SAN FRANCISCO (CBSLA) – After both the Dodgers and Giants ended the regular season with the two best records in baseball, it is only fitting that these two rivals play one more match to decide who to play in the National League Championship Series.
Los Angeles averted elimination on Tuesday, beating San Francisco 7-2 in Game 4 of the NLDS. It was the Dodgers’ fifth straight win in an elimination game.
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Now Boys In Blue will pass 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 played in game 1.
Urías, meanwhile, helped the Blue Crew with even the series in Game 2, allowing only a earned run of five innings.
In the end, the Dodgers’ hopes of winning another World Series title hang on Urías. He went 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 38 strikeouts in five starts against San Francisco in the regular season. Outside of a May 29 start against the Giants, as Urías surrendered seven races, the NL Cy Young Award candidate has been solid against the team’s arch-rival.
After winning a league-leading 20 matches in 2021, there is no lack of confidence in Urías from his teammates.
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“Julio has this strange but old soul around him,” said Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts. “He just comes on the mound as if he has been there, done it. He just has this confidence about himself that it just oozes a little on everyone else. He may not say much, but you can just see it. ”
Fortunately for the Dodgers, Urías also has experience pitching in a high-leverage game.
On the other hand, Webb is just making his second post-season start to his career. But if the Dodgers hope to take advantage of that inexperience, they need to find a way to capitalize on runners in the scoring position. In Game 1, Los Angeles was 0-for-5 with RISP. In Game 3, the Dodgers were 0-for-4. Both matches they were closed.
“You want your hitters to be aggressive, but toward their zones,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Wednesday. “When we start to expand and Logan is an eastern, western guy, hopefully we expand to the east and west. When we can lock ourselves in our zone, that’s when we’re at our best. ”
Something will have to give on Thursday when these two clubs meet in the third all-time win-take-all match between the two rivals.
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Much has happened in this historical rivalry since its inception in 1884. The Dodgers hope to write a new chapter for their side of history Thursday night.