“We do our best with our backs up against the wall”.
Chris Taylor said this after the Game 3 loss, and the Los Angeles Dodgers showed up in Game 4, beating the San Francisco Giants 7-2 to force a Game 5. Can that same team show up in San Francisco, or will the offense not show up at all like it didn’t in Games 1 & 3, where the Dodgers were blanked both games?
The Dodgers will face RHP Logan Webb for the second time this series. Webb went 7.2 innings, scattering five hits and striking out 10. The Dodgers flailed at a lot of pitches, and looked completely off their game all night long.
For their part, the Dodgers are countering with an opener in right hander Corey Knebel. Julio Urías will take the bulk of the innings after the first, presumably. Webb and Urias have faced off three times this season, and the Dodgers have lost all three of those contests.
Having the lefty Urías start later in the batting order and in the game could make Giants manager Gabe Kapler have to decide what pitching matchups he would like to start the game with, and could expand to which bats he chooses to use off the bench further into the game.
Kenebel has only pitched once so far in the series, a scoreless inning in Game 2 when the Dodgers had a commanding lead. He struck out two batters, both lefties. The usually-in-relief pitchers has been used as an opener four times previously this season.
Urías also entered Game 3 of the NLDS last season after the Dodgers used two starters. He came in which the bases loaded and two outs, to strike out Fernando Tatis Jr. Urías seems to be comfortable coming into any roll the Dodgers use him in, and the team expects this to be no exception.
One pitcher that won’t be pitching (in all likelihood) is Max Scherzer. Manager Dave Roberts said there is little to no chance that the Dodgers use Scherzer, as he would be the Game 1 starter should the Dodgers advance to the NLCS. But it seems that all other healthy arm could be in play to save the season.
At the end of this game, one team will have 110 wins and move on to face the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS, while the other will have 109 wins, and go home for the off-season.
For the Dodgers, their pitching has so far held up their end of the bargain. It has been the offense that has been hit or miss, pun intended. As long as the offense from Games 2 & 4 show up, the Dodgers should be moving on. They have seen all of the pitchers for the Giants now multiple times, and should know how to face them. All they have to do is execute.