An epic season for the ages between two hated rivals came down to an epic game five, win or go home game that came down to the final out.
The Giants set their club record with 107 regular-season wins and their first NL West Title since 2012. The reigning World Series Champion Dodgers tied their all-time record with 106 wins, but could not catch the Giants down the stretch of the regular season.
Two teams with 109 wins each. No matter the outcome, one team would go away disappointed.
We all knew game five would be one for the ages. Aside from a questionable check-swing call on the final out, it lived up to expectations.
The Dodgers surprised the baseball world by starting Corey Kluber over Julio Urias. In a move that many questioned, Dave Roberts’ gambit paid off, with Kluber and Brusdar Graterol combining to pitch two scoreless innings as openers for Urias, who would come in and pitch for innings of one run baseball.
Urias’ one blemish came off the bat of Darrin Ruf, who launched a game-tying 450-foot blast to center field.
The Giants went the more conventional route, starting Logan Webb, a budding star who was the team’s best pitcher in the second half of the season. Webb pitching brilliantly, giving up just one run over seven innings.
The deciding run came in the top of the ninth inning on a line drive single by Cody Bellinger, the former 2019 MVP who was a liability for the Dodgers all season. Yet, when the Dodgers needed him most, Bellinger came through with a go-ahead single of the Giants rookie closer, Camillo Doval.
It is a shame that the game would end on a blown call by the first base umpire on what clearly was not a swing by Giants’ first baseman Wilmer Flores. It is more than likely that Max Scherzer, the prized free-agent hall of fame pitcher would have got an out regardless.
But who really knows. Wilmer Flores launched a game-winning home run off Kenley Jansen earlier this season, and if Scherzer has one kink in his armor, it is the long ball.
We will never know what could have been. What we do know, is the Giants and Dodgers gave the baseball world everything they wanted and more, and 2021 will go down in the record books as a historic year.