SAN FRANCISCO – The first ever modern-era playoff matchup between rivals. A 107-win division champion and a 106-win wild card juggernaut. A winner-take-all Game 5 was decided at the last minute.
From Opening Day to Thursday night’s final act at Oracle Park, the Giants and Dodgers pushed each other in a way never before seen in the history of a rivalry that traced its roots more than 3,000 miles away Was.
And when the Giants narrowly edged out the Dodgers in a historic division race, it was the Dodgers who beat the Giants with a ninth-inning rally that left San Francisco and Camilo Doval heartbroken after a 2-1 loss. Broken.
“We deserved it, to be here, and that was the best part for me,” said starter Logan Webb. “Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to end and it really sucks.”
The Giants spent the ninth inning hoping that one of their hitters could deliver the type of closing salvo performed by Bobby Thomson in 1951, when his shot heard ’round the world saw the New York Giants face the Brooklyn Dodgers on a National League pennant. But Los Angeles turned to Game 3 starter Max Scherzer to close the door on the Giants’ dream season.
A Giants team that felt the bat had been thrown out of its hands throughout the series by poor umpiring ended its season when Wilmer Flores successfully tested his swing on a pitch in the dirt, and first base umpire Gabe Called out by Morales anyway.
“I just didn’t think I was gone,” Flores said. “I was surprised when he told me.”
The hero of the 24th and final matchup between the teams this year was the Giants and Dodgers’ worst in regular season games in one-on-one encounters. With two ons and one out in the ninth, Cody Bellinger, who went 2-for-50 against the Giants before October, saw four consecutive sliders off Doval, before drilling one into right center field to advance.
“First I was looking for a strikeout, and then I was looking for a double play,” Doval said. “And he hit her, but he hit her where no one was there.”
Doval regularly touches triple digits on the radar gun with his fastball, but is confident in his fastball after hitting Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner with a 100 mph four-seamer in the ninth with a one-out. Appeared to be lost. After Doval threw five straight sliders to center fielder Gavin Lux, he fed a fastball to the left-handed hitter, finding a hole on the right side of the infield to propel Turner into the scoring position.
That’s when Bellinger came up with a hit that would define his legacy and be a lasting memory of a year that brought unparalleled drama to the rivalry.
Webb said, ‘I went inside and hugged (Doval). “Just because he feels terrible, which is cruel because he pitched so well for us. He did great, and for that to happen, for him to be the guy who quit running, it sucks. ”
Before Webb delivered the first pitch to Dodgers leadoff man Mookie Bates, Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts had already lobbed the game’s first curveball. Seven hours before the first pitch, the Dodgers announced that not 20-game winner Julio Urias, but Cory Nebel, would begin Thursday’s game.
Who one of baseball’s best starters needed an opener? For a chance to take down the National League West champions, Roberts said it gave the Dodgers their best chance of winning.
Truth be told, it didn’t hurt.
Nebel and reliever Brusadar Greatrol each had a Giants baserunner reach scoring position in the first two innings, but when Ureas eventually took the mound at the bottom of the third, the game was still scoreless.
While the Giants’ offense missed early opportunities, it was never out of the game, thanks to a dominant starter who overcame the National League’s highest-scoring offense for the second time in a week.
“At every level you’re asking yourself, is Logan Webb the best option to get the next three hitters out?” Kapler said. “And every innings that we sent him there, we felt, yes, yes and yes, he remained the best choice.”
After leading the Giants to victory on the final day of the regular season against the Padres and Game 1 of the NLDS against the Dodgers, Webb returned Thursday with an opportunity to rewrite on the mound at Oracle Park. Top line of his big-game resume for his third consecutive start.
Two of the five hits Webb delivered in his Game 1 debut against the Dodgers were Bates’ singles, who are at their best on the game’s biggest stage. Bates was practically a one-man show against Webb again on Thursday, as he recorded three singles in three at-bats, including a line drive hit in the top of the sixth.
After being stranded on the basepath after each of his first two hits, Bates finished second in sixth and jogged home for the first run of the game in a softly hit double in shallow left field from Dodgers shortstop Corey Seeger. Seager became the first Dodgers player other than Bates to reach base against Webb, but it gave Los Angeles a 1–0 lead that appeared crucial in a series the team won each of the first four games. .
However, the Giants responded quickly at the bottom of the innings as Darin Roof came to the plate set to hit a ball where no Dodgers outfielder could track it. After a 377-foot flyout on his first bat and a 378-foot flyout the next, Roof launched a massive 452-foot single home run straight into center field, drawing the biggest excitement of the season so far. Oracle Park Crowd.
Roof went 0-for-9, his sixth inning plate appearance in the series, but a majestic homer reset the game and revived the Giants’ dugout.
With the game tied at 1-1, the Giants sent Webb back to the mound for a seventh and all he did was wrap up a sensational outing with a 1-2-3 knock brought back again by an eight-pitch strikeout The crowd went to his feet.
The crowd also ended the game there. In the final, however, they stared in disbelief.
An unforgettable journey has come to an end, but it may also be the beginning of something new.
“It won’t be the last time we see them play in the playoffs,” Webb said.