Sports: Dodgers Advance To NLCS After Dramatic Finish In Deciding Game

by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor

In a nail-biting game with both team’s pitching in full effect, the Los Angeles Dodgers edged out the San Francisco Giants in the final game of a five-game series, winning 2-1 and moving them onto the National League Championship Series (NLCS).

Photo by Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Being one of the most well known rivalries in baseball, and even all of sports, the Dodgers-Giants first ever postseason series was one to remember. With both teams claiming one-sided games throughout the series, it was only right for the series to end in a nail-biting one-run game that came down to the very last pitch. 

The Dodgers in a last minute, game time decision started relief pitcher Corey Knebel on Thursday evening at Oracle Park in place of Julio Urias for strategic purposes that would seem to benefit them in the end. The Dodgers would end up using their bullpen to the max this game, creating more favorable matchups for their players and allowing for each pitcher to stay fresh.

Julio Urias would take over for the Dodgers pitching in the third inning out of the bullpen, going on to pitch four innings allowing one run on a solo homer with three hits and 5 strikeouts. 

This would prove to be enough to get the Dodgers the win, as the small ball would pay off with standout Mookie Betts going 4 for 4 with four singles and a run scored. 

The Dodgers would be the first to strike with a Corey Seager double in the top of the sixth inning that put the Dodgers up 1-0. This came after Mookie Betts got on base for the third time in the game and stole second base. 

Though the Dodgers were able to get on the board first, this lead would be short-lived, as the Giants were able to immediately answer back with a run of their own. Going into the bottom of the sixth inning, Darin Ruf would lead off the inning with a solo homerun to center field on a 3-2 count that would land as the farthest home run of the postseason thus far and tie up the game at one a piece.

After the runs scored in the sixth, it went back to a defensive game with both teams being able to silence the opposition. It was another standout performance by Giant’s ace and rookie, Logan Webb, as he would turn in seven innings allowing just one run.

He would go on to allow only four hits on seven strikeouts, giving the Giants his best effort to put them in the situation to win the game and the series. Though the bats were kept mostly silent. After Webb was pulled in the seventh along with Julio Urias, the two teams would end up in a bullpen duel that would lead to a tied game heading into the ninth. 

Heading into the ninth, the Dodgers would leadoff with the fourth batter in the lineup, Will Smith.  Though it wasn’t him who got the team going. It was a wild pitch that would hit Justin Turner with one out that would prove to be a costly base runner.

Gavin Lux would then single, moving Turner to second and in scoring position for none other than Cody Bellinger. Although Cody Bellinger has had a struggling season, to say the least, he came through when it mattered most with a crucial RBI single that gave the Dodgers the lead for the last time in the ninth.

Dodgers starting ace Max Scherzer would then come into the game and shut the Giants down, earning him the save on what would be a controversial last pitch of the game. Scherzer ended the Giant’s season on a called third strike ruled by the first base umpire on a check swing. The Dodgers now head into the NLCS where they will face the Atlanta Braves in a best of seven series.

Although the Braves have had a solid season, winning their division and beating the Brewers in the NLDS in only four games, the Dodgers will without doubt be the favorite in this matchup, as they have all the momentum coming off of beating the best team in baseball in a win or go home game five.

The first game of the series will be held at the Braves stadium, Truist Park, tomorrow starting at 5:07 P.M.

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