Defending World Series champion Dodgers survive NL wild-card vs. Cardinals with walk-off win

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LOS ANGELES – Come on, this is Hollywood.

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This is a drama that everyone wants to see.

This is the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, one of the fiercest rivals in all sports.


And it’s here now, in vibrant colour, thanks to a two-run walk-off homer from Chris Taylor in the ninth inning that propelled the Dodgers into a thrilling 3-1 over the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Wild on Wednesday night. card game.

The Dodgers won the elimination game at Dodger Stadium for the first time since Game 7 of the 1988 NL Championship Series against the mighty New York Mets in the days of Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden.

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But, oh, was it a beauty, with perhaps the two greatest teams in baseball, once again the Giants-Dodgers setting up a spectacular theater.

The Giants proved they were the better team in the regular season, winning a franchise-record 107 games.

The Dodgers won 106 games.

Now, we’re about to find out who the best team is in the Best of Five series starting Friday night at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

This is technically the first time these teams have met in the post season. They played tiebreaker games in 1951 and 1962, but it was for the NL pennant that the postseason was not invented until 1969 when the National League and American League split into two divisions, creating two championship series. The wild-card game came into play in 1994 when the league moved to three divisions.

Is it fair that the 106-win team was subject to a tense elimination game?

“Look, you have to win your division,” Dodgers starter Max Schaezer said before the game. “We didn’t win our division. We are in second place.

“There’s no crying in baseball.”

Sure enough, the game edged out a sold-out crowd of 53,193 all night, with the Cardinals unable to produce a lone hit with a runner in the scoring position in 11 at-bats.

Washington was also included in the crowd. National star Juan Soto, seen with Natso wearing the jersey of former teammate Tree TurnerTrying to incite the crowd. He was shown on videoboards and with fans fondly remembering how the Nuts ended him in 2019, only to show that he was representing the Dodgers.

Certainly, Adam Wainwright did everything possible to ruin the Hollywood screenplay.

He was sensational during his 5-inning stint, with the only real mistake hanging off the 75-mph curveball to Justin Turner, sending him 401 feet into the Dodger bullpen, tying the game at 1-eps.

It was only in the third inning that he really got into trouble, when he suddenly lost control and loaded the base with Tree Turner coming to the plate. Turner finished the count, the sold-out crowd screamed to their feet, Wainwright came back with a curveball, and Turner landed an inning-ending double play.

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Justin Turner greeted Wainwright with a leadoff homer in the 13th fourth inning of his career later in the season, but suddenly, Wainwright found his groove. He retired the next seven batsmen without being allowed off the field, until Tree Turner hit a dribbler down the third-base line for an infield. Cardinals manager Mike Schildt, who allowed Wainwright to bat in the fifth inning, came to the mound and turned the game into his bullpen, giving him everything he needed from Wainwright.

“I learned long ago,” said Cardinals president John Mozeliac, “never bet against the man.”

Scherzer pitched well, conceding only three hits and one run, but worked hard, and was on 94 pitches when manager Dave Roberts came onto the mound with a dismissal in the fourth inning. Scherzer couldn’t believe it. Sure, there were two runners on board, but he had hit Tyler O’Neill, and the struggling Nolan Arenado was on deck.

Scherzer refused to see Roberts, and when Roberts asked for the ball, Scherzer merely waved his hand. Roberts had to reach into his glove to grab the ball as Scherzer hit the mound.

The sold-out crowd wasn’t sure whether to appease Scherzer for his performance or boo Roberts for the decision.

When Joe Kelly came on and propelled a weak grounder from Arenado and dismissed Dylan Carlson, the move paid off well, keeping the game tied at 1-eps.

Wainwright did everything possible to ruin the Hollywood screenplay, but the Cardinals could never produce in a clutch, giving

The win gave Roberts another chance to level with former Giants manager Bruce Bochi.

You see, the two staged a dinner bet—including a nice bottle of Bordeaux—in mid-summer with Bouchy betting that the Giants would hang on to win the division, while Roberts naturally picked his team.

They would be dabbling down in the NL Division Series.

Giants and Dodgers, as it should have been.

Follow Nightingale on Twitter: @Bnightengale

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