|6:07 PM PT7:07 PM MT8:07 PM CT9:07 PM ET21:07 ET1:07 GMT9:07 6:07 PM MST8:07 PM EST8:37 PM VEN5:07 UAE (+1)7:07 PM CT, October 14, 2021
Oracle Park, San Francisco, California Attendance: 42,275
'This is what baseball wants': Dodgers vs. Giants in Game 5
Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
- The Giants have won their last five winner-take-all postseason games (two each in 2012 and 2014, and one in 2016). In MLB postseason history, there have been only two other winning streaks of five games or longer in winner-take-all games, both by the Cardinals. They had a six-game streak from 1926 through 1967 (the first six such games in franchise history, all World Series Game 7s) and another six-game streak from 2004 to 2012.
- The Dodgers are 9-6 all-time in winner-take-all postseason games (1-3 as Brooklyn Dodgers, 8-3 since the move to Los Angeles). They have played one such game in each of the last seven years (2015-21: four wins, three losses, including this year's NL Wild Card Game win).
- Julio Urias has been used exclusively as a starting pitcher this year, with 32 regular-season starts and one in this series. Urias pitched in six postseason games last year, including four relief appearances. He pitched more than two innings in each of those relief outings, posting a 3-0 record and one save while allowing one run (unearned) and four hits in 13.1 innings.
- Logan Webb is 7-0 with a 1.78 ERA in his 14 games (13 starts) at Oracle Park this year (regular season and postseason) and the Giants won every game. Two of those 14 games were against the Dodgers (no-decision start on July 27, and a win in Game 1 of this series).
- Webb allowed no runs while striking out 10 batters in 7.2 innings in Game 1. It was the third time in franchise history that Giants pitcher did not allow a run in a postseason game in which he had 10 or more strikeouts. The other instances were in shutouts by Tim Lincecum (vs. Braves in 2010 NLDS, 14 SO) and Madison Bumgarner (vs. Pirates in 2014 WC, 10 SO).
- Will Smith is the only player (on either team) with at least one hit in each of the first four games of this series. Smith was 0-for-3 in the Wild Card Game against the Cardinals.
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The Los Angeles Dodgers tossed a curveball into the mix by naming right-hander Corey Knebel as their starting pitcher for Thursday night's decisive Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the host San Francisco Giants.
Knebel (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will take the ball and serve as the presumptive opener in place of scheduled starter Julio Urias, who allowed one run on three hits in five innings to earn the victory in Game 2.
Knebel, 29, struck out two batters in one scoreless inning of relief in that game to help Los Angeles secure a 9-2 win on Saturday.
MLB Network reported Thursday afternoon that Urias was accepting of whatever role was required of him for Game 5.
The NL West rivals traded wins over the next two games to set up the pivotal clash. The winner advances to the NL Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves, while the loser will have nothing but a week's worth of playoff experience to show for one of the greatest two-team duels in baseball history.
San Francisco right-hander Logan Webb (1-0, 0.00) will get the start on Thursday.
Webb, 24, scattered five hits and struck out 10 in 7 2/3 innings of a 4-0 win in Game 1 on Friday. He posted an 11-3 record with a 3.03 ERA in 27 appearances (26 starts) this season.
Knebel was 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 27 appearances (four starts) this season. He owns a 10-11 record with a 3.23 ERA in 266 career appearances (four starts) with the Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers and Dodgers.
While the Giants have captured the close games and the Dodgers posted lopsided victories, each club was left Wednesday on their off day wondering how to handle the other's red-hot pitcher in a win-or-pack-the-gear showdown.
"This is what baseball wants," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after his team's stay-alive win in Game 4. "We're going to be the only show in town. So if you have a pulse or you're a sports fan, you better be watching Dodgers-Giants. It's going to be a great one."
While Roberts left Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night confident his guys had solved the Giants' pitching, rival manager Gabe Kapler assured reporters that he and his staff still had homework to do in preparation for what they thought would be a start by Urias.
"That's going to take some planning and conversation. I'm happy to discuss that with the guys," Kapler said. "We're going to take a look at the last game against Urias and make adjustments accordingly."
The Giants had their chances against the 20-win left-hander in their last matchup Saturday.
Austin Slater hit a ground-rule double in the first inning; the Giants put two on with no outs in the second, scoring once on a Donovan Solano sacrifice fly; then Buster Posey provided a leadoff double in the fourth.
But besides that sac fly, the Giants went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position in Urias' five innings. He won for the 12th straight time since June 21, an 18-game stretch in which the Dodgers have gone 16-2.
The Dodgers got just three baserunners into scoring position in Webb's 7 2/3 innings in Friday's opener, one the result of a first-inning error.
By the time Corey Seager and Will Smith had doubled in the sixth and seventh innings, the Giants had built a 2-0 lead and Webb was on the way to his 11th straight win dating to May 11.
San Francisco has gone 19-2 in those games.
Neither team will have its standout first baseman available again, with San Francisco's Brandon Belt (broken thumb) and Los Angeles' Max Muncy (dislocated elbow) relegated to cheerleading.
But the status of the rest of the rosters isn't as equal, as Giants second baseman Tommy La Stella is battling a sore Achilles and Kapler has been prompted into making 10 pitching changes in the past two games, resulting in a taxed bunch.
The Dodgers are coming off a game in which six different players got two hits, while Roberts has had to go to the bullpen just seven times in the past two games.
--Field Level Media
Updated October 14, 2021