The Los Angeles Dodgers enter Game 4 of the National League Championship Series with an opportunity to take control over Chicago Cubs. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hands the ball to Julio Urias in the crucial game.
Urias becomes the youngest pitcher to start a postseason game in MLB history. That nearly came in Game 4 of the NL Division Series, but the Dodgers turned to Clayton Kershaw on three days’ rest to stave off elimination.
Urias appeared out of the bullpen in NLDS Game 5, throwing two scoreless innings and getting credited with a win.
Much was made of his Urias’ pickoff moving during his postseason debut. He picked off Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper in a move many believed was a balk.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon was outspoke on Tuesday, adamantly stating what Urias does is the definition of a balk.
In just 18 appearances (15 starts) this season, Urias led the Majors with six pickoffs. Urias faced the Cubs in what was just his second career start.
In five innings pitched, he allowed six runs (five allowed) on eight hits. Urias did strikeout four batters, but also allowed three home runs and suffered the loss.
On Aug. 27, Urias turned in a dominant outing, allowing just one run on six hits over six innings. He collected eight strikeouts and earned a win. Urias is leaning on the experience against the Cubs and feels a sense of comfort heading into his NLCS Game 4 start.
He faces a Cubs lineup that’s struggled to hit throughout the playoffs, and more specifically over the past two games. Chicago last scored a run in the eighth inning of Game 1. They were shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since May 2014.
The Cubs send veteran right-hander John Lackey to the mound a second time this postseason. He started Game 4 of the NLDS and allowed three runs on seven hits. Lackey didn’t earn a decision in the game that saw the Cubs mount a ninth-inning rally to eliminate the San Francisco Giants.
Adrian Gonzalez is a lifetime 7-for-20 with one double, a walk and four RBIs against Lackey. Albeit in a small sample size, Justin Turner is 2-for-3 off the right-hander. Lackey leads all active pitchers with 21 career postseason starts.
2B: Chase Utley
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
RF: Josh Reddick
CF: Joc Pederson
C: Yasmani Grandal
LF: Andrew Toles
P: Julio Urias
CF: Dexter Fowler
3B: Kris Bryant
1B: Anthony Rizzo
LF: Ben Zobrist
2B: Javier Baez
C: Willson Contreras
RF: Jayson Heyward
SS: Addison Russell
P: John Lackey