That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Dodgers Urias Only to Win 20 games but not Nominated for the Cy Young Award

Photo of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias seen here after winning his 20th game of the 2021 season on Sat Oct 2, 2021 at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles against the Milwaukee Brewers. Urias shockingly did not win the coveted 2021 Cy Young Award (AP News file photo)

MLB: Only to Win 20 games but not Nominated for the Cy Young Award

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Young Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Julio Urías was the only pitcher in Major League Baseball among all 30 teams, this 2021 season to win 20 games; he ended with a record, 20-3, 2.96 ERA, started 32 games, pitched 185 2/3 innings, and struck out 195 hitters. However, the Mexican-born Urias was not among the three finalists for the coveted National League Cy Young Award. Is it because now victories are an antiquated way of judging a pitcher?

These were the three pitchers nominated for the Cy Young Award in the National League: Max Scherzer, who pitched for two teams this season, Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers, he finished with 15-4, 2.46 ERA, started 30 games, threw 179 1/3 innings, and struck out 236 batters.

In all fairness, he is a first-vote Hall of Famer. Philadelphia Phillies Zack Wheeler ended with a 14-10 record, 2.78 earned run average in 32 games he started, pitched 213 1/3 innings, and struck out 247. Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers finished the season with an 11-5 record, 2.43 ERA, started 28 games, pitched 167 innings, and struck out 234.

As a broadcaster I do not have a vote. The people that vote are members of the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America). I do have the utmost respect for them, some I have known and have been friends with for decades and worked with them.

To win 20 games during one season in today’s game is tantamount to winning 28 to 30 games years ago. Anybody that followed the postseason this year can see that one million pitchers were used, doesn’t matter if one is throwing a no-hitter after 5 innings, he is coming out for a reliever.

To be a starter doesn’t have the prestige it once had. But is not only the 20 wins, you cannot punish Urías because he pitched for a team that won over 100 games and was favorite to win the World Series again. I understand that a lot of the “logic” for this award goes to ‘innings pitched’ and in that case, Scherzer and Wheeler did pitch more innings than Julio Urías. It is (ironic and disingenuous) to give Innings Pitch that much weight when in today’s baseball starters do not work that much.

The beauty of baseball is that everybody has an opinion and a different point of view, (not to mention a bias for their team). I am not one that screams racism all the time, although I know, unfortunately, it still exists. And I do respect the votes by the baseball writers.

Maybe Julio can win 30 games next season and get the recognition he well deserves. The last 30 game-winner was Denny McLain of the Detroit Tigers, who in 1968 won 31 and lost 6. Today, the description for a starting pitcher has changed.

The winner will be announced live on MLB Network on November 17 at 3 PM Pacific time.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Hall of Fame Heritage Museum and does News and Commentary at

MLBCS podcast with Michael Duca: Braves one away from fall classic; Astros on the brink take 3-2 lead game 6 goes back to Houston

The balls were flying out of Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles on Wed Oct 20, 2021 in game 4 of the NLCS as the Atlanta Braves Eddie Rosario connected for one of four Braves home runs this one being hit the top of the second inning (AP News photo)

On the MLBCS podcast with Michael Duca:

#1 Miguel, what has gone wrong with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1-3) they lost the first two games of this NLCS on ninth inning walks off, they nearly lost game 3 the Atlanta Braves (3-1) had a 5-2 lead but the Dodgers got a eighth inning four run rally, in game 4 not so lucky the Braves win a laugher 9-2 with game 5 in LA tonight.

#2 Did the first two loses of this series kind of take the wind out of the Dodgers sails or were they pretty mentally exhausted from the NLDS with the San Francisco Giants going the whole five games.

#3 How much has been placed on Jose Urias he came in as a reliever in game 2 pitched the eighth in relief was shelled for three hits and two earned runs and started yesterday in game 4 went five innings, gave up five runs on eight hits in his start.

