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Astros–Dodgers rivalry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Astros–Dodgers rivalry
First meetingMay 7, 1962
Colt Stadium
Colt .45s 9, Dodgers 6
Latest meetingJune 25, 2023
Dodger Stadium
Astros 6, Dodgers 5
Next meetingTBD
Meetings total734
Most winsDodgers
Regular season seriesDodgers, 394–328 (.546)[1]
Postseason resultsTied, 6–6
Largest victoryDodgers: 13–1 (1973), (2016)
Astros: 18–4 (2003)
Longest win streak
  • Astros: 10 (1992–1993)
  • Dodgers: 9 (1966–1967)
Current win streakAstros, 1
Post-season history

The Astros–Dodgers rivalry is a Major League Baseball (MLB) interleague rivalry played between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers and Astros were both members of the National League West division until the Astros were realigned to the National League Central in 1993, and eventually the American League West in 2012. The rivalry initially began as a divisional matchup. Following Houston's move to the American League, the rivalry regained intensity as the two teams played one another in the 2017 World Series in which the Astros secured the championship in seven games with assistance from forbidden methods. Animosity was quick to grow further after the Astros' widely publicized sign stealing scandal drew negative attention to the organization after it was revealed the team devised and implemented a complex system to steal pitch signs, including during the 2017 World Series. As a result of the scandal, hostility grew immensely between the two teams and their fans.[2] The Dodgers lead the all time series 400–334, both teams are tied in postseason wins 6–6.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Astros rally in the 9th for comeback win | Astros-Dodgers Game Highlights 9/12/20
  • Relive the Dodgers, Astros battle in epic 2017 World Series
  • Cheating has been detected in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros game #shorts



1960s: Houston joins the MLB

Houston was granted a Major League Baseball franchise on October 17, 1960 in the form of the newly created Houston Colt .45s, slated to begin play in the National League West in 1962.[citation needed] Following the conclusion of the 1964 season, the franchise was renamed to the Houston Astros. On March 21, 1966, the Dodgers faced the Astros in the first ever MLB game played on an artificial surface. Created by Monsanto, the product was initially named “ChemGrass,” but rebranded to AstroTurf upon being installed at the Astrodome.[citation needed] The AstroTurf was installed shortly after the 1965 season, but when the Dodgers and Astros played the following March, only the infield and foul line areas featured the new surface due to a shortage in stock.[citation needed]

After a late collapse in 1979, the Astros finished in a tie for first place in the National League West with a record of 92–70 with the Dodgers, having lost three in a row in Los Angeles on the final series of the season. The teams played a tiebreaker on October 6 to determine the division champion, which the Astros won, marking the first time the franchise qualified for the postseason.

1981 NLDS

Astros' Nolan Ryan (left) and Dodgers' Fernando Valenzuela (right) engaged in a historic matchup during the 1981 NLDS.[3]

The Division Series was created on August 6 in response to the 1981 Major League Baseball strike, which caused the cancellation of roughly one-third of the regular season between June 12 and August 9; by the time play was resumed, the leagues decided to split the season into two "halves" and the division winners of each half compete against each other in the "division series."[citation needed]

In a historic battle of pitching, game one saw Dodgers' legend Fernando Valenzuela in a duel with Astros' hall-of-famer Nolan Ryan.[citation needed] Both teams clawed to tie the game 1–1 going well into the ninth inning, but a late Houston two-run walk off ended the game 3–1.[citation needed] Game two saw both teams go scoreless for the duration of the entire game, leading to 11 innings until Houston managed a lone run to end the game. Houston was now one win away from winning the Astros' first ever playoff series in franchise history, However; the Dodgers bats managed to come back to life during game three as they would run away with the win 6–1. Game four was another low-scoring stalemate between the two as Dodgers' ace Valenzuela returned to the mound. The Dodgers managed to hold a 2–0 lead by the end of the eighth inning, a two-out RBI single in the ninth produced the only Astros run as the Dodgers won game four, 2–1. Desperate to save the series in game five, the Astros returned Ryan to the mound while the Dodgers utilized Jerry Reuss to ice the series.[citation needed] Reuss failed to give up a single run the entirety of the game as the Dodgers fought their way out of the stalemate with three runs during the sixth inning and another in the seventh to win the series 4–0. The Dodgers would go on to eventually win the World Series over the New York Yankees.

