Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Dodgers’ Julio Urías will still start NLCS Game 4 after relief appearance in Game 2

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The Los Angeles Dodgers still intend to start left-hander Julio Urías on Wednesday in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, according to comments manager Dave Roberts made on Tuesday to reporters (including MLB.com’s Juan Toribio). 

Urías’ status for Game 4 had come into question following his controversial relief appearance on Sunday night. He threw 14 pitches on his “throw day,” but allowed the Atlanta Braves to tie up the game in the eighth inning. The Braves subsequently won the contest, giving them a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-seven series. 

“Julio, in my opinion, was the best option that we had,” Roberts said at the time

Roberts later cautioned that Urías may not be available to start Game 4, and that it was dependent on how he felt in the days after. It appears that all is well on that front.

It’s unclear how the Dodgers would have proceeded had Urías’ arm not bounced back. Remember that Los Angeles already had to embrace the Johnny Wholestaff approach in Game 1 because of Max Scherzer‘s dead arm. Scherzer, like Urías, had been asked to make a relief appearance on his throw day during the NL Division Series against the San Francisco Giants. (Scherzer started Game 2 of the series.)

Of course, Urías’ start might not end up mattering if the Dodgers lose Game 3 on Tuesday. Historically, MLB teams who fall behind 3-0 in best-of-seven sets have gone on to win their series on 38 of the 39 occasions. (The exception being the 2004 New York Yankees, who blew a 3-0 series lead to the Boston Red Sox.)

If there is a piece of history the Dodgers might hold closely, it comes from last fall. The Dodgers fell behind 3-1 in that series before reeling off three consecutive victories en route to their first World Series title since 1988.

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