In a move that surprised no one, the Dodgers officially announced on Monday that Julio Urias, who led the National League in ERA this season, will be their Game 1 starter when the NL Division Series against the Padres starts on Tuesday.
#Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announces Julio Urías will start Game 1. Clayton Kershaw gets Game 2.
— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) October 10, 2022
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said last week the decision between Urias and Kershaw would come down to which player they felt more comfortable with on four days rest in a potential Game 5, which pretty clearly gave the edge to Urias. Julio started more games on regular rest than Kershaw this season and performed better in those games. Throw in Kershaw’s injury history, and the decision was basically a no-brainer.
I just think that Julio’s been fantastic for us all year and making that decision to give him that opportunity, we all felt good about it.
Mike Clevinger will get the start for the Padres in Game 1. Clevinger started Game 1 the last time these two teams met in the NLDS, too, walking three batters in a scoreless first inning and then not pitching again for 19 months due to Tommy John surgery. The Padres will be hoping for much better this time, as their top three starters aren’t available for Game 1 after pitching in the Wild Card Series against the Mets.
Game 1 will be Urias’s 23rd career postseason game but just his sixth start. Despite being primarily a starter in the regular season throughout his career (except 2019), he has been used a lot out of the bullpen in the playoffs, most notably closing out Game 7 of the NLCS and Game 6 of the World Series in 2020, standing on the mound when L.A. won both series.
This year, he’ll be standing on the mound to start the postseason, and the Dodgers are counting on him to continue the dominance he’s shown over the past year and a half.
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