LOS ANGELES – Walker Buehler was pretty good on three days’ rest. On Thursday we’ll see how the Giants’ offense works on four games of sleep.
Only the most iconic Oracle would dare to predict what would happen in Game 5 until the Dodgers and Giants locked in at Oracle Park until the winner of this National League Division Series came out.
But San Francisco did not win 107 regular-season games in which the bat was swinging inefficiently like this. Now Julio Urius, the Dodgers’ four-leaf clover, is resting and ready for Thursday.
“I don’t think we can trust anyone more than we trust in Julio,” Bühler said.
Five of the first 10 Dodgers got hits in Game 3, and nine of the first 17 either hit base or launched run-scoring fly balls. The Dodgers also left five men in the scoring position in the first three innings and were only nervous 2–0. But Mookie Bates drilled a two-run homer into right field in the fourth inning, and the Giants couldn’t make up that deficit if they had borrowed Steph Curry.
Buhler managed to come out after 71 pitches and 13 dismissals. The final was 7-2, and the Dodgers now go north with the Urias. They are 27-6 in their 33 starts this year.
“I don’t think we’re going to spend a long time dissecting the game,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said.
For a series between teams with such a tight pairing, it is bringing back one-sided memories of the 1960 World Series. In that seven-gamer, the Yankees led Pittsburgh 55-27 and still lost, thanks to Bill Mazrowski, who is still alive and still has no drinks to buy in Iron City.
After four games, the Dodgers are again the kings of the run-differential and the Giants have 16 runs in nine. Logan Webb, the right-hander who faced the Dodgers in the first shutout of the series last Friday, is a Game 5 starter for San Francisco.
The second shutout occurred on Monday in Game 3, when the Giants went on to win 1-0, without a runner in the scoring position in the last eight innings. Nor did he have four off home runs by Buster Posey, Kris Bryant and Brandon Crawford in the final eight innings of Game 1.
With all the talk of Max Munsey’s crippling loss, the Giants probably remember Brandon Belt, their injured first baseman, even more. He broke his thumb, and the only hit he has from a first baseman is from Bryant, who is certainly a third baseman by trade but has played left field, center field, first base and right field in the first four games. .
Moving into Game 4, the Giants had 16 hits in the series, 12 of which were from Bryant, Posey, and Brandon Crawford. Everyone else was 4 for 57. Overall, the team had four walks and a .230 on-base percentage.
The Giants were .184 for the series after Game 4, with a total of eight runs.
“I would chalk up these struggles, if you call them, to running against a really good pitcher,” Kapler said. “It is season after season when you run quality arm after quality arm. Sometimes you get one big innings and that’s all you get.”
Posey said, ‘We are facing great pitching. “As much as you can, you are hoping that you can get a big hit when there is traffic. Those opportunities are limited. Hopefully we will be able to do that on Thursday.”
Except for Ivan Longoria, the supporting cast is not accustomed to the October grind, and few lineups in baseball will be any more productive when asked to face the two-time Buehlers, Ureas and Max Scherzer.
The Giants did not set their own shocking record with several pass-the-batten rallies. They were ranked 14th out of 30 clubs in batting average and in runners scoring position. He scored 804 runs, and 430 came from homers. He finished third in baseball in the walk, but the Dodgers are challenging him with hard work and thriving.
So the solution in Game 4 was to get a bigger game from starter Anthony Descalafoni, who went 0-3 in six games against LA this season and hadn’t had a win over the Dodgers since 2014, when he pitched for Miami. was doing. He’s just the kind of decent right-hander, without any weapons the Dodgers feast on, and he’s only lasted 10 at-bats.
The coupler kept pointing the bullpen in search of something. Jerlin Garcia, who dropped Bates a fourth-innings homer, was the Giants’ fourth pitcher of the night. In the end, Kapler decided to spread the work around, with an off-day Wednesday.
Their required reliever in Game 5 will be rookie Camilo Doval, who retired the last six Dodgers without the use of a strikeout on Monday. Doval didn’t pitch on Tuesday, and it’s fair to assume the Dodgers don’t know exactly what to make of him.
The blowout win is good for the Dodgers’ self-esteem. Cody Bellinger is getting hit and running around the bases. Gavin Lux, who thought he would tie Game 3 in the ninth with two outs, looks ready for what lies ahead. Each lineup slot produced a hit or a man in the base on Tuesday.
“I feel good about the lineup we throw against the Left,” Kapler said. “There are a lot of high-quality hitters out there. That’s what their track record tells us.”
Nothing captures reality like a game with no escape route. The Giants have held exceptionally high levels over the course of the season. Game 5 will explicitly ask if they can find another.