After marathon, LA undecided on Game 4 starter

Veteran Hill most likely to start for Dodgers, who used 9 pitchers on Friday

October 27th, 2018
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill throws during the first inning of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)Matt Slocum/AP

LOS ANGELES -- Within moments of Red Sox manager Alex Cora saying that his World Series Game 4 starter would be "TBA," the Dodgers countered in high-stakes gamesmanship by changing their announced starting pitcher for Saturday from Rich Hill to TBD.

Chances are the Dodgers will still start Hill, the only properly rested starter they have. would be pitching on short rest after a shaky Game 1 start. He threw a bullpen session on Thursday, as he would for a Game 5 start on Sunday.

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No matter what happens in Game 4, the Dodgers will still need a starter for Game 5 after their dramatic 3-2 win in 18 innings in Game 3 removed the possibility that Game 4 would be an elimination game. Except for his rookie season, each of Kershaw's four postseason relief appearances have been in elimination games, so it seems unlikely that he would be a relief option on Saturday.

Like Boston, Los Angeles used nine pitchers in Friday's marathon, seven of them after blew a save by allowing an eighth-inning tying homer to Jansen had been asked to pitch two innings and protect a 1-0 lead provided by 's third-inning homer.

After getting a stellar seven innings from rookie starter , manager Dave Roberts should be better situated in the bullpen for the quick turnaround of Game 4 than his counterpart, and former teammate, Cora.

"I've got to go back and talk to the relievers, and we'll know more [Saturday], but as far as their usage, this is a World Series," Roberts said. "And we're coming off an off-day. Considering what we went through tonight, we're in good shape with our 'pen; we really are. ... But considering where they're at over there, and where we're at, I like where we're at."

Roberts said he was hoping not to use and in Game 3, but he called on Madson for a two-pitch at-bat and received an 11-pitch scoreless inning from Urias. threw the most pitches (36) in a two-inning outing that finished with five consecutive strikeouts. Jansen, Maeda and each pitched two innings.

Madson made his 10th appearance of this postseason and the 56th of his career, passing Jeff Nelson for second all time behind Mariano Rivera's 110.