LOS ANGELES -- Veteran left-hander Rich Hill will start Game 4 of the World Series against the Red Sox on Saturday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Thursday.Hill has allowed three runs and eight hits in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. He's struck out 10, but he has also walked
LOS ANGELES -- Veteran left-hander Rich Hill will start Game 4 of the World Series against the Red Sox on Saturday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Thursday.
Hill has allowed three runs and eight hits in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. He's struck out 10, but he has also walked nine. Hill pitched one inning of relief against the Brewers in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series last Friday in his previous outing, and he last started a game on Oct. 16 against the Brewers in Game 4 of the NLCS.
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Hard-throwing rookie Walker Buehler will start Game 3 on Friday against right-hander Rick Porcello with the Dodgers trailing 2-0 in the best-of-seven Series. The Red Sox's offense could present a challenge because of its ability to perform well against high-velocity pitchers.
• Buehler to face top hitting team vs. high velo
"We expect Walker to go out there and pitch well, and keep us in the game," Roberts said. "And offensively, we've got to go out there and get a lead."
Kershaw for Game 5?
It hasn't been announced, but Clayton Kershaw is the only Dodgers pitcher set up to start a potential Game 5 on Sunday after throwing a bullpen session early Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw was the losing pitcher in Game 1 on Tuesday, as the lefty starter was charged with five runs on seven hits in four-plus innings while getting little help from his offense or defense.
One subtle but perhaps significant advantage the Red Sox have on the Dodgers in the World Series is the insight provided by Boston hitting coach Tim Hyers, who knows the strengths, tendencies and vulnerabilities of most Dodgers batters because he was their assistant hitting coach in 2017.
It could be a factor that helps explain why the Dodgers are batting .175 while dropping the first two games (the Red Sox are hitting .297). It's not unlike the perceived advantage Boston manager Alex Cora had in the American League Championship Series against the Astros. Cora was Houston's bench coach last year.
While the Red Sox were waiting for the result of Game 7 in the NLCS between the Dodgers and Brewers, here's what Cora said:
"If we play the Dodgers, we have Tim Hyers, he was there for a while. It's not that it's going to make a huge difference, but we're going to have a pretty good idea how to attack them."
After Kershaw's tough Game 1, Hyers was asked if his familiarity with the lefty benefited Boston batters.
"Maybe a little, a little, just, knowing a few things and tendencies," Hyers said. "I don't think anything major. He's been around for a long time. Everyone knows his tendencies. I don't think anything major. Just selling to our guys, buying into an approach, a plan as a group. With this group it's real easy. They come to play."
Buehler ready for Game 3
For his part, Buehler has stopped throwing bullpen sessions in between starts, but he said he has not otherwise altered his routine much in the postseason. He threw on flat ground on Thursday and is delighted to be back at Dodger Stadium, a place where he posted a 1.93 ERA and struck out 84 in 74 2/3 innings during the regular season. Buehler allowed four runs and struck out eight in seven innings against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium in Game 3 of the NLCS in his only start at home during this postseason.
"You know how everything is going to be here," Buehler said. "I think most guys are going to be better at home. I would think most guys would be better at their home ballpark, and their home crowd behind them. We expect them to be loud tomorrow and we'll try to win."
Buehler should be rested. He flew back to Los Angeles ahead of the team on Wednesday night and followed the Dodgers' 4-2 loss in Game 2 at Fenway Park online during the flight. His teammates arrived on Thursday afternoon.
"It made buying the internet a lot easier to do," he said.
The Dodgers outfielders are much more familiar with the dimensions of Dodger Stadium compared to Fenway Park, and the warmer climate of Southern California is another bonus for the home team -- but the real benefit for Roberts as the Series shifts back to the National League rules is the added depth he will have at his disposal.
Without the designated hitter, Roberts will have an extra bench player, which plays in to platoon strategy the club has used all season.
"There's a familiarity, obviously, for us," Roberts said. "There's been a lot of talk of outfield depth; we're very familiar with the ballpark. And the National League game, having Walker take an at-bat. But it's the style. Obviously, this is what we're used to. But, again, baseball is baseball. You've still got to go out there and pitch it, catch it and hit it. And we've got to do that better than them."
Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.