LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - A few strong gusts of wind and an outstanding pitching performance deprived the Dodgers of a series lead Monday night, as the Giants jumped ahead 2-1 in the NLDS with a 1-0 victory.
A game that saw just eight hits between the two teams proved to be more of a defensive highlight reel than anything else, as both teams put on a clinic in the field. Max Scherzer, who started the game and struck out 10 over seven dazzling innings, took the loss despite allowing just one run. His lone mistake on the evening came in the fifth inning when he left an 0-2 fastball over the heart of the plate, which Evan Longoria sent over the left-field wall, providing the Giants with all the run support they would need.
With two down in the ninth inning and the game on the line, Gavin Lux fell not only to the hands of Giants' closer Camilo Doval, but to Mother Nature, who sent his sure home run back into play for the final out. A ball that looked great off the bat - Lux thought so as well as he pointed skyward while running towards first base - with an exit velocity of 106.9 miles per hour and a launch angle of 22-degrees was suddenly stopped mid-flight before ending up as what looked like a simple fly out to centerfield.
Tonight, the World Series favorite Dodgers will play in their second potential elimination game in less than one week, as they look to even the series and avoid an early exit from the playoffs. They'll take the field behind their Cy Young hopeful Walker Buehler, who suffered defeat in Game 1, allowing two home runs and three runs in six innings of work.
Facing the Dodgers in tonight's Game 4 will be Anthony DeSclafani, one of the Giants' more surprising pitchers this season. DeSclafani finished the year with 13 wins and a 3.17 ERA, but has yet to pitch in the playoffs thus far. Against the Dodgers this season he was 0-3 in six starts, allowing 22 runs in just 27 innings - pitching to the tune of a 7.33 ERA.
The weather should be less of a factor tonight, as wind advisories were cancelled earlier today in Los Angeles. Wind speeds should be drastically different from the 21 miles per hour yesterday evening with expected speeds at game-time sitting at just 3 miles per hour.
A win tonight would send the series back to San Francisco for a decisive winner-takes-all Game 5.
Since 2000, the Dodgers have made the postseason 13 times, including a run of nine straight playoff appearances. In that time, they have been eliminated from play in the Division series five times, most recently against the 2019 World Series champion Washington Nationals, who were then the home of new-Dodgers Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.
They face another potential elimination tonight at 6:07 PM PT, with their entire season on the line. For last season's World Series Champions, it's win or stay home.
for more features.