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Diamondbacks Game Preview #37: 5/17 @ Dodgers

Tyler Gilbert starts. Another no-hitter, please...

Pope John Paul II at Dodger Stadium

Today's Lineups

Daulton Varsho - C Mookie Betts - RF
Josh Rojas - 3B Freddie Freeman - 1B
Pavin Smith - RF Trea Turner - SS
Christian Walker - 1B Will Smith - C
David Peralta - LF Max Muncy - 2B
Cooper Hummel - DH Justin Turner - DH
Alek Thomas - CF Cody Bellinger - CF
Geraldo Perdomo - SS Chris Taylor - LF
Jake Hager - 2B Hanser Alberto - 3B
Tyler Gilbert - LHP Ryan Pepiot - RHP

We hit the first bump caused by the lockout today, with a pre-scheduled double-header at Dodger Stadium, needed to cram 162 games into a shortened season. According to Eric at True Blue LA, it has been approaching 23 years since the last double-header of any kind in this park, in part because the weather in Southern California is rarely a problem. He says last night’s contest was the Dodgers’ 1,746th consecutive home game without a rainout, a major league record. I can only presume that mark excludes parks with roofs, because the Diamondbacks have played 1,914 games at Chase Field, and I don’t recall any of them being rained out...

Anyway, to find the last time there was a doubleheader of any kind at Dodger Stadium, you need to go back to July 22, 1999, when they made up a rainout versus Colorado, replacing a came canceled in April. For the last time there was a scheduled double-header, you have to go back even further, to September 19, 1987, when this happened at the park the previous day:

The owner of the Dodgers at that time, Peter O’Malley, was a practicing Catholic and apparently played a large part in getting the Pope to say mass at the park. The LA Times reports, that the famous Hollywood sign dropped one of its L’s during His Holiness’s visit to the city, and adds, “Dodger Stadium was packed from the dugout to the upper decks with almost 6,000 people more than the record-setting Dodgers-Yankees World Series game of 1981. For six minutes, the popemobile rounded the bases — actually the warning track — as the crowd waved anything at hand, including the paper napkins that wrapped their Dodger dogs.” No word as to whether there were beachballs tossed around during the mass.

The acknowledgement by the leader of the Catholic Church did not help the Dodgers that year, as they went 73-89, to finish fourth in the then six-team NL West. The baseball gods are clearly more powerful. :)