- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Los Angeles Dodgers waited until 11:30 a.m. the day of the game to announce Rich Hill will start deciding Game 5 for them against the Washington Nationals in tonight’s National League Division Series finale at 8 p.m. at Nationals Park.

Hill pitched Game 2 on Sunday. A three-run home run from Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton was the defining blow against Hill in the Dodgers‘ loss.

The Dodgers were deciding between Hill and rookie Julio Urias, both left-handed, to pitch against Nationals ace Max Scherzer. The winner of Thursday’s game will open the National League Championship Series in Chicago against the juggernaut Cubs on Saturday night.

Hill finished the season with a 2.12 ERA. It was a massive change for a pitcher who has waffled between reliever and starter much of his career and has a 4.10 ERA during that time. His final line in Game 2: 4 1/3 innings, six hits, four earned runs, two walks, seven strike outs.

Urias will be available to bridge innings should Hill falter. The day off between games and tempered bullpen use by the Dodgers in Game 4 should make all key relievers available to Los Angeles. The Nationals will also have a full bullpen ready to pitch.

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