Giants Find Advantage And Push Rivals To The Brink
The San Francisco Giants found the advantage in the NLDS with a 1-0 win over the Dodgers in Game 3.
Giants third baseman Evan Longoria hit a home run in the fifth inning that provided the difference on the scoreboard. The Dodgers could not recreate their offensive explosion from Game 2 as they were shutout for the second time in the series.
Max Scherzer pitched a gem, but made just one mistake and the Dodgers offense could not capitalize. I am not quite sure, but I think somebody may have warned about this before the game.
It gives the Giants two chances to close out their arch rivals and move on the National League Championship Series.
The Dodgers biggest threat came in the 7th inning after back-to-back hits off of Tyler Rogers. They had first and second with one out as the Giants went to Jake McGee to hold onto their 1-0 lead. The lefty entered to face Austin Barnes and got him swinging at 96 up in the zone for the second out of the inning.
Mookie Betts stepped to the plate next with two on and two outs. Betts lined one at 100.4 MPH, but Brandon Crawford went up and made a sensational play to preserve the lead.
It was the kind of defense we have seen all series from these two incredible teams. Time and again they have come through with incredible game-saving plays and Crawford may have been the best one yet. 23-year-old closer Camilo Doval got the final six outs for the Giants to finish off the game. Doval had just one six-out save all regular season.
The final out must have had Giants fans worried as Gavin Lux flew out to the warning track. It looked like Lux thought he had tied the game.
Scherzer Incredible, Not Perfect
Scherzer let up a lead-off walk and a hit to Buster Posey in the first inning, but worked out of it with three strikeouts. The Giants made him work early on though as Scherzer threw 43 pitches through two. However, he retired ten in a row after the two base runners in the first, had five strikeouts through two and eight through four. He threw just 19 pitches in the third and fourth combined.
The Giants struck first in the next half inning. Evan Longoria took a fastball at the belt from Scherzer and deposited it into the left-center field seats that gave the Giants a 1-0 lead and silenced the LA crowd. A nervous energy fell over Dodger Stadium as their fans watched the Giants strike first despite Scherzer’s dominance.
Scherzer was fantastic once again following the home run and did not allow a base runner the rest of the game. His final line was: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 K. In fact, Longoria’s home run was the Giants’ final hit of the game.
I said before the game if the Dodgers offense could not reproduce their performance from Game 2, it would put pressure on Scherzer to be perfect. Scherzer was pretty incredible, but he made one mistake and the offense could not make up for it.
Wood Gives Giants Just What They Need
Pitching was the story early as both pitchers dominated out of the gates. Alex Wood retired the first six he faced and nine of his first ten. The first real threat from either team was when the Dodgers got two on in the fourth. The Giants got action going in the bullpen, but Wood worked out of it by forcing a ground ball.
Albert Pujols led off the 5th for the Dodgers with his second hit of the night, but Wood got the next two behind him. The Giants then went to the bullpen to avoid the Dodgers seeing Wood a third time. He did everything the Giants could have asked from him, hold LA scoreless in two turns through the lineup. Tyler Rogers got Mookie Betts to groundout to end the fifth and hold onto the Giants lead. Brandon Crawford made a slick defensive play to preserve Wood’s scoreless line.
Play Of The Game
There was incredible defense all over the place tonight, but there is really only one choice for play of the game. Here is another angle of Brandon Crawford’s game saving play.
The Giants will look to eliminate their rivals in Game 4 on Tuesday. Anthony Desclafani will pitch for the Giants while the Dodgers have yet to name a starter.