Here’s an odd story with odder timing.
According to Sam Strong of the Long Beach Press-Telegram, hundreds of Dodgers fans arrived in Chavez Ravine around 7 PM on Saturday, hours after the team had completed a 1-0 defeat of the visiting Padres. Those fans were unaware that FOX had selected the game for its national broadcast and moved first pitch to the early afternoon. They were issued ticket vouchers for a future home game.
As noted by the Press-Telegram, an advertiser for HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” might have also been thrown off, as an airplane carrying a promotional banner for the show was making loops above an empty Dodger Stadium just before 7 PM.
It all represents the sudden lack of interest in Frank McCourt’s sinking ship.
According to Jon Weisman of ESPN Los Angeles, less than 80 people gathered on a block near the stadium an hour before the actual 1:10 PM first pitch to protest the bankrupt owner with homemade signs and a megaphone. These days in Dodgerland, not even the protests are well-attended.
Stephen Strasburg‘s bat was on fire Thursday night in Atlanta. He hit a three-run home run off of Touki Toussaint to cap off an eight-run third inning, then added a two-run single off of Toussaint in the fifth.
The last time a pitcher knocked in at least five runs was on April 11, 2014 when Madison Bumgarner homered and drove in five runs at home against the Rockies. Strasburg is just the seventh pitcher since 2000 to knock in five runs in one game. The others, along with Strasburg and Bumgarner:
- Chris Carpenter (Cardinals) vs. Reds, October 1, 2009 (HR, 6 RBI)
- Jason Marquis (Cubs) vs. Mets, September 22, 2008 (HR, 5 RBI)
- Micah Owings (Diamondbacks) vs. Braves, August 18, 2007 (2 HR, 6 RBI)
- Robert Person (Phillies) vs. Expos, June 2, 2002 (HR, 7 RBI)
- Shawn Estes (Giants) vs. Expos, May 24, 2000 (HR, 5 RBI)
Strasburg is 3-for-3 overall as he also singled to lead off the third. Tonight’s homer marked the fourth of his career and he’s now up to 25 RBI.
Strasburg is performing well on the mound as well. At the time of this writing, he has held the Braves to a lone run on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts over four innings as the Nationals lead 10-1.