Tuesday, Sept. 15, was the 40th anniversary of Fernando Valenzuela’s major league debut, a two-inning relief appearance in Atlanta in which he allowed two unearned runs.
Before there was Fernandomania in 1981, there was the 19-year-old Valenzuela allowing no earned runs in 17⅔ relief innings in a fierce pennant race in September 1980. Coupled with his glorious first eight starts in his Cy Young Award-winning rookie season the next year, Valenzuela’s ERA through his first 89⅔ innings was 0.40.
Zero point forty.
Valenzuela remains a beloved figure in Dodgers lore to this day, now on the Spanish-language broadcast team.
“He just kind of paved the way and we have two guys who idolize him in Julio [Urías] and Victor [Gonzalez],” manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday. “He was a trailblazer, a trendsetter, whatever you want to call it. What a great Dodger.”
- Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register has more on the oddities of the 2020 MLB playoffs, which will have no home field advantage after the wild card round.
- Clayton Kershaw is hosting a virtual pitching camp on Sept. 21, free to all Little League and high school-aged baseball players. From the registration website: “The virtual instruction will include tips from the pros, pitching fundamentals, game day preparation, training insight, and an exclusive Q&A with Clayton Kershaw and former Cy Young Award Winner & current Dodgers broadcaster Orel Hershiser.”
- Pedro Moura at The Athletic debated the merits of choosing Dustin May or Chris Paddack going forward.
- Checking in on some gambling odds, the Dodgers are 13/4 favorites (bet $100 to win $325) to win the World Series per BetOnline, who have LA at 3/2 odds to win the pennant. Mookie Betts and Fernando Tatis Jr. are co-favorites to win NL MVP at 5/2 odds, with Corey Seager at first 7/1.