This one was dominated by pitching. 50% of the total runs scored came on the final swing of the game. Max Scherzer vs Adam Wainwright. What did you expect?
For a moment, it was tense for Dodgers fans. LA failed to capitalized on a number of prime opportunities, aggression was nowhere to be found in situations that called for it, and the offense going silent without Max Muncy seemed to be exploiting a panic-worthy issue.
Luckily, the Cards were much worse. They went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base, registering just five hits and scoring a run when all was said and done.
Meanwhile, Chris Taylor got two at-bats and did this with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to send everyone home elated and relieved:
Chris Taylor delivered an epic walk-off homer for the Dodgers to defeat the Cardinals.
He just submitted his request to start the next playoff game after manager Dave Roberts decided to go with Matt Beaty and Cody Bellinger tonight.
But Bellinger was actually a considerable difference maker. He went 1-for-2 with two walks, two stolen bases and scored the game-winning run after forcing a walk with two outs in the ninth. He was a constant in regard to putting pressure on the Cardinals in a game that needed much more from a threatening Dodgers side.
They even had the support of Juan Soto, who was present to cheer on Trea Turner and Max Scherzer! What was going on?!
Justin Turner’s homer was the only impactful swing of the bat before Taylor’s. The Dodgers walked just four times. Two of their hits were fairly questionable too due to shaky defense from St. Louis shortstop Edgar Sosa.
But Roberts pressed the right buttons. He removed Scherzer after 4.1 innings and it was the right call. He brought in each and every reliever at the exact perfect moment. Collectively, in 4.2 innings, the bullpen allowed just two hits and a walk. No runs.
Though we were confused with some of Roberts’ decisions tonight (we’ll get to that later), Dodgers fans have nothing to complain about. The game script managed to stymie the hottest team in baseball to end the year, and the 106-win Dodgers won’t have to immediately complain to MLB about the playoff formatting.
The second-best team in the league will now get a crack at the top squad. And revenge will be at the forefront of the Dodgers’ minds after the Giants put them through this unnecessary gauntlet.