The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants will square off tonight in Game 5 of the National League Division Series. We’re still several hours away from the first pitch, but the MLB world is already buzzing about this matchup due to the Dodgers’ recent announcement.
Moments ago, Los Angeles announced that Corey Knebel will start Game 5. Most people around the league thought Julio Urias would open this game, but perhaps this is Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ way of catching the Giants off guard.
As you’d expect, the baseball world is questioning Roberts’ decision to start Knebel over Urias. After all, Knebel has only appeared in 27 games for the Dodgers this season. In just over 25 innings worth of work, the right-handed reliever has a 2.45 ERA with 30 strikeouts.
MLB Network insider Jon Heyman had a two-word response to the Dodgers’ announcement this afternoon, tweeting “Oh my.”
Oh my https://t.co/xxtibfOdp5
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 14, 2021
Heyman isn’t the only person questioning the Dodgers’ decision to start Knebel in a win-or-go-home game. On the bright side, it should certainly add more intrigue to Game 5.
“Dodgers going with an Opener in the decisive Game 5,” Bleacher Nation tweeted. “INTRIGUE!”
Dodgers going with an Opener in the decisive Game 5. INTRIGUE! https://t.co/nNYeMvuBMg
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) October 14, 2021
Dodgers fans are hopeful that Knebel’s appearance tonight will be very brief. They’d feel much more comfortable seeing Urias on the mound with a trip to the National League Championship Series at stake.
“Well, that is a change. Knebel will open the game,” Dodger Insider wrote. “Would presumably leave Urías available to pitch the bulk. Roberts has his pregame session later today.”
Well, that is a change. Knebel will open the game. Would presumably leave Urías available to pitch the bulk. Roberts has his pregame session later today. https://t.co/p2nwsFKKFR
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) October 14, 2021
If Knebel doesn’t perform well against the Giants tonight, Roberts will receive a lot of criticism for opening up Game 5 with a relief pitcher.
First pitch for Game 5 is at 9:07 p.m. ET on TBS.