Los Angeles Dodgers fans established a hostile environment from the moment the Houston Astros took the field for batting practice, but their energy couldn’t will the team to a win as they fell 3-0 in the series opener.
The loss came in front of an announced attendance of 52,692, which marked the Dodgers’ 34th sellout and the largest crowd for an MLB game this season.
Earlier this year the Dodgers drew an announced attendance of 52,078 for Reopening Day at Dodger Stadium, which at the time was the largest crowd to watch a professional sports league game in the United States since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic last year.
L.A. is anticipating a sellout on Wednesday night as well when Max Scherzer makes his debut with the team.
The Dodgers drawing such a large crowd for series opener came as no surprise considering it was the first time fans could jeer the Astros at Dodger Stadium since their 2017 World Series cheating scandal was uncovered.
In 2020, Dodgers fans were limited to waiting outside the Dodger Stadium entrance with signs and trash cans to make their presence felt as Astros’ busses arrived. Though, a large contingent was vocal in Houston earlier this year for the first game Minute Maid Park was opened to full capacity.
Anticipating a hostile environment, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts shared, “I would encourage our fans to be as emotional as they want to be towards our team, rooting for us. Booing, that’s a part of baseball. That’s a part of going on the road, but I just want to encourage safety.
“That’s the great thing about sports, it’s entertainment. Fans have been waiting. There’s a lot of pent-up frustration and anger, which I understand it. Let’s just focus on the game, the field, the players and be safe. I can’t emphasize that enough.”
For most of the night fans kept their vitriol centered to booing and chants, but there were also a handful of inflatable trash cans and foul balls hit by Astros players thrown back onto the field.
Buehler credits Dodgers fans
Although Walker Buehler had to deal with multiple stoppages because of fans throwing objects into the field of play, he understood their passion and gave them credit for their energy throughout the night.
“It’s a playoff game in terms of how it feels and sounds out there. It’s a big game for us, obviously. There’s a lot of emotion in that clubhouse,” Buehler said.
“They sustained the noise which is a tip of the hat to our fans. Obviously there were a few stoppages during the game, stuff thrown on the field. I get it. I think the emotion is warranted. There’s not a whole lot we’re going to do to change that. But certainly a different atmosphere, different feel than most baseball games.”
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