NLDS Recap, Thursday 10/14

If you didn't stay up for this one, you missed an all-time classic.

It all came down to this. While Atlanta, Boston, and Houston awaited the start of their LCS series, the ultimate World Series matchup was played on Thursday night as the two best teams in baseball faced off in a winner-take-all Game 5. Yes, it happened to be the first round. But if you watched the Giants and Dodgers face off this week, you know what you saw. And last night, you saw it for real.

If you didn’t watch this game, you should know that we’re all disappointed in you. But it’s okay. That’s what we’re here for. Roll the tape!


Dodgers 2, Giants 1


The big finale of this particular show more than lived up to the hype. But before we get to that, let’s set up that hype. Take it away, atMLB!

The drama started early on Thursday, as L.A. surprisingly announced that right-hander Corey Knebel would be starting the decisive game in place of Julio Urías. Say what?

Here on the East Coast, we had to wait through a long, long day for that highly anticipated 9 p.m. start, with nothing to do but ponder Dave Roberts‘ mad strategeries (will Urías enter in the second inning? Will we see Max Scherzer? Can Chris Taylor pitch??). But in San Francisco, the vibe was decidedly more fun. Among the laundry list of famous faces in attendance, check out Barry Bonds, Steph Curry, and a couple of 49ers taking in the sights:

With so much on the line, both teams’ fans were locked in from the jump. When Vin Scully says something’s important, you should probably watch that thing:

Finally, the hour arrived. Logan Webb, fresh off throwing 7.2 dazzling innings with 10 Ks in his postseason debut on Friday, took the mound. He would go on to throw a full seven frames once again. Here’s a quick compilation of the internet reacting to the disgusting things he can do with a baseball:

Look, we’re still not sure how he does it, and we’re literally the pitcher listers. But I digress. To his credit, Knebel worked a scoreless inning to open it, despite giving up a two-out double to Buster Posey. When the time came to take care of business, he delivered, striking out MVP candidate Brandon Crawford with this dirty pitch:

Knebel was followed by Brusdar Graterol, who didn’t make any PitchingNinja submissions this time, but he did put up a zero — and look awfully authoritative when a foul ball got up in his space.

From there, things calmed down for a while. Webb was cruising, and Urías did his thing after entering in the third. Neither team managed to poke a run across until the sixth inning when this Mookie Betts single/SB turned into gold on a Corey Seager double:

However, the Giants had their answer, and his name was… well, it was Darin. After nearly leaving the yard in the first, Darin Ruf — yes, you read that right — left no doubt against Urías in the sixth. Watch this baby FLY:

Just like that, the tally was evened once again. Webb slammed the door in the seventh, and walked off to a standing O:

Soon after, Blake Treinen threw a scoreless frame for the Dodgers, and a combination of Tyler Rogers and Camilo Doval got the job done for San Fran in the eighth. L.A. opted to go with closer Kenley Jansen in the bottom half, and he had little trouble with the top of the order. Thus the stage was set for the ninth, just about as close as these things get.

With Doval still on the mound, a Justin Turner hit-by-pitch and Gavin Lux single put the Dodgers in business quickly. Up steps Cody Bellinger, ready to let us know that he left that .165 batting average behind in the regular season. Playoff Cody is a different animal, and the Giants found out the hard way.

That’ll do the job. Meanwhile, who’s that we see warming in the pen? Oh yeah, this is the good stuff.

The Dodgers had a chance to add on a few more, but Kevin Gausman, another repurposed starter, was able to put out the fire thanks to a failed bunt and close groundout. Enter Scherzer, who had exactly zero (0) career saves in his professional career. As if that matters.

Crawford lined out to open the inning. Then just when Kris Bryant appeared ready to provide out no. 2, his sharp ground ball slipped right out of the glove of Justin Turner. With the tying run now aboard, “Late Night” Lamonte Wade Jr. stepped to the plate. Ooh! Aah! Sadly, Scherzer proved too much for young Wade, and he walked back to the dugout after this pitch.

With one out left in the top-seeded Giants’ season, it all came down to Wilmer Flores, and that’s never what you want to hear. All Max needed was three pitches — and a little help from the umpires. What do you think of this strike three call?

Yeah, I’m gonna be honest, that’s some crap. It’s a bummer of a way to end a team’s season, especially one as brilliant as the Giants’ this year. But one team had to lose, and as is usually the case, that team was not the Dodgers. For the second straight year, they’ll face the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS.

Still, it was an absolute blast watching this game. And while the postseason’s competitive level may have peaked, the good news is, we still have the actual World Series to look forward to.

Let’s do it again tomorrow, huh?


Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Wynn McDonald

Born a Kentuckian, much like Dan Uggla. Braves fan by choice, unlike Dan Uggla. I enjoy long walks on the Brandon Beachy. @twynstagram

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