The Dodgers will face the rival Giants in the Division Series
LOS ANGELES – No one was hotter than the Cardinals as they cut short the stretch of the 2021 season. St. Louis won 17 consecutive wins at one point, setting a franchise record and starting the season after.
But with the embers from a highly entertaining National League wild-card game at Dodger Stadium here on Wednesday night, Chris Taylor’s ninth, two-out, two-run homer sent the Dodgers into a heart-wrenching 3-1 victory. Served as a reminder that the Dodgers were just as hot in the final months of the season.
Attempting to chase down San Francisco and avoid the embarrassing prospect of defeat, sealing them with a one-and-a-half position to their World Series title in 2020, they lead 45-15 in their final 60 games. Have become.
They also finished the regular season by winning their last 15 consecutive home games, a franchise record.
Wednesday’s win made it to 16 in a row and counting. The Dodgers will now open as dramatically as a division series as baseball has done in San Francisco on Fridays, the first time ancient-rival clubs have faced each other in the post season since 1889, when the American The Association’s predecessor, the Brooklyn club Dodgers, faced the New York Giants of the National League in what was then billed as the World Series.
Games 1 and 2 of the Division Series between the Modern Giants and the Dodgers are on Friday and Saturday at Oracle Park in San Francisco before the Dodgers look to score 17 consecutive home wins in Game 3 on Monday.
“I think it’s great,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said shortly after sprinkling champagne at the clubhouse, something that was forbidden during the height of the pandemic last year. “This is what baseball wants, the Giants and the Dodgers.
“It’s one of the biggest rivalries in the sport, and it’s happening.”
The Dodgers finished the year 106–56, a second-place record that inspired much debate. How unfair was it that a 106-win team, the club with the second-best overall record in the sport, could potentially end their season with one loss?
And what about giants? They went 107-55 and now face the 106-win Dodgers in a Division Series instead of the National League Championship Series?
With talking points, alleged feuds, and history at every turn, this is a matchup that people debated even before it surfaced.
Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ third year president of baseball operations, was fired from the Dodgers, where he was general manager under Andrew Friedman. Interstate rivalry is in full force, rival fans hate each other and the Giants win the season 10–9. But there are also unmistakable bonds between teams that shine. Whenever these two face each other, they settle on the ice for a few days.
“I think it’s great for baseball,” Roberts said. “They get into the platoon and matchup advantage a lot the way we think about it. There’s a lot of familiarity, which makes it fun, even more challenging.
“It is going to be a great series. It’s going to be a great series.”
The closest West Coast version of these ancient franchises have come to meet in the postseason came in 1962, when they tied for first and the Giants won a best-of-three tiebreaker for the right to advance to the World Series with the Dodgers. Won, where they lost to the Yankees.
In 1951, the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants also tied for the first time and played a best-of-three series with the Giants, which he also won.
This year’s NL West race was not decided until the final day of the season. In their final 29 games, the Giants went 23-6 and the Dodgers 22-7.
“They beat us, but now we have the opportunity to get them where we want them,” said Dodgers Max Schaezer, whose gritty four and third innings Wednesday night put the Dodgers in a position to survive their season.
It wasn’t vintage Scherzer, but it was enough. His command was not as quick as ever and he was “on pins and needles” at every turn, except for the first innings run.
The Cardinals struck quickly when leadoff man Tommy Edman swung a base hit to the right, stole second, moved to third on the fly ball, and then went home on a wild pitch.
The Dodgers drew 1–1 when Justin Turner hit a 75 mph Adam Wainwright curveball hanging in the left-field seats to reach fourth.
It went 1–1 over the course of five innings through nine combined relief pitchers, several pinch-hitters and two starting pitchers – Scherzer (four and one third inning, one run, three hits, three walks and four strikeouts) and Wainwright . five and a third inning, one run, four hits, two walks, five strikes) – reluctant to leave the game when his managers signaled the bullpen.
“I don’t think it was the most popular decision, but it probably made for good TV,” quipped St. Louis manager Mike Schildt.
The sold out crowd of 53,193 spent most of the 4 hours and 15 minutes of the game on their feet hoping to get the Dodgers into action. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, former National League Most Valuable Player Award winner, Cody Bellinger, who has struggled badly throughout the season, scored a 2–2 count against lefty reliever TJ McFarland to set the stage. Did a walk. Taylor, who entered the game in the seventh inning.
Taylor was also struggling, scoring just 7 for 65 in his last 25 matches.
“Obviously it’s a little different from not starting out,” Taylor said. “I was trying to stay off the bench, and I knew there was a chance to learn our way of doing things.”
The threat of extra innings loomed large with Bellinger at the plate in the dugout and Taylor in the on-deck circle, the Scherzer reliever who stood next to Kelly.
“I looked and Joe and I said, ‘I think Bayley is going to go over here and Whistle is going to hit a home run,'” Scherzer said, “I really had a vision for him. I played with him. Well, I’ve encountered him, and I thought he was the right man for the right place.”
On the 2-1 count, Taylor took off on an 88-mph slider from Cardinals reliever Alex Reyes. It looked like a rifle shot at night, and as soon as the ball came off the bat, there was no doubt that it was a game-winner.
The Dodgers jumped out of their dugout and Dodger Stadium shook with noise. A large blue crowd met Taylor at home plate in celebration and, after spending several minutes and some time pumping their arms to raise the crowd’s noise level even higher, Roberts found Taylor and a heavyweight. Like a champion held one of his star’s arms on his head. .
It was fitting not only for Taylor but for this team and the series he is going to play in. In National League Baseball’s 146 years, only four teams have had a better win percentage than this year’s 107–55 Giants. 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates (103-36), 1906 Chicago Cubs (116-36), 1907 Cubs (107-45) and 1909 Pirates (110-42). A record that is stellar, it took the Dodgers to oust a string of eight straight NL West titles. And even at that, the Dodgers almost followed them.
Roberts said before the game that losing the division also caused him to lose a bet with his good friend and former San Francisco manager Bruce Bocci.
“They had the Giants, I had the Dodgers,” Roberts said. “I lost a dinner and a nice bottle of Bordeaux.”
But with the Cardinals eliminated and the Dodgers getting another delicious crack at the Giants, someone asked Roberts late Wednesday if he’s going double-or-nothing with Bouchy now.
“Yes, I am,” said Roberts, smiling. “I’m going to shoot him a text tonight. I am, yeah. We’re not going to do double or anything for the series.”
#Dodgers #face #rival #Giants #Division #Series