LOS ANGELES — Off the bat, nine innings into a game surprisingly devoid of action, it seemed as if an entire ballpark believed Gavin Lux had tied the score with his Los Angeles Dodgers down to their final out.
“My stomach pretty much sank when he hit it,” San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria said.
With none on, two outs and the Dodgers trailing by a run, Lux unleashed his best swing on an up-and-away, 99 mph fastball from the young, electric Camilo Doval and produced a 107 mph line drive with a 22-degree launch angle — a batted ball with an expected batting average of .890, the type that resulted in a home run about half the time this season.
But wind gusts that hovered around 15 mph for the most of this Monday night knocked the baseball down as it traveled into the deeper parts of Dodger Stadium’s center field. The Giants held on by a 1-0 score and took a 2-1 lead in this best-of-five National League Division Series, pushing one of the most talented teams in Dodgers history to the brink of elimination.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts referenced Lux’s drive and another from Chris Taylor in the sixth — 372 feet, 107 mph — as the type that would have resulted in home runs “any other night.”
“Those two balls right there — it would’ve been a different outcome,” Roberts said. “But those were the elements both teams had to play with, and that’s baseball.”
Strong winds, whipping around the outfield, began about an hour before the first pitch, blowing so hard that both foul poles swayed throughout the night. Max Scherzer, who ultimately struck out 10 batters in seven innings of one-run ball, noticeably lost his balance midway through facing leadoff hitter Tommy La Stella and later said the wind was “pushing me towards home plate.”
Longoria couldn’t recall ever stepping out of the batter’s box so often, out of fear that he might get knocked over. His decisive solo homer to lead off the fifth — on an 0-2, 96 mph fastball that caught too much of the strike zone –…
Source : espn