Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias threw a bullpen session on Sunday at Wrigley Field, which would put him in line for a potential start on Wednesday in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium, but manager Dave Roberts isn’t yet ready to commit that far ahead in the series.
"I think that as unpredictable as these games are, with Rich going Game 3, and just with potential with the blister, we’re not not confirming yet," Roberts said during his press conference before Game 2. "Every game we still got to kind of figure out how to navigate."
After Clayton Kershaw in Game 2 on Sunday night, the Dodgers have Rich Hill scheduled for Game 3 in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Hill lasted 4⅓ innings in his start in Game 2 against the Nationals, then started and pitched 2⅔ innings on three days rest in Game 5.
Roberts said blisters haven’t been a factor in limiting Hill of late but the club still wants to see how long he lasts before committing to Game 4.
"I think that for me even in [NLDS] Game 5, just being mindful of it, maybe getting him out of there before it got to a point where they did become a factor," Roberts said. "It's trying to get ahead of it a little bit. And so it's one of those things that we just can't figure out when it's going to go or how it's going to respond, inning to inning, pitch to pitch."
Dodgers starting pitchers are averaging 4.22 innings through their first six postseason games.
Urias pitched two scoreless innings of relief in Game 5 of the NLDS in Washington D.C., becoming the youngest pitcher in MLB pitcher in postseason history to earn a win.
It was his first game outing in two weeks. Urias, who pitched a total of 14 innings in September, hasn’t pitched more than 3⅔ innings in any single outing since Sept. 2, when he pitched 5⅓ against San Diego. Urias also pitched a four-inning simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 4 in a workout before the NLDS.
Urias was roughed up by the Cubs in his second major league start on June 2 at Wrigley Field, allowing six runs on eight hits in five innings, including three home runs. But since that start, Urias only allowed two home runs in 69⅓ major league innings, putting up a 2.73 ERA during that span.
On Aug. 27 at Dodger Stadium, Urias beat the Cubs, allowing one run in six innings while striking out eight.
If Urias does start Game 4, he would at 20 years, 68 days old be the youngest starting pitcher in MLB postseason history, surpassing Bret Saberhagen, who was 20 years, 175 days old when he started for the Royals in Game 3 of the 1984 ALCS against the Tigers.
John Lackey is scheduled to start Game 4 for the Cubs on Wednesday.