LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Tonight's showdown at Dodger Stadium isn't just an ordinary game. Even though the Dodgers won 106 games this season - the most ever for defending World Champs - it wasn't enough to advance to the division series. Everything now comes down to getting a win tonight as the team will play in a one-game wildcard, the first in their history.
Team Historian, Mark Langhill explained why this is such a momentous game.
"Never in the stadium's history have you had 'win or go home' right off the bat. Usually, it's best of five, best of seven, ease into it. If you lose the first game, you still have time," said Langhill. "Urgency right at the first pitch, that'll be tonight."
Max Scherzer will be on the mound, which is promising because the Dodgers have won all 11 games he's pitched since joining the team. But, he admits this isn't the ideal situation
"You have to win your division. We didn't win our division," said Scherzer in a team press conference. "There's no crying in baseball, so we're in second place we're in a wildcard game."
The Dodgers will have to find a way to win without some of the stars from last October. Clayton Kershaw is injured and Max Muncey might return later in the postseason, but he won't be available tonight.
Dodgers' third baseman, Justin Turner remained confident.
"We still have a pretty dynamic lineup, and I think the best way to look at is an opportunity for someone else to step up," said Turner.
Last year the Dodgers won their first world championship in decades, but because of COVID, only cardboard cutouts were allowed to cheer on the boys in blue when they were home. Tonight, the team is hoping the energy of the fans here in L.A. will help them as they try to repeat.
"Yes, it's going to be stressful. Yes, it's going to be crazy. Yes, you're going to, you know, you're going to think 'why am I doing this to myself'. And then you say to yourself, I wouldn't want to be any other place but Dodger Stadium today," said Langhill.
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