Sun. Dec 5th, 2021

The Los Angeles Dodgers eliminated their hated rivals the San Francisco Giants in five games to win the National League Division series and continue their quest to repeat themselves as World Series champions.

In a tight affair, the Dodgers came out victorious by getting a clear signal at the top of the ninth and then using their ace Max Scherzer to save the 2-1 lead in the bottom half. In their first post-season series of this historic rivalry, there was no way it would not come down to the lead between the two teams that together accounted for 213 victories.

The Dodgers’ success was a team effort and they once again showed why they are the best team in the league. So let’s dive in and look at the team’s NLDS victory with the numbers.

4-to-4

Mookie Betts # 50 in Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images)

When his team needed him most, Mookie Betts brought his championship game to the Dodgers’ Game 5 victory. Betts became the first Dodger in post-season history to go 4-on-4 in a win-take-all game. It seemed Betts was the only Dodger to adjust to the Game 1 winner, Giants starting pitcher Logan Webb, getting three of the four hits from him.

After his third single from Webb, Betts stole second and came home on a Corey Seager double, scoring the first race of the game. If there was an MVP for the NLDS, it would have been Betts who hit .450 and led all strokes with nine strokes and also ran in four races. If Betts continues his hot streak, this could be “Mr. October ”moment.

1.47

The best asset for the Dodgers in October so far has been their bullpen’s collective efforts. Combined, the bull gave up three earned runs, struck out 20 strokes and allowed just one home run in 18.1 innings to completely shut down the Giants.

Game 5 also summed it all up. ‘The pen squeezed four innings from Julio Urias to keep the Giants in check and guaranteed they would score two runs or fewer against LA’s relievers for the fourth game in a row. A strong bullpen helped the Dodgers win it all in 2020, and it carries them back in 2021.

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The Dodgers-Giants race for NL West came down to a game — their head-to-head season series was determined by that — so it’s no surprise that their NLDS matchup came down to the same scenario.

And there it was in the ninth inning. A pitch and a hit. And that basic knock came off the bat of the very vicious Cody Bellinger. With one out and runners on first and second, Belli came to bat with a chance to drive out the awful normal season he had, hitting just .165 without power and landing on IL several times due to injury.

Bellinger gave the Dodgers another October moment by ripping a 1-2 pitch in the right field to bring Justin Turner home for the sequel. On one pitch, the Bellinger Giants season ended, bringing the Dodgers one step closer to their quest to repeat as WS champions.

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