LOS ANGELES (News4usonline) – Max Scherzer did everything he needed to do to win Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants. It’s too bad he can’t hit.
For seven innings, Scherzer did just about everything right to help the Los Angeles Dodgers in the team’s quest to edge the Giants.
“After that first inning I thought he was really good,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Scherzer. “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.”
Scherzer thought he had performed at a high level as well.
“When I was able to get through the first inning, I didn’t realize how much the wind was going to affect me,” Scherzer said. “The wind was really pushing me towards home plate and it was pretty strong tonight.”
Scherzer continued, “Then once I was able to get through the second inning, that’s when I really felt like I found some rhythm and was able to start executing pitches. Then I was really, from that point forward, able to execute with five pitches. I feel like that’s what made for a good outing.”
In those seven innings that he pitched, Scherzer struck out 10 batters and allowed just three hits. One of those hits, though, was slammed into the left-centerfield bleachers in the fifth inning by Evan Longoria for a solo home run.
“I mean, I knew I got every bit of it as far as how hard I could hit a baseball,” Longoria said.“But, yeah, I mean, I wasn’t quite sure that it was going to go out. I mean, the conditions tonight were crazy. I mean, we were talking about it coming over.”
Longoria’s four-bagger was all the Giants needed to beat the Dodgers 1-0 at Dodger Stadium.
”You get to the postseason you can always lose by one pitch,” Scherzer added. “That comes into play. Tonight I lost it on one pitch.”
For the second time in three games, the Giants pitched a shutout against the Dodgers. The Dodgers managed to get five hits for the game, but the team’s big bats were silenced. Again.
In Game 1, the Giants put the Dodgers in a vice, coming away with a 4-0 win.
The Dodgers bounced back with a strong outing in Game 2. With strong winds being thrown into the mix in Game 3, the Dodgers could not do much offensively against Alex Wood and his relief buddies. Wood, a former Dodger, pitched four and two-thirds innings and gave up two hits.
To close out the game, the Giants called on Camilo Doval to clean things up. Doval did just that, pitching the last two innings of the game and striking out six batters. The stat line reveals the truth. This ballgame came down to pitching and timely hitting. The Giants got both.
The Dodgers got nada in the hitting department. The core of the Dodgers’ lineup-Chris Taylor, Mookie Betts, Justin Turner, Corey Seager, and Trea Turner-went a combined 1-for-18 on the night.
Roberts said the Dodgers’ struggles at the plate were not the results of a hit or miss mentality.
“I think that if you look at tonight, obviously the results we got shutout, but I do think that tonight there were some good at-bats, the Mookie at-bat, the line-out, the two balls that I thought were home runs,” Roberts said. “I thought we took some good at-bats and we just didn’t get rewarded. So I don’t think it’s — I thought, collectively I thought we did a nice job tonight. Better than kind of the goose eggs we threw out.”
Wood said pitching against his former teammates and knowing the hitting versatility they bring to the plate is like playing chess.
“Top to bottom, they’re just really a great group of professional hitters,” Wood said. “They have a plan of what they’re doing at-bat to at-bat depending who they’re facing. And that’s always been one of my favorite parts of being a pitcher and being a starter is that chess match going back and forth. So just trying to kind of think along with them, thinking about what they think I’m going to throw, and where to go from there.”
Featured Image Caption: Oct. 11, 2021. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts getting in work before Game 3 of the National League Division Series. Photo courtesy of Mark Hammond/Black News Service (BNS)