1990s: First Divisional Realignment

Following the lone playoff matchup in the 1981 NLCS, both teams endured different paths as the Astros would only win the division one other time in 1986. Meanwhile, the Dodgers managed two other divisional titles and a World Series victory in 1988. The 1990s would see both teams regress, though they would remain competitive briefly near the end of the decade. The Astros quickly saw their core from the 1980s decline sharply, though they did manage a key free agent signing in 1991 in the form of Red Sox prospect, and future hall-of-famer Jeff Bagwell. By 1994, the MLB reformatted the divisions to six instead of four, relocating Houston to the NL Central. Despite the increase in competition from both teams, the conundrum of the 1994 work stoppage robbed either team of a playoff push. In 1997, the Astros managed another notable free agent signing in future hall-of-fame pitcher Randy Johnson, aiding in Houston's playoff aspirations, though they were swept by the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS. Houston would make another push to the NLDS following a 102-win season, but they eventually fell to the San Diego Padres 3–1 in the NLDS. The 1999 season would see the Astros play their final season in the Astrodome as Enron Field was slated for opening in 2000. Houston managed back to back wins over the Dodgers for the final two regular season wins at the dome. The Astros managed yet another ill-fated appearance in the NLDS but fell to the Braves in four games.

2000s: Houston's first World Series

By the turn of the millennium, the rivalry lost its intensity primarily due in part to the relocation of divisions and the waning success of the Dodgers through the end of the 1990s and early 2000s due to poor ownership,[citation needed] though they would manage an appearance in the NLDS in 2004 and 2006. The Astros suffered yet another divisional round loss to the Atlanta Braves in 2001, though things improved shortly after and Houston managed an appearance in the 2004 NLCS, and a World Series Appearance in 2005 as a wild card team. They were swept by the eventual champion Chicago White Sox. Houston failed to make the postseason for their remaining duration in the National League. Meanwhile the Dodgers managed back-to-back NLCS appearances in 2008 and 2009, losing both times.

2010s: Astros leave the NL

The rivalry was largely dormant during the early 2010s as the Astros were among the worst teams in baseball, posting over 105 losses in three consecutive seasons from 2011 to 2013.[citation needed] However, they became consistent playoff contenders by 2015.[citation needed] Meanwhile, the Dodgers finished around .500 in the early part of the decade but went on to win the NL West title eight consecutive seasons from 2013 to 2020.[citation needed]

The 2017 season saw both teams among the best in all of MLB, as the Dodgers finished an MLB-best 104–58 and the Astros were 101–61, one game behind the Cleveland Indians for the best record in the AL.[citation needed] Both teams went through their leagues' playoffs to meet in the 2017 World Series.

2017 World Series

The Dodgers and Astros faced off in their first World Series meeting and second postseason meeting overall.[4] This was the first World Series since 1970, and the eighth overall, in which both participants had 100 or more wins during the regular season.[5][6]

Clayton Kershaw started game one for the Dodgers, while Dallas Keuchel started for the Astros.[7] Chris Taylor hit a home run for the Dodgers on Keuchel's first pitch of the game. It was the third home run to leadoff a game in Dodgers postseason history (Davey Lopes in 1978 World Series and Carl Crawford in 2013 NLDS).[8] Alex Bregman hit a home run for the Astros in the fourth inning. However, the Dodgers retook the lead on a Justin Turner home run as the Dodgers won the game, 3–1.[9]

Houston came back to win the next two games. Game two was an extra inning affair which saw the teams tied at three after nine innings. Both teams scored two runs in the tenth: the Astros on back-to-back home runs by José Altuve and Carlos Correa and the Dodgers on a Yasiel Puig home run and a Enrique Hernández  RBI single. The Astros scored two more in the 11th and held off another Dodgers rally to win 7-6. The Astros rode a four-run second inning to a 5–3 win in game three; however, it was overshadowed by Astros' hitter Yuli Gurriel, who made a racist gesture mocking Dodgers’ pitcher Yu Darvish who was Japanese. Gurriel was caught on camera stretching the sides of his eyes and mouthing the Spanish word chinito, which translates to "little Chinese Boy".[10][11] Gurriel apologized, and said that anyone from Asia is called a chino in Cuba, although he acknowledged that he knew the term was offensive from playing in Japan.[10][12] Gurriel was suspended for the first five games of the 2018 season without pay.[13] He was required to undergo sensitivity training in the offseason. The Astros said that they would donate Gurriel's salary lost during the suspension to a charity that supports diversity efforts.[14]

