LOS ANGELES – From the ashes of the Dodgers’ three-game sweep at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates, there has risen … smoke.
“So two days ago, we beat the Mets and we come in (to the clubhouse) – the lights are off, the disco ball is going and the smoke machine is on,” Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger said. “It was super tight.”
‘Club Dub’ as the post-game parties have been dubbed – ‘Dub’ as in W (as in win) – was the brainchild of Dodgers veteran Justin Turner, one of the architects of the bubble machine celebrations that followed Dodger home runs for some time during the 2014 season.
“You win a game in the major leagues, you shouldn’t take it for granted. You should enjoy it,” Turner said. “When I first got here, I feel like a lot of guys were in a big hurry to just get in and get out. When the game was over, you’ve seen the clubhouse, it was completely empty. I just think it’s something you should enjoy a little bit and not take for granted before you move on to the next game.”
Turner said there was no particular trigger to starting the post-game celebrations this week. There were “conversations” about what to do to celebrate victories for awhile.
“Good things take time to develop,” he said with a smile. “You can’t just rush into it.”
So he ordered a smoke machine and the disco lights. And he enlisted Mookie Betts to provide his unique skills.
“When Mookie first signed here, he had talked about bringing his (turn)tables in and DJing in the clubhouse,” Turner said.
“I remembered that he had mentioned that in ‘20. Then Covid and everything happened and it didn’t happen. So when I started ordering all this stuff, I asked if he would bring his tables in and he was like, ‘Absolutely.’ Now he says he’s going to teach me how to DJ so I can do it.”
Betts’ DJ skills were no secret to his teammates. Bellinger said Betts showed them off at a dinner for the team’s outfielders during spring training.
“Club Dub – don’t know how it started but it’s super tight,” Bellinger said.
Andrew Heaney and Max Muncy began their minor-league injury-rehabilitation assignments with Triple-A Oklahoma City at Round Rock Saturday.
Heaney pitched three innings and allowed just two baserunners – a third-inning double and bloop single (by former Dodger Zack Reks) that resulted in a run. He struck out five of the 11 batters he faced, throwing 39 pitches (29 strikes).
The left-hander has been out since April 17 with a shoulder injury. He is expected to make multiple starts on his rehab assignment.
Muncy, meanwhile, played all nine innings at third base and went 0 for 3 with three ground balls to the second baseman and a walk. He did see 23 pitches in the four plate appearances.
“It’s certainly not going to be results,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of what the team will be looking for from Muncy. “I think how he feels in the batter’s box, how he’s swinging, how he’s seeing the baseball, how he feels are the most important things.”
Assistant hitting coach Aaron Bates traveled with Muncy to OKC. How long Muncy stays on the rehab assignment is undetermined.
“If it’s two games, if it’s six games, I don’t think anyone knows right now,” Roberts said. “The challenge for Max is just to be honest about how he feels.”
Left-hander Clayton Kershaw is expected to pitch three innings for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on his rehab assignment Sunday. If it goes well and Kershaw wants to throw more, Roberts said, he might throw the equivalent of a fourth inning in the bullpen.
The plan is for Kershaw to make just one rehab start and then travel with the Dodgers on their road trip to Chicago and San Francisco. He would throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and be lined up to start one of the games next weekend in San Francisco where he is 14-5 with a 1.52 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in 26 career games – his most wins anywhere other than Dodger Stadium and his lowest ERA anywhere other than Marlins Park.
“We have a couple dates in mind,” Roberts said of Kershaw’s potential return. “But I just want to make sure we get through this one. He’ll have a ‘pen probably Wednesday (in Chicago) and we’ll see where he’s at.”
The Dodgers retired uniform number 14 in a pre-game ceremony honoring Gil Hodges who was elected to the Hall of Fame this past winter. It is the first uniform number retired by the Dodgers (who usually limit it to Hall of Famers) since Don Sutton’s number 20 was retired in 1998.
“The family is thrilled, so happy,” said Irene Hodges, one of Gil’s children. “We waited for this for a long time. … We’re thrilled he’s getting in the Hall of Fame. And it made this possible. We couldn’t have been happier.”
Mets (RHP Trevor Williams, 1-3, 3.58 ERA) at Dodgers (LHP Julio Urias, 3-5, 2.89 ERA), Sunday, 1:10 p.m., SportsNet LA, 570 AM