SAN FRANCISCO (CBSLA) – After both the Dodgers and Giants finished the regular season with the two best records in baseball, it’s only fitting that these two rivals play one more game to decide who will play in the National League Championship Series.
Los Angeles staved off elimination on Tuesday, beating San Francisco 7-2 in Game 4 of the NLDS. It was the Dodgers’ fifth consecutive win in an elimination game.
Now the Boys In Blue will hand the ball to left hander Julio Urías in Game 5 against right hander Logan Webb, who shut out the Dodgers in 7 2/3 innings pitched in Game 1.
Urías meanwhile helped the Blue Crew even the series in Game 2, allowing just one earned run in five innings pitched.
Ultimately, the Dodgers’ hopes of winning another World Series title hinge on Urías. He went 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 38 strikeouts in five starts against San Francisco during the regular season. Outside of a May 29th start against the Giants when Urías surrendered seven runs, the NL Cy Young Award candidate has been solid against the team’s archrival.
After winning a league-leading 20 games in 2021, there is no lack of confidence in Urías from his teammates.
“Julio has this weird, but old soul about him,” Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts said. “He just gets on the mound like he’s been there, done that. He just has this confidence about himself that it just kinda oozes on everybody else. He may not say a whole lot, but you can just see it.”
Fortunately for the Dodgers, Urías has experience pitching in a high-leverage game too.
On the other hand, Webb is making just his second postseason start of his career. But if the Dodgers hope to take advantage of that inexperience, they must find a way to capitalize with runners in scoring position. In Game 1, Los Angeles was 0-for-5 with RISP. In Game 3, the Dodgers were 0-for-4. Both games they were shutout.
“You want your hitters to be aggressive but to their zones,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on Wednesday. “When we start expanding, and Logan is an east, west guy, hopefully we expand to east and west. When we can lock in on our zone that is when we are at our best.”
Something will have to give on Thursday when these two clubs face off in the third all-time winner-take-all matchup between the two rivals.
A lot has happened in this historic rivalry since its inception back in 1884. The Dodgers are hoping to write a new chapter to their side of the story come Thursday night.