Los Angeles Dodgers fans waited a long time to let José Altuve and the Houston Astros know just how they felt about possibly being cheated out of a 2017 World Series championship.
And they didn’t waste any time letting the Astros hear it Tuesday night.
The crowd in the upper deck and bleachers shouted “Cheaters!” at Houston players during warmups. When the Astros hit home runs in batting practice, fans hollered as they threw the balls back into the outfield.
The loud booing began when Houston’s lineup was introduced, and the derisive chants soon followed. The first trash can — albeit an inflatable one — came flying out of the right-field stands during the bottom of the first inning and another fell onto the warning track when Altuve batted in the third.
When Astros star Carlos Correa hit a foul ball into the first base stands, the souvenir was thrown back onto the diamond — and the fan who chucked it was tossed by security.
This was the first chance Dodgers fans had to heckle the Astros in person at Chavez Ravine since their sign-stealing scandal — banging on a real trash can to signal opponents’ pitches — was revealed late in 2019. Houston beat LA in the 2017 World Series, winning Game 7 at Dodger Stadium.
“I think that we’re sort of in the mode of it’s another very good ballclub that is coming to Dodger Stadium that we got to try to beat,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I know that the fans haven’t had that opportunity, so I think for them there’s a feeling that there is potentially some closure from that aspect.”
Houston visited Dodger Stadium last year when crowds weren’t allowed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Altuve, Correa and the Astros have been heckled throughout the season at ballparks throughout the country, but not when it was played at the capacity that they experienced for the opener of this two-game series.
The vociferous boos didn’t affect Altuve, who lined a single to center to lead off the game before Michael Brantley grounded into a double play. Walker Buehler struck out Correa to end the inning.
Only four players on Houston’s roster who played in that World Series were active — Altuve, Correa, Yuli Gurriel and Lance McCullers Jr., who got the start on Tuesday. Fans didn’t boo players who weren’t on the roster.
Los Angeles had six active players remaining who were in uniform — Austin Barnes, Cody Bellinger, Kenley Jansen, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor and Justin Turner.
This was the fifth series where the teams have faced each other since the 2017 Fall Classic. The Dodgers are 5-4 in those games with the teams splitting a two-game series in Houston in May.