After a Dodgers win in game four, the Astros would come back with a ten-inning, 13–12 win in game six, which featured the Astros twice coming back from three-run deficits and the Dodgers erasing a three-run deficit of their own in the ninth inning to force extra innings. At five hours, 17 minutes, this game was the second-longest World Series game in history by time and has frequently been cited as one of the greatest World Series games of all time.[15][16][17][18]

The series returned to Dodger Stadium for game six. Upon the first pitch, the Dodgers pitcher briefly stepped off the mound after Gurriel went up to bat as the stadium loudly booed him for his racist gesture earlier in the series. Gurriel later tipped his hat out of respect for Darvish later in the game,[citation needed] though the Dodgers managed to pull through and force a game seven.[citation needed] However, the Astros took game seven, 5–1, to win their first World Series title in franchise history. The two teams set a record for most combined home runs in a World Series, with 25.

2019: Astros' Scandal Breaks

"Those guys were cheating for three years, I think what people don't realize is [Jose] Altuve stole an MVP from [Aaron] Judge in 2017. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us. But it's over."

—Cody Bellinger, Dodgers' outfielder[19]

Speculation about sign stealing by the Astros was rampant for several years. After news of the scandal broke in 2019, many members of the Dodgers organization said that they suspected the Astros were illegally stealing signs during the 2017 World Series, particularly during game five. On November 12, 2019, journalists Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich published a story in The Athletic detailing for the first time specific allegations that the Astros had engaged in illicit electronic sign stealing. Mike Fiers, who pitched for the Astros in 2017, stated that a center-field camera feed was sent to the tunnel behind the Astros dugout in Minute Maid Park. An Astros player or staff member then hit a trash can to signal specific different pitches to the batter at home plate.[20][21] In addition to Fiers, unnamed sources were cited in the article. MLB began an investigation the day after the Athletic story was published.[22]

The Astros were fined $5 million, the maximum allowed by the MLB constitution, and forced to forfeit their first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021. In addition, Astros' general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were each suspended for the 2020 season.[23][24]

Many players across the MLB criticized the Astros when spring training strted in February 2020.[25] Many of the condemnations came from members of the Dodgers, who the Astros defeated in the 2017 World Series, and the New York Yankees, who the Astros defeated in the ALCS in both 2017 and 2019.[26][27]

The Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution in January 2020 calling on the MLB to vacate the Astros' 2017 World Series title and award it to the Dodgers.[28] US Representative Bobby Rush from Illinois released a letter calling on the chairman of the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform to open a congressional investigation into the scandal along with MLB's response.[29]

On February 14, 2020; during an interview from Dodgers' Spring Training, outfielder Cody Bellinger publicly took aim at the Astros and second baseman Jose Altuve, claiming he had robbed Yankees' outfielder Aaron Judge of the 2017 MVP award in addition to cheating the entire Dodgers' organization out of a championship.[30] In retaliation, Astros' shortstop Carlos Correa defended his teammate, claiming the trash can hits were discouraged by him and Altuve, Correa would also exclaim to MLB News in response to Bellinger directly: "If you don't know the facts, then you gotta shut the [expletive] up."[31]


On July 29, 2020, Dodgers' pitcher Joe Kelly was issued an eight-game suspension after throwing at Astros' hitters Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa and inciting a bench clearing altercation.[32]

On September 12 and 13, 2020 the Astros played their first games in Los Angeles following the breaking news of the scandal, despite Dodger Stadium being closed to fans due to the COVID-19 concerns, which had made the 2020 season one played without fans for 60 games. A large number of hostile Dodgers fans arrived outside the stadium gates during both games to heckle the Astros' team bus with signs in regards to the scandal, as well as throwing trash while honking their car horns or chanting "Cheaters."[33][34] A possibility of a 2017 World Series rematch emerged as both teams advanced to their respective LCS. However, the Astros lost the ALCS to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Dodgers then defeated the Rays to win the 2020 World Series.

