Excitement was building around Oracle Park on Thursday for a major league baseball first: a do-or-die matchup for the division title between the Giants and the Dodgers.
The legendary arch-rivals met for the first time in a playoff series last week, with the Giants and Dodgers winning one game each in San Francisco, and one win each at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. On Thursday night, orange-soaked Giants fans gathered in and around Oracle Park for a final game five that will decide the winner of the National League West division. Whoever wins tonight’s game will face the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series.
Connie Kilkenny, a fifth-generation San Franciscan and lifelong Giants fan, called the matchup “the biggest game of the year.”
For another Bay Area resident, this game was “absolutely necessary” to attend. Jon Frye, who sported a bright orange formal suit, told Here/Say that though he’s been a Giants fan his whole life, “this is the first playoff game I’ve ever been able to go to.”
Others, such as friends Kevin Bonilla and Ivan Leon, flew up from Los Angeles this morning, and will head back south directly after the game. They both called in “sick” to work today.
Despite a rivalry that dates back more than 70 years, the Giants and Dodgers had never met in the postseason before this year. During the regular season, they both boasted some of the best records in baseball with the Giants winning a record 107 games and the Dodgers winning 106.
In Thursday night’s matchup, Giants ace Logan Webb faces off against the Dodgers’ Corey Knebel.