Results tagged ‘ Don Sutton ’

Who’s in the mood for a good laugher?


By Jon Weisman

The playoffs are so relentlessly tense, I was wondering when the last time Dodger fans could sit back and revel in a postseason romp.

Turns out, there’ve been a ton of pressure-packed innings in a row. Not since October 6, 2013 — 18 Dodger playoff games ago — has Los Angeles won a postseason game by more than three runs — in modern shorthand, a game that didn’t require a save.

But even though the Dodgers tied a franchise record for runs in a playoff contest with a 13-6 victory over Atlanta in Game 3 of the 2013 National League Division Series, that game was a roller coaster, considering the Dodgers trailed 2-0 early and didn’t break it open until scoring three runs in the bottom of the eighth.


May and the force that is Clayton Kershaw

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 8.52.26 PM

Dodgers at Mets, 5:07 p.m.
Kershaw CCLIII: Kershawngle Book
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Howie Kendrick, LF
A.J. Ellis, C
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Cary Osborne

Clayton Kershaw closes the book on May with his final start of the month today. Make that a history book.

Kershaw goes into tonight’s game at New York with the lowest WHIP by a pitcher in May all time at 0.52. Bruce Sutter (1977) is second on the list at 0.54 and interestingly, the Mets’ Steven Matz is third, sporting a 0.59 mark this month.

The all-time record for WHIP in a month is shared by San Francisco’s Atlee Hammaker (April 1983) and St. Louis’ Woody Williams (September 2001) at 0.50.


Dishing on Dodger road openers

Clayton Kershaw opens the 2014 MLB season in Sydney, Australia.

Clayton Kershaw opens the 2014 MLB season in Sydney, Australia.

Dodger road openers since 1988
(with starting pitchers)

4/3/89 (Belcher): Reds 4, Dodgers 2
4/10/91 (Belcher): Dodgers 5, Braves 4
4/5/93 (Hershiser): Marlins 6, Dodgers 3
4/25/95 (Martinez): Dodgers 8, Marlins 7
4/1/96 (Martinez): Dodgers 4, Astros 3
3/31/98 (Martinez): Cardinals 6, Dodgers 0
4/3/00 (Brown): Dodgers 10, Expos 4
3/31/03 (Nomo): Dodgers 8, Diamondbacks 0
4/5/05 (Lowe): Giants 4, Dodgers 2
4/2/07 (Lowe): Brewers 7, Dodgers 1
4/6/09 (Kuroda): Dodgers 4, Padres 1
4/5/10 (Padilla): Pirates 11, Dodgers 5
4/5/12 (Kershaw): Dodgers 5, Padres 3
3/22/14 (Kershaw): Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1

By Jon Weisman

Since 1988, the Dodgers are 8-6 when they’ve opened the season on the road, including their farthest trip, which delivered a 3-1 victory over the designated host Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney on March 22, 2014.

In San Diego, where the Dodgers begin the 2016 season Monday, the Dodgers won season-opening games at San Diego in 2009 (behind Hiroki Kuroda) and 2012, with Josh Lindblom getting the win after illness forced Clayton Kershaw from the game after three innings.

Before that, believe it or not, the only time the Dodgers opened a regular season in San Diego was 1973, when a three-run eighth lifted the Padres over Don Sutton, 4-2.

Sutton got revenge the following year, winning 8-0 at Dodger Stadium over the Padres on Opening Day 1974.


Kershaw to start Dodgers’ Catcus and National League openers

Los Angeles Dodgers workout

By Jon Weisman

It will be 2016 Yearbook cover boy Clayton Kershaw vs. Tyson Ross when the Dodgers open the 2016 National League season April 4 at San Diego.

Kershaw will be making his sixth consecutive Opening Day start, the most in a row since Don Sutton made seven (1972-78). Sutton and Don Drysdale hold the franchise record for Opening Day starts.

As a prelude, Kershaw will be on the mound when the Dodgers open their Cactus League season Thursday at Camelback Ranch agains the White Sox.

Los Angeles has won all five previous Opening Day starts by Kershaw, though he has a no-decision in two of those. For you trivia buffs, the winning pitchers on Opening Day in 2012 and 2015 were Josh Lindblom and Joel Peralta.

