On Friday night, in San Francisco, the first game of the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants began. The Giants won the NL West with 107 victories, while the Dodgers finished in second place with 106.
The Dodgers entered the series as heavy favourites, with most observers favouring them because to their superior talent. However, the Giants got on the board first with a 4-0 triumph.
Here are the most important lessons from the first game.
Gemstone by Webb
The National League Cy Young Award will belong to Walker Buehler, who is projected to place in the top four. Maybe he’ll end up victorious. So, the Dodgers were small favourites at the betting windows for the series opener.
Despite Buehler’s strong outing (6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K), Logan Webb stole the show with his dominant performance on the mound. Buehler allowed only two home runs to the team that lead the league in home runs, but he still only allowed three earned runs.
Webb stocked this place to the gills with every possible amenity. Unfortunately, he was unable to hit any bats. When he threw grounders, his defence was able to assist him. At times, the Giants righty only managed to get light contact. The man got the job done quickly and effectively. Webb effectively addressed every possible concern.
Webb allowed no runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out ten batters in seven and a two-thirds innings of work thanks to his command of off-speed pitches like the changeup and slider as well as the sinker and the occasional four-seam fastball.
He gave up five hits, but only two fly balls in exchange for twelve grounders. He let up some hard hits, but his defence was able to clean up the majority of them on the ground (which we’ll discuss later).
Webb just needed 92 pitches to get through 7 2/3 innings. He struck out 21 times and walked off seven times due to bad swings.
The Go-Ahead has been Given to Posey.
A majority of the game’s runs were scored in the bottom of the first inning. After a walk by Giants leadoff batter Tommy La Stella, the team had a runner in scoring position. On a 3-0 count, Buehler tried to sneak a fastball by Giants legend Buster Posey, but Posey hit it out of the park.
After a 12-homer slump in 2018 and 2019, followed by an opt-out in 2020, Posey experienced a power return this year, belting 18 home runs and registering the third-best slugging percentage of his career. This was his fifth home run in the playoffs.
In the eighth inning, Kris Bryant hit a home run to put the Giants up by four. It was his first postseason home run for the Giants, and the eighth of his career. And in the eighth inning, Brandon Crawford hit his second career postseason home run with a solo shot.
Effective Giants Team Defence
When it comes to defensive efficiency (the percentage of balls put in play that result in outs), the Giants were the sixth-best team in baseball this year. It’s a smart tactic for team defence because it takes into account things like location, distance, and, you know, not dropping the ball.
The Giants’ defence was excellent following an early throwing miscue. In particular, how about this masterpiece by La Stella and the still-underappreciated defensive shortstop Crawford.