NLDS Game 3 Recap: Dodgers Fall To Giants In Untimely First Loss Of Max Scherzer Start
Evan Longoria, 2021 NLDS
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers couldn’t take advantage of their familiarity with Alex Wood, and suffered a 1-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants in Game 3 of the National League Division Series.

The Dodgers now find themselves on the brink of elimination and could join the reigning American League champion Tampa Bay Rays in beginning their offseason much earlier than anticipated. The loss was the Dodgers’ first in 13 starts Max Scherzer has made for the team.

Coming off a string of outings that didn’t meet expectations, Scherzer did his part with 10 strikeouts over seven innings.

Scherzer moved into a tie third-place with Cliff Lee, Randy Johnson and Bob Gibson at five starts in the postseason with at least 10 strikeouts. Justin Verlander leads all pitchers with seven such starts in the playoffs, and Clayton Kershaw has six.

Scherzer became the first pitcher in postseason history with at least one 10-strikeout postseason game for three different teams.

The right-hander collected strikeouts early and often, and went on a stretch of retiring 10 batters in a row before Kris Bryant’s base hit with two outs in the fourth inning. Nothing came of that, but a mistake pitch on an 0-2 count resulted in a leadoff home run for Evan Longoria in the fifth inning.

Prior to Longoria’s blast that cut through an unusually strong wind at Dodger Stadium, Alex Wood was getting the better of his teammates.

Wood only pitched 4.2 innings, but held the Dodgers to just two hits — both by Albert Pujols. Wood did face some stress, as he retired Mookie Betts to strand Pujols at third base in the third inning, and got AJ Pollock to ground out and leave two on in the fourth.

The Giants’ defense then rose to the occasion yet again in the seventh inning on Brandon Crawford’s leaping catch to snag a line drive that was 101.2 mph off Betts’ bat. Had it cleared Crawford and carried into left-center field, the tying run likely would’ve scored from second base.

Rookie Camilo Doval tossed two perfect innings in just his second career postseason appearance to earn the save.

Dodgers try to avoid elimination

Needing a win in Game 4 to avoid being eliminated, the Dodgers may change from probable starter Tony Gonsolin.

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