SAN FRANCISCO (CBSLA) – After 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 avoided elimination on Tuesday, beating San Francisco 7-2 in Game 4 of the NLDS. It was the Dodgers’ fifth straight playoff win.
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Now the Boys In Blue will hand the ball over 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.
Meanwhile, Urías helped the Blue Crew even in the series in Game 2, allowing just one earned run in five innings pitched.
Ultimately, the Dodgers’ hopes of winning another World Series title rest on Urías. He went 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 38 strikeouts in five starts against San Francisco during the regular season. Apart from a May 29 start against the Giants when Urías gave up seven points, the NL candidate Cy Young Award has been solid against the team’s big rival.
Having won 20 league-leading games in 2021, his teammates are not lacking in confidence in Urías.
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“Julio has this weird, but old soul about him,” said Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts. “He just walks up the mound like he’s been there, does that.” He just has that self-confidence that oozes out on everyone a bit. It might not be saying much, but you can just see it.
Luckily for the Dodgers, Urías also has experience in a high-leverage game.
On the flip side, Webb is only on his second career start in the playoffs. But if the Dodgers hope to capitalize on this 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 matches were shut out.
“You want your hitters to be aggressive but in their zones,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Wednesday. “When we start to grow and Logan is an east to west guy, we hope we expand east and west. When we can lock our zone, that’s when we are at our best. “
Something will have to give way on Thursday when these two clubs face off in the third all-time clash between the two rivals.
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Much has happened in this historic rivalry since its inception in 1884. The Dodgers hope to write a new chapter on their side of the story Thursday night.