3 Things Giants Must Do To Take Series Lead

Evan Longoria #10 of the San Francisco Giants throws to first base in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during Game 2 of the National League Division Series at Oracle Park on October 09, 2021 in San Francisco, California.
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)


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.

Specifically, two relievers — Dominic Leone and Zack Littell — had rocky outings.

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.

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.

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.

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