#4 Turning to the Houston Astros, the Astros took a three games to two lead on the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night at Fenway Park with a convincing 9-1 lead. This was the Red Sox best chance to take the lead in the series at home but the Astros came out hitting and now home field on Friday night at Minute Maid Field and could win it to advance to the World Series in game 6.

#5 You had many a conversation with Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker and he’s done a whale of a job managing this club to get this far know him talk about his relationships with his players and the job he’s done this season.

Join Michael Duca for the World Series podcast next Thursday at

Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong: Yankees give Boone 3 more years; Nets will feel Irving’s absence; plus more

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone seen talking to the media before the AL Wild Card game on Mon Oct 4, 2021 at Fenway Park in Boston has signed a three year deal with the Yankees for three years to remain as manager. (AP News photo)

On Headline Sports podcast with Jessica:

#1 New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone will return next season. Boone signed for a three contract and has an option for 2025. Yankees managing partner Hal Steinbrenner said that Boone has acumen and brings respect in the clubhouse.

#2 Boone and the Yankees finished in third in the AL East and lost to the Boston Red Sox in the Wild Card game that put Boone’s future with the Yankees in jeopardy. Steinbrenner felt that Boone had the respect of the players to return and make a run at the post season.

#3 Jessica turning to the NBA the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks who battled in an opening night game in Milwaukee. The Bucks held the lead for pretty much of the game later to win it 127-104. It’s early to tell but without Kyrie Irving in for the Nets does his absence from the team for Covid-19 protocol issues have an impact on the team?

#4 Taking a look at the MLB post season. The Atlanta Braves have had such a hold on the Dodgers winning the first two games of the series by two walk off hits in the ninth in Atlanta. The Braves taking a significant lead on the Dodgers on Tuesday night 5-2 in Los Angeles. The Dodgers made a comeback 6-5 to win game 3 with a 2-1 Braves margin. The Braves now with a 3-1 series lead won a laugher in game 4 on Wednesday night need one more win to sweep the series.

#5 It’s been a series the Houston Astros have a 3-2 lead on the Boston Red Sox taking a 9-1 laugher in Boston in game 5. The Astros had their biggest inning in the top of the sixth scoring five runs and now returning to Houston on Friday night for game 6 and they are the brink of eliminating the Red Sox needing just one more win.

Jessica Kwong does Headline Sports every other Wednesday night at

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: A disputed check swing and why rule should be changed

A moment that will be discussed for years to come the Wilmer Flores check swing ruled a strike by first base umpire Gabe Morales in the bottom of the ninth during the NLDS game 5 on Thu Oct 14, 2021 at Oracle Park in San Francisco for the last out against the Los Angeles Dodgers (AP News photo)

A Disputed Check Swing and Why Rule should be Changed

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Thousands of people at Oracle Park in San Francisco and millions across the country witnessed a terrible call by first base umpire Gabe Morales, (after a request asking for help, from the home plate umpire) decided a Wilmer Flores “swing” for the third strike, thus ending Game 5 which Dodgers won 5-4 over the Giants. Dodgers advanced to the NLCS and Giants went home for the winter.

During the past several years baseball has been changing many things, mostly trying to speed up the game. Here is one rule that they should change. What we all witness happens more often than you think, probably thousands of times during games in the regular season, but what made it much more blatant was it was the last out of a very important game with a huge television audience. TBS telecast of this game delivered the biggest audience this postseason so far.

Baseball uses six (6) umpires during the postseason, the regular four (4) on the infield, plus two (2) are added, one on left field and one in right field. We know this is done for the sake of accuracy because these are much more important games than the 162-regular season affairs. This rule (see MLB rules below) should be revised and possibly changed. The rule in question is very nebulous.

