WASHINGTON -- Rich Hill will start for the Dodgers on Thursday night in the decisive Game 5 of the National League Division Series (8 p.m. ET/5 PT on FS1) against Washington.The 36-year-old Hill, the starter and losing pitcher in Game 2, will be pitching on short rest for the first
WASHINGTON -- Rich Hill will start for the Dodgers on Thursday night in the decisive Game 5 of the National League Division Series (8 p.m. ET/5 PT on FS1) against Washington.
The 36-year-old Hill, the starter and losing pitcher in Game 2, will be pitching on short rest for the first time. He was selected over 20-year-old rookie Julio Urías, who has not pitched in the series. Hill will be opposed by Nationals 20-game winner Max Scherzer.
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After the Dodgers won, 6-5, in Game 4 on Tuesday in Los Angeles to force Game 5, Hill told reporters he was ready to pitch on short rest. Management, however, delayed an announcement, in part for the perceived advantage of leaving the Nationals to prepare for two different starting pitchers.
In Game 2, a 5-2 loss, Hill struck out seven over the first three scoreless innings, but Washington catcher Jose Lobaton slugged a hanging curveball into the wind for a three-run homer in the fourth inning. Hill allowed three singles in the fifth inning and was removed after 4 1/3 innings, charged with four runs and six hits. It was Hill's first postseason start since 2007 with the Cubs.
Urias has been a decoy for the Dodgers, mentioned by management as a probable starter all week without throwing a pitch. He was 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA for Los Angeles this season, and he has thrown a career-high 122 innings, 45 of them at Triple-A.
However, his usage recently has been severely curtailed to protect his arm. He hasn't pitched since throwing three scoreless innings in a Sept. 29 start in San Diego, and he has thrown only 8 2/3 innings in the past six weeks.
Urias faced the Nationals twice during the regular season, allowing two runs in five innings on June 22 at Dodger Stadium and giving up one run in four innings on July 21 in Washington -- both no-decisions. He will be available out of the bullpen in Game 5.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com.