LOS ANGELES (AP) — One large swing by Chris Taylor despatched the Los Angeles Dodgers hovering and the St. Louis Cardinals crashing.
Taylor hit a two-run homer within the backside of the ninth inning to present the Dodgers a 3-1 victory Wednesday night time in a scintillating NL wild-card recreation.
Justin Turner homered early and the 106-win Dodgers superior to a best-of-five Division Collection in opposition to the NL West champion Giants, who received 107 video games to barely maintain off rival Los Angeles for the division title. Sport 1 is Friday night time in San Francisco.
“That is gonna be enjoyable. Yeah, two of the most effective regular-season data of all-time. We have been battling all 12 months, so I anticipate a hard-fought sequence,” Taylor mentioned.
The Dodgers celebrated on the sphere earlier than heading into their clubhouse to proceed the celebration. Champagne and beer had been poured over the heads of shirtless, goggle-wearing gamers, thrilled to have stayed alive for a shot at their Bay Space adversary.
“One of many nice rivalries in sports activities,” Los Angeles supervisor Dave Roberts mentioned. “It’s taking place.”
The sellout crowd of 53,193 at Dodger Stadium held on each pitch as the stress of a tie recreation constructed from the fourth inning on. Followers waved blue towels, futilely urging on the few balls launched into the outfield solely to see them caught in a winner-take-all matchup between two of the Nationwide League’s most storied and profitable franchises.
The gang was on its ft within the ninth, anxiously ready to see if the defending World Collection champions might pull out vital win. Cody Bellinger received the Dodgers began when he drew a two-out stroll from T.J. McFarland. Alex Reyes entered to face Taylor, and Bellinger stole second.
“That’s big, understanding I don’t should do an excessive amount of,” mentioned Taylor, batting within the No. 9 slot after coming into to play left discipline as a part of a double change within the seventh. “It form of settled me down somewhat bit.”
Taylor then despatched a 2-1 breaking ball into the left discipline pavilion, triggering an explosion of cheers and ending an October wrestle that lasted 4 hours, quarter-hour.
The versatile veteran struggled in September due to a recurring neck harm, and he got here off the bench within the Dodgers’ most vital recreation of the season.
“Truthfully, I used to be simply attempting to hit a single,” Taylor mentioned after launching the fourth game-ending homer in Dodgers postseason historical past. “He gave me slider to hit and I used to be in a position to get it up within the air.”
It was the fifth walk-off residence run in a winner-take-all postseason recreation, after Pittsburgh’s Invoice Mazeroski within the 1960 World Collection, the Yankees’ Chris Chambliss within the 1976 AL Championship Collection and Aaron Boone within the 2003 ALCS, and Toronto’s Edwin Encarnación within the 2016 AL wild-card recreation.
Taylor additionally made a nifty defensive play within the eighth, robbing Edmundo Sosa of successful for the second out.
Tommy Edman dropped a one-out single into proper off nearer Kenley Jansen within the high of the ninth and stole second. Paul Goldschmidt took a known as third strike and Tyler O’Neill went down swinging to finish the menace. Edman went 3 for five with a run scored.
The Dodgers’ bullpen stymied the St. Louis hitters, permitting only a pair of singles after the fifth inning.
“The entire bullpen stepped up. We’ve been doing it the entire 12 months,” Jansen mentioned. “Off we go up north now.”
Each groups had runners on within the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, however couldn’t push a run throughout.
“It was a grind all night time,” Turner mentioned.
St. Louis completed 0 for 11 with runners in scoring place, stranding 11 total. The Cardinals went on a club-record 17-game successful streak in September to seize the second NL wild card, solely to see their October desires squelched.
“That is a clubhouse full of men which might be hurting,” supervisor Mike Shildt mentioned.
Dueling aces Adam Wainwright of St. Louis and the Dodgers’ Max Scherzer struggled with their management early in simply the second winner-take-all recreation in postseason historical past with two beginning pitchers aged 37-plus. Wainwright is 40; Scherzer is 37.
“They had been relentless,” Wainwright mentioned of the Dodgers. “We had our probabilities to win that recreation.”
Wainwright and Scherzer issued two walks apiece by way of the primary three innings. Scherzer’s wild pitch led to a run within the first and he plunked Harrison Bader within the fourth.
Turner tied it at 1 within the fourth on a leadoff shot into the Dodgers’ bullpen in left. It was the primary homer Wainwright has ever given up on a curveball within the postseason. Turner’s 13 postseason homers are probably the most in franchise historical past.
St. Louis led 1-0 when Edman scored on Scherzer’s wild pitch. Edman singled main off, stole second base and went to 3rd when O’Neill fouled out to proper.
Scherzer left with one out within the fifth after giving up a leadoff single to Edman and a stroll to Goldschmidt. He paced the dugout together with his palms on his hips. Former Cardinal Joe Kelly received out of the jam after Goldschmidt reached third on a wild pitch.
Scherzer allowed one run and three hits, struck out 4 and walked three in opposition to his hometown group.
“We received the sport. That is all that issues,” Scherzer mentioned.
Wainwright permitted one run and 4 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out 5 and walked two.
The Dodgers had Wainwright on the ropes within the third, loading the bases with one out. He was inside one ball of strolling within the tying run earlier than Trea Turner broke his bat grounding into an inning-ending double play on a 3-2 pitch.
IN THE HOUSE
Nationals outfielder Juan Soto sat behind the plate sporting a Trea Turner jersey from his time in Washington. Soto completed second to Turner, his former Nats teammate, for the NL batting title. Turner received his first batting crown with a .328 common.
Soto mentioned he wished to assist his teammates and “see their face after I shock them.”
It labored. Turner did not know Soto was coming.
“After I noticed him throughout the recreation I used to be laughing for him to be sporting my jersey,” he mentioned.
Nationals hitting coach Kevin Lengthy was sitting subsequent to Soto sporting Scherzer’s jersey.
Roberts mentioned he and retired Giants supervisor Bruce Bochy had a guess on the end result of the NL West. The Giants took the title by a recreation over the Dodgers, whose eight-year reign ended on the ultimate day of the common season.
“I misplaced a dinner and a pleasant bottle of bordeaux as a result of we didn’t win the division,” Roberts mentioned, including that Bochy will select the classic.
“Understanding him it’s going to be some sort of first progress, so it’s not going to be low-cost.”
Roberts is a companion in Pink Sew Wine Group, which produced its first classic in 2007.
Cardinals: Pitchers and catchers report for spring coaching in mid-February.
Dodgers: Open the best-of-five NLDS in opposition to San Francisco on Friday. They went 9-10 in opposition to the Giants this season.
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