This is exactly what the Giants did.
Yes, they would obviously prefer to win Game 4 and the NLDS against the Dodgers on Tuesday night, but the Giants are heading into the fifth and final game of the series in an optimal position.
On the mound to kick off the game is Logan Webb, his devastating three-lane arsenal and three Red Bulls he drinks before every game.
Webb was great in the first game, having 7 2/3 shutout innings and knocking out 10 in the process.
On Tuesday, the Giants could have pushed Webb on a mound during a short rest, but with a game advantage, they wanted to create a situation in which Webb played the biggest game of the year and possibly the biggest game in Giants-Dodgers history, which dates back over 130 years ago.
Ideally, the person who started the business will end it.
But since this is 2021, Webb is unlikely to hit the top nine on Thursday.
But the ace of giants can end the game.
Webb and Kevin Gausman have a carefree rivalry at the club of the giants. Both have acted as the season’s best pitcher, and the final weeks of the season were actually auditions to become the playoff starter.
Webb won the job – he has been one of baseball’s truly elite pitchers of the past few months. This got him a start in decisive game 162, and his performance in that competition made him different from the starting game.
Gausman, who has a 2.81 ERA in 192 innings this season and will certainly get Cy Young’s votes, was promoted to Game 2. He was not a star player in this competition – the defeat of the giants – but there were times when his stuff looked great.
With everyone on the line and Gausman having four days off thanks to two days off the road in this series, the Giants’ right-handers are rested and reachable from the bullpen on Thursday.
In a perfect world for the Giants, Webb goes deep to open the fifth game, passes it to Gausman for a few innings and passes the ball to nearby Camilo Doval.
There will never be a point where Madison Bumgarner matches Madison Bumgarner in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, but anything Gausman can do to justifiably provoke comparisons will be well received given the precariousness of the Giants bullpen in this series. …
Three of the Giants’ best pitchers in a row. I don’t care how impressive the Dodgers roster is – it’s intimidating.
This is also what creates the playoff legends.
The Dodgers don’t have such a situation. Needing a win on Tuesday, they used Walker Buhler’s ace for a three-day break. Julio Urias, who won the 2nd game, will get the start. He hit five innings, allowed one run, and struck out five in that game.
There is no secret about the expectation that the Dodgers will follow Urias.
Or is there?
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Game 4 that Max Scherzer, who introduced Game 3, would not be available for Game 5.
If he were performing, he would have done so during a two-day rest, questioning its effectiveness and possible longevity.
“Right now, I’ll say that he is not available,” Roberts said after game 4. “But as you know, I changed my mind, so let’s see… we’ll see.
If the Dodgers win on Thursday, Scherzer will be their starter for their first game of the NLCS on Saturday.
If the giants win, they can go with Gausman (depending on how long he’s been playing) or Alex Wood.
But there will be no Game 1 unless there is a victory in Game 5, so the two aces of the Giants will see play on Thursday.
The two pitchers know their performances will be the focus of the Giants’ season, whether it’s Thursday or ending. Thus, their rivalry, which seems to be centered around the pitchers’ successful prowess (or lack thereof), has been set aside.
“We hit each other a couple of punches,” Webb said. “It’s like we are looking at each other, like such little things. But we didn’t really talk about it, we just know what’s in front of us. ”