Dodger Stadium started shaking in the bottom of the fourth inning Friday night. It was around 8:21 p.m. The foul poles swayed. The broadcast cameras bobbed up and down. Within a few seconds, the thousands in attendance realized what was happening. It was another earthquake, the second in the region in two days. People in the upper deck scrambled, but most fans stayed put as the ballpark shook for nearly a minute.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen was on a couch in the team’s clubhouse when the Earth began trembling.
“I thought I was trippin’ for a second,” Jansen said. “I thought, ‘Am I trippin’ or am I getting sick or something?’ I ran into the training room [and asked], ‘Did y’all feel same thing I’m feeling?’ Next thing you know you see everything is shaking. Definitely not a fun moment.”
Alex Verdugo and Austin Barnes were both in the Dodgers’ dugout and felt the tremors. Verdugo said third-base coach Dino Ebel, who was on the field, alerted him. That’s when he felt the dugout rail move.
“Not scary. It’s an earthquake,” Verdugo said. “Nothing I can do it about it. It’s happening so whatever happens, happens….I can’t tell the Earth to stop moving.”
On the field, Enrique Hernandez was in the batter’s box facing San Diego Padres left-hander Eric Lauer. He didn’t notice anything unusual. Nobody on the field seemed to feel the shaking. The game proceeded as normal.
“How are they continuing to play baseball?” Dodgers play-by-play announcer Joe Davis wondered.
“I don’t understand how the players can’t feel it,” Orel Hershiser, the team’s color analyst, said.
Lauer threw three pitches through the temblors, which were apparent during the broadcast as the cameras quivered for the quake’s duration. The first was a ball. Hernandez took the second for a strike. Hernandez fouled the third down the third-base line before stepping away, briefly pausing the game when he noticed the ruckus. He was confused and didn’t realize there was an earthquake until the ballboy bringing balls to the home-plate umpire during the at-bat told him what happened.
After a moment, he was back at the plate. He fouled off the next two pitches. He flied out to left field to conclude the at-bat and the inning with the Dodgers trailing 2-1. As the quake tapered off, Dodger Stadium organist Dieter Ruehle started playing Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move.”
“No hits, no runs, one earthquake,” Davis said as the broadcast went to commercial break.
“I’ve lived in Southern California,” said Barnes, a Riverside native. “I haven’t felt earthquakes like that ever, especially that long. Never.”