Corey Seager batting third in playoff debut

Carl Crawford, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Justin Turner, 3B
Andre Ethier, RF
A.J. Ellis, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Clayton Kershaw, P
Curtis Granderson, RF
David Wright, 3B
Yoenis Cespedes, CF
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Travis d’Arnaud, C
Lucas Duda, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, LF
Ruben Tejada, SS
Jacob deGrom, P

By Jon Weisman

Corey Seager will not only be the youngest Dodger position player to start a postseason game, he will bat third for Los Angeles in the National League Division Series opener against the Mets tonight.

Seager, who has the highest OPS+ in Dodger history for a rookie, hit in the No. 3 slot twice in his 27-game Major League debut, on September 20 and 30.

One advantage with Seager is that because of his prowess against left-handed pitching, the Dodgers don’t have to worry much about batting him and Adrian Gonzalez back-to-back in the lineup.

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

At 21 years and 165 days old, Seager surpasses James Loney (22/153) by nearly a year to become the Dodgers’ youngest playoff starter among non-pitchers.  Fernando Valenzuela’s NLDS appearance at 20 years, 339 days makes him the least aged among pitchers. Johnny Podres, Clayton Kershaw, Ralph Branca and Ismael Valdez were also younger than Seager.

Joc Pederson, at 23 years and 171 days, just missed making the Dodgers’ all-time playoff youth team:

P – Fernando Valenzuela (20/339)
SS – Corey Seager (21/165)
1B – James Loney (22/153)
OF – Pete Reiser (22/198)
OF – Yasiel Puig (22/300)
C – Mike Scioscia (22/313)
OF – Duke Snider (23/16)
3B – Eddie Miksis (23/26)
2B – Blake DeWitt (23/42)

Will playoffs take Dodgers over the moon?

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

And now, it’s time to come out of our safe place.


Dodgers announce NLDS roster


By Jon Weisman

Without further ado — that is, no more ado of any kind whatsoever — here is the Dodgers’ official 2015 National League Division Series roster.

Starting pitchers (4): Brett Anderson, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood

Relief pitchers (7): Luis Avilan, Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia, Chris Hatcher, J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen, Joel Peralta

Catchers (2): A.J. Ellis, Yasmani Grandal

Infielders (6): Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Chase Utley

Outfielders (6): Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Kiké Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Justin Ruggiano

Alex Guerrero, Juan Nicasio and the injured Scott Van Slyke are Dodgers who spent the entire season in the Majors but did not make it to the NLDS.

If a player is injured during the NLDS, he may be replaced, but the injured player would be ineligible to play in the NLCS should the Dodgers advance.

NL’s best pitchers tough on Dodgers, tougher on Mets

Matt Harvey reacts to a solo home run by Adrian Gonzalez at Dodger Stadium on July 4. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Matt Harvey reacts to a solo home run by Adrian Gonzalez at Dodger Stadium on July 4. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

By Cary Osborne

How many times have you heard someone say, “The Dodgers can’t hit good pitching?”

Well, that’s what good pitching does. It shuts down hitting.

The numbers show that good pitching did just that against the Dodgers in 2015. But it did even more against the New York Mets.


Remembering ’65: World Series Game 3, starring Claude Osteen

remembering-65-wide-v1-jersey1970 Headshots: Alan Foster, Claude Osteen, Don Sutton, Bill Singer, Joe Moeller, Jim Brewer, Pete Mikkelsen, Ray Lamb.

By Mark Langill

If Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke are this generation’s version of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale for Dodger fans, the question entering the postseason is who might play the role of Claude Osteen?

During his MLB career from 1957-1976, Osteen logged more than 3,400 regular-season innings with the Reds, Senators, Dodgers, Astros, Cardinals and White Sox. But nine scoreless innings in October 50 years ago represent Osteen’s pinnacle and arguably the most overlooked pitching performance in L.A. Dodger history.


Dodgers-Mets NLDS remaining game times

NLDSYou already know that National League Division Series Game 1 starts at 6:45 p.m. Friday, and Game 2 starts at 6:07 p.m. Saturday.

Today, MLB revealed the schedule for the rest of the series (all times Pacific):

  • Game 3 at New York: Monday at 5:07 p.m. (if there are four MLB playoff games that day) or 5:37 p.m.
  • Game 4 at New York (if necessary): Tuesday at 5:07 p.m.
  • Game 5 at Los Angeles (if necessary): October 15 at 5:07 p.m.

Remember, plan to arrive early for any playoff game you attend!

— Jon Weisman

Traveling through time with Vin Scully

VinEditor’s note: To say the least, Vin Scully comes by his gift for language honestly. In September 1965, while on a Dodger road trip, Scully wrote a guest column for the Times, excerpted below.  He was a master of word and thought then, just as he is now. So pull up a chair … 

By Vin Scully

PITTSBURGH — It came up rain, a gray somber rain that put a frown on the careworn face of Pittsburgh. My window was streaked with erratic wet lines that made me think of a small child crying. Rain meant disappointment to thousands of fans — and a doubleheader to broadcast — and it meant that on that wet afternoon, I was face to face with the biggest enemy on the road … TIME …

The radio hummed softly in the background and I began to pick out a few lyrics … “Lost out here in the stars … little stars … big stars …” I began to hold memories up to the light like color slides: New York — I could smell the cigaret smoke in the old Polo Grounds. I was 10 and in the bleachers and I first realized that I could see the bat hit the ball before I could hear it.

Vin Scully ‘resting comfortably’ after medical procedure, will miss postseason

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Arizona Diamondbacks

By Jon Weisman

Vin Scully underwent a recommended medical procedure this morning and is resting comfortably, the Dodgers have announced.

On the advice of his doctors, Scully will miss the Dodgers’ postseason games to rest up. He said he’s looking forward to returning to the Dodgers for the 2016 season, his 67th with the Dodgers.

Everyone in the Dodger organization wishes Scully the speediest of recoveries. Can’t wait to see him back in action next year!

A special first pitch before NLDS Game 1


A really wonderful moment is going to take place before the start of the National League Division Series on Friday. From the Dodgers’ public relations department:

Four-year-old Ella Mason Annear, who has battled cancer for the past two years, and Hall of Fame Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda have been named to throw out the honorary first pitch for games one and two on the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets.

Annear, who also goes by “Ella The Great”, is the daughter of the Dodgers’ vice-president of merchandising and retail Allister Annear and his wife, Amanda.  She will do the honors on Friday night prior to the 6:45 p.m. game.

Ella was diagnosed with Heptoblastoma and a lung tumor seven months ago.  After surgery on April 20 and seven rounds of chemotherapy, the youngster was cleared of cancer and pronounced NED (no visible disease).  Ella has a website, where fans can check her journey–

Lasorda will get the call on Saturday prior to the 6:05 p.m. start of game two.  The Hall of Fame skipper, who is the special advisor to the chairman, is baseball’s greatest ambassador.  Lasorda is currently in his 66th season in the Dodger organization.  He managed the club for 20 seasons before retiring to the front office in 1996.  Lasorda won two world championships, four National League pennants and eight division titles.  He recently celebrated his 88th birthday.

— Jon Weisman

How a manager battles the odds

Don Mattingly visits Clayton Kershaw at the mound before leaving him in to finish the Dodgers' September 2 victory over the Giants (Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Don Mattingly visits Clayton Kershaw at the mound before leaving him in to finish the Dodgers’ September 2 victory over the Giants. (Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

The other day on Twitter, I proposed a hypothetical that I think you could call a nice problem to have.



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