For the record: Wilmer Flores, prior to the questioned at-bat and during his career, never got a hit from Max Scherzer in 17 turns at the plate with 8 strikeouts. The probability that Flores was going to get a hit against this pitcher was very low, but just like baseball is not played on paper but on the field, baseball is also not played in probability but in actual time on the field. The Giants, including their manager Gabe Kapler showed a lot of class, considering what happened during what was out number 27 and the last one of that crucial game for both teams.

As of today I have never met a robot and had a conversation with one or somebody that walked on water and never made a mistake, I believe umpire Gabe Morales also was very candid after the game when he said the following (quote) “Check swings are one of the hardest calls we have. I don’t have the benefit of multiple camera angles when I’m watching it live. When it happened live, I thought he went, so that’s why I called it a swing.” (end of quote) Check swings are interpreted many ways by different umpires, not reliable when it comes to consistency. It is like the argument “what came first the chicken or the egg”?

Major League Baseball has a lot on their agenda this winter, especially negotiating a new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) describing the rules of employment and financial structure of the game. The most recent was finalized on November 30, 2016 and last until December 1, 2021. This is a big deal for both sides, owners, and players, and will take a very good effort from both sides.

I am sure MLB still will have time on how to correct the controversial “check swing” rule, a very confusing rule that makes umpires more vulnerable and open for mistakes based on interpretation. This is the link to the Official Baseball rules.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead broadcaster for Oakland A’s Spanish radio on 1010 KIQI Le Grande San Francisco and does News and Commentary at

Bellinger wins it for Dodgers ends season for Giants 2-1

The Los Angeles Dodgers Mookie Betts connects for a single in the fourth inning in front of San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey in game 5 of the NLDS at Oracle Park in San Francisco (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO-Of the series between the two best teams in Major League Baseball in 2021 came down the final at-bat and it was the Los Angeles Dodgers standing in the end.

Cody Bellinger hit a seeing eye single in the top of the ninth inning that scored Justin Turner from second base, helping the Dodgers to a 2-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants in Game Five of the National League Division Series before a crowd of 42,275 at Oracle Park.

I actually did think he had a fastball and I thought the slider was and Bellinger was not able to get underneath it until that one swing, said Giants manager Gabe Kapler.

The Bellinger single gave the Dodgers the lead for good and Game Three starter Max Scherzer came on to close it out for the Dodgers, who move on to their second NLCS appearance and their fifth appearance in the last six years.

Scherzer did run into some trouble in the bottom of the ninth inning, as after he got Brandon Crawford to fly out to Chris Taylor in right field, Turner committed a fielding error at third base that allowed Kris Bryant reach first base that brought LaMonte Wade, Jr., who became the late inning hero for the Giants during the season; however, Wade, Jr., was unable to be the hero, when he struck out for the second out of the inning and then Scherzer got Wilmer Flores on a check swing to end the game, the series and the season for the Giants.

It looked like he did not go. I mean that was my take on it, said Kapler.

Turner reached with one out in the inning after he was hit on the shoulder on a pitch thrown by losing pitcher Camilo Doval, who then gave up a single to Gavin Lux and then Bellinger singled to right field to score Turner with the series winning run for the defending World Champion Dodgers, who will face the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS beginning on Saturday night at Truist Park in Atlanta. This will be the second year in a row that the Dodgers and the Braves will face each other in the NLCS, last season, the Dodgers came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the NLCS in seven games.

The Dodgers finally got to Logan Webb in the top of the sixth inning, Corey Seager hit a flare down the left field line for a double, that scored Mookie Betts from second base to break up the scoreless tie.

Betts was the star of the game for the Dodgers, as he went four-for-four at the plate, including a double in the top of the sixth inning that came right before Seager dropped the double down the left field line that gave the Dodgers the lead for a short period of time.

The four hits by Betts were a postseason career high.

He is one of the best players in baseball for a reason. He is a pretty incredible player and pretty incredible guy, honestly, said Logan Webb.

Darin Ruf tied up the game with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the sixth inning, as he launched a solo home run over the center field wall. It was the first career post season home run for Ruf.

