Julio Urias to start NLDS Game 1 for Los Angeles Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — Julio Urias, who got into the Cy Young chat with another dominant season as a full-time starting pitcher, will get the ball for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the Division Series. the National League, pitting San Diego’s Mike Clevinger from the Padres.

Clayton Kershaw will face former teammate Yu Darvish in Game 2, with neither team settling on his rotation afterwards.

The Padres’ order was widely speculated after their series win over the New York Mets, but the Dodgers were toying with the idea of ​​returning Urias and Kershaw. This latter scenario would have given the Dodgers a chance to use both Kershaw and Urias in a potential Game 5, given that Kershaw would be lined up to start at normal rest and Urias can theoretically rebound fast enough to be available out of the game. bullpen. They went the conventional route instead, with Urias lined up to start Game 5 and Kershaw lined up to follow him through the playoffs.

“You could basically flip a coin,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “They are both aces in our eyes. I think Julio has been fantastic for us all year. In making this decision to give him this opportunity, we all felt good. Clayton feels good to start the match 2 and carry on from there.”

The Padres and Dodgers each practiced from Dodger Stadium on Monday afternoon, although the Dodgers, five days away from their last game, went through a longer session. With Game 1 scheduled for Tuesday — the first pitch is at 6:37 p.m. PT on FS1 — the Dodgers were still mulling key decisions.

They were still unsure if former close Craig Kimbrel would crack the NLDS roster or if Miguel Vargas would sneak in as a right-hit option off the bench. They were also waiting for setup man Blake Treinen (shoulder) to be medically cleared and utility man Chris Taylor (neck) to pass healthy live batting practice. Dustin May, who has back tightness but has been pitching in mock plays, is healthy enough to pitch, Roberts said, but the Dodgers don’t know if they’ll carry him this round.

The Padres’ rotation is much easier to discern, with manager Bob Melvin turning to Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove — in any order — when the series moves to Games 3 and 4 in San Diego. Snell walked six in his Game 2 start against the Mets on Saturday, but Musgrove dominated for seven innings on one hit in Game 3 on Sunday. At one point, perhaps in an effort to lose his rhythm, Mets manager Buck Showalter asked the referees for a thorough check of Musgrove to make sure he wasn’t throwing with an illegal foreign substance.

Melvin hasn’t raised the issue with Showalter and doesn’t think he needs to.

“He sent congratulations after the game and I thanked him,” Melvin said. “We have another series coming up here, so for me it’s kind of water under the bridge.”

The Dodgers have dominated the Padres lately, winning their last nine games against them in 2021 and 14 of 19 in 2022, in which they outscored them 109-47. But the Padres look like a different team. Josh Hader has looked sharp lately, Juan Soto has shown signs of returning to his usual self, and the Padres have seen Trent Grisham, a .184/.284/.341 hitter this season. , come to life in New York. Grisham sat against southpaws down the stretch, but Melvin indicated he would start against southpaws Urias and Kershaw in Games 1 and 2.

“There’s going to be a lot of emotion,” Roberts said of a series pinning two division rivals 125 miles apart. “It’s going to be a very intense series.”

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