Phillies and Braves, had some horrible stretches of years.

      • Anonymous

        That is quite an impressive stat. I wonder home many other teams can say that?

        • Anonymous

          The Dodgers haven’t lost over 100 games in a season since 1908.

          • Anonymous

            Some interesting names on that 1908 squad, including Simmy Murch, Kaiser Wilhelm, Pembroke Finlayson and Whitey Alperman.

          • Anonymous

            Simmy Murch is just too good.

      • Anonymous

        First of all, the correct stat is that in franchise history (since 1884), the Dodgers have come in last TWICE – 1905 and 1992.  No other team can say that.  No other team even comes close.

  • Anonymous

    >> the Dodgers best record against any NL team since moving west is a .580 winning percentage against the Montington Expationals.

    Not true.  Their record against the Milwaukee Brewers is .592 (58-40).  They have only played each other since the Brewers moved to the NL in 1998, so that does not include any interleague games (interleague play began the previous year).

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    LINEUP

    RT @Dodgers lineup: M Ellis 2B, Victorino LF, Gonzalez 1B, Kemp CF, Ramirez SS, Ethier RF, Kennedy 3B, AJ Ellis C, Beckett P

    Except for Kennedy in place of Cruz (I guess with righty pitching?) it’s certainly a damn good lineup on paper… ON PAPER. {cue ominous music} {thunderclap}

    • Anonymous

      It’s been a damn good lineup, the same lineup (with Cruz) that we’ve been using every day since AGon joined us, with an occasional off day for AJ.  You know, the one that’s gone 4-7 during that time.  :(

    • Anonymous

      But it’s the wrong batting order.  Seriously (not to go all Rule 8 Violation here), what will it take for Donnie to try something different?  But since we’ll clearly have to abide it from here on out, I’d love for someone to preach to me the virtues of Ellis-Victorino-Gonzalez-Kemp-Ramirez-Ethier.

  • Anonymous

    I have never had such a screwed up travel plan as I have for the two Reds games I have tickets for.

    They changed the start time for the Saturday game from 7:10 to 4:05.  And now they put the Sunday game on ESPN, so they changed the start time from 1:10 to 8:05.  Grrr…

  • http://twitter.com/plaza234 plaza23

    I think the Giants take the first two, and the Dodgers win on Sunday.  There’s something amiss about this team.

    • Anonymous

      We will see.

      I’m betting it will be a sweep. And after tonight’s game, we’ll know which way. :)

      • Anonymous

        Sweep by which team?

      • Anonymous

        nvm

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, a swing and amiss.

  • Anonymous

    Once they announce a change in game time for ESPN to show it on Sunday night, that’s final, and they’re not going to change it back again… are they?

    I want to make sure, before I change my plans for my return from Cincinnati.

    • foul tip

       Once TV makes a decision, no one can change it….except TV.   But highly unlikely they will.  ;-])

  • Anonymous

    I would try this lineup: Kemp, Ethier, Ramirez, Gonzo, AJ/Cruz, M. Ellis, Victorino, Cruz/AJ.  Also, why isn’t Dee up here to pinch run?  I would pinch run him every time late in the game if it mattered.  He may not have a bat, but he sure has legs.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t get me started.  Maddening.

  • Anonymous

    Wally Moon was a decade ahead of his times.

  • Anonymous

    NPUT