Hi there! To get you warmed up for the May 1 release of Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition (pre-order now!), from time to time I want to share some behind-the-scenes tidbits about, for lack of a better phrase, “The Making of Brothers in Arms.” Think of these as if they were the DVD extras. Ideally, you’ll find them of interest even without the book in your hands.
Tag: Dazzy Vance
By Jon Weisman
Lost among Wednesday’s weirdness was this: According to my research at Baseball-Reference.com, when Chase Utley, Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson each saw ball four in the eighth, it was the first time three pinch-hitters had walked in the same inning in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
Twenty other times since the franchise began play in Brooklyn, the Dodgers had gotten at least three pinch-walks in a game — one time, they had four — but only twice before did they have three in the same inning.
Yeah, I know, how trivial — but what can I tell you? This is the kind of stuff that interests me.
The only other times this happened in franchise history were in Brooklyn, and both times were real doozies.
You’re familiar with the seven Hall of Fame players who have had their numbers retired by the Dodgers: Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Don Sutton, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale.
Who gets left out of the conversation?
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By Jon Weisman
Some random facts to take your mind off the Dodgers’ injury woes:
- Clayton Kershaw is by almost any definition a clutch pitcher. Did you know he’s also a career .304 hitter in 46 at-bats from the seventh inning on, including his Opening Day 2013 home run.
- J.P. Howell crossed the 100-inning threshold as a Dodger this month, and with that as a minimum, became the Dodgers’ all-time leader in ERA at 1.75. Kershaw is 16th, but third if you up the minimum to 1,000 innings. Here’s the top 20:
- Since June 1, the Dodgers have more victories (41) than home runs (36). The last time the Dodgers did that over a full season was 1976.
- Left-handed batters are hitless against Kershaw’s slider this year, notes Daniel Brim of Dodgers Digest.
- Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. has a good piece putting the Dodgers’ late-inning performance at the plate in perspective. It’s similar to what I’ve written about the Dodgers’ struggles with the bases loaded coming while they lead the National League in on-base percentage with runners in scoring position — the latter situations coming far, far more often. A smaller negative shouldn’t outweigh a larger positive.
- Dazzy Vance was “the ultimate outlier,” writes Tony Blengino at Fangraphs.
Happy confusing post-holiday Thursday to you …
- Bill Petti of Fangraphs takes note of the evolution of strikeouts over the years and finds that Dodger great Dazzy Vance might be the top strikeout pitcher of all-time.
- Jim Eisenreich, who tormented the Dodgers for years before putting on a Dodger uniform (and tormenting them some more), is the subject of a must-read piece by Bradford Doolittle of Baseball Prospectus.
Chad Moriyama with a look at who’s worth pursuing among the latest in Dodger trade rumors.
- Congrats to the Hardball Times and Fangraphs on their betrothal.
- Belated farewell, Ben Davidson.