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 night time 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 a lot of the previous six years, making 76 begins and throwing 4 scoreless innings within the World Sequence final autumn. However at 30, and having been bounced to the bullpen at occasions, he determined in free company final winter that it was time to seek out an employer who would completely preserve him within the rotation.
So there he was beginning for San Francisco in a pivotal Sport 3 of this division collection, matching up head-to-head with Max Scherzer and main the Giants to a 1-0 win that pushed his outdated staff to the brink of elimination.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’ determination to signal him final winter to a one-year, $3 million deal.
“He’s so extremely aggressive,” Giants Supervisor Gabe Kapler mentioned. “He at all times appears like he’s the best choice to get the subsequent three hitters out. I like that about him.”
Nothing bothered Wooden, together with the robust winds that appeared to have an effect on everybody else. Scherzer wanted 25 pitches to get via the primary inning earlier than discovering his groove and holding the Giants to a few hits, together with one Evan Longoria solo dwelling run, over seven innings.
“The primary inning, the wind was actually pushing me towards dwelling plate,” Scherzer mentioned. “It was actually robust tonight.”
It was a 96-mile-per-hour fastball up within the zone that the slumping Longoria one way or the other drove via what appeared like gale pressure winds.
“I do know I obtained each little bit of it so far as how exhausting I may hit a ball,” mentioned 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 will exit. The circumstances have been loopy. I don’t suppose I’ve ever stepped out of the field mid-at-bat as a lot as I did tonight.
“A few occasions I felt like I used to be going to get blown over by the wind. Quite a lot of mud in your eyes.”
“Tremendous unusual,” mentioned Kapler, a Southern California native.
Although Scherzer adjusted, the Dodgers’ hitters have been by no means in a position to break via. Each Chris Taylor and pinch-hitter Gavin Lux smashed drives to heart area within the ninth-inning, and Dodgers Supervisor Dave Roberts mentioned he thought each balls, particularly Lux’s, have 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 probability, leaping to snag a Mookie Betts line drive with two out and runners on first and second within the seventh. That ought to have a minimum of tied the sport. As an alternative, Betts clenched his fists and howled in frustration.
Now, going through elimination in Sport 4 right here Tuesday, the Dodgers have been contemplating bringing again co-ace Walker Buehler, who began the 4-0 loss in Sport 1, for what can 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 obtained to circle up as a bunch,” Roberts mentioned. “Every part is on the desk.”