LOS ANGELES – It wasn’t just an unusually windy evening that gave Southern California a chilly, smoky feel on Monday. It was also that rare night when the Los Angeles Dodgers, an embarrassment of funds, and in need of frequent upgrades, unexpectedly cut them.
Alex Wood is a fierce, crooked left-hander who has been employed by the Dodgers over the past six years, making 76 starts and throwing four scoreless innings in the World Series last autumn. But at age 30, and after being bounced on the bullpen several times, he decided last winter in free agency that it was time to find an employer that would put him in rotation permanently.
So there he was, debuting for San Francisco in a crucial Game 3 of this division series, matching up with Max Schaezer and leading the Giants to a 1–0 victory that eliminated his old team. pushed to the brink of He played four and two-thirds scoreless, amassing the Dodgers on 83 pitches – 56 strikes – and cementing the Giants’ decision to sign him on a one-year, $3 million deal last winter.
“He’s so incredibly competitive,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “He always feels that he is the best option to get the next three hitters out. I love that about him.”
Nothing bothered Wood, including the strong winds that affected everyone. Scherzer needed 25 pitches to get through the first innings before finding his groove and caught the Giants in three hits, including an Ivan Longoria single home run in seven innings.
“First innings, the wind was really pushing me towards home plate,” Scherzer said. “It was really strong tonight.”
It was a 96-mph ball in the zone that Longoria somehow swung like gale force winds.
“I know I’ve got every part of it, how hard I can hit a ball,” said Longoria, who was on 1 for 35, when he stepped up to the plate for the decisive batting. “I wasn’t sure it would turn out. The conditions were crazy. I don’t think I’ve ever stepped out of bat in the middle of the box as much as I did tonight.
“A couple of times I felt like I was going to fly through the air. You have a lot of dust in your eyes. “
“Super weird,” said Kapler, a Southern California native.
Although Scherzer adjusted, the Dodgers’ hitters were never able to break through. Chris Taylor and pinch-hitter Gavin Lux both broke drives into center field in the ninth inning, and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he felt both balls, especially Lux, were leaving the park.
Instead, he settled in the glove of center fielder Steven Duggar.
Brandon Crawford, San Francisco’s Gold Glove-winning shortstop, snatched the Dodgers’ other best opportunity, leapfrogging the Mookie Bates line drive with two outs and first and second runners in seventh. He should have at least tied the game. Instead, Bates clenched his fist and groaned in despair.
Now, facing elimination in Game 4 here on Tuesday, the Dodgers were looking to bring back co-ace Walker Buehler, who began a 4-0 loss in Game 1, the first short-rest start of his career. Will be Otherwise, the option to start appears to be right-handed Tony Gonsolin.
“We have to go round as a group,” Roberts said. “Everything is on the table.”