Needing a win to prolong their season, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Francisco Giants in Game 4 of the National League Division Series and forced an elimination contest at Oracle Park.
Corey Knebel will now take the ball as an opener in the winner-take-all affair. Julio Urias, who originally was supposed to start, likely will serve as the bulk pitcher.
The Giants are countering with Logan Webb, who tossed 7.2 scoreless innings against the Dodgers in Game 1 en route to his first career postseason win. The right-hander had L.A.’s number all year, going 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 0.69 WHIP in three regular-season starts.
“You look at what Webb’s done to us, obviously he’s thrown the baseball really well. I think it just goes back to that big-part-of-the-field mindset,” manager Dave Roberts said.
“He’s got really good stuff, the ball has a lot of action, and when he’s right he has really good command. Even when he’s not, the ball kind of moves a lot. I think it’s just staying short and using the big part of the field. He doesn’t give up a whole lot of slug, so to kind of play for the slug is a bad approach.”
The Dodgers are 2-0 in the NLDS when they score at least one run, as both of their losses were shutouts. Getting to Webb early will be key in picking up a win on the road and advancing to the NL Championship Series.
“I think for us, when it’s going well, we’re taking our walks, we’re getting into counts and essentially make the pitcher get himself into trouble,” Roberts explained.
“We’re not overly aggressive, but aggressive in the strike zone. That’s kind of the Yin and Yang to you want hitters to be aggressive, but to their zones. Logan is an East-West guy, so if we can kind of stay locked in on our zone, I think that’s when we’re at our best.”
Roberts: Webb’s gameplan against Dodgers similar to regular season
Another takeaway Roberts had was that Webb pitched the Dodgers similar to how he did in the regular season. “I really haven’t watched the two games recently. I think it was a similar attack,” Roberts began.
“It’s the sinker-slider, there’s a changeup in there to the lefties and righties, and he’s a hard guy to kind of pin down because the ball moves a lot.
“But I think as far as him and Buster’s plan against us, each individual hitter, it’s sort of doing what he does. Just kind of mixing quadrants and mixing velocities.”
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