The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers are locked in a 1-1 NLDS tie.
On Monday night, the two clubs will meet for a pivotal Game 3.
Momentum is in L.A.’s favor, as the Dodgers won Game 2 to steal home-field advantage away from the Giants.
If San Francisco wants to take the momentum back, it’s going to need a few things to happen in Game 3.
Let’s get into it.
3. The Bullpen Needs To Carry Its Weight
San Francisco’s bullpen had a rough evening in Game 2.
Leone was elite in the regular season for the Giants, pitching to a tiny 1.51 ERA, 3.08 FIP, and 1.10 WHIP.
He was used in 57 games and racked up 53.2 innings of work.
Littell, meanwhile, was also effective.
He posted a 2.92 ERA, 3.87 FIP, and 1.14 WHIP.
Like Leone, he was used often — 63 times for 61.2 innings.
Clearly, both players were key parts of the Giants’ success in the regular season.
But in Game 2, they combined to allow five runs over 1.1 innings.
Leone was the first arm out of the bullpen in the game for San Fran, and he gave up two runs over 0.2 innings of work.
Later on, Littell came in, and he gave up three runs over 0.2 innings of work.
Not the best day at the office.
Leone and Littell have been key guys for the Giants this season, but tonight the Dodgers are probably making Kapler and Young wary of using either of them in any upcoming leverage situations.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) October 10, 2021
San Francisco is going to need its relievers to turn things around in Game 3 and beyond.
2. Evan Longoria Need To Step Up
When healthy, Evan Longoria was very productive for the Giants in the regular season.
He was limited to just 81 games, but he posted a solid slash line of .261/.351/.482 to go along with a 124 OPS+.
He also homered 13 times and doubled 17 times.
Obviously, that’s a great player to have in your lineup.
But in the playoffs, Longoria has struggled so far.
He’s 0-for-7 over the first two games of this NLDS.
Unfortunately for the veteran, he’s sort of used to struggling in the postseason.
He’s a career .191 hitter in the playoffs.
If the Giants want to take the series lead in Game 3 and ultimately advance to the NLCS, they’re going to need Longoria to rise to the occasion the rest of the way.
1. Alex Wood Needs To Deliver
Alex Wood will get the ball for the Giants in Game 3.
He has lots of playoff experience, but this will be his first postseason start as a Giant.
He has a career ERA of 3.55 in the playoffs, and that looks pretty good.
But he also has a 5.79 postseason FIP, and that number suggests that he has been very, very fortunate to keep his ERA in the mid-3s.
It’ll be interesting to see how the dominoes fall for him on Monday night.
He’s coming off of a strong regular season in which he posted a 3.83 ERA, 3.48 FIP, and 1.18 WHIP.
Alex Wood, 92mph Fastball (called strike) and 87mph Slider (Swinging K), Overlay. pic.twitter.com/YFKgyUwDsn
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 11, 2021
Will his regular-season success carry over into the playoffs?
We’ll find out.
The 30-year-old won the World Series last season with the Dodgers, but this year, he’s looking to help end L.A.’s season.