The Dodgers are making just their second trip to Baltimore in the 17 years of interleague play this weekend. The last time was 11 years ago, when the Dodgers took to of three at Camden Yards with an eclectic group of starting pitchers on the mound. Let's look back, shall we.
June 7, 2002 - Orioles 4, Dodgers 2
Andy Ashby was in the second year of a three-year, $22.5 million contract with the Dodgers, and his one fully healthy year in Los Angeles. Ashby pitched 7⅔ innings in this game but also allowed three home runs: two to Melvin Mora, and one to Brian Roberts, who apparently has been in Baltimore longer than Cal Ripken Sr. was. The Dodgers had to answer for then-rookie Rodrigo Lopez until scratching together a pair of runs in the ninth inning.
June 8, 2002 - Dodgers 8, Orioles 4
Kazuhisa Ishii allowed three runs in the first inning, but settled down to pitch into the seventh, and he was buoyed by a strong offensive attack led by three hits from Paul LoDuca and home runs from Shawn Green adn Mark Grudzielanek. The rookie Ishii was 10-1 with a 3.15 ERA on June 8, on pace to win 26 games. He settled for 14 wins on the season as he was 4-9 with a 5.31 ERA the rest of the way, with nearly as many walks (60) as strikeouts (70) in 79⅔ innings.
June 9, 2002 - Dodgers 2, Orioles 1
When Odalis Perez was on in his early time with the Dodgers, he was on, and this was one of those days. Perez struck out 10 in eight innings while allowing just one run on four hits. First-year closer Eric Gagne allowed Gary Matthews Jr. to double, then steal third base, putting the tying run 90 feet away with nobody out. But Gagne recovered to strikeout Mora and Roberts, and got Chris Singleton to fly out to end the game. Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times has more:
"It was fun," Gagne said. "I was pumped because Odalis pitched a great game, and I didn't want to mess it up. I didn't back down. I stayed positive, stayed aggressive and tried to work myself up."
Gagne so baffled the Orioles that Manager Mike Hargrove and several players marveled at his "nasty split-fingered pitch." Gagne doesn't throw a splitter; that was a changeup. There is no question about his fastball, though. It reaches 98 mph, and few have been able to catch up to it.
"I hope the hitters are [intimidated]," Gagne said. "I want to make them feel uncomfortable. That makes it easier for you."