Advertisement
Dodgers

Dodgers report: Andrew Friedman knows something about Houston

la-1509166205-c7pz9ki3lo-snap-image
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, left, and Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations, share a light moment before the start of Game 2 of the World Series.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Houston can be hot and sticky during the summer, and kids who can get away tend to head to camp.

Not Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations. Friedman grew up in Houston, and he had a game plan every summer.

“I figured out how to finagle my way into the Astrodome and watch games,” he said.

His favorite game: Mike Scott pitched a no-hitter to clinch the National League West for the Astros in 1986. Friedman was 9. (Scott pitched 293 innings that year, including playoffs. Friedman’s future self would be apoplectic.)

Advertisement

Friedman did not collect T-shirts or autographs. “I would come early and get broken bats,” he said. “They would break bats, and I would be lurking. I probably had 90 to 100 of them. I don’t know where they are.”

Friedman later played in the Astrodome, for his high school team. The Astros moved out of America’s original domed stadium and into Minute Maid Park in 2000.

Their landlord is the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority. The chairman of that authority: Friedman’s father, Ken.

Tune up

Advertisement

The Dodgers have a department of research and development, mining endless streams of data for any factor that might give the team even the slightest competitive edge. Has the R&D team determined that the volume or quality of music played during batting practice can influence the performance of hitters?

“Come on,” Friedman said. “That’s ridiculous.”

It wasn’t his idea, he said, to make the Astros twice take batting practice to the sounds of cheesy soft rock at Dodger Stadium. But turnabout is fair play, so the Astros provided no music when the Dodgers worked out here Thursday night.

“I heard they had a quiet workout with no music,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said, “which I did not set up, but I fully approve of.” He smiled.

Actually, the Dodgers provided their own music for the workout, with a portable sound system they attached to the batting cage.

Throwing blanks

Kenta Maeda pitched 2 2/3 more scoreless innings Friday, allowing the Dodgers to stay within striking distance of the Astros.

Advertisement

The converted starter has appeared in seven of the team’s 11 postseason games, and has nine shutout innings, giving up only two hits and a walk. He has nine strikeouts.

But, after extending to 42 pitches, he is also likely to be unavailable Saturday in Game 4.

Late switch

The Dodgers made a late change to their lineup, shifting Enrique Hernandez from designated hitter to left field. Joc Pederson moved from left to DH. Manager Dave Roberts indicated the team preferred Hernandez’s versatility in the field.

Hernandez was 0 for 1 with a walk before being replaced by Andre Ethier in the seventh inning. Pederson had a double in two at-bats and scored the Dodgers’ first run after a walk.

Relishing the experience

Alex Wood, the Dodgers’ Game 4 starter, has championship experience. Just not lately. He enrolled at Georgia the year after the Bulldogs went to the College World Series.

“In high school, won a state championship,” he said. “Lost my junior year. And after that, nothing notable.”

Advertisement

He is trying to make sure he takes it all in.

“The biggest thing for me is just trying to kind of let it all sink in and enjoy the moment,” said Wood, who lost his only postseason start this year. “It goes by so fast and you turn back and you’re like, ‘Wow, what happened?’ ”

Juice ball?

After eight home runs were hit in Game 2, Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel offered an explanation.

“I think the balls are juiced, 100%,” Keuchel said.

Commissioner Rob Manfred dismissed any such conclusion on the basis of Game 2, or on any one game. Manfrerepeated what he has said throughout a season in which a record number of home runs were hit: The balls have been tested repeatedly and fall within the specifications provided to manufacturers.

-->
The Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series
Kenley Jansen, Cody Bellinger, Rich Hill talk about losing Game 7 On Now
Video: Kenley Jansen, Cody Bellinger, Rich Hill talk about losing Game 7
1:59
Analysis: Dodgers lose Game 7 and the World Series On Now
Video: Analysis: Dodgers lose Game 7 and the World Series
11:43
Yu Darvish talks about using his slider for Game 7 On Now
Video: Yu Darvish talks about using his slider for Game 7
1:34
Kenley Jansen and others talk about winning Game 6 On Now
Video: Kenley Jansen and others talk about winning Game 6
1:58
Analyzing the Dodgers Game 6 win On Now
Video: Analyzing the Dodgers Game 6 win
7:26
Clayton Kershaw on starting Game 5 of the World Series On Now
Video: Clayton Kershaw on starting Game 5 of the World Series
1:57
Dave Roberts Talks Rich Hill and Kenley Jansen pitching in Game 6 On Now
Video: Dave Roberts Talks Rich Hill and Kenley Jansen pitching in Game 6
1:57
Dave Roberts talks preparing for Game 7 On Now
Video: Dave Roberts talks preparing for Game 7
1:26
Here it is, Game 7, and Bill Plaschke knows who wins On Now
Video: Here it is, Game 7, and Bill Plaschke knows who wins
2:22
Rich Hill talks about Game 6 of the World Series On Now
Video: Rich Hill talks about Game 6 of the World Series
1:48

andy.mccullough@latimes.com

Twitter: @McCulloughTimes


Newsletter
Get our weekly Dodgers Dugout newsletter
Advertisement