On May 25, 2021, the first full capacity game at Minute Maid Park was held with the Dodgers as the visiting team. Members of the Pantone 294 Dodgers fan group began to protest outside of the stadium and heckled Astros' players and fans during the game. Multiple fights were reported in the stands as a result of the fans present.[35][36][37][38]

On August 3, 2021, the Dodgers and Astros played the first game of a two-game series at Dodger Stadium, their first meeting in front of Dodgers fans since the story broke in 2019. Stadium and league personnel increased security in anticipation of crowd anger towards the Astros.[39] The game had the largest attendance of any MLB game in 2021. Upon entering the dugout, Houston players were met with an enraged crowd booing them loudly as other fans closer to home plate chanted "cheater!" as Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Carlos Correa went to bat. Multiple fights broke out in the stands while a large number of hostile Dodger fans had thrown bottles at Astros players. Soon, other fans began removing nearby trash cans and began throwing them onto the field in anger.[40] Fan behavior in the stands was reportedly so unruly that TV cameras were forced to avoid showing the stands as a large number of fans displaying their middle fingers at the field.[41][42] The Astros won the first game of the series. The Dodgers won the second game, which had a similar attendance and fan hostility towards the Astros, splitting the series. Another possibility of a World Series rematch could have happened when both teams made the LCS, but this time the Dodgers lost to the future World Series champ Atlanta Braves in six games.

During the 2022 All Star Game in Los Angeles; fans in attendance once again exhibited their hatred; loudly booing the Astros players present, in addition to former Astros’ outfielder George Springer who signed with the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2021 offseason.[43][44] Coincidentally, the American League would win the game with Astros pitcher Framber Valdez getting credit for the victory.

Since the end of 2017, both teams have reached the World Series multiple times, with the Astros making it four times (2017, 2019, 2021, 2022) while the Dodgers have done it three times (2017, 2018, 2020). Each obtained multiple 100-win seasons (each have four since 2017), but only the Dodgers lose in the first round, while Houston made the ALCS in every year since 2017, with the Astros winning again in 2022.

