Dodgers Advance to NLCS After Historic Win Over Giants

The Los Angeles Dodgers did it! They beat the hated San Francisco Giants in a win-or-go-home game. With the 2-1 victory, they move on to the National League Championship Series for the second straight year and once again will face the Atlanta Braves.

The win also moves the Dodgers to 3-0 in elimination games this season. Before the series, I predicted the Dodgers to take it in five games and I’m glad to finally hit a prediction on the nose after being so close with my regular season predictions.

It is only fitting that the series ended on a check swing call, after how important that missed swing check call was on Darin Ruf was during the regular season.

It was a battle throughout the whole year between the Dodgers and Giants. But in the end, the Dodgers were just a tad better. Former NL MVP Cody Bellinger made fans forget his struggling season with arguably be one of the most important hits of his career. As Bellinger smacked a go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning, that was the deciding run. I’d say many fans would have to issue an apology to Bellinger for the endless scrutiny throughout the season.

However, with business taken care of in the NLDS, the Braves now await in the NLCS. As you may remember the two teams met last year in the NLCS during the shortened season. The Braves were up three games to one; but in the end, the Dodgers came back to win 4-3.

The Braves will have home-field advantage, despite finishing the season with 88 wins compared to the Dodgers’ 106 regular-season wins. Why you may ask? The Braves won their division and the Dodgers didn’t. However, it still does not make sense to me as there is a difference of 18 wins,

If the Dodgers do get past the Braves in the NLCS, they are guaranteed a rematch of either the 2017 World Series against the Astros or the 2018 World Series against the Red Sox.

The Dodgers will have Friday off before commencing the NLCS Saturday in Atlanta. Neither team has announced a starter for Saturday’s Game 1, although left-hander Max Fried is the most likely candidate for the Braves.

It will be interesting to see who the Dodgers hand the ball to, as arguably all their starting pitchers Max Scherzer, Julio Urias, and Walker Buehler have pitched within the past three days.

Buehler would be pitching on four days’ rest if he starts on Saturday, or Scherzer could be handed the ball for maybe 4-5 innings, and there is always the choice of Tony Gonsolin.

During the regular season, the Dodgers took the season series, winning four games out of the six. The first meeting was way back in June when the Braves took two out of three in Atlanta, while the most recent meeting was in late August in which the Dodgers swept the Braves in Dodger Stadium.

Although you can think all that with a grain of salt, as this is now the postseason.

The Braves are a great team and have been playing great baseball the past couple of months. But the Dodgers are just the better team top to bottom. In the end, I think the Dodgers will prevail due to their talent, although nothing at this stage of the season will come easily.

Ultimately I am going with the Dodgers in five games, with them celebrating a World Series berth at Chavez Ravine, for the first time in a while.

The first pitch for Game 1 Saturday is scheduled at 5:07 p.m. Pacific.

17 thoughts on “Dodgers Advance to NLCS After Historic Win Over Giants

  1. It’s a 7 game series and the Dodgers were very good in “Bullpen Games”. Do they go with Gonsolin and the rest of the bullpen to reset their 3 starters for the rest of the series?
    Or do they go with Scherzer and then Buehler? It sounds like it depends on how the pitchers feel after a travel day today. Scherzer will probably take the ball.
    The bottom line is the Dodgers offense has to get better. Seager got the RBI hit but has been largely ineffective and Trea Turner and JT have not contributed much either. Atlanta has good pitching we shall see how it works out. I am hoping the Dodgers win in 6.
    Rooting for the BoSox as most everyone in baseball HATES the Asterisks! Plus I want Kike and Verdugo to get to the WS.

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  2. Really thrilled that we finally came out on top after chasing SF all season. After all, who’s in front during the race doesn’t mean much, it’s who crosses the finish line first that counts in the long run.

    I have a very hard time hating the “hated Giants”. They have a team made up of upstanding citizens. How can you hate Posey, Crawford, Belt, etc., all really good human beings from the looks of things. Much easier to hate on the Astros’ players, at least the ones who were in the middle of things in 2017, and loudmouth Corea in particular. That said, I think he’s a pretty damn good player. Doesn’t mean I have to like him though.

    I loved the way Ruf responded to the question of the last strike in the post game interview, basically saying that the Giants got one handed to them earlier in the season. Kapler was also a real gentleman on how he handled it. Let’s face it, that was a pretty devastating way to end your season, but they didn’t go around whining about it.

    Farhan will have a lot of work to do this offseason since they have so many free agents. That said, I’ll be astonished if Bryant and Gausman aren’t back and probably Wood as well. They’ll have plenty of money to spend and I’m betting they go after Scherzer, even though I’m hoping he stays here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I to save my hatred for the Astros. Kapler, Ruf, and the Giants showed a lot of class after a heartbreaking loss. Posey will be 35 and that is getting up there for a catcher. Granted he did not play last year and had a year off to injury before that. Longoria is 36. Belt will be 34 early in 22 & Crawford is 35 as is Ruf. Father Time can be delayed with good nutrition and exercise but still the reflexes that are needed to be so sharp to hit degrade.
      My Point is their nucleus is getting older. I am confident Farhan will get some new blood and the Giants have LOTS of money. But it sometimes takes a year or two. But I think the Padres need to get very serious about working on their pitching as there are two monsters in the NL West.
      I am sure we are all enjoying the ride. I am very glad that Bellinger has figured out how to choke up and put the bat on the ball in RISP situations. Good for him. Lux looks very good also. And Mookie helped the team again with his speed and stealing a base.

