So far as two-game series go, it's hard to think of many that stand to be more eventful than the one between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers that began on Tuesday night. Max Scherzer will be making his Dodgers debut on Wednesday, just days after being acquired from the Washington Nationals in a blockbuster trade alongside Trea Turner. Yet on Tuesday, the big story entailed how the Dodgers crowd would behave with the Astros in town.
It didn't take long for the fans to make themselves part of the story. In the bottom of the first, with Corey Seager up to bat, an inflatable trash can was either thrown or dropped onto the warning track behind right fielder Michael Brantley. The crowd then began to chant "Cheaters" during a delay while the trash can was being removed from the field.
Here's video evidence:
An inflatable trash can was being passed around the right field pavilion before landing on the field behind Michael Brantley. The crowd cheered when they saw it and then broke into another “cheaters!” Chant. #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/mZUt9l9IIZ— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) August 4, 2021
For those who might've forgotten, or are otherwise unaware of the backstory, the Astros defeated the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series. The offseason before last, former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers revealed that Houston had engaged in technological misconduct by stealing signs during games using a live camera feed. (The Astros would beat on a trash can to tip off their hitters as to what pitch type was coming.) The Dodgers, understandably, believe the Astros had deprived them of a World Series title through unethical means.
The two teams did play four times last season, including the contest in the first week that saw Joe Kelly and Carlos Correa get into a dispute. The COVID-19 global pandemic prevented any fans from being in attendance, however. That makes Tuesday's contest the first time Dodgers fans have been able to directly jeer at the Astros since the scandal came to light.
It's possible that the two sides are heading for another World Series showdown. They entered Tuesday with the two best run differentials in the majors.