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'It’s gonna be a sad day in L.A. tomorrow': Dodgers fans devastated after Game 7 loss

'It’s gonna be a sad day in L.A. tomorrow': Dodgers fans devastated after Game 7 loss
Dodgers fan Greg Uy watches World Series Game 7 at the Down and Out bar in downtown Los Angeles. (Patrick T. Fallon / Los Angeles Times)

John Mann clutched a michelada at Dodger Stadium and shook his head angrily.

"We're bummed out," said Mann, 54, as he stood on the loge level with another Dodgers fan since childhood, Julio Gomez.

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"Brutal," said Gomez, 38. "It's gonna be a sad day in L.A. tomorrow."

"Wait till next year," Mann said. People always say that. He said it bitterly. "It hurts."

As the Dodgers trailed early during Wednesday's Game 7 of the World Series, fans watching in the stadium were stunned and angry. Some screamed curse words. Too nervous to sit in their seats, others crowded in the corridors as if to put some distance between themselves and the disaster unfolding before them.

Slowly, they lost hope. When their fate was clear, they quickly made for the exits. One woman had tears in her eyes, another stared ahead in silence.

"It's depressing to watch the other team celebrate on your own field," said Eric Beltran, 33, as the Astros rushed onto the field after the final out. He thought the Dodgers would at least have "some fight" in them.

On the stadium's field level, Rosemead resident Omar Portillo was devastated. The 30-year-old works as a valet at a Santa Monica hotel and had put in a lot of extra hours to come with his wife to the game.

"I'll probably be heartbroken for the next two months," he said.

Still, he's glad he came. The pain will eventually cede to his being glad he saw something historic. "It's a lifetime experience," he said, sighing.

Wednesday's historic, high-stakes last game was emotional for baseball fans — many of whom have loved this team since they were kids — who flooded into Dodger Stadium and huddled in front of television screens across Los Angeles.

When the Dodgers scored one in the bottom of the sixth inning on an Andre Ethier single, fans exploded, screaming as if they'd won the game. They at least weren't going to see the Dodgers go scoreless.

"We got on the board, baby!" one man screamed from the stadium.

At downtown L.A.'s Down and Out bar, Nate Joyner had two words to describe Game 7: extremely stressful.

As he took a break from bartending at the bottom of the fifth inning, Joyner said the five-run deficit was infuriating to watch, but he was "still not afraid."

Joyner — who was raised a Cubs fan, but officially switched when his daughter was born seven years ago — attended about 20 Dodgers games this year.

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He said he wasn't counting the Dodgers out just yet because of how "crazy" the series against the Houston Astros has been and how "incredibly" the team has played.

"There's still a lot of baseball to play," the 41-year-old said as Justin Turner came up to bat. "Every game we've blown up in the sixth."

"That's the way I like to hear you talk!" a bar patron shouted as he walked past.

The optimism was short-lived.

Back at the stadium, Momo Rodriguez thought he had done his part for the Dodgers during Game 7.

Like so many baseball fans, he's superstitious. So he came to the last game of the Fall Classic on Wednesday wearing the same clothes he'd worn to Game 6, which the Dodgers won.

He repeated everything he did for Game 6. He brought four SmartWaters to Dodger Stadium and half a bag of Cracker Jack. He bought a bag of pistachios, but since the one he'd brought Tuesday was half full, he dumped half out in his car before Game 7. In the end, it wasn't enough.

Hours before the game, anxious Dodger fans streamed into the stadium, picking up their blue rally towels and breaking into chants of, "Let's go, Dodgers!"

Among them was Elizabeth Ceja, who is supposed to give birth to a baby boy next week. Her mom called Wednesday morning with an unexpected surprise: She'd bought tickets to Game 7 for Ceja and her brother. Ceja had already been having contractions and wondered if she should go.

But whether she gives birth at the stadium or not, she's here, wearing a Dodger blue shirt over her pregnant belly that says, "You're Kickin' Me Smalls."

"Hopefully I don't go into labor with all the excitement of the game," said Ceja, 32, of Santa Ana. She planned to take selfies with her belly in the stands and to tell her son he was at Game 7 of the World Series.

By the end of the game, Ceja had not gone into labor.

Los Angeles police were on high alert Wednesday in case revelers turned unruly. About 9:40 p.m., a fight broke out in the stadium parking lot, but no one was arrested. In an unrelated incident connected to the game, two people were arrested on suspicion of trespassing.

Sal Barajas, 31, stopped by the Down and Out to catch the game after work. Dressed in a Dodgers jersey with his name sewn across the back, Barajas said it was surreal to see the team reach Game 7.

"They're playing with heart," he said. "Everybody's doing what they're supposed to do."

At the time, he had no idea who would come out on top — not after the back-and-forth that had been this World Series.

"Whoever wins it deserves it," he said.

Times staff writers Kate Mather and Richard Winton contributed to this report.

UPDATES:

10:45 p.m.: This article was updated with more fan reaction and information from LAPD about a fight and two arrests.

9:05 p.m.: This article was updated with quotes from fans during the sixth inning.

8:15 p.m.: This article was updated with a fan interview at the bottom of the fifth inning.

7:40 p.m.: This article was updated with a quote from a fan.

7:10 p.m.: This article was updated with fan reactions during the game.

This article was originally published at 6:35 p.m.

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