If the Dodgers have their way on Thursday night, they’ll tie the Giants… in a one-on-one win for the season, that is.
San Francisco played 10 of 19 games in the regular season and rivals California in the National League Divisional Series two games each. So the Giants lead the 2021 matchup, from 12 games to 11.
By another measure, the Dodgers could have taken the lead in Game 5. The Giants finished a game ahead of Los Angeles in the NL West standings with 107 wins, but equaled the Dodgers’ 106 regular-season wins and their one wild-card game total in the NLDS. The winner takes the lead on Thursday night with at least one more series to pad his stats.
Of course, win totals don’t really matter. Moving on to that next series, the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves counts.
With those bets set, let’s take a look, starting in spring:
Since-suspended (intimate partner violence) Dodgers starter Trevor Bauer stunned the Giants with an 11-strikeout performance on 126 pitches in a 2-1 Dodgers win at Oracle Park. A Chris Taylor home run was Alex Wood’s only mistake, but it was costly.
Scott Kazmir made his first debut for the Giants since 2016, but lost after giving away just two hits (including a Max Munsey home run) in four innings. Walker Buehler also pulled the Dodgers into the standings with the Giants in a 6–3 win.
The Dodgers ended a three-game sweep in an 11–5 victory with a strong performance from Julio Uriás. Anthony Descalfani conceded 10 runs in just 2 2/3 innings and the Giants completed a drop from first to third in the NL West.
Wood lost his second game of the season to the Dodgers as Los Angeles maintained their clear dominance over the Giants with a 4–3 victory, including home runs from Ivan Longoria and Giants’ Donovan Solano and Justin Turner, DJ Peters and Max Muncie. Were. Dodgers.
The Giants finally beat the Dodgers in 2021, and it took a gem of a play to do it. Mike Touchman made his biggest contribution in San Francisco, leaping in the bottom of the ninth to rob Albert Pujols of a game-winning home run – just a batsman after tying the game with a three-run shot by Austin Barnes. Lamonte Wade hit the game-winning singles in the 10th and the Giants added two more to win 8–5.
Touchman was later named for the assignment but Giants fans have not forgotten his catch.
Air Touchman 29. pic.twitter.com/evQStqh4aM
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) May 29, 2021
A day after tying the Dodgers in second place in the NL West, the Giants took the spot behind San Diego with an 11–6 win at Dodger Stadium. Mauricio Dubon had three RBIs and five other giants had at least one.
Kevin Gossman made six shutout innings and defeated Clayton Kershaw in the series finale, even as he sustained a hip injury at the end of a stellar May (5–0, 0.72 ERA), Dubon again. Joined from, scored two runs in the first innings. Home run, and Austin Slater later attacks Homer.
Tauchman again played a key role, but in a negative way, this time when he tried to spread a ninth inning single into a double and was ruled out by a close replay review. The Dodgers won 3-2 as all five runs came on single home runs.
Buehler overtook Gossman in a 3–1 Dodgers win, although the Giants finished the month of June in first place. Chris Taylor’s two-run double in the first innings was enough, but Max Muncie added a single home run.
The first matchup after the All-Star break was a 7–2 win for the Giants in Los Angeles. Five relievers covered the final six innings for the Giants, who used a four-run seventh inning to secure the victory.
The Giants’ bullpen melted late in an 8-6 Dodgers win as John Brebia and Tyler Rogers conceded home runs. In the ninth, Rogers walked the first two batsmen, then Will Smith started a three-run walk-off home run.
The next night it was Kenley Jensen’s turn to save the Dodgers. He left Wilmer Flores to convert a 2–1 Dodgers lead into a deficit in the ninth-innings home race. The Giants went into a run later, setting up the save for Rogers in a 4–2 victory.
Jansen made the save for the second time in a row as the Giants scored four runs at the top of the ninth inning to register a 5-3 win. A replay-keel force game on the second and a base-loaded walk allowed the Giants to tie the game, before Wade went for two to win the game.
Cody Bellinger’s throwing error while trying to catch Buster Posey at third base allowed the Giants to score the winning run in a 2–1 victory. Logan Webb gave the Dodgers three hits and one run in six innings for the win.
The Dodgers destroyed Descalafni again in an 8–0 victory. He conceded four runs in 2 2/3 innings while Buehler threw seven shutout innings, giving up just three hits.
San Francisco responded with a shutout victory of their own as Johnny Couto scored 5 2/3 scoreless in a 5–0 victory. Brandon Crawford’s return from the injured list began with a base-loaded double that scored two runs as all Giants’ runs came with two outs.
Moving into the Labor Day weekend series, the stakes were high as the teams were tied for first place in the NL West – and the league as a whole. The Giants won a dramatic 3–2 victory when Tree Turner’s 11th inning throwing error pulled Will Smith out of the bag and Brandon Belt scored.
The Giants’ plan for a bullpen game backfired as Jay Jackson was out in just one in a 6-1 Dodgers win. Turner avenged his mistake with a first-innings home run that set the tone for the game.
In the final matchup of the regular season, the Giants defeated Buehler to again take a one-game lead over the Dodgers. He scored six runs on LA’s ace in the first three innings and the bullpen covered all nine innings to secure the win.
Webb’s post-season debut was an absolute gem, dismissing 10 Dodgers in 7 2/3 scoreless innings. Buster Posey’s two-run home run off Buehler in the first innings gave the Giants the lead, then Chris Bryant and Brandon Crawford hit a single shot in a 4–0 victory.
Los Angeles returned the following night as the Ureas kept the Giants’ bat calm and the Dodgers scored a four off Gossman to win the series 9–2. Cody Bellinger’s base-loaded double in the sixth inning extended LA’s lead to three runs and it only grew from there.
The Giants’ pitching staff gave another shutdown performance as Wood went 4 2/3 and the bullpen covered the rest for a 1–0 victory. Longoria made the difference on offense to end the 1-for-35 spell with a fifth-innings home run from Max Schaezer, and Crawford made a surprise catch on a Mookie Bates line drive that tied the game in seventh.
Brandon Crawford is funny
— Sports Center (@SportsCenter) 12 October 2021
The Dodgers forced a winner-take-all finale with a 7–2 victory, thickening Descalfani again as he was given five hits and two runs in 1 2/3 innings on a Turner double and Taylor sacrifice fly. was pulled. Mookie Bates made the biggest blow 4-0 with a two-run homer in the fourth. Buehler, pitching at short rest, went 4 1/3 as Los Angeles leveled the series.