Due to the hilarious way MLB seeds their postseason, arguably the two best teams in baseball will meet in the NLDS and have just five games to settle things.
Buehler got the ball for the Dodgers, carrying into the playoffs his reputation as a big-game pitcher. Unfortunately things started off rather disastrously, issuing a walk to Tommy La Stella, who was advanced to third on a ground out and a fly out. Not that advancing mattered after Buster Posey got a 3-0 cookie with an open base and smashed an oppo shot to put the Giants up 2-0.
Buster gets the green light and goes with it! pic.twitter.com/YYy9q2SByc— MLB (@MLB) October 9, 2021
In the next four consecutive innings, Buehler kept things scoreless but also allowed a single in all of them, meaning he had yet to get a clean frame.
After finally getting a 1-2-3 inning in the 6th, he then started out the 7th by allowing a solo homer to Kris Bryant to make it 3-0. He got one more out before exiting, not looking his best, but not really being bad either: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 97 Pitches.
The zone didn’t help much.
On the other side, the Giants started the aforementioned Webb, who was an absolute revelation in 2021, becoming a legit ace out of seemingly nowhere.
Mookie Betts led the game off with a single, but it was Corey Seager who found himself on second after Brandon Crawford threw an attempted double play turn into the dugout on his ground out. Another ground out advanced Seager to third, but he was unable to be cashed in after a Justin Turner 100 mph comebacker was stopped by Webb’s foot for an out.
By the start of the 4th, Webb had retired nine in a row since the Betts single, and only had that streak broken up thanks to dropping a Seager dribbler in front of the plate himself for an error. Yet, he still ended up facing the minimum in the inning thanks to a stellar double play from La Stella and Crawford.
Will Smith led the 5th off with a single, the first Dodger hit or walk since the first batter of the game, but next Wilmer Flores made an important diving stop on a Matt Beaty grounder to get the force out. That prevented a single to right and what was likely runners at the corners with nobody out, and then Webb worked through the rest of the inning without issue.
The 6th saw the Dodgers get their first scoring chance since the 1st, though it wasn’t much of one. Seager doubled to the wall in right with two outs, and Trea Turner struck out to end the frame. The Dodgers got a better chance in the 7th when Smith doubled with one out, but then Beaty and Cody Bellinger followed with arguably two of the worst at-bats of the game, chasing everywhere as both struck out.
Webb finally exited in the 8th after a two-out single from Mookie, and despite getting help from the umpires, he just was better than the Dodgers tonight. At times he completely overmatched and clowned on a star, vet lineup.
In the other pen, Brusdar Graterol took over for Buehler and got a groundout and a strikeout to end the 7th and continue his solid work so far in the playoffs. Alex Vesia did not have quite the ideal debut in the 8th, getting two quick outs but then giving up a massive homer to Crawford to make it 4-0. He gave way to Phil Bickford, who got an out to close the book on the Giants.
To close the game out, the Giants turned to Camilo Doval, who cruised in a 1-2-3 frame.
The Dodgers had just five hits in the game and no walks against 11 strikeouts. They were 0-for-5 with RISP and left only five on base since they basically didn’t hit.
Better win tomorrow as they’re obviously down 0-1 in the NLDS.