SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – It’s one of the most heated rivalries in all sports, but the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers have never met in the off-season during the modern era of baseball. At least until now.
The song about “Beat LA” begins to echo through San Francisco neighborhoods, bars and at Oracle Park Friday night as the Dodgers come north after Chris Taylor tore up a walkoff, two-run homer that lifted the Dodgers to a 3- 1-win over St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday night in an excellent NL wild card game.
The two teams took part in a dramatic season-long race to claim the NL West title. Los Angeles had won the crown eight years in a row, but with a win in the final game of the base game over the San Diego Padres, the Giants ended their run.
Both teams participate Friday night in the match with 107 wins – the best records in Major League Baseball. It was the first time two teams in the same division have won 105 or more matches. The teams met late in the post-season when they played in the 1889 World Series, when both teams were in New York.
“One of the big rivals in sports,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said after Wednesday’s victory. “It happens.”
Taylor repeated these feelings.
“It’s going to be fun,” he said of the upcoming showdown. “Yes, two of the best records in the regular season ever. We’ve been fighting all year, so I expect a tough fight. ”
San Francisco youth ace Logan Webb (11-3, 3.03 ERA) starts for the Giants, who squares against Walker Buehler (16-4, 2.47 ERA). During the regular season, Webb went 3-0 against the Dodgers and gave up just over 1 run a game in those competitions.
“Being able to throw the first game for the best team in the league is pretty cool,” Webb said after his bullpen session on Wednesday. “I am just excited about it. I feel an extra confidence when we are here because first and foremost it is a good place to pitch and also the crowd here is great. ”
Giants Manager Gabe Kapler said he was eager to see Webb on another big stage as this rivalry gains a new intensity.
“I have no doubt that a really good adrenaline is playing here. This has been an exciting month, two months, three months for Logan at many different levels, including what has happened in the battery box, ”said Kapler. “We’ve seen that confidence can make your body bounce back well.”
Just before 2.30pm on Thursday afternoon, the first anchor for the NLDS was dropped in McCovey Cove. Kevin Park, skipper of Sea Dog. told KPIX he would not miss the showdown in Oracle Park.
“We usually hear a day ahead of time,” Park explained. “Make it a lot easier, because it gets pretty crowded in here. This is just the icing on the cake, not true. ”
The excitement among Giants fans was palpable.
“The two best teams in baseball, against each other,” Carl Schmidt said. “The energy at this stadium is going to be off the charts.”
“Yeah, it’s more fun to play Dodgers,” added fan Rick Levine. “The ballpark rocked more to the Dodgers.”
“Like I said, I wish I had tickets because I would love to be there,” Schmidt added.
The San Francisco-Los Angeles rivalry is driving demand in that department. At the last check on Thursday, a ticket for standing room only will cost you around $ 170.
“I’m going to sit and watch,” said fan Anne Franklin. “I’ll probably find a bar.”
“Yes, I’ve been here in the second World Series we’ve had, and they packed this place; filled it up, ”said Rafael Hernandez of Double Play Bar & Grill. “We still have champagne stains on the walls and roof.”
The Double Play on the corner of the 16th and Bryant in San Francisco sit across the street from the site of the first Giants ball field. It’s a bar and a restaurant that transformed the Giants shrine.
“This is one of the first games played by the San Francisco Giants at Seals Stadium, and it’s against the Dodgers,” Hernandez said, pointing to an old photo on the wall.
Like many other bars in the city, Double Play hopes the playoff showdown will help drive a pandemic rebound.
“That’s what we hope to get this place back like in 2010, 2012, 2014,” Hernandez says. “So we are excited. We’ll see what happens. ”
Wilson Walker contributed to this report.