Giants-Dodgers: NLDS Game 5 live updates

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We’re less than 30 minutes from the epic end of the Giants-Dodgers National League Division Series.

These two teams have never met before in the playoffs, and the game lived up to the hype. This is a final, win-win game at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

Emma Baccellieri and I will spend time together and chat the night away while we watch the game. We will provide updates and analysis, as well as light jokes. Let’s get started.

All times shown are EST

Matt Martell (8:55): Hi, partner.

Emma Baccellieri (8:55): Hi!

MM (8:56): Ready to throw this thing?

BE: (8:56): Sure. What do you think of the Dodgers’ decision to open the game with Corey Knebel instead of Julio Urías?

MM (8:57): Well, first of all, I love the game. I love that we finally had a weird wrinkle between two teams competing for the 24th time this year.

Having said that, I don’t know How? ‘Or’ What a lot of impact it makes. Of course, that prevents the Giants from stacking all of their right-handed squad players at the top of the order, but they seemed to have adjusted well with the lineup they had put together. They still have Darin Ruf in both holes, predicting that Urias will still be in the game for at least one, possibly two, of his home plate appearances. And they have left-hander Tommy La Stella in the lead, Brandon Crawford in the clean-up spot and Mike Yastrzemski in sixth. It’s pretty balanced. That means we won’t see LaMonte Wade Jr. until later in the game. The Giants cleverly threw Wilmer Flores in eighth place so he’s there for when Urías comes into the game.

BE (9h00): So i don’t Do not like this movement. But I’m not totally crazy about it either. It would be an easier call for me if a) the guy in question was on short rest, or b) one of the pitchers involved had extreme platoon divisions. Still, none of those apply here: Urías is fully rested, with fairly minimal gaps this season, while Knebel actually has gaps reversed. I think there is an advantage to be gained here, but I think it’s much, much smaller than most of the cases where we think an opener is useful.

As for what that does to the Giants roster, I think they played well. They’ve added more lefties (3) than they had when they last met Urías (1), but there’s an interesting wrinkle in there: the left-handed trio includes Tommy La Stella, who doesn’t was supposed to be on call only in a pinch. – Striker today, since he is fighting an Achilles injury. But with Knebel starting, he instead hits the start, which guarantees him an immediate appearance at home plate against a right-hander. If he makes it to base, it gives the team a chance to pull him out without risking serious exposure to him in defense, which could in fact turn out to be a advantage for the Giants.

MM (9:05): What’s your prediction for tonight?

BE (9:06): I think of the Giants (but not by many!).

I also think we see Max Scherzer in relief at some point.

MM (9:06): Is he the losing pitcher tonight?

BE (9:08): Ooh, good question. I’ll go with no but I think it’s possible!

MM (9:09): I think the Giants win too. I leave with a 3-2 final. Logan Webb goes seven and allows one run. Buster Posey and Kris Bryant both hit home runs. Albert Pujols hits a home run late in the game (because I’m romantic with baseball), but it won’t be enough.

MM (9:14): Two hard-hit balls to start the game for the Dodgers. Mookie Betts hit the single, then Corey Seager strings 105.9 mph to the left. Logan Webb makes a big pitch for Trea Turner to bounce back into a double play. Let’s see if that’s enough to calm 24-year-old Webb a bit.

BE (9:16): And now we see how well Knebel performs as an opener!

MM (9:19): This is not good for Knebel!

BE (9:19): Oooooh, man, the bounce off that Buster Posey double – Mookie is generally great for reading them!

Yeah, that’s two hard-hit balls in a row, even though Ruf’s was caught.

MM (9:20): They swing early – Ruf and Posey both crush fastballs in right field. Ruff’s flying ball died in the right triangle-CF.

BE (9:20): Interesting – the Dodgers have the Brusdar Graterol warming, rather than going straight to Urías.

I imagine that would still aim to get Urías to about a third, sure, but curious to think about completing with other relievers before turning to him.

BE (9:25): A huge strikeout to finish the round. But I think they should feel lucky that they got out of there harmlessly.

MM (9:26): Nasty hook. I don’t know how long we’ll see Knebel. If the Dodgers don’t want Urias to come in right away to take on the righties at the bottom of the Giants roster, they should probably look to Graterol.

MM (9:31): Brandon Crawford makes it look so easy.

BE (9:31): Yeah, it was so smooth.

MM (9:32): Yes! He was playing deep and towards the 6 hole there against Justin Turner, who hit a slower Grounder that Crawford had to charge. He broke his feet to perfection, crafted that alligator scoop that all good youth coaches teach and quickly dropped the diamond. Beautiful.

BE (9:36): And we have Graterol for the second – probably the smartest move, as you said, to create a cushion so Urias doesn’t have to go up against right-handed people at the bottom of the range.

What I remember most from watching him is how easy it’s 100mph watch. It’s ridiculous.

