The last Divisional Series to begin has its start on Friday night, as the Dodgers start up in San Francisco to play the Giants.
This long-awaited series will be the first time these two bitter rivals will face off against each other in postseason play. It’s mind-boggling that in such a long history it has never happened, but it actually came pretty close a couple of times.
In 2014 Los Angeles won the division and the Giants beat the Pirates in the wild card game. San Francisco then took the series against the Washington Nationals, but the Dodgers fell to the Cardinals, who tried to repeat history on Wednesday.
Two years later the same scenario, except for this time the Giants outlasted the Nationals in the NLDS but the Giants lost in four games to the Cubs.
All of that is now ancient history and each team is focused on the present. For the opening round of this one we’ll have Walker Buehler squaring off against Logan Webb. A duel of homegrown arms with remarkable 2021 seasons.
For Buehler it will be his return to San Francisco after a fateful Sunday Night Baseball start that was the last time these two teams played one another. It might be looked at as not only the beginning of the end for Buehler’s Cy Young run, gIving up six runs over three innings, but also was the deciding game for the NL West crown, giving the Giants the single-game edge they finished with.
Outside of that one particular start Buehler was flat out dominant giving up no more than a handful of runs in his last five against the Giants in the 2021 season
Webb on the other hand faces this Los Angeles lineup for the fourth time this year, and for the first time since late July. Here are his numbers against the Dodgers, though it should be noted that this was against lineup with Max Muncy but without Trea Turner, with the opposite true now:
- 16 innings pitched (3 Starts)
- 7 hits
- 5 runs (4 earned runs)
- 17 strikeouts
- 4 walks
Blake Treinen is the only arm that in a ideal scenario Dave Roberts might want to avoid after throwing 32 pitches over a inning and two thirds on Wednesday. Otherwise it’s all hands on deck for each side, and this doesn’t mean that Roberts will have any reservations about putting Treinen in there in a close affair, after a day of rest.
It’s just sad to note that key pieces for both sides like Muncy, Clayton Kershaw and Brandon Belt will miss this one but this series has all the makings of one for the ages.
NLDS Game 1 info
Teams: Dodgers (106-56) at Giants (107-55)
Location: Oracle Park, San Francisco
Time: 6:37 p.m.