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The season-long battle between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants will come down to a single contest on Thursday when the NL West rivals face off in Game 5 of the NLDS. Game 1 winner Logan Webb will take on Game 2 winner Julio Urias for a chance to advance to the National League Championship Series versus the Atlanta Braves.
Webb dominated the Dodgers over 7 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 1, striking out 10 and allowing just five hits. The 24-year-old posted a 3.03 ERA this season over 148 1/3 frames with a 1.11 WHIP and 158 strikeouts. The right-hander may need to pitch that well again on Thursday considering the Giants offense has managed to score just nine runs in the series, four of which came in Game 1. San Francisco hitters that are not named Posey or Bryant are 11-for-96 (1.25) this series and may need to step up in order to win Game 5.
Julio Urias allowed one run over five innings of work during his Game 2 victory and carried a 2.96 ERA and 1.02 WHIP this season over 185 2/3 frames with 196 punchouts. The 25-year-old may not have been as dominant as Webb, but certainly is capable of carrying the same type of performance.
These two teams have faced off 23 times this season and ended the year with the two best records in baseball. It is only fitting that this series comes down to a final game. Dodgers starter Walker Buehler pitched on short rest for the first time in his career on Tuesday in order to lead Los Angeles to this position.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters that Gavin Lux, who reached base four times in Game 4, will get another start on Thursday. The sabermetric driven Giants are likely to stack the deck with right-handed bats with southpaw Julio Urias on the mound.
Logan Webb will become the youngest pitcher in Giants history to start a winner-take-all playoff game. Although it is worth noting that over the right-hander’s 13 starts this season in San Francisco, the Giants have won them all.
Game 5 should be a game to remember as the last chapter in a season-long battle between two bitter rivals. Thursday will be a great day to be a baseball fan.
New GM on the North Side
The Cubs are finalizing a deal to make former Cleveland assistant general manager Carter Hawkins the team’s new general manager. The 37-year-old has spent the last 14 seasons with the Indians ball club and is poised to become one of the youngest GMs in all of baseball. Hawkins rose within the Cleveland organization from intern to player development director, to assistant general manager and is likely to take on a scouting heavy approach to rebuilding the Cubs.
President of baseball operation Jed Hoyer is still likely to be the person running the show in Chicago, but the general manager’s chair has been open since the departure of Theo Epstein last season. Hoyer could use the help with the day-to-day responsibilities and Hawkins comes from a background of building a team through budget savvy maneuvers and developing talent in the minor leagues. If he is able to build Chicago’s farm system with consistent talent, their large market budget may be able to bring the Cubs back to prominence sooner rather than later.
Quick Hits: Mets sent Brandon Drury outright to Triple-A Syracuse. … Rays reliever David Hess revealed that he was diagnosed with a cancerous germ cell tumor in his chest and is expected to begin treatment on Monday. … Nationals sent right-hander Steven Fuentes outright to Triple-A Rochester. … Kevin Long has been named the new hitting coach of the Phillies. … Brandon Belt (thumb) took some grounders on Tuesday. … White Sox are expected to pick up Craig Kimbrel’s $16 million option in order to trade him this offseason. … Tommy La Stella may be available off the bench for Game 5 on Thursday against the Dodgers.
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