After an off day on Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers resume play when they host the Houston Astros in the opener of one of the most highly anticipated series of the season.
Houston’s visit to Dodger Stadium is just their second since the organization’s World Series cheating scandal was uncovered, and first with fans in attendance. When the teams played last season, it took place in an empty ballpark due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
A large group of Dodgers fans nonetheless waited outside of Dodger Stadium to jeer the Astros as their team buses arrived. That won’t be necessary this time around as a full house is expected when the teams take the field Tuesday.
Astros manager Dusty Baker is anticipating a raucous reception but believes his players can tune out the noise and keep their focus on playing baseball, per Juan Toribio of MLB.com:
“Probably not good,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said, when asked what he expects the reception to be like at Dodger Stadium. “It wasn’t bad [in San Francisco], but I’m sure it’s going to be a lot more hostile when we get to L.A. so we just got to deal with it. You’re not really worried about the reception that we’re going to get. You just got to go out there and play ball.”
With fans returning to stadiums this season, the Astros have become accustomed to being booed and heckled in road games. Their harshest treatment to this point came in May when they played the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Even with a limited crowd on hand, Astros players were mercilessly booed and had expletives thrown at them. That kind of reaction can be expected when they face off against the Dodgers this week in front of what’s expected to be an energetic crowd.
Scherzer excited for ‘crazy’ Dodgers debut against Astros
As if this week’s series didn’t have enough intrigue already, Max Scherzer is slated to make his first start with the Dodgers in Wednesday’s finale.
He is well aware of the history between the teams and recently spoke on his excitement of getting to pitch in an electric atmosphere.
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