With Part Four of Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition (pre-order now!), we head directly into the pitchers of my own childhood, the ones I can describe to you first-hand. This section of the book is titled “The Modern Classicists,” underscoring that while we were a long way from the black-and-white era of the Boys of Summer, there will always be something pristine and Old School about the pitchers who carried the Dodgers from the 1970s into the ’80s.
Tag: Jerry Reuss
By Jon Weisman
Every Dodger fan is targeting the World Series, but you can’t get there without some regular-season magic.
The Dodgers have seen plenty in their 49 Southern California seasons, both in their favor and against them.
For good and for bad, here (in this Dodger Insider magazine story) are the ups and downs, the highs and lows — the 20 most pivotal regular-season moments in Los Angeles Dodger history.
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Beginning this year, the Dodgers merged their previously separate Playbill and Dodger Insider magazines into one publication (at least 80 pages per issue) with a new edition available each homestand plus one in October, 13 issues total. It is distributed at auto gates (one per vehicle) and via Fan Services for those who use alternate transportation. Dodger Insider magazine includes news, features, analysis, photos, games, stadium information and more. Fans who wish to subscribe for 2017 can do so at dodgers.com/magazine.
By Jon Weisman
Six years have passed since a Dodger closer pitched in the All-Star Game. Kenley Jansen gets to end that streak tonight.
Jansen, overdue for his first All-Star Game, might not get to pitch the final inning, so it’s more likely than not that Jonathan Broxton’s save in 2010 remains the most recent in the Midsummer Classic by a Dodger. Nevertheless, Jansen should get a chance to etch his name among the team’s 76 previous All-Star appearances.
Of course, Jansen could also become the first Dodger pitcher credited with an All-Star victory since Jerry Reuss in front of the 1980 hometown crowd in Los Angeles. Since then, three Dodgers have been the losing All-Star pitcher: Chan Ho Park (2001), Eric Gagne (2003) and Clayton Kershaw (2015). Dodger pitchers have a 6-6 record in 12 All-Star decisions.
Certainly, it was nowhere to go but up for the franchise after its ignominious All-Star debut via Van Lingle Mungo, who allowed four runs plus two inherited runs in a six-run fifth inning by the American League in 1934. Not that Mungo had it easy: He entered the game with Babe Ruth on second base, Lou Gehrig on first and Jimmie Foxx at the plate. Two walks, three singles and a double later, the AL had gone from trailing 4-2 to leading 8-4.
The most famous Dodger All-Star pitching performance belongs to Fernando Valenzuela, who from the fourth through sixth innings in 1986 faced 10 batters, retired nine and struck out the first five — Don Mattingly, Cal Ripken Jr., Jesse Barfield, Lou Whitaker and Teddy Higuera — all in a row. Kirby Puckett’s groundout was the first ball in play against Valenzuela, whose outing was marred only by a pop-fly Wade Boggs single in the sixth.
In every issue of Dodger Insider magazine, we run a boxscore of the month, and the one for August happens to tie in with what’s happening in Washington right now.
Dodgers 2, Cubs 1
August 17-18, 1982
It began innocuously enough one afternoon in Chicago. Ex-Dodger Bill Buckner drove in a run for the Cubs with a groundout in the bottom of the first. Dodger catcher Mike Scioscia tied the game in the top of the second with an RBI single. But no more runs would cross the plate that day, all the way into the top of the 18th, when darkness at the lightless Wrigley Field forced the game to be suspended until after the next sunrise.
When the teams reunited, the Dodgers’ scheduled starting pitcher for Tuesday, Jerry Reuss, took the mound in relief. By the time it was over, after the Dodgers pushed across a run in the top of the 21st inning on Dusty Baker’s sacrifice fly, pitchers Fernando Valenzuela and Bob Welch had both played outfield. Reuss got the win – and then another when he pitched five innings that afternoon in a 7-4 Dodger victory that was over in 2:21.
I bring this up because I can’t help imagining Clayton Kershaw repeating the Reuss ruse of getting all his innings out of the way at first by starting the day in relief.