MM (9:36): I love that Kris Bryant started two of those five games down center. He’s also combing this streak so far, hitting .462 with a home run coming into today’s game.

MM (9:38): It’s terrifying.

Bryant breaks his bat, most of them taking off in a helicopter over the head of third baseman Justin Turner. He beats the first pitch for an infield single.

MM (9:43): Wilmer Flores returned a single to left field, placing the runners first and second with one out. It’s Longo’s hour.

MM (9.45 a.m.): Never said Longo Time was a good thing for the Giants. He comes out first.

BE (9:46): Hahaha. Well, now we’re down to Logan Webb Time… which, probably of note, it is a good hitter for a pitcher! But, uh, low bar.

BE (9:48): “Low bar” embodied here by its withdrawal on catches on three consecutive throws. And this is probably the last time we see Graterol.

BE (9:51): Cody Bellinger has generally been lost on the plate for a while now, but man, Logan Webb made him look completely silly on this K.

MM (9:51): Yeah, that two-stitched seam that went over the inside of the plate was pretty.

MM (9:56): Logan Webb is dealing with this right now. He faced the minimum in three sets. This two seam / slider combo works wonderfully.

MM (9:58): As expected, here is Julio Urías to start the third round. And also as expected, Donovan Solano hits hard for left-hander La Stella.

EC (10:05): Mookie Betts is the only player to be on the Dodgers base tonight, and now he’s done it twice

MM (10:05): This, after Webb made a ridiculous change at Betts that he rocked on.

BE (10:12): Ooh, wow, Webb’s first walk of the night. He asked Will Smith to chase that cursor once, then he couldn’t do it again. That puts the runners in the first and second row with two outs for Justin Turner at home plate.

MM (10:14): Wilmer Flores with a clever footwork at first base to save Webb from a stray pitch and get the Giants out of the inning.

BE (10.15am): All three outs in this round were on dribblers – the hardest hit of the three strikeouts was Seager’s Grounder at 66 mph.

MM (10h15): Well, Webb didn’t have a lot of trouble tonight, and even that wasn’t too bad. It has 52 locations. I wonder how long Gabe Kapler is staying with him.

BE (10:16): Live blog friend Steph Apstein has an update from Scherzer:

MM (10:16): HAHAHAHAHA! Max would be unbearable in the canoe tonight.

BE (10:17): Regarding Webb: Unless he obviously starts working or is in trouble, I see no reason not to let him play two or more innings.

MM (10:18): Brandon Crawford says, “Take THIS Travis Jackson!” He shoots a left-field single as TBS features the biggest shortstops in franchise history.

MM (10:24): Shiny base that starts from Crawford to advance on a ball of Urias dirt. Took off as soon as it touched down, and even with Smith blocking him, Crawford easily finished second.

BE (10:26): Austin Slater, who hits for Yaz, bounces one down the middle, advancing Crawford to third as he’s easily sent off early. It’s time for Wilmer Flores to shine.

MM (10:28): Wilmer comes out, but he still has time. It’s still Wilmer Time, IMO, even when it came out.

BE (10:29): And the Giants can’t help thanks to their better scoring chance: after his first single, Crawford finds himself third.

BE (10:31): As we reach fifth: overall I’ve been really in the game so far! But I feel like the difference for the Giants might be that it’s so easy to imagine Webb going far here, and he’s been virtually untouchable so far.

MM (10:33): I know. He must play the second following round. If he easily passes the fifth, I can’t imagine Kapler would do a pinch for Webb.

MM (10:34): I love the two-seam Webb inside seam for left-handers. He just hit Gavin Lux with a doozy for the first out.

BE (10.40am): Another big strikeout from Webb – this time he’s blowing Chris Taylor on the lead. He’s now 72 shots through to fifth.

MM (10:42): And these rounds were also relatively easy. I think he has seven.

BE (10:44): Yeah. They have a lot of options out of the bullpen – Kapler has confirmed that Kevin Gausman and Alex Wood are possibilities – but with Webb looking this good I would let him continue for as long as possible.

MM (10.45 am): If Webb was truly MadBum’s second coming, he’d go to the backyard here.

Alas. He breathed.

EC (10:48): Almost an impeccable round for Julio Urías! (10 pitches – he threw a ball at Longoria.) Sure, that was the bottom of the roster, but still, there was a lot of great stuff there.

BE (10:53): Mookie Betts is now 3-for-3 against Webb. Everyone is 0-for-15.

EC (10:55): And now he’s stolen second – not for bragging rights, but like The Closer in our Five-Tool newsletter today, the detail I took in was that Logan Webb isn’t good at preventing thefts (at pretty much the only thing he’s not good at!), and there the Dodgers are exploiting it.

MM (10:55) Congratulate yourself!

EC (10:56): No longer scoreless !! Corey Seager, RBI doubles, 1-0, Dodgers.

MM (10:57): He’s the future Yankee Corey Seager.


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