LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers slugger Player Page for Max Muncy made it a series with his 18th-inning walk-off homer in Game 3, and the gamesmanship was quickly cranked up, as both managers kept their Game 4 starters a secret before divulging their plans this afternoon.Veteran left-hander Rich Hill will start
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers slugger Player Page for Max Muncy made it a series with his 18th-inning walk-off homer in Game 3, and the gamesmanship was quickly cranked up, as both managers kept their Game 4 starters a secret before divulging their plans this afternoon.
Veteran left-hander Rich Hill will start for the Dodgers on seven days' rest. The club's only alternative was Clayton Kershaw on short rest after a poor start, which would have been suboptimal, especially with Los Angeles needing Kershaw to start Game 5 on Sunday on regular rest.
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Red Sox manager Alex Cora said on Saturday that the Red Sox would start a lefty, and Eduardo Rodriguez ultimately got the Game 4 nod over Chris Sale, who would have had to start on short rest. The Red Sox's only other left-hander, Thomas Pomeranz, hasn't pitched in nearly a month
The starting lineups
Red Sox: The top four spots in the lineup went 0-for-28 in Game 3, which might have compelled Cora to put Andrew Benintendi back in there for this one, leaving Jackie Bradley Jr. to open Game 4 on the bench. J.D. Martinez shifts over to right field after starting in left in Game 3 and playing nine innings on a sore right ankle.
- Mookie Betts, CF
- Andrew Benintendi, LF
- Steve Pearce, 1B
- J.D. Martinez, RF
- Xander Bogaerts, SS
- Eduardo Nunez, 3B
- Brock Holt, 2B
- Christian Vazquez, C
- Eduardo Rodriguez, P
Dodgers:David Freese didn't appear in Game 3 until the 14th inning, but L.A. manager Dave Roberts slotted him at leadoff tonight with the left-hander Rodriguez starting. Freese homered and doubled when he batted leadoff against Milwaukee lefty Wade Miley in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series:
- David Freese, 1B
- Max Muncy, 2B
- Justin Turner, 3B
- Manny Machado, SS
- Cody Bellinger, CF
- Yasiel Puig, RF
- Chris Taylor, LF
- Austin Barnes, C
- Rich Hill, P
Who are the starting pitchers?
Red Sox: Cora said pitchers were lining up outside his office to volunteer to start, and he opted for the safest choice in Rodriguez. The left-hander faced just one batter in Game 3, though he hasn't pitched more than 3 2/3 innings since Sept. 13. Only five pitchers have ever started a World Series game on zero days' rest, the last coming in 1924.
Dodgers: Hill last pitched during a clean one-inning relief outing in Game 6 of the NLCS on Oct. 19. He allowed one run in five innings of his NLCS Game 4 start on Oct. 16. Hill has shown improvement since adopting a full windup at the suggestion of Chase Utley, who noticed Hill was tipping his pitches with his previous mechanics.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Red Sox: Though it was an 18-inning game, Cora didn't tax any of his key relievers, with the exception of Nathan Eovaldi. Craig Kimbrel got four outs. Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly and Ryan Brasier recorded three each. David Price recorded two outs, and it will be interesting if Cora asks him to pitch in relief on back-to-back days.
Dodgers: It's complicated. Kenley Jansen, Pedro Baez and Kenta Maeda pitched two innings each in the Game 3 marathon, Dylan Floro went 1 2/3 frames. Julio Urias pitched one inning when Roberts said he didn't want to use him. Alex Wood will be the long man after throwing only one inning.
Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Red Sox: Eovaldi and Rick Porcello.
Dodgers: Urias, one year removed from shoulder surgery, is probably unavailable.
Any injuries of note?
Red Sox: Nunez keeps hobbling along, but manages to keep getting up. Martinez seemed to emerge from Game 3 no worse for the wear.
Dodgers: None known.
Who is hot and who is not?
Red Sox: Aside from Bradley (2-for-5), nobody swung the bat all that well for the Red Sox in Game 3. Benintendi will try to continue the momentum he generated in Boston when he went 4-for-8 with a crucial walk. Betts (0-for-7) and Bogaerts (0-for-8) were ice cold in Game 3.
Dodgers: Los Angeles raised its team average from .175 to .177, so hot is a relative term. Barnes, Dozier and Taylor are a combined 0-for-20. Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger and Hernandez have one hit each in a total of 29 at-bats, but Pederson's was a home run.
Anything else fans might want to know?
The is the fifth consecutive World Series that has been 2-1 after three games. Of the 89 times a series has been 2-1, the team leading has won the series 58 times (65.2 percent), but only twice in the past five times.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.