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May tabbed for Game 5: 'He’ll be fired up'

@kengurnick
October 16, 2020

Rookie Dustin May will start Game 5 of the National League Championship Series on Friday for the Dodgers, who are down to the Braves, 3-1, and must win to stave off elimination.

Rookie Dustin May will start Game 5 of the National League Championship Series on Friday for the Dodgers, who are down to the Braves, 3-1, and must win to stave off elimination.

Manager Dave Roberts said May was notified Wednesday night and watched the Dodgers’ 10-2 loss in Game 4 on Thursday from the Dodgers’ dugout at Globe Life Field.

Game Date Result Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 12 ATL 5, LAD 1 Watch
Gm 2 Oct. 13 ATL 8, LAD 7 Watch
Gm 3 Oct. 14 LAD 15, ATL 3 Watch
Gm 4 Oct. 15 ATL 10, LAD 2 Watch
Gm 5 Oct. 16 LAD 7, ATL 3 Watch
Gm 6 Oct. 17 LAD 3, ATL 1 Watch
Gm 7 Oct. 18 LAD 4, ATL 3 Watch

“He’s raring to go,” said Roberts. “I know he’ll be fired up.”

May was 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA in 12 appearances (10 starts) during the regular season. In the postseason, he hasn’t allowed a run in 4 2/3 innings and three appearances.

At 23 years and 40 days old, May will be the third-youngest pitcher in Dodgers history to make a postseason start facing elimination. Fernando Valenzuela was 20 in Game 4 of the 1981 NL Division Series and also Game 5 of that year’s NLCS. Johnny Podres was 23 years and 4 days old in Game 7 of the 1955 World Series.

The Dodgers won all three of those games.

May last pitched in relief Monday in Game 1 of the NLCS with 1 2/3 scoreless innings (21 pitches). He was the opener of the Game 3 clincher of the NLDS against the Padres on Oct. 8, throwing one scoreless inning. He also pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Walker Buehler in Game 1 of that series Oct. 6. His last true start was Sept. 22, when he allowed two runs in five innings against Oakland.

Because it will be an elimination game with all hands on deck, May figures to be on a short leash. Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urías, starters for Games 3 and 4, are probably the only pitchers unavailable for the Dodgers.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.