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      1. Just imagine what would happen if our pitching stayed as good as it’s been so far and the Turners, Pollock and Seager joined the party. We’d win the next 8 straight.

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    1. Is it that he is trying too hard with a new team and in the playoffs? I have seen him lay off that pitch in the past. Most of the guys could not hit Webb’s slider, which was exceptional last game.

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  3. Don’t forget that we really lucked out last year against Atlanta, a series we should have lost. This is a better team than last year. Our hitting was pretty pathetic against the giants. Once again our pitching will have to carry us past a superior hitting team. Actually not much difference between the 2 teams the last 2 month of the season. If turners, seager Pollock and Taylor don’t start hitting we are probably done. And I don’t expect much from bellinger. He’s had his 3 hits for the month. It would be nice to lose the world series to Boston than this series to Atlanta.

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    1. He had a nice NLDS and drove in more runs than Seager or either Turner. He also out hit all 3. I think you are not watching very close.

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  4. Knebel today in an openers game. Price and McKinney left off NLCS roster, Bruihl and Phillips added. Lines up Scherzer, Buehler and Urias for 2-3-4. No chance Muncy plays this round or the series if they get there. In the position by position match up ESPN put out, it went this way. C. Advantage Dodgers, 1B Braves, 2B Dodgers SS Dodgers 3B Braves LF Braves CF Dodgers RF Dodgers SP Braves? that I question, l LA has 3 Cy Young candidates, Atlanta has none. BP Dodgers.

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    1. A bullpen game today means a bullpen game in Game 5. That concerns me. Would much rather have seen Max, Buehler, Urias followed by a bullpen game so that we would have only needed a bp game once in the series. On the other hand, if Max isn’t demanding to start today you know he isn’t ready, so there is really very little choice.

      If our hitters wake up, it won’t make any difference. If they don’t, we may be in for a rude awakening.

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      1. I think each game will be whoever feels rested enough to start. It will be next man up. I thought that is what they would do as that gives the guys time to line up with some rest. As you say not much choice. I am furious at MLB as the winner of the Giant Dodger series won the most games and yet is penalized by having to travel and then have their pitching rotation tired. But the MLB has always had an East Coast bias.
        But as you say Bear it is all about the offense and how erratic and barely adequate they have been as the pitching has saved the Dodgers.
        I nominate Mark Pryor as Pitching Coach of the year. Dodgers lost May. Gonsolin was out most of the year as was Kershaw and of course Bauer. Plus they lost Nelson and others and still are in the NLCS. Tip of the cap to the Dodger Front Office…They have found guys in the bullpen to contribute like Knebel, Vesia, and Bickford. Have you seen slow-mo of Treinen’s pitches? Incredible movement absolutely amazing…..Ans Jansen is throwing other pitches with some control.

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      2. Another disadvantage is that the Dodgers, who finished within 1 game of the best record in baseball, don’t have home field advantage against a team that wound up with 18 less wins during the regular season.

        With regard to your claim that MLB has an east coast bias, that may or may not be true but your examples don’t prove it. The rules were made up prior to the season so if the Mets and Braves had wound up playing a series like the one the Dodgers and Giants just finished, then the winner of that series would have been penalized. It has nothing to do with which coast they play on.

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      3. You are right! This horrible playoff system game format was done way before this. My problem is in listening to the MLB channel and a lot of the commentators the majority are from the East Coast and are very biased. Look at the announcers for this series! They are using the Braves commentator and he isn’t close to being the best in the business either. I do understand that it is on Turner Broadcasting out of Atlanta but c’mon… And Ron Darling never has a good thing to say about the Dodgers.

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      4. To each his own, Tmax. I really didn’t have any problem with Anderson and Darling for the Giants series, although I definitely expect a little bias from Francouer (an ex-Brave) for this series, Anderson is the Brewers announcer. I used to find Darling a little anti-Dodger but don’t see that any more. As I said, to each his own.

        With regard to east coast bias on MLB, their studios are based on the east coast. Our home games start around 10 PM their time and end around 1 AM. Naturally they aren’t going to stay up to watch the end of those games so they just naturally have more exposure to east coast teams and their knowledge about them is greater.

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      5. I get it that our games are late.
        If you are a baseball expert you would think they would study all the teams, and players not just the convenient ones. But from their commentary, they are very lacking in their study of their sport. With every game available on MLB Channel they should be up to date on every team.
        This is the same as to why I get so frustrated with players not adjusting to game situations. It’s their chosen craft. They should study and adapt to every situation. I do not know that they don’t but from the results in some games, the results say that they do not.
        I follow the Dodgers and the people on this forum have allowed me to get a better perspective. Like many of you, I follow the Dodgers and watch the Dodger affiliate MILB to see the talent in the Minors. I try to educate myself on what the Dodgers have in the pipeline and this is just for fun it’s not my work. If it’s your chosen field you should never stop learning that’s the only way to stay sharp and competitive.

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      6. I hear you. But remember we’re talking about one team while there are 30 teams in MLB. That’s 780 players plus the various roster machinations (options, IL, etc.) during the season.

        What I miss is the gold ol’ days when they used to go out of their way to have one of each of the team’s announcers take part in the broadcast. That’s the way you get solid info on each team during the broadcast.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. They lost 3-2. The Dodger pitching staff pitched a great game, especially for a bullpen game. Dodger had 10 hits the Braves 6. If the Dodger hitters continue to not be able to string hits together to score runs they will not win this series. The Braves are a legitimate contender, a very talented club.

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