SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — It’s hard to believe the north-south rivalry between San Francisco and Los Angeles could grow even more intense; then comes a deciding Game 5 NLDS playoffs between the Giants and the Dodgers.
Standing-room-only tickets soared over $220 on StubHub early Wednesday with the best seats at Oracle Park priced at over $3,500.READ MORE: Sacramento Police Shoot 75-Year-Old Man Allegedly Assaulting Wife
It’s a fitting end to the first postseason meeting between the two heated rivals in more than 100 years. Both teams have won a 109 games this year. The winner gets a date with the Atlanta Braves in the NL Championship Series. Game 1 will be Saturday night in either Atlanta or San Francisco.
And emotions are soaring, but leave it to San Francisco All-Star catcher Buster Posey to keep it pretty simple.
“This will be game 24 (the Giants-Dodgers have played this year) on Thursday, so obviously both teams know each other well,” he said. “A lot of these guys have played against one another for a long time and, I mean, this is why you play, is to get to, really it boils down to competing and execution and it’s pretty much as simple as that.”
The enormity of the game is not lost on Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts.
“This is what baseball wants,” he said Wednesday night. “I mean, I think, as I understand, all the series are done and so we’re going to be the only show in town. So if you have a pulse or you’re a sports fan, you better be watching Dodgers-Giants. So it’s going to be a great one.”
Familiarity also plays a role.
“We think alike, I think on the margins, trying to get advantages,” Roberts said of both teams approach. “So I think the playbook is kind of we know each other’s playbook, so now it just goes to old school, we’re going to run the ball to the right and you’re going to have to stop us and it’s the Vince Lombardi.”READ MORE: Tahoe-area Drone Light Shows Canceled Due To Weather
“So it’s like we’re going to play, we know what we do, they know what we do, we know who they want to have the baseball in Game 5, they know who we want and the matchups that we’re trying to get. Now it’s about going out there and executing and the best team wins.”
San Francisco sends its young ace Logan Webb to the mound on Thursday with the fate of the season on his shoulders. In a Game 1 4-0 win, Webb was masterful, tossing 7 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball while striking out 10.
“I think his confidence has just continued to grow,” Posey said of Webb. “I think the stuff has gotten better because he believes that he has elite pitches that can compete with any lineup and I think it’s a matter of – and he’s shown, I guess, in the last game of the season, and then in the first game of this series – that he can keep his poise, and I think that bodes well for Thursday.”
Manager Gabe Kapler also was confident his young star was up to the challenge.
“We can lean on the track record of the last four months,” he said of Webb on Wednesday night. “It’s a long time, it’s a lot of starts and it’s some starts in some huge games. It’s a totally rested and prepared and confident pitcher. So I mean that’s plenty.”
Kapler also will have a full arsenal of arms available if Webb falters including starters Kevin Gausman and Alex Wood. It’s win or go home; everybody is on deck.
“It’s nice,” he said. “So you got Webb with a full slate, Gausman with a full slate. I don’t think using Alex Wood at some point in the game would be completely out of the question. We’ve got all of our relievers up and ready to pitch.”
On the opposing mound will be Julio Urías, who shut down San Francisco and contributed an RBI single for his cause in 9-2 shellacking of the Giants in Game 2. Urías has baffled Giants hitters all year — all except Posey.MORE NEWS: Police Recover Motorcycle, Drugs While Serving Warrant In Sacramento
“It’s like any other pitcher, when you’re facing a big league pitcher,” Posey said of Urías. “You hope when you get a mistake you can get the barrel on it and try to lay off the borderline pitches. He’s a great competitor and we’re all going to be looking forward to the challenge.”