Julio Urias, who pitched a masterpiece on Saturday in the 9-2 win by the Dodgers gave up the home run to Ruf. Urias, who went five innings on Saturday night, as he allowed one run on three hits, walking one, striking out five and threw 72 pitches looked unhittable until Ruf unloaded on the 3-2 pitch that tied up the game.

In all, Urias went four innings, allowing one run on three hits, walking no one and striking out five on four days rest.

Webb, who struck out 10 in the Game One victory for the Giants, came back to throw seven innings, allowing one run on four hits, walking one and striking out seven in his second career postseason career start.

I felt good. Everything was moving the way I wanted to, and yeah it was good. Buster caught a great game, said Webb.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who originally stated that he was going to start Urias instead started Corey Knebel, who pitched the first inning, where he allowed just a double to Buster Posey and nothing else before turning the ball over to the bullpen.

Brusdar Graterol then came up on to replace Knebel, as he also went one inning, allowing two hits and was able to strand two runners on base, when he struck out Webb to end the threat and the inning.

Tyler Rogers came on to replace Webb in the top of the eighth inning, and he got into a jam after he led off the inning by getting Taylor to fly out to Bryant in center field, but then A.J. Pollock came off the bench to pinch hit for Blake Treinen and reached on an infield single that went off the glove of Wilmer Flores.

Betts then came up with his fourth hit of the game to put runners on first and second with one out, but then Rogers struck out Seager for the second out of the inning and that was end of the night for Rogers, who was replaced by Camilo Doval, who on one pitch got Trea Turner to fly out to Austin Slater in right field to get out of the inning and the jam.

NOTES: This was the 27th postseason appearance for the Giants and the 13th since they moved to California in 1958, and it was the first time that the Giants and Dodgers ever faced off versus each other in the postseason.

Kapler is the fifth consecutive Giants manager to lead his team to the postseason, joining Roger Craig (1987, 1989), Dusty Baker (1997, 2000 and 2002), Felipe Alou (2003), Bruce Bochy (2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016) and Kapler (2021).

UP NEXT: The season is over for the Giants, who will meet up again in Spring Training in February of 2022 at Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona.

On the other hand, the Dodgers will head to Atlanta, where they will face the Braves beginning on Saturday night in the NLCS.

This is the 15th trip to the NLCS for the Dodgers, breaking the tie with the St. Louis Cardinals for the most trips to the NLCS since divisional play began in 1969.

San Francisco Giants/NLDS podcast with Michael Duca: Battle comes down to historic game 5 tonight in SF

San Francisco Giants starter Logan Webb is pumped up after striking out the Los Angeles Dodgers Trea Turner in the top of the sixth inning during game 1 of the NLDS on Fri Oct 8, 2021. Webb will get the start in game 5 Thu Oct 14, 2021 at Oracle Park in San Francisco (AP News photo)

On the SF Giants/NLDS podcast with Michael:

#1 Tonight’s game the deciding and final game of this five game NLDS boils down to two great starting pitchers tonight the Los Angeles Dodgers Julio Urias (1-0 ERA 1.80) and the San Francisco Giants Logan Webb (1-0 ERA 0.00) a 6:07 pm start at Oracle Park.

#2 The Giants who lost on Tuesday night at Dodgers Stadium 7-2 saw a Dodger line up awaken and Mookie Betts well and bat alive with some potent offense in game 4.

#3 The Giants will be facing a 20 game winner in Urias what will Giants manager Gabe Kapler have to be concerned with most in facing one of the most prolific pitchers in MLB who can mix up his pitches against this Giant line up.

#4 You’ve seen the Giants drop two of the four games thus far with Brandon Belt out and looking at this series how badly to the Giants miss his bat?

#5 Logan Webb opened the series in game one last Friday with a brilliant performance going 7.2 innings, five hits, and ten strike outs. The Dodgers had a rough time touching up Webb how do you see Webb coming into this game 5 tonight.

