SAN FRANCISCO – The Dodgers’ other lineup changes, which do not include an opener and former starter Julio Urius, were telegraphed by manager Dave Roberts after Game 4 and could be a game-changer.
Gavin Lux, the 23-year-old rookie, is batting in sixth and starting in the middle zone. He reached base in all four plate appearances in Game 4 (two singles, two walks, one run). This was Lux’s first start after a pinch-hit performance in each of the first three games.
Two notable items:
When Giants right-hander Logan Webb dominated the Dodgers in Game 1, Lux tapped a bouncer back to Webb during a pinch-hitting appearance in the eighth inning. For his career, Lux is 1 for 5 with a double and strikeout against Webb, starting on Thursday.
The Dodgers’ 1–0 Game 3 loss ended at Dodger Stadium in the wind, with Lux hitting a fly ball into left field, which both teams thought was going over the fence. Lux scorched the ball at 106.9 mph and it looked like the game was headed for extra innings.
Lux couldn’t believe the wind had gotten her so dramatic, and her reaction took hold on social media overnight.
“Scrolling through Twitter, there are a lot of memes going around,” Lux said. “And I think everyone makes a meme of me anyway because it’s because of all the reactions on my face. But that’s how I am.”
Tonight Lux will be in the field instead of on the bench.
“I just love heartbreak, sobriety,” Roberts said after Game 4. “Just watching him bat, it’s like a guy who played a lot more than him in the post season.” Roberts said how Lux conducted herself in that setting was “very telling.”
SAN FRANCISCO – Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully retired (sadly) and isn’t with the team, but that didn’t stop him Tweet That he thinks tonight’s Game 5 is the “most important game” in the history of the Dodgers and Giants rivalry.
“I feel the pressure now,” quipped Dodgers manager Dave Roberts when Scully’s tweet was sent to him. “God darn it, Win.”
On a serious note, Roberts said: “To say Vin, no one knows this rivalry better than him, so it gives you the seriousness of it, what does it mean. And it’s bigger than just a game and that’s it. What’s beautiful about this rivalry is sports in general. So we’re going to enjoy it. It’s going to be fun.”
107-winning team vs 106-winning team. They have 109 each when accounting for postseason games. The antagonists of season 133 are connected not only to their origins in New York, but also through their leading roles in moving west. Just the fifth instance in baseball history where teams with 100 or more wins will go head-to-head in a winner-takes-all postseason game.
It’s hard to be bigger than that.
Who: Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Francisco Giants
What: Game 5 of the National League Division Series
When: 9:07 PM Eastern
where: Oracle Park in San Francisco
Why: The winner would advance to the National League Championship Series against Atlanta.
how can i watch? The game will be broadcast on TBS. Its TBS stream will be available on some streaming services, such as Hulu Live and YouTube TV. It will also be available to some through TBS.com.
SAN FRANCISCO – The Dodgers’ Julio Ureus is almost as established as a starting pitcher can be. They made 32 starts this season without a respite, and went 20–3 with a 2.96 ERA, then started and defeated the Giants in Game 2 of this division series.
Yet his team decided – “below the tipsy top of the Dodgers organization,” said manager Dave Roberts – that the Uriahs, 25, was not the best choice to start the winner-take-all Game 5. They will go together. Opener, Corey Nebel.
“It doesn’t mean it’s risky, it’s different,” said Roberts, who texted Giants manager Gabe Kapler last night to tell him. “But it does open up to potential criticism, which I imagine is already out there.”
He is right about it; It certainly feels like a classic case of a very smart outfit outsmarting itself. Roberts stated that Uriahs was the only starter he would use in this way, based on Uriahs’ track record of being resilient—he’s come off the bullpen for 15 of his subsequent 19 career appearances, and The NLCS and World Series have been called off for the last time.
A former All-Star with Milwaukee, Nebel has performed well in four attempts as an opener, earning a run in five and two-thirds innings. He is right and Urius is lefty.
“The Giants have been a tremendous ball club all year round, and speaking from the offensive side, they’ve been the best team in baseball as far as matchup advantages, platoon advantages,” said Roberts. Said strategy should help. Potentially giving us some matchups to look forward to throughout the game. “
The front office of Roberts and the Dodgers knows their team better than any fan or member of the news media. But it’s still annoying to watch, and I asked Roberts about the downside of introducing urea as normal.
“If he has to start the game, there’s a downside to starting him, because you can see the familiar,” Roberts said. “They just faced this team five days ago. Those guys are going to stack up and set up matchups that they want.
“There’s a downside to doing it the way we’ve chosen to do it. Corey never started a playoff game. But I think, ultimately, we’re confident that both players can handle it.”
So there you have it. Related note: Today is the 56th anniversary of Game 7 of the 1965 World Series, when another Dodgers lefty, Sandy Cofax, debuted against the Minnesota Twins. Koufax had a nine-innings shutout on two days’ rest.
Baseball is extremely lucrative, perhaps more so today than ever before. But son how times have changed.