SAN FRANCISCO – Giants manager Gabe Kapler didn’t announce his lineup on the eve of Game 5 of the NLDS’s winner-take-all against the Dodgers, but he took most of the guesswork out of it.
“There will be nothing that will surprise anyone,” Kapler said ahead of the Giants’ brief workout at Oracle Park on Wednesday evening.
Standing in the way, at least to begin with, is the Dodgers’ tough left-hander Julio Uriás, the NLCS’s traveling Dodgers against the Giants and Atlanta Braves, who was the pitcher who won 9–2 in Game 2 at Los Angeles. Weekend.
The Giants have been an active and effective platoon team throughout the season, and they are not going to change their approach now. So that means the lineup coupler starting Thursday will include just one left-handed hitter – Brandon Crawford – for the deciding game of the series.
“I think you can expect the guys we normally have against quality left-handed starts in our lineup tomorrow,” Kapler said. “I mean, there’s some ordering stuff and some positioning stuff that we always have to work with, but I don’t expect any big surprises there.”
It marks the return of Wilmer Flores, Austin Slater and Donovan Solano to the starting lineup against the Ureas, who are the only 20-game winners in the Majors this season. Barring a change of heart by Kapler, they will join Darin Roof, Kris Bryant, Buster Posey, Evan Longoria, Crawford and Game 5 starting pitcher, Logan Webb in the lineup.
Aside from Webb, this is the same group that managed three hits and one run, and hit five times against Urea at Oracle Park on Saturday night. There was speculation that the Giants might opt to hit Steven Duggar with a left-hander instead of Slater to provide a better defensive outfield alignment.
The 25-year-old is no stranger to the Urea Giants. He went 2–1 against San Francisco during the regular season with a 3.38 ERA in five starts. He has an ERA of 2.61 in 20 careers against the Giants and averages more than one strikeout per innings.
The Giants defeated the Dodgers in back-to-back Urius that began in late July, but they held back against the LA Bullpen. The Giants scored seven runs (six earned) from 11 hits in five innings, losing 11–6 at Dodger Stadium to the Urias on May 29. Solano defeated Urias and Flores had three of the Giants’ 11 hits.
The Giants offense scrambled against the Dodgers, scoring just nine runs in the first four of the games.
It has been a particularly difficult series for Flores (0-for-8), Roof (0-for-7), Longoria (2-for-14) and Solano, who are not hit by five batsmen.
Kapler says the lack of results is a bit misleading.
“I can see all my right-handed hitters in my mind and I feel like some of the people who have struggled lately have really started coming off a bit, and there are people who have been consistently good. During the season,” said Kapler. “The potential is all there. The batting quality has been there. Sometimes this box does not appear in the score. It’s exactly the same as baseball.
“Even if everything goes close to perfect it doesn’t necessarily show in the box score. We want it in Game 5 and we’re going to do everything in our power to make it happen.” .