Join Michael for the Giants podcasts each Thursday at

Dodgers stave off elimination with big victory 7-2; LA forces game 5 at Oracle Thursday

Bottom of the fourth inning the Los Angeles Dodgers cracks a bottom of the fourth inning home run against the San Francisco Giants on Tue Oct 12, 2021 at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

If you thought that the reigning World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers would go away quietly into the off-season, you were wrong.

Anthony DeSclafani lasted just 1.1 innings, and Mookie Betts hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning and the Dodgers forced a decisive Game Five in the National League Division with a 7-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Gabe Kapler saw enough from his starter just 28 pitches and the Dodgers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against the Giants, who were trying to close out the series and move on to the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves, who closed out the Milwaukee Brewers after Freddie Freeman hit a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning, helping the Braves to a 5-4 victory at Truist Park in Atlanta.

DeSclafani gave up a run-scoring double that scored Corey Seager in the bottom of the first inning, and then Chris Taylor just missed a home run in the bottom of the second inning, as his sacrifice fly was caught by LaMonte Wade, Jr., that scored Gavin Lux, who just missed tying up the game in the bottom of the ninth inning on a fly ball that was caught by Steven Duggar on the warning track that gave the Giants a 1-0 victory and a 2-1 lead over the Dodgers in the NLDS.

In that 1.2 innings of work, DeSclafani allowed two runs on five hits, did not allow a walk and struck out two in his post season debut for the Giants.

Walker Buehler, who lost Game 1 to the Giants on Friday night at Oracle Park went just 4.1 innings, allowing one run on four hits, walked two and struck out four and did not fare in the decision.

Betts hit a two-run home run off of Jarlin Garcia, just after Buehler reached on a fielding error by Garcia.

The Giants scored their lone run in the top of the fifth inning, when Darin Ruf grounded out to Trea Turner that allowed Game Four hero Evan Longoria to score easily from third base.

With a chance to tie up the game, Brandon Crawford, who came up with one of the biggest defensive play of the win on Monday night grounded out to Justin Turner to end the inning and the threat for the Giants.

Joe Kelly, who came on to replace Buehler in the top of the fifth inning, picked up the win for the Dodgers, as he went 0.2 innings, allowing one hit and the rest zeros before turning the game over to Brusdar Graterol, Anthony Vesia, Blake Treinen and then Phil Bickford and the Dodgers forced the decisive Game Five on Thursday night at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

Betts drove in his second run of the night in the bottom of the fifth inning, as he hit a sacrifice fly off of Tyler Rogers that scored Cody Bellinger from third base with the bases loaded.

It was in that fifth inning, that the Dodgers basically put the game away, as Lux walked, then went to third on a Bellinger hit-and-run single thru the middle of the infield. Chris Taylor, who sent the Dodgers into the Division Series against the Giants after he hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning off of Anthony Reyes to give the Dodgers a dramatic 3-1 victory on Wednesday night hit into a force play that saw Leone throw to Longoria, who threw to Buster Posey, who tagged out Lux for the first out for the first out of the inning.

After Steven Souza walked to load the bases, Betts hit a sacrifice fly to Kris Bryant in left field to score Bellinger. Rogers then got Seager to fly out to Mike Yastrzemski to end the inning.

The Giants cut the lead down to 5-2 in the top of the eighth inning, when Crawford led off the inning with a double to the base of the right field wall off of Treinen. Posey then sent to his longtime teammate to third, when he grounded out to Trea Turner, and then Bryant grounded out to Justin Turner to score Crawford and down to his last position player, Kapler called on Curt Casali, who struck out to end the inning.

Will Smith put the game out of reach in the bottom of the eighth inning, when he hit a two-run home run off of Jake McGee with one out in the inning. Seager led off the inning with a single, then after a fly out by Trea Turner for the first out of the inning, Smith launched the two-run home run into the bleachers.