See also


Inline citations
  1. ^ "MLB : Series records : Los Angeles Dodgers(H) against Houston Astros(A)". Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  2. ^ Anderson, R. J. (September 12, 2020). "Dodgers vs. Astros: Three things to know as L.A. and Houston rekindle rivalry at Dodger Stadium". CBS Broadcasting Inc. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  3. ^ "World Series: Astros and Dodgers developed quite a Rivalry as Divisional foes".
  4. ^ Whicker, Mark (October 22, 2017). "Whicker: Dodgers, Houston Astros try to rekindle their 80s rivalry". Orange County Register. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  5. ^ Kelly, Matt; Randhawa, Manny (October 22, 2017). "Astros-Dodgers joins 100-win Series history". Major League Baseball. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  6. ^ Stephen, Eric (October 23, 2017). "Astros vs. Dodgers is the first World Series between 100-win teams in 47 years". SB Nation. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  7. ^ "World Series Game 1 will feature Dallas Keuchel vs. Clayton Kershaw". October 22, 2017.
  8. ^ Stephen, Eric (October 24, 2017). "Chris Taylor leads off the World Series with a home run". SB Nation. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  9. ^ Gurnick, Ken and Brian McTaggart (October 24, 2017). "Red hot! Turner HR backs Kershaw Gm. 1 gem". Archived from the original on October 25, 2017. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Hernandez, Dylan (October 27, 2017). "Some look askew at Yuli Gurriel's dugout squint". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 28, 2017.
  11. ^ Waldstein, David (October 28, 2017). "Astros' Yuli Gurriel Apologizes After a Racist Gesture Aimed at Yu Darvish". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 28, 2017.
  12. ^ Lauber, Scott. "MLB mulls discipline after Yuli Gurriel's insensitive gesture". Archived from the original on October 28, 2017.
  13. ^ "Astros' Yuli Gurriel Will Be Suspended After Racist Gesture at World Series".
  14. ^ Lauber, Scott (October 28, 2017). "Gurriel won't be suspended for any World Series games". ESPN Interactive Inc. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  15. ^ "Dodgers-Astros Game 5: What to know about maybe the best World Series game ever".
  16. ^ Hoffman, Benjamin; Waldstein, David (October 29, 2017). "World Series 2017: How the Astros Won Game 5, Inning by Inning". The New York Times.
  17. ^ "Alex Bregman's Walk-Off Lifts Astros Past Dodgers in Epic World Series Game 5". Bleacher Report.
  18. ^ "World Series: 11 crazy facts from Astros' insane Game 5 win vs. Dodgers". October 30, 2017. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  19. ^ "NL MVP Cody Bellinger says Astros' Jose Altuve stole 2017 AL MVP from Aaron Judge".
  20. ^ Rosenthal, Ken; Drellich, Evan (November 12, 2019). "The Astros stole signs electronically in 2017 — part of a much broader issue for Major League Baseball". The Athletic. Archived from the original on June 20, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  21. ^ Passan, Jeff (November 12, 2019). "Ex-Astros pitcher Mike Fiers: Team stole signs with camera". Archived from the original on June 19, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  22. ^ Sanchez, Ray; Sterling, Wayne (November 13, 2019). "Astros say they're cooperating with MLB investigation into video sign stealing". Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  23. ^ Manfred, Rob (January 13, 2020). "Statement of the Commissioner" (PDF). Major League Baseball. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 19, 2020. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  24. ^ Langs, Sarah (January 14, 2020). "10 notable suspensions in baseball history". Archived from the original on April 16, 2021. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  25. ^ Carson, Emily (February 14, 2020). "MLB players rip Astros over sign-stealing scandal". Sporting News. Archived from the original on February 18, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  26. ^ Passan, Jeff (February 17, 2020). "Disciplining Astros not as easy for MLB as Altuve revealing a tattoo". Archived from the original on June 1, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  27. ^ "The Dodgers-Astros rivalry continues to live on. These two teams simply do not like each other for good reason".
  28. ^ Bieler, Des; Bogage, Jacob (January 22, 2020). "Los Angeles City Council calls on MLB to give Dodgers 2017 and 2018 World Series trophies". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 10, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  29. ^ Chiari, Mike (January 17, 2020). "Congressman Bobby Rush Calls for Congressional Oversight on MLB Cheating Scandal". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on January 18, 2020. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  30. ^ "NL MVP Cody Bellinger says Astros' Jose Altuve stole 2017 AL MVP from Aaron Judge".
  31. ^ "Carlos Correa rips Cody Bellinger, defends Jose Altuve in explosive interview".
  32. ^ Gurnick, Ken (July 29, 2020). "Joe Kelly (8 games), Roberts (1) suspended". Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  33. ^ "LOOK: Dodgers fans heckle Astros bus with asterisk signs and trash cans prior to game in Los Angeles".
  34. ^ "Dodger fans greet Astros team bus with signs and trash cans".
  35. ^ "Dodgers fans filled a section at Astros' stadium and chanted 'Cheaters!' all game". Yahoo News.
  36. ^ "Astros, Dodgers Set To Renew Rivalry In 2021".
  37. ^ "Dodgers fans filled a section at Astros' stadium and chanted 'Cheaters!' all game".
  38. ^ "Dodgers fans fighting rivals as they invade Houston with cheating chants".
  39. ^ "'Make some noise:' Dodger fans bracing for Astros' return to Dodger Stadium". USA Today.
  40. ^ "The Biggest Crowd of the MLB Season Showed Up at Dodger Stadium to Heckle the Astros".
  41. ^ "Houston Astros vs Los Angeles Dodgers - 08.03.2021". YouTube.
  42. ^ "Fans take their swings but Dodgers come up empty in loss to Astros".
  43. ^ "Astros Players Booed at All Star Game".
  44. ^ "Astros Players Booed Heavily Before All Star Game".
This page was last edited on 13 September 2023, at 18:36
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