2021 NLDS Preview: Giants Vs. Dodgers Regular Season Recap
Matt Beaty
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are meeting in the postseason for the first time in MLB history as they face each other in the best-of-five National League Division Series.

During the regular season, the Giants won 107 games, while the Dodgers finished one behind them with 106 victories. That snapped the Dodgers’ streak of winning the NL West at eight years.

While the Giants finished this season as the division champions, the two teams were about as even as teams could be all year. They faced each other 19 times with the Giants winning 10 of those. However, the Dodgers outscored them 80-78.

The two teams did not face each other until a month and a half into the season, but they ended up playing in six series.

May 21-23

The Dodgers got off to a hot start against their rivals, sweeping them in a three-game series at Oracle Park.

The first game was a 2-1 victory thanks to a two-run home run from Chris Taylor in the third inning. The Dodgers used three pitchers, with only Trevor Bauer allowing a run while Blake Treinen picked up the save.

In the second game, the Dodgers were led by Walker Buehler, who pitched seven innings of one-run ball in a 6-3 win.

Max Muncy opened the scoring in the first inning with his ninth homer of the year. Austin Barnes, Albert Pujols, DJ Peters and Austin Barnes also drove in runs.

In the final game, the Dodgers offense exploded for 11 runs while scoring three in the second and seven in the third.

Muncy hit his 10th homer and Gavin Lux finished the night with four RBI and a home run.

Julio Urias earned the win after throwing six innings while only allowing two runs.

May 27-30

The Dodgers faced the Giants at home for a four-game series and took the opener, 4-3. L.A. used seven pitchers in a bullpen game started by David Price, and had home runs from Justin Turner, Muncy and Peters to provide the offense.

The Giants answered the Dodgers’ hot start to the series by winning the next three games.

The first of the Giants’ wins came in extra innings after being shut down by Buehler, who allowed two runs (one earned) over six innings.

It was an uncharacteristic night for L.A.’s bullpen as Treinen allowed three runs and Jansen allowed three as well (two earned).

The two teams were locked at two going into the eighth inning when the Giants scored three runs to take the lead. The Dodgers battled back to tie it in the bottom of the ninth and were inches away from an Albert Pujols walk-off home run, only for it to be robbed by Mike Tauchman on a leaping catch at the wall.

The Giants scored three more in the 10th inning and the Dodgers weren’t able to keep their offense going in the 8-5 San Francisco win.

In the next game, Urias had one of his lone poor starts of the season, allowing seven runs (six earned) in just five innings.

San Francisco continued to add on against Mitch White and Alex Vesia, while the Dodgers fell 11-5.

The final game of the series was another close matchup with the Dodgers showing some life near the end of it but just falling short.

The Giants scored three runs in the first inning off Clayton Kershaw and added another run in both the third and fourth innings.

L.A. did not score until the eighth, when Muncy continued his hot hitting against the Giants and slugged a two-run home run.

The Dodgers tacked on more in the ninth thanks to a two-run homer from Albert Pujols, but they were not able to get another run to tie and the Giants won the game 5-4.

June 28-29

The next series between the two teams was just a two-game set at Dodger Stadium that saw the Dodgers again sweep the Giants.

Bauer started and threw six innings while Victor Gonzalez and Treinen pitched scoreless innings to get the ball in the hands of Jansen, who earned the save.

Muncy once again homered and Mookie Betts also connected for his 10th long ball of the season in a 3-2 win.

The next night, Buehler pitched 6.2 innings while only allowing one run. Joe Kelly and Jansen pitched the final 2.1 innings to close out the game.

Muncy once again proved to be trouble for San Francisco as he homered and Taylor drove in two in a 3-2 L.A. win.

July 19-22

The two teams played another four-game series, and the Giants once again won three of the games.

Tony Gonsolin started and allowed three in the first inning, but the Dodgers scored two off Kevin Gausman in the bottom half of the frame.

The game remained 3-2 until the Giants scored four runs in the seventh off Gonzalez and Phil Bickford to earn a 7-2 win.

The next game featured the debut of former top Dodgers prospect Josiah Gray, who was later traded to the Washington Nationals for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.

Gray came into the game in the third inning and pitched four innings while allowing four runs.

The Giants took a 6-5 lead into the ninth inning but the Dodgers were finally able to complete their late-inning heroics as Will Smith hit a three-run walk-off home run to give L.A. an 8-5 win.

In the third game, the roles were reversed as the Dodgers took a 2-1 lead into the ninth with Jansen on the mound. The Giants scored three thanks to a two-run homer from Wilmer Flores and a two-out RBI from Curt Casali to win 4-2.

In the final game of the series, Buehler once again pitched a gem, throwing 7.1 innings while allowing one run as L.A. took a 3-1 lead into the ninth.

San Francisco continued to show their late-inning magic and scored four runs in the ninth as Jansen blew his fifth save of the season and the Giants picked up a 5-3 win.

July 27-29

The two teams played in another tight game to begin their fifth series, with the score locked at one in the eighth inning.

Urias pitched 5.2 innings while only allowing one, however, in the bottom of the eighth the Giants scored on an unearned run with Treinen on the mound before Jake McGee picked up the save.

The Dodgers’ lone RBI was driven in by Billy McKinney in the fifth inning.

In the next game, the Dodgers’ offense came to play as they scored four in the third, three in the seventh, and one in the eighth.

Buehler also had another spectacular night as he pitched seven scoreless innings. White threw the final two innings and didn’t allow a run as the Dodgers won 8-0.

Surprisingly, the Dodgers only hit one homer in the win, which was a solo shot from Cody Bellinger.

The Giants followed with their own shutout victory as the Dodgers only had four hits off Johnny Cueto through 5.2 innings while their bullpen pitched the final 3.1 innings without allowing a hit.

San Francisco scored four runs off David Price, who threw 4.1 innings, as they won the game 5-0.

Sept. 3-5

In the final series between the two teams, the Giants ended up taking two of the three games, which proved to be just enough for them to go on to win the NL West.

In the first game, the Giants took a 1-0 lead into the ninth. The Dodgers were down to their final out when Taylor hit a single to center field to tie the game.

In the 10th, Trea Turner hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Buehler but the Giants tied it on a Brandon Crawford single.

L.A. did not score in the 11th and the Giants walked off when Will Smith, who was playing out of position, came off the first base bag while reaching for the ball that would have recorded the final out of the inning.

In the second game, the L.A. opened the scoring with a leadoff home run from Trea Turner and they didn’t look back while scoring two more in the inning.

San Francisco came back to score one in the bottom of the first off Urías, but that was all they scored in the game and L.A. went on to win 6-1.

In the final meeting between the two teams, Buehler was not his usual self, allowing six earned runs in just three innings.

The Dodgers were able to score four runs, including two in the ninth on a home run from Pujols, but it was not enough to make up for Buehler’s start as they lost 6-4.

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