NOTES: When the Giants took Game Three by the final score of 1-0 on Monday night, it was the 15th time in postseason history that a game ended with a score of 1-0, with the lone run being scored on a solo home run. Greg Bird of the New York Yankees was last player to accomplish the feat in the 2017 American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians.

This was the second time in Giants that this occurred, and the first time since October 12, 1923, when Casey Stengel hit a solo home run to give the Giants a 1-0 win over the New York Yankees in the World Series.

With the shutout on Monday night, it was the 27th shutout in Giants postseason history, the second most in MLB history, trailing the Yankees, who have 32 shutouts in postseason history. Of those 27 shutouts, Posey has caught 14 of the 27 shutouts, the most by a catcher in MLB postseason history.

UP NEXT: Logan Webb will take the mound on Thursday night for the Giants, as they look for their first appearance in the National League Championship Series since 2014, while the Dodgers will send Julio Urias to the mound, as they look for their second consecutive appearance in the NLCS and their fifth appearance in six years.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Red Sox wait for Astros or White Sox; Braves on the brink; Giants coming off some miracle pitching need one more

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (left) is Amaury’s pick for the 2021 Manager of the Year Award here he has a laugh with bench coach Tim Hyers (right) during game 3 of the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays Sat Oct 9, 2021 at Fenway Park in Boston (AP News photo)

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary:

#1 The Boston Red Sox who have had their share of walk off wins now wait for their next opponent after getting a ninth inning walk off in their game four victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night. The Red Sox will face either the Houston Astros or the Chicago White Sox.

#2 The Houston Astros who have a 2-1 ALDS series lead over the Chicago White Sox tonight at Guarantee Rate Field in Chicago need one more to advance to the ALCS and face the Boston Red Sox. But not before battling with Tony LaRussa’s White Sox. Chicago knows they have their backs to the wall against a very well prepared Dusty Baker’s Houston Astros.

#3 The Atlanta Braves have had just nothing short of great pitching in their last two games against the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS. The Braves got two back to back shutouts by scores of 3-0 to take a 2-1 lead in the series after the Brewers took game 1. The Brewers will be starting Eric Lauer a left hander against the Braves Charlie Morton in game five today at Trusit Park in Cobb County.

#4 The San Francisco Giants got their wins on shutouts against the Los Angeles Dodgers mighty line up. The Dodgers are without Max Muncy and Clayton Kershaw during this NLDS did that handicap them? The Dodgers got an offensive outburst in game 2 with a 9-2 win against Giants starter Kevin Gausman. The Giants got shutouts out of pitchers Logan Webb and Alex Webb in games 1 and 2 but really depend on starter Anthony DeScafani who matches up against the Dodgers Tony Gonsolin in game four tonight at Dodgers Stadium.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary podcasts each Tuesday at

Longo Takes Scherzer Out And It Stands Up!: Giants take Game 3 of epic, LA-SF showdown

San Francisco Giant hitter Evan Longoria swings for the game’s only run in the top of the fifth inning for the Giants second win of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles on Mon Oct 11, 2021 (AP New photo)

By Morris Phillips

On an unusually windy night in Los Angeles, pitching ruled the evening in Game 3 of the NLDS. Heaters, thrown by numerous pitchers, darted, dashed and overwhelmed hitters, especially up in the strike zone. Those that were hit all came to rest near the warning track in a subdued Dodger Stadium.

Only one man on either team stood up: Evan Longoria.

“I didn’t want to get beat by another fastball,” Longoria said of his fifth inning confrontation with the incomparable Max Scherzer.

He didn’t. Scherzer threw an 0-2 fastball that grabbed too much of the plate, and Longoria launched it… 407 feet into the left field bleachers. Incredibly, that one run stood up in a 1-0 Giants’ win that has them one victory from taking the series with Game 4 in Los Angeles on Tuesday, and a potential, winner-take-all Game 5 in San Francisco on Thursday. There were 20 strikeouts in the game (14 suffered by San Francisco hitters), only one extra-base hit (Longoria’s) and after the Giants’ third baseman gave the Giants the lead, they never saw the base paths again: the last 15 Giants’ hitters were retired, most without a fuss.

