The lone LDS to go five games will conclude Thursday when the Nationals host the Dodgers at 8 p.m. EDT. It’ll be the Dodgers looking to pull off the upset after they chose to bring back ace Clayton Kershaw on short rest in Tuesday’s Game 4, a 6-5 win that staved off elimination. The Dodgers have yet to announce their starter, while the Nationals will go with Cy Young favorite Max Scherzer.
The Dodgers’ Game 5 cause was hurt by the rainout that pushed Game 2 of the series back a day. With the way LDS series are set up, Game 2 starters can typically work Game 5s on normal rest, but since Game 2 was pushed back to what was originally scheduled to be the off day, Rich Hill would be working on three days’ rest if he pitched Friday. Hill has a long history of arm problems, and he wasn’t very effective in Game 2, giving up four runs in 4 1/3 innings.
The alternative to Hill was also the alternative to Kershaw in Game 4: 20-year-old left-hander Julio Urias. Urias ended his rookie season with a fine 3.39 ERA in 77 innings, but he didn’t pitch more than 3 2/3 innings in any of his three appearances over the final four weeks of the season. He’s also yet to pitch in the NLDS. So, not only could nerves be an issue for the NL’s youngest player, but rust might be as well.
Most likely, both southpaws will end up working in the game. If Hill tells management he’s ready to go, he’ll likely get the nod. If not, it’ll be Urias, hopefully for three or four innings, and then the bullpen the rest of the way.
Indians announce ALCS rotation
The Indians used Bauer in the first game of the ALDS and could have kept the same rotation this time around, with the idea that Kluber could save the bullpen in his Game 2 and Game 6 starts. However, moving Kluber up gives the Indians the option of using him in Games 1, 4 and 7 if they have the need. While Clevenger is currently penciled in for Game 4, things could change if he’s needed out of the pen or if the Indians fall behind in the series.
The Indians also revealed Thursday that Danny Salazar wouldn’t be on the team’s ALCS roster. The All-Star was hoping to work out of the pen, but he’s not yet ready after missing the last month with a forearm strain.
Quick hits: The Padres parted ways with team president Mike Dee on Thursday. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Dennis Lin, the Padres’ next president will be their 10th since 2001. … Matt Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, expects the right-hander to be 100 percent for spring training after undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. … The Rockies sent right-handers Christian Bergman and Justin Miller outright to Triple-A after they cleared waivers. Both are likely to choose free agency.