Dodgers Bring Back Righty Bats Behind Kershaw in NLCS Game 5

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(Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo/Getty Images)

Just one day after the Dodgers failed to clinch a World Series berth by sweeping the Cubs in the 2017 NLCS, skipper Dave Roberts and his coaching crew have decided to revert to a similar right-handed based lineup which secured victories in the first two games of the series.

Chris Taylor is still atop the Dodgers’ batting order, but moves back to center field after handling the duties at shortstop in Game 4. Third baseman Justin Turner, the club’s hottest hitter in the postseason, slides back into the two-hole, followed by rookie first baseman Cody Bellinger hitting third. Right fielder Yasiel Puig stays in the cleanup spot and will be followed by Logan Forsythe batting fifth and playing second. Utility man Enrique Hernandez will hit sixth and play left field, while Austin Barnes returns behind the dish to bat seventh. Charlie Culberson will hit eighth and play shortstop. Staff ace Clayton Kershaw gets the start on the mound, batting ninth.

Turner reached base safely in all four plate appearances in Game 4 on Wednesday night, as he finished the game going 2-for-2 with a home run, an RBI and two walks. He blasted a solo home run in the eighth inning to cut the Dodger deficit to 3-2, recording his third long ball of the postseason and his second of the series. The homer gave him six RBI in the series, which tied Kirk Gibson‘s mark in 1988 for fifth most in the Dodgers’ LCS history, behind just Dusty Baker’s record of eight in 1977.

Jose Quintana gets the start on the hill for Chicago. The 28-year-old southpaw didn’t factor into the Game 1 decision after throwing five full innings and surrendering two earned runs on two hits and two walks while striking out four Los Angeles batters.

Between the Cubs and the White Sox in the 2017 regular season, Quintana posted an 11-11 record with a 4.15 ERA and 207 strikeouts over 188-2/3 innings. He made two appearances against the Nationals in this year’s NLDS, having started Game 3 and appearing in Game 5 as a reliever.

Like Quintana, Kershaw did not figure into the decision in the NLCS opener. He was also pulled after only five innings of work, having given up two earned runs on four hits and one walk while punching out four.

Kershaw makes his 21st career postseason appearance and 17th playoff start, as the three-time Cy Young Award winner is 5-7 with a 4.63 ERA over 95-1/3 IP in the postseason. Los Angeles has won six of the last seven playoff starts which Kershaw has made.

Once again, the Cubs will go with a different look in the batting order, most notably moving Albert Almora Jr. to the leadoff spot, and having utility man Ben Zobrist play right field and bat eighth.

Dodgers lineup:

  1. Taylor CF
  2. Turner 3B
  3. Bellinger 1B
  4. Yasiel RF
  5. Forsythe 2B
  6. Hernández LF
  7. Barnes C
  8. Culberson SS
  9. Kershaw P

Cubs lineup:

  1. Almora CF
  2. Schwarber LF
  3. Bryant 3B
  4. Rizzo 1B
  5. Contreras C
  6. Russell SS
  7. Baez 2B
  8. Zobrist RF
  9. Quintana P

First pitch at Wrigley Field is slated for 5:08 p.m. Los Angeles time.

(FOLLOW DENNIS ON TWITTER: @THINKBLUEPC)

 

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