So what had to happen for the NL West champions, did. Giants’ pitchers–starter Alex Wood and relievers Tyler Rogers, Jake McGee and 24-year old Camilo Doval–ruled the evening, shutting down the Dodgers for nine innings, despite some base traffic, and quite a few anxious moments.

Scherzer, who was previously foiled by the Giants in the 2012 World Series, was great again. The surefire Hall of Famer went seven, striking out ten, and walking one, but he couldn’t corral Longoria in the fifth. That one pitch unraveled his whole evening.

“He’s just a professional hitter who has done it very successfully for a very long time,” manager Gabe Kapler said of Longoria.

In the manner that Kapler has employed all season, his team switched roles and convention on the fly. Closer McGee, who had 31 saves this season, but was only pitching for the second time in a month on Monday due to an oblique injury, came on in the seventh in a big spot. With two runners on, McGee struck out Austin Barnes on three pitches, and got Mookie Betts to line out to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who climbed an imaginary wire to make the catch.

Doval, the closer of the moment, then came on to shut the door in the eight and ninth, needing just 22 pitches to retire the side in each inning, and give the Giants the win.

Bucking convention? Sure, but it all made sense, really. McGee was the NL Reliever of the Month in July, and Doval–sensational in 14 1/3 scoreless innings with 20 strikeouts–was the NL Reliever of the Month in September. In a bullpen filled with high-leverage arms, Kapler sensed the shift, and followed his instinct. In both Giants’ wins in the series, Doval was the one to close it, despite only having 29 appearances–all this season–in his career.

Wood, the former Dodger who still participates in fantasy football leagues with his ex-teammates, wasn’t looking around for familiar faces on Monday. He too was fantastic, working through situations and lengthy innings that drove his pitch count up. He pitched into the fifth inning, allowing just two base hits and no walks.

Fly balls populated the outfield throughout as everyone in the park, and watching at home, learned to train their eyes on the sold-out bleachers, and watch the reaction of the fans seated there. Every time, with the exception of Longo’s blast, there was no reaction. The fans in the outfield–and their inactivity–told the story. The final blow from Gavin Lux off Doval may have been the most threating, but it too found a home… in center fielder Steven Duggar’s glove.

“I think any other night, the (Chris Taylor) ball and the Gavin Lux ball would have been home runs,” Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts said.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Marko Ukalovic: NLDS SF @ LA Wood and Scherzer match up in game 3; Who will break the deadlock?

San Francisco Giants pitcher Alex Wood gets the call tonight against Los Angeles Dodgers starter Max Scherzer in game 3 of the NLDS at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles (AP file photo)

On the Giants podcast with Marko:

#1 Marko just going over Saturday’s game 2 at Oracle Park in San Francisco the Los Angeles Dodgers left little doubt why their a playoff contender with six run 9-2 win to even the series.

#2 The Dodgers came back and bit the Giants with four runs in the top of the sixth and three runs in the top of the eighth inning to pretty much put it out of reach for the Giants.

#3 Does this Dodger come back indicate that the Giants in Los Angeles for game 3 tonight have to be concerned about that potent line up?

#4 Starter Kevin Gausman on Saturday gave up two runs in the second inning and two more in the sixth and was lifted. From what you saw Gausman outside of those two innings he did have his command but all it takes sometimes is to have a bad inning.

#5 For tonight’s game 3 the Giants will be going with Alex Wood (0-0) and for the Dodgers Max Scherzer (0-0) after the first two game of this NLDS it’s been a toss up how do you see the pitching match ups for tonight?

Marko Ukalovic is filling in for Morris Phillips who does the Giants podcasts each Monday at