2006 was an exciting year for the Boys in Blue, and it was one of the more memorable years for me as both a Dodgers fan and a baseball fan. Though I have not had the chance to blog on such a frequent basis, I would like to now take time and set up my little personal series of Dodgers and personal highlights that occurred from this past season.
Opening Day, April 3, 2006 would be Big Blue Monday for me, with both the Dodgers opening the season vs. the Braves and the UCLA Bruins taking on the Florida Gators in the NCAA Basketball Final. The opening day starters
P Derek Lowe
C Dioner Navarro
1B Olmedo Saenz ( Nomar 15 DL )
2B Jeff Kent
3B Bill Mueller
SS Rafael Furcal
LF Jose Cruz Jr
CF Jason Repko
RF JD Drew
From that lineup, Navarro, who at one time was tabbed the catcher of the future, would be traded to Tampa, Mueller would miss most of the season along with Jason Repko, Jose Cruz Jr would also be waived, and though Lowe would be roughed up on this day, he would still finish the season strong along with Rafael Furcal, who eventually kept the starting SS position, and Jeff Kent, who too would start the season slow. Olmedo, as he has done in the past, would prove to be valuable off the bench while Nomar raised some questions about his health starting off the year on the DL
Drei’s April Record in Games Attended
I went to 4 games at the stadium, and one road game at PETCO, my DS record would be 2-2, and I would lose a heartbreaker at PETCO. Here are my April results
4/3 vs. Atlanta
4/15 vs SF
4/16 vs SF
4/23 vs Az
4/30 @ SD
6-5 L (10)
The game at April 30 at PETCO would see the Blue blow a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the 9th as the Friars rallied and won in the bottom of the 10th on a single by Mark Bellhorn. The Friars, who had been in an offensive drought, would go on a 9 game winning streak and perhaps this was the game that woke them up and would set the tone for what would be quite a race for the NL West title.
OTHER APRIL HIGHLIGHTS
4/24/06 Trailing 2-1 with one out and the bases loaded in the top of the 9th, Nomar, coming off the DL, would face Houston’s closer Brad Lidge. On a 1-2 pitch, Nomar would take Lidge towards Crawford St. and bring back memories of Albert Pujol’s shot from ’05, and the Dodgers would go on to win, 6-2. This would be the first of many other clutch hits Nomar would deliver for us. As for Lidge, a local Houston Chron reporter would say that " Lidge was Pujolsed by Nomar "
The second week of May would find me traveling to 3 of the most storied ballparks in the Majors as I would make the trek to Fenway, Yankee, and Wrigley all in the same trip. Of the 3, I would rank Wrigley at the top with Fenway a close 2nd and Yankee a somewhat distant 3rd . At Fenway, my friend Josh and I, whom I’ve done ballpark trips with the last 3 years, really acted like Fenway rookies when we arrived early to gawk at the Mahnstah and do what any other fan would do, reach out and touch . Yankee Stadium, you really have to go there to see and feel it’s history. Though big, it makes sense in New York, a big city, where the Yanks are just as big an attraction as lady liberty itself. And as for the 2 games watched against the Red Sox, growing up with the Dodgers-Giants rivalry, I can now say the Yanks-Sox rivalry is more intense than the Dodgers-Giants. And as for Wrigley, I had already been here back in ’04 to witness the Cubs-Cards rivalry, but now I’d come here with Josh, and we got tix out in the bleachers against the Pads. Unfortunately, the Cubs were in a huge losing streak, and the weather, well, it was somewhere in the high 30’s to low 40’s. The locals had informed me that it was the coldest week of May in over 100 years. Put that all together, and that’s why the Bleacher atmosphere Wrigley in known for was not there, and perhaps that’s why most of the fans stayed home as well.
DREI’S MAY RECORD FOR GAMES ATTENDED
I would attend 2 games for the month of May with these results
5/3 vs SD
5/21 vs Angels
Notice I didn’t give the Angels the LA title. As for the game, the 7-0 win would mark the first time the Dodgers would sweep a 3 game series against the Halo’s, as the Dodgers would jump out to an early 5-0 lead in the 1st inning, capped off by a 3 run home run by a rookie call up starting in left field named Andre Ethier. The blue were on a 7 game winning streak at the time, while also winning 11 of 13.