By Jon Weisman
Chan Ho Park, Jerry Reuss and Ken Landreaux have joined the team of Dodger legends serving as instructors at the 53rd Los Angeles Dodgers Adult Baseball Camp at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, from November 9-15.
Park, Reuss and Landreaux will join such previously announced instructors as Ron Cey, Tommy Davis, Steve Garvey, Mickey Hatcher, Rick Monday, Maury Wills and Steve Yeager. Tommy Lasorda and former National League umpire Bruce Froemming are also set to be guest instructors. Former Dodger scout Guy Wellman has returned as camp coordinator, a position he has held dating back to 1983.
“We are looking forward to providing a unique experience for those campers in attendance in November,” said Historic Dodgertown chairman and former Dodger owner Peter O’Malley. “With our latest additions of popular Dodgers Chan Ho Park, Jerry Reuss and Ken Landreaux, this will only enhance the camaraderie, storytelling and instruction for the participants, making this camp the best one ever. It is advisable for those who are considering signing up to do so now.”
Why sign up? Well, read on …
[mlbvideo id=”31317421″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]
By Jon Weisman
Above, Orel Hershiser talks about coming back to the Dodgers as a broadcaster for SportsNet LA.
- Ned Colletti’s trip to the Dominican Republic included a look with Dodger scouts at the private workout of 26-year-old outfielder Rusney Castillo, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.… Castillo, 26, left Cuba at the end of 2013, and while he’s not a free agent yet, he’s expected to draw considerable interest from major league teams given his tool set and track record in Cuba, including playing for the Cuban national team.
At 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, Castillo is a righthanded hitter with experience playing second and third base in addition to center field, so his versatility could be intriguing to a variety of teams. …
- We’ll turn to Jon Rosen at Kings Insider for the latest leading up to the Kings-Ducks hockey game Saturday at Dodger Stadium, which included a celebrity skate.
- Bill James is doing a big series of stories on big game pitchers, and as Rob Neyer points out at Baseball Nation, while the list of top big-game pitchers includes Johnny Padres, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Don Sutton, one name on there that might surprise you is former Dodger pitcher Jerry Reuss.
- Neyer also points us to an MLB.com video offering the history of Japanese pitchers in the majors.
- Joc Pederson ranks seventh on MLB.com’s list of top 10 outfield prospects.
- Dodgers Digest is running down the top 50 Dodger prospects, and Dustin Nosler kicks things off with Nos. 41-50.
Getty ImagesJerry Reuss pitched 10 complete games in 29 starts for the Dodgers in 1980.
When the Dodgers were attempting to rally from three games behind Houston with three games to play on the final weekend of the 1980 regular season, I was on my school’s eighth-grade retreat at world-famous Camp Ta Ta Pochon.
I listened to the final innings of the Friday comeback victory with my transistor radio and an earphone while we were watching the rather odd youth movie, “Bless the Beasts and the Children.” And I listened to the final innings of Sunday’s dramatic triumph surrounded by classmates on the bus ride home.
But I had never heard a moment of the Saturday game until this week, when I was granted the privilege thanks to a cassette package mailed to me by longtime Dodger Thoughts friend and commenter Stan from Tacoma. The Saturday game is the least discussed of the four games the Dodgers played against Houston to end the season, but it was a minor gem in its own right – an utterly taut affair from start to finish.
Jerry Reuss started for the Dodgers against future Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan of the Astros. A high-profile free-agent signing, Ryan was in his first season in the NL since being traded from the Mets to Angels in December 1971. At age 33, Ryan had gotten his 3,000th career strikeout midway through 1980. His ERA in 1980 was a stylish 3.35, though given the advantages of pitching in the Astrodome, this was arguably a down year for the Express.
Reuss had come to the Dodgers before the 1979 season and been something of a disappointment, though his 7-14 record belied his 3.54 ERA. In any case, he began the 1980 season in the bullpen, before emerging as one of the team’s top starters: a 2.51 ERA and an National League-leading six shutouts, including his June 27 no-hitter at San Francisco.
