Alexan­der is bypassed for Urias on ros­ter

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Jorge Castillo and Andy McCul­lough jorge.castillo@la­ andy.mccul­lough@la­

MIL­WAU­KEE — The Dodgers did not elect to take Scott Alexan­der, their most re­li­able left-handed re­liever this sea­son, off their ros­ter for the NL Cham­pi­onship Series be­cause of in­jury. Alexan­der is healthy. The rea­son­ing came down to the Dodgers be­liev­ing Julio Urias, who hasn’t pitched in a tough si­t­u­a­tion this sea­son, pro­vides them a bet­ter left-handed op­tion out of the bullpen.

“We like his pitch mix,” Dodgers man­ager Dave Roberts said be­fore Game 1 Fri­day at Miller Park, “the weapons he has to at­tack the left­ies and the right­ies in their lineup.”

His first test did not go as the Dodgers hoped. Urias en­tered the game in the sev­enth in­ning Fri­day with the Dodgers fac­ing a 5-1 deficit and sur­ren­dered a lead­off home run to Je­sus Aguilar. He gave up a hit to the next bat­ter but es­caped the in­ning with­out yield­ing an­other run.

Once a pre­co­cious prospect, the 22-year-old Urias oozes po­ten­tial. He burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2016 and earned a place on the Dodgers’ post­sea­son ros­ter. But a torn an­te­rior cap­sule in his left shoul­der he suf­fered last spring slowed his devel­op­ment. This sea­son, he had pitched only four in­nings in three games af­ter un­der­go­ing surgery to the shoul­der in May 2017. Each ap­pear­ance was not in a tough spot and sur­faced with at least six days’ rest. Urias will not en­joy those lux­u­ries one step short of the World Series.

“He can get more than three outs, and then the back-to-back, that’s some­thing we’re com­fort­able with, but ob­vi­ously that wouldn’t be an ex­tended back-to­back,” Roberts said. “But the value of Julio to come in and get one to four or five outs, I think that for us, with our bullpen con­struc­tion, we feel com­fort­able with that.”

Alexan­der, 28, had a 3.68 ERA in 73 games for the Dodgers dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son be­fore record­ing a score­less in­ning in his only ap­pear­ance against the At­lanta Braves in the NL Divi­sion Series. His 74 ap­pear­ances be­tween the reg­u­lar sea­son and play­offs lead the Dodgers. He won’t be adding to that to­tal, at least not be­fore the World Series. In­stead, the Dodgers turned to a young tal­ent they be­lieve can han­dle the grand stage.

“It’s a credit to the train­ing staff and Julio,” Roberts said, “to put in that work to be in this po­si­tion right now.”

Ryu ready for Game 2

Af­ter toss­ing seven score­less in­nings of Game 1 of the NLDS on Oct. 4, Hyun-Jin Ryu idled while wait­ing for his next as­sign­ment. The team tabbed Clay­ton Ker­shaw for a Game 5 that never came. When the Dodgers clinched this week, he pre­pared to start ei­ther Game 2 or Game 3 against the Brew­ers.

Given the lengthy lay­off, Ryu com­mit­ted some­thing that clas­si­fies as a rad­i­cal act for him: He threw a bullpen ses­sion.

Most start­ing pitch­ers throw in the bullpen two or three days af­ter a start. Ryu has es­chewed the prac­tice, as he prefers to pre­serve his arm strength for games. Ryu in­di­cated that the bullpen ses­sion he com­pleted Wednesday was the first he had thrown since com­ing off the dis­abled list for a torn groin mus­cle in Au­gust.

“Ob­vi­ously there was a need for me to go up on the mound, and that was the rea­son I had a lit­tle bullpen ses­sion,” Ryu said through his in­ter­preter, Bryan Lee. “Just to make sure that there isn’t too much rest be­tween my starts.”

Ryu will be op­er­at­ing on eight days of rest when he starts Satur­day. The Dodgers chose Ryu for Game 2 be­cause they felt the two ex­tra days of rest be­tween Game 2 and 3 would not be ben­e­fi­cial. Walker Buehler will start Game 3 on seven days of rest.

Uecker throws out f irst pitch ... it’s not out­side

Hall of Fame broad­caster Bob Uecker threw out the first pitch be­fore Fri­day’s Game 1. A cou­ple of hours ear­lier, the for­mer big league catcher spent 15 min­utes rem­i­nisc­ing on his ca­reer, be­gin­ning with his home run off Sandy Ko­ufax.

“For what­ever rea­son, I hit Sandy fairly well,” the 84-year-old Uecker said. “I don’t know why. But I did hit a home run against him in Dodger Sta­dium, and since then, ev­ery time I see him … I al­ways apol­o­gize be­cause I thought it was go­ing to keep him out of the Hall of Fame.”

The homer was one of the 14 Uecker hit dur­ing his six-year ca­reer be­fore mov­ing to the broad­cast booth.

Free burg­ers on the line

The win Fri­day not only po­si­tioned the Brew­ers within three games of their first World Series ap­pear­ance since 2012. It was also their 12th straight vic­tory, which meant free ham­burg­ers at Ge­orge Webb, a 24-hour south­east­ern Wis­con­sin restau­rant chain, next Thurs­day.

“Who knew that we would make it this far and the big­gest piece of stress go­ing into this game would be Ge­orge Webb’s ham­burg­ers?” Brew­ers man­ager Craig Coun­sell asked be­fore Game 1

Wally Skalij Los An­ge­les Times

HALL OF FAME broad­caster Bob Uecker throws out the first pitch be­fore Game 1.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.