Hippity Hop versus Mrs Upton
Game one was so important because in game two the Dodgers will be facing the hottest pitcher in the postseason in Justin Verlander. Much like how Clayton Kershaw has dominated the National League, Justin Verlander has done almost the same in the American League. Verlander may not have multiple CYA, but he won one, and been in the top five four other times including two finishes in second place.
His time at the top seemed like it was over this past summer as he struggled with the struggling Tigers, but once the Houston Astros added him he has been back to his Cy Young award-winning ways.
You could say that Verlander pitched Houston into the World Series and you wouldn’t be wrong. He made two starts, one was a complete game shutout, and other was a seven-inning gem to force a game seven after Houston had lost three straight in New York.
Verlander had the luxury of starting both his NLCS games at home instead of on the road. Verlander has not had to start a postseason game on the road yet, but he did pitch in relief in Boston in the clinching game four. He didn’t pitch well.
Rich Hill has been everything the Dodgers had hoped for when they signed him to a free-agent deal last winter. A deal that has worked out much better than I expected.
Amazingly this is already Rich Hill’s sixth career postseason start as a Dodger. He has kept the Dodgers in each of his games and they have won his last four postseason starts. Rich Hill has been on a short leash in the postseason and that probably won’t change tonight unless it is not a close game which seems doubtful. With an off day tomorrow, expect all hands tonight and don’t be surprised to see Jansen get five outs if needed.
The game two lineup has one surprise and one small one. Joc Pederson is playing left field not Andre Ethier, and Austin Barnes is still the starting catcher.
Houston has the exact same lineup that struggled against Kershaw and has struggled mightily on the road this postseason.