Even with those credentials, Reuss was under the microscope of Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda. Just two batters into the game, after Reuss walked Houston leadoff hitter Joe Morgan on a 3-2 pitch and then gave up a single to Enos Cabell, Dodger radio announcer Jerry Doggett saw that Rick Sutcliffe – banished to relief after winning NL Rookie of the Year honors in 1979 – had gotten up in the bullpen.
But Reuss bounced back. He got Dodger nemesis Jose Cruz to pop to shortstop Derrel Thomas, and then Cesar Cedeno hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Sutcliffe sat down and never rose again, as Reuss went on to retire nine batters in a row.
The Dodgers struck first in the bottom of the second inning. Steve Garvey, who entered the game needing four hits for 200 on the season, notched a single on a blooper that Morgan normally would have caught. (Both second basemen were ailing: Morgan had strained his knee in Friday’s game, while Davey Lopes had a severely strained neck. Neither finished the Friday or Saturday games.) One out later, Pedro Guerrero, the Dodgers’ center fielder, singled Garvey to second base. Ryan struck out Joe Ferguson, but facing Thomas, the Dodger utilityman who had become the team’s starting shortstop in place of an injured Bill Russell, dropped a single the opposite way into left field to score Garvey for a 1-0 Dodger lead.
The Dodgers caught a break to score their first run; the Astros caught one to score theirs. With one out in the top of the fourth, Cruz hit one to center that Guerrero lost in the smoggy sky (Doggett and Vin Scully both commented on how ugly the air was this day). Cruz stole second, went to third on a Cedeno grounder and then scored on a single to center by Art Howe to tie the game.
With three hits against Nolan Ryan, Steve Garvey was on a .412/.452/.647 hot streak over his past 17 games.
The next run of the game was no gift. Garvey started the bottom of the fourth with a no-doubter blast, his 26th homer of the season – giving him, as Scully noted, at least one home run against every NL team this season. Garvey would later single in the sixth inning for his 199th hit of the season and ninth in 18 at-bats against Ryan. “If you can go 9 for 18 against a million-dollar pitcher, that’s like owning a condominium, isn’t it?” said an admiring Scully. “Garvey is undoubtedly one of the greatest hitters to wear a Dodger uniform,” added Doggett when he returned to the mic for the final three innings. “Undoubtedly.”
The score remained 2-1 entering the seventh inning, thanks in large part to huge defensive plays by Los Angeles. In the fifth, the aching Lopes managed to snag a line drive off Morgan’s bat and turn it into an inning-ending double play. And with one on and none out in the sixth, Thomas took a carom off Reuss’ glove and converted it into a 1-6-3 twin killing. Then Guerrero, still struggling with the October sky, struggled with a Cedeno fly but managed to catch up to it to end the top of the sixth.
Like Garvey, Ryan was also on a quest for 200 – in fact, both of them entered the seventh inning at 199. In Ryan’s case, it was strikeouts, and he got his 200th on the second-to-last batter he faced. The victim was Reuss, who went down after failing to sacrifice Joe Ferguson to second base.
Both teams went down in order in the eighth, Reuss easily navigating pinch-hitters Terry Puhl (the Astros’ leading home-run hitter in 1980 with the grand total of 13) and Jeffrey Leonard, while reliever Frank LaCorte held off Garvey’s final Saturday bid for his 200th hit. Reuss’ strikeout of Puhl was his seventh of the game, a season high.
That brought us to the ninth, with the crowd audibly willing the Dodgers to hold on. By this time, the Dodgers had made three defensive replacements: Jack Perconte for Lopes at second base, Rudy Law for Dusty Baker (also hurting) in left field and Mickey Hatcher for Rick Monday in right field. Those replacements proved meaningful both for what they didn’t and didn’t do.
First, Perconte made a nice play on a Cabell grounder to get the first out.
Then, Guerrero, again getting a late read, put the crowd in suspense before making yet another last-instant catch. The Dodgers were one out away from victory, but under 24 hours before, the same had been true of the Astros.
Up came Cedeno, who had been having a most unlucky day. This time, the luck turned – he hit a blooper that Perconte couldn’t reach, keeping the Astros alive. Art Howe then hit another blooper to center that Guerrero, playing deep to prevent an extra-base hit, had no chance at. Suddenly, the tying run was at third base for Houston.
