This is exactly how the giants pulled it off.
Yes, obviously, they’d love to win Game 4 and the NLDS versus the Dodgers on Tuesday night, but the Giants will be entering the fifth and final game of the series in an optimal position.
On the mound to start the game is Logan Webb, his devastating three-pitch arsenal, and the three Red Bulls he drinks before each game.
Webb was amazing in game 1, going into 7 2/3 shutout innings and getting 10 dismissals in the process.
The Giants could have pushed Webb onto the mound with little rest on Tuesday, but with the advantage of a game, they wanted to establish a position where Webb pitched the biggest game of the year, and arguably in Giants-Dodgers history. The largest was the game, which dates back over 130 years.
Ideally, the guy who started this job will finish it.
But because it’s 2021, it’s hardly expected that Web Nine is going Thursday.
However, a Giants ace can end the game.
Webb and Kevin Gossman have a mild rivalry at the Giants’ Clubhouse. Both lead the team as the team’s best pitcher for this season and were effectively auditioned to be the team’s playoff-opener starters in the final week of the season.
Webb won the job—he was one of baseball’s truly elite pitchers over the past few months. This gave him a crucial Game 162 start, and his performance in that contest made him a shoo-in to start Game 1.
Gossman, who had a 2.81 ERA in 192 innings this season and would definitely get the Cy Young vote, was eliminated in Game 2. He wasn’t stellar in that contest—a veteran’s loss—but there were moments where his stuff looked excellent.
With everything on the line and Gossman has four days off, thanks to two days of travel in the series, the Giants’ right has been rested and available from the bullpen on Thursdays.
In a perfect world for the Giants, Webb goes deep to open Game 5, hands it to Gossman for a few innings, and he passes the ball closer to Camilo Doval.
There will never be a starter-a-reliever moment matching Madison Bumgarner in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, but whatever Gossman can do correctly to compare will be well received, in this series. Given the volatility of the Giants bullpen .
Three of The Giants’ best pitchers, back-to-back-to-back. I don’t care how impressive the Dodgers lineup is – it’s intimidating.
This is also the stuff that makes playoff legends.
The Dodgers are not in such a condition. Needing a win on Tuesday, he used Walker Buehler on three days’ rest. Julio Urias – who won Game 2 – will get the start. He played five innings, allowed one run, and scored five runs in that game.
There’s no secret ace waiting for the Dodgers to follow Urea.
Or is there?
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Game 4 that Max Schaezer, who pitched Game 3, would not be available for Game 5.
If he had to pitch, he would do so on two days’ rest, raising questions about his effectiveness and potential longevity.
“Right now I’d say he’s unavailable,” Roberts said after Game 4. “But I’ve been known to change my mind, so we’ll see… we’ll see.
Should the Dodgers win Thursday, Scherzer will be their Game 1 starter in the NLCS on Saturday.
If the Giants win, they can go with Gossman (how long does he pitch) or Alex Wood.
But if Game 5 isn’t won, Game 1 won’t happen, so the Giants’ two aces will see action on Thursday.
The two pitchers know their performance will be at the center of the Giants’ season, continuing or ending on Thursday. As such, their rivalry – which appears to be centered around the firepower (or lack thereof) of the pitcher – has been put aside.
“We’ve given each other two fist bumps,” Webb said. “Like looking at each other, just like little things. But we haven’t really talked about it, just that we know what’s in front of us.”