SAN FRANCISCO — Los Angeles Dodgers‘ 20-game winner Julio Urias won’t start Thursday night against the San Francisco Giants in Game 5 of the NLDS. Instead, the Dodgers will start reliever Corey Knebel.
It was an organizational decision, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed, not just his decision to start Knebel.
Roberts said the pitching change “gives us the best chance to win. Corey’s a guy that I expected to pitch tonight, and so just kind of changing up when he pitches is part of it.”
“It’s understandable,” said Giants manager Gabe Kapler, who said he received a courtesy text from Roberts last night. “I don’t think it was unexpected. Certainly changes the way we were thinking about today’s game, but nothing out of the ordinary.”
Urias has been brilliant in his last seven starts in the postseason, yielding a 1.29 ERA. He was scheduled to face off against Giants right-hander Logan Webb in the winner-take-all game, pitting a pair of teams that have each won 109 games this season, including the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Houston Astros ace Lance McCullers, who won two games during the AL division series against the Chicago White Sox, likely is out for the ALCS, and perhaps the rest of the season, according to a person with direct knowledge of McCullers’ injury.
#Astros GM James Click says the club is awaiting results of Lance McCullers MRI before making roster decision on ALCS.— Gabe Lacques (@GabeLacques) October 14, 2021
Click says if regular season, they’d simply shut him down a couple of weeks. Acknowledged need to balance current urgency with fact McCullers “will be here a long time.”— Gabe Lacques (@GabeLacques) October 14, 2021
McCullers left his last start with a strained forearm, and his forearm is now badly swollen, the person said, leaving the right-hander’s status in doubt the rest of the postseason.
The Astros have yet to confirm that McCullers will be kept of the ALCS roster against the Boston Red Sox.