With soon-to-be Rookie of the Year Steve Howe warming up in the bullpen, Dodger pitching coach Red Adams visited Reuss at the mound. But there was no hook. According to Reuss on the postgame show, Adams simply told him, “Just relax.”
Doggett, I should say at this point, was about the best I have ever heard him – totally on his game in describing the game and setting the scene. “What excitement – what a series!” he said over the roaring crowd. The batter was Gary Woods, who had gotten the start over Puhl against the left-handed Reuss but had struck out three times. Finally making contact, he hit one to Perconte, in the thick of the fray in this, only his 14th major-league game. Perconte tossed to Garvey, and the Dodgers had stayed alive for one more day.
Reuss thanked the fans on the postgame show with Ross Porter. “I’ve heard it in other places, but not this many, this loud,” Reuss said. Porter asked Reuss about the fact that he was starting on three days’ rest. “I never gave it a thought until someone said something about it, and then I said, ‘What the heck.’ ”
Garvey also thanked the fans, and said how much he enjoyed the pressure situations. And then, as Porter thanked him for the interview, Garvey said, “Hi to Cyndy and the girls.”
Those fans listening on the radio who were geared up for hearing Scully do Sunday’s big game were in for a surprise. Here are his closing words for the day:
“Well, friends, it has been a magnificent day, a great weekend and a most exciting season, and of course tomorrow the Dodgers and the Astros this time put it all on the line. All of the pressure had been on the Dodgers, but now it will be equally shared amongst the Astros, because they suddenly find themselves in a must-win situation. It’s Burt Hooton and Vern Ruhle. And I have a confession to make – I won’t be here, unfortunately, as my schedule has me doing a football game down in Anaheim. And my mind, and my eyes and all of my senses will be in Anaheim, but boy, will my heart ever be here at Dodger Stadium. Hope you’ll be here. Hope you’ll find out about tomorrow, and then if it be so, why it’ll be my pleasure to be talking to you again on Monday. So we’ll see. But right now, that’ll do it for today, from Dodger Stadium, as the Dodgers nip the Astros, 2-1.”
The Rams would beat the 49ers, 48-26, and then we’d see Vin on Monday. I’d have that transistor radio with me at school.
The way people picked apart Manny Ramirez’s statements today for significance was crazy. Crazy, I says!
It’s Manny Ramirez. If there’s one guy in baseball you judge by actions instead of words, it’s Manny Ramirez. And yet, the baseball world got their engines all revved up, over what? Over nothing. Over a guy saying what everyone knew. Over a guy talking in such stream-of-consciousness that if he read his own quotes, he’d probably not recognize them.
In a world that rages against Tiger Woods for being robotic or disingenuous, here’s Ramirez telling it like it is. Granted, what “it is” can change from one minute to the next, but that’s kind of the point. You can’t take what he says so seriously. We know he doesn’t. We know this. We have years of intimate experience with this knowledge.
So why do people act like the opposite is true? Why do people act like they care about anything except how well he performs on the field after the games start?
Do you think that if Ramirez is hitting, people will care that he said anything bad? That if he isn’t hitting, people will care that he said all the right things?
I’m not nominating Ramirez for sainthood, but it’s just ridiculous how he became target practice today. It was like people trying to draw life lessons from a fortune cookie.
Manny was being Manny. And we were being us.
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- A couple of recent articles serve as reminders that no team – not even good teams – usually has a quality No. 5 starter. Paul Boye of Phillies Nation notes, for example, that No. 5 starters for the 2009 champion Yankees had a 6.63 ERA. Chuck Brownson also touches on the subject at the Hardball Times. Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness has more. (Previously on Dodger Thoughts: “Dodgers will pick a No. 5 starter – and another, and another …”)
- Scott Elbert had another pain-free outing – “fantastic,” he said – reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
- Andrew Lambo, potential Dodger outfielder of the not-so-distant future, gets a profile from Memories of Kevin Malone.
- Sports headlines from 40 years ago today: “Angels to Run Their Camp ‘Dodger Style.'”
- The name speaks for itself: Everything Jerry Reuss.