SAN FRANCISCO — After 19 regular-season meetings and four more in the postseason, the Dodgers or the San Francisco Giants may do differently in Game 5 of their National League Division Series on Thursday night.
The Dodgers announced Thursday afternoon that right-handed reliever Cory Nebel will start Game 5 against the Giants, not 20-game winner Julio Uriás. Hopefully Nebel will serve as a one- or two-inning “opener”, with Ureas following and pitching the bulk of the game.
The strategy forces the Giants – who aggressively pursue platoon advantages – to make some early decisions about their lineup construction and potentially lose some of those players when left-handed Uriah right. Hands take the place of Nebel.
“I understand it,” Giants third-base coach Ron Votus said Thursday morning on MLB Network. “We are a platoon-based club. They will put the ball in our court and ask us to make a decision. Urea has been very, very good against us and everyone else. So we’ll see how it plays out.”
In Game 2, when Urea debuted for the Dodgers, there were eight right-handed hitters in the Giants lineup, with shortstop Brandon Crawford being the lone left-handed hitter.
Nebel made four starts this season as an “opener”, making just one run in a total of 5 2/3 innings. The Dodgers won three of those four matches.
The lone loss occurred on September 3 at Oracle Park. Nebel pitched the first two innings of the “bullpen game”. The Dodgers lost in 11 innings when Tree Turner made a poor throw to Will Smith while playing base for the first time in his career.
Ureas restricted the Giants to one run on three hits from five innings in a Game 2 win. Pitching in a variety of roles, he has a 2.13 ERA, holding batsmen at .165 average in over 17 post-season appearances since 2018.