The Los Angeles Dodgers will attempt to avoid elimination Tuesday evening when they face the San Francisco Giants in Game 4 of a National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium.
The Giants took a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-five series with a 1-0 victory Monday night on Evan Longoria’s home run leading off the fifth inning.
Of the 41 division series since 1995 that were tied after two games, the team that won Game 3 went on to win the series 30 times, 73.2%, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician of Major League Baseball.
When asked in his postgame news conference who would be the Dodgers’ starting pitcher Tuesday, manager Dave Roberts responded, “I think we got to circle up as a group. What I will say is that everything’s on the table.”
When asked if that included Walker Buehler, who would be pitching on three days rest for the first time in his major league career after pitching 6 1/3 innings in Friday’s Game 1, Roberts said, “Everything’s on the table.”
Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani will start for San Francisco, manager Gabe Kapler said. DeSclafani was 13-7 with a 3.17 ERA in the regular season, including an 0-3 record and 7.33 ERA in six starts against the Dodgers.
On a windy night, the Dodgers were limited to five singles by four pitchers, including two who pitched for the Dodgers in 2020, starter Alex Wood and reliever Jake McGee.
Roberts called the wind a huge factor, including turning what would have been home runs by Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor into outs.
“Those are the elements that both teams had to play with and that’s baseball,” Roberts said after his team was shut out for the second time in the series.
Longoria was hitless in eight at-bats in the series before hitting Max Scherzer’s 0-2 four-seam fastball over the 375-foot sign in left field for the game’s only run.
“I wasn’t quite sure that it was going to go out,” the St. John Bosco, Rio Hondo College and Long Beach State alumnus said. “The conditions tonight were crazy. I don’t think I stepped out of the box as many times in my career as I have mid-at-bat tonight. A couple times I felt like I was going to get blown over by the wind, a lot of dust in the eyes.”
The Dodgers were hitless in four at-bats with runners in scoring position before a crowd at Dodger Stadium announced at 53,299.
Mookie Betts popped out to second baseman Tommy La Stella to end the third with Albert Pujols on third base.
AJ Pollock grounded out to end the fourth inning with Corey Sager on second and Chris Taylor on first after walks.
Back-to-back singles by pinch-hitter Steven Souza Jr. and Will Smith gave the Dodgers runners on first and second with one out in the seventh.
McGee relieved Tyler Rogers and struck out pinch-hitter Austin Barnes for the second out. Shortstop Brandon Crawford leaped to catch a line drive by Betts to end the inning.
“It had a little bit of top spin on it, fortunately and it was right over my head, so I was able to just jump and hope that it goes in my glove,” Crawford said.
The 41-year-old Pujols, who started at first base to give the Dodgers another right-handed hitter in the lineup after not playing in either of the first two games of the series, was two-for-two, becoming the oldest player with a multi-hit game in the postseason since 45-year-old Julio Franco had three hits for the Atlanta Braves in Game 4 of a National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs in 2003.
Scherzer and relievers Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen limited San Francisco to three hits. Longoria was the only Giant to advance past second.
The loss was the Dodgers’ first when Scherzer started for them. They were 11-0 in his regular-season starts after they acquired him in a July 30 six-player trade with the Washington Nationals.
The Dodgers also won Wednesday’s NL wild-card game against the St. Louis Cardinals, which Scherzer started.
The loss also ended LA’s 16-game winning streak at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers concluded the regular season with a franchise-record 15-game home winning streak, then won the wild-card game, also at Dodger Stadium.
Rogers, the second of four San Francisco pitchers, was credited with the victory, allowing no runs and three hits in 1 2/3 innings. Wood allowed no runs and two hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking two.
Rookie right-hander Camilo Doval retired all six batters he faced, striking out one, for the save. Lux, a pinch-hitter, hit a ball to left-center field that center fielder Steven Duggar caught for the final out.
“My stomach pretty much sank when he hit it,” Longoria said. “I couldn’t believe that it didn’t (go over the fence), but I guess (it was) just our night tonight.”
Duggar also made a running catch on the warning track in right-center field on a ball hit by Taylor to end the sixth inning.
Scherzer was charged with the loss, allowing the run and three hits in seven innings, striking out 10 and walking one.
“After that first inning I thought he was really good,” Roberts said. Scherzer threw 25 pitches in the first inning, walking La Stella, the leadoff hitter, on seven pitches and allowing a single to the third batter, Buster Posey, but striking out the other three hitters.
“That first inning, obviously just kind of trying to deal with the conditions and messing with his balance through the delivery, but after that I thought he was good. The changeup, the life to the fastball, the cutter, the slider was back, so he threw a heck of a ball game,” Roberts said.