The Dodgers never have been so happy to see Dodger Stadium on Tuesday after their harrowing trip from New York on Sunday night.
The Dodgers’ chartered flight was 45 minutes en route to Los Angeles when it was discovered that there was a compression problem, causing several Dodgers to have ear aches. They turned around and landed in Newark, N.J., never flying above 10,000 feet.
“We were about to blow up,” reliever Joey Eischen said, “and they probably didn’t tell us.”
The Dodgers got off the plane, sat around in the terminal, were told to get back on the plane and retrieve their carry-on items, and then boarded another flight at about 10 p.m. They stopped once in Kansas City to be refueled, and by the time they landed it was nearly 1 a.m., five hours behind schedule.
Darren Dreifort, 0-3 with a 5.20 ERA in nine starts at triple-A Albuquerque, pitched on the side in front of Dodger officials. Dreifort, who is coming off reconstructive elbow surgery, also was examined by Dodger physical therapist Pat Screnar who reported that everything was fine.
“It’s been frustrating,” Dreifort said of his varied success, “but they tell me, ‘Remember, you’ve been out a long time. It’s going to come with more outings.’ ”