LOS ANGELES — It wasn’t solely the unusually windy night that gave Southern California a cold, blustery San Francisco really feel on Monday. It additionally was that uncommon evening when the Los Angeles Dodgers’ embarrassment of riches, and fixed must improve, unexpectedly bit them.
Alex Wooden is a fierce, dogged left-hander who was employed by the Dodgers for many of the previous six years, making 76 begins and throwing 4 scoreless innings within the World Collection final autumn. However at 30, and having been bounced to the bullpen at instances, he determined in free company final winter that it was time to search out an employer who would completely hold him within the rotation.
So there he was beginning for San Francisco in a pivotal Sport 3 of this division sequence, matching up head-to-head with Max Scherzer and main the Giants to a 1-0 win that pushed his outdated crew to the brink of elimination. He threw 4 and two-thirds scoreless innings, baffling the Dodgers over 83 pitches — 56 strikes — and reinforcing the Giants’ resolution to signal him final winter to a one-year, $3 million deal.
“He’s so extremely aggressive,” Giants Supervisor Gabe Kapler stated. “He at all times looks like he’s the best choice to get the following three hitters out. I like that about him.”
Nothing bothered Wooden, together with the sturdy winds that appeared to have an effect on everybody else. Scherzer wanted 25 pitches to get by means of the primary inning earlier than discovering his groove and holding the Giants to 3 hits, together with one Evan Longoria solo residence run, over seven innings.
“The primary inning, the wind was actually pushing me towards residence plate,” Scherzer stated. “It was actually sturdy tonight.”
It was a 96-mile-per-hour fastball up within the zone that the slumping Longoria someway drove by means of what appeared like gale drive winds.
“I do know I received each little bit of it so far as how laborious I might hit a ball,” stated Longoria, who was in a 1 for 35 rut when he stepped to the plate for the pivotal at-bat. “I wasn’t certain it could exit. The situations had been loopy. I don’t assume I’ve ever stepped out of the field mid-at-bat as a lot as I did tonight.
“A few instances I felt like I used to be going to get blown over by the wind. A number of mud in your eyes.”
“Tremendous unusual,” stated Kapler, a Southern California native.
Although Scherzer adjusted, the Dodgers’ hitters had been by no means in a position to break by means of. Each Chris Taylor and pinch-hitter Gavin Lux smashed drives to heart subject within the ninth-inning, and Dodgers Supervisor Dave Roberts stated he thought each balls, particularly Lux’s, had been leaving the park.
As an alternative, they settled into the glove of heart fielder Steven Duggar.
Brandon Crawford, San Francisco’s Gold Glove-winning shortstop, snuffed out the Dodgers’ different greatest likelihood, leaping to snag a Mookie Betts line drive with two out and runners on first and second within the seventh. That ought to have at the very least tied the sport. As an alternative, Betts clenched his fists and howled in frustration.
Now, dealing with elimination in Sport 4 right here Tuesday, the Dodgers had been contemplating bringing again co-ace Walker Buehler, who began the 4-0 loss in Sport 1, for what could be the primary short-rest begin of his profession. In any other case, the choice to start out seems to be right-hander Tony Gonsolin.
“We’ve received to circle up as a bunch,” Roberts stated. “All the things is on the desk.”