Bridges to history: Last links to retired numbers

Reese Fairly

By Jon Weisman

With the Dodgers celebrating their 10 retired numbers in a pin series this year, I was curious who was the last active player to take the field with each of these legends. Here’s what I found:

1 Pee Wee Reese
Ron Fairly, who was 19 when making his debut with the 40-year-old Reese as a teammate on the 1958 “Welcome to Los Angeles” Dodgers, was 40 himself when he played his last big-league game in 1978. Years between Reese’s first game and Fairly’s last: 38


One more look at the 1965 Dodgers

1966 yearbook cover

Having spent this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1965 World Series champion Dodgers — review all the posts here — I thought I’d take one last look at the season through some selected pages of the 1966 Dodger yearbook.


Greinke, Kershaw not alone in post-award arguments

Mike Piazza in 1997. Todd Warshaw/Allsport/Getty Images

Mike Piazza in 1997. Todd Warshaw/Allsport/Getty Images

By Cary Osborne

After Wednesday’s Cy Young Award announcements, we know that Zack Greinke has the best pitching season by a Dodger to not get recognized with a Cy Young Award. And it might be the best ever by a pitcher who didn’t win the prize. Clayton Kershaw’s season might be the second best by a Dodger who didn’t win the Cy Young Award.

They’re not alone. Other Dodgers have had strong arguments for season-ending awards and were left empty-handed.

Looking back at some of the best seasons by Dodger pitchers who didn’t win a Cy Young Award, it’s easy to see why they were passed over.

Reliever Ron Perranoski had an incredible 1963 out of the bullpen — a 16-3 record, 21 saves and a 1.67 ERA in 69 appearances. Perranoski even finished fourth in the NL MVP voting. Some guy named Koufax won the Cy Young that year.

Don Sutton had a 2.08 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 272 2/3 innings in 1972 and finished tied for fifth. No one was beating Steve Carlton with his 1.97 ERA and 310 strikeouts in 346 1/3 innings.

But there are some former Dodgers who could look back at the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards and share argument stories with Greinke and Kershaw. Actually, Kershaw could argue twice about the Cy Young Award.


The Dodgers’ all-time hard-luck pitching staff

Osteen pitches

By Cary Osborne

Between 1965 and 1970, no Major League pitcher lost more games than Claude Osteen. And no Major League pitcher probably deserved better.

You think you had it bad this year, Shelby Miller? Miller went 6-17 for the Braves this season, but had a 3.02 ERA. Now, imagine six full seasons of hard luck.

Osteen’s 18 losses in 1968 are the most in Los Angeles Dodgers history. In ’67, he lost 17. Between ’65 and ’70 he was saddled with 93 — many undeserving — losses. He went 97-93 in that timeframe with a 3.06 ERA (14th best in the National League) and a 2.97 fielding independent percentage.

So let’s rewrite history and give some of these hard-luck Dodgers some credit on seasons that were overshadowed by decisions that they couldn’t control.


In case you missed it: Cancer scare for Tiffany Billingsley

Tiffany Billingsley (left) has been quietly going through chemotherapy to beat a rare but aggressive form of cancer called gestational choriocarcinoma. (

Tiffany Billingsley (left) has been quietly going through chemotherapy to beat a rare but aggressive form of cancer called gestational choriocarcinoma. (

Dodgers at Phillies, 10:05 a.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andre Ethier, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Joc Pederson, CF
Zack Greinke, P

By Jon Weisman

Before the first of three midweek day games this month, followed by August 19 at Oakland and August 27 at Cincinnati, here is some quick news, led by a life-and-death story …

  • Tiffany Billingsley, the wife of former Dodger pitcher Chad Billingsley, revealed this week that she had a major cancer scare this year but is now cancer-free, as Todd Zolecki reports in a harrowing piece for
  • Jimmy Rollins has a .400 on-base percentage and .650 slugging percentage in his past 11 games, while Howie Kendrick is at .406/.600 in his past seven games.
  • Zack Greinke has pitched at least seven innings in six consecutive games. Other than Clayton Kershaw, the last Dodger to do that was Hiroki Kuroda in 2010. (Kershaw pitched at least seven innings in 17 straight games last year.)
  • If Greinke goes at least seven innings today without allowing more than two runs, that would be the longest streak of its kind by a Dodger since Tom Candiotti in 1995. The franchise record is 10 games by Don Sutton in 1976.

The greatest Los Angeles Dodger pitching performances in losses

Sutton '74
By Jon Weisman

A few days ago at Fangraphs, Miles Wray wrote about the five greatest pitching performances of 2014 that came in a loss. I thought I’d put a Dodger twist on this, and throw in some historical perspective as well.

Here are the five greatest pitching performances during a loss in Los Angeles Dodger history, dating back to 1958  and using, as Wray did, Win Probability Added as the measurement. Continue past the five for a couple of bonus epics, including one that will make your jaw drop …