Game 7 of NLCS could hinge on matchup between two rookie pitchers

Alex Seixeiro is joined by Ben Nicholson-Smith and Arden Zwelling to preview tonight's NLCS Game 7 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves.


Win and you’re in the World Series, lose and there’s nothing to play for tomorrow. The Dodgers have been here before. Tonight, they’ll have a chance to exorcise their playoff demons. Live coverage of Game 7 begins at 8 p.m. ET on Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE and SN NOW.


ARLINGTON, Texas — Game 7 of the National League Championship became MLB’s first winner-take-all post-season game matching rookie starters when the Los Angeles Dodgers chose Dustin May to start against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday night.

The Braves had previously announced that Ian Anderson, the 22-year-old right-hander who had pitched 15 2-3 scoreless innings in his first three post-season starts, would start with them trying to get to their first World Series since 1999.

Manager Dave Roberts didn’t reveal his pitching plan until Sunday, with May starting for the second time in the series. The 23 year-old right-hander from nearby Justin, Texas, threw 55 pitches over two innings in Game 5 on Friday night.

Roberts said he expected Game 2 starter Tony Gonsolin and Game 3 starter Julio Urias to appear in the game at some point. Asked about the availability of three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, who lost Game 4, Roberts responded, “We’ll see.”

Los Angeles was trying to win its third NL pennant in four years.

Chris Taylor was back in Dodgers lineup, batting ninth and playing second base after injuring his right ankle on a throw from left field late in Game 5 on Friday. Joc Pederson was the designated hitter.

Atlanta used the same batting order for the third game in a row.

CLOSING TIME

After struggling in recent weeks, longtime Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen seems to have regained his touch.

The big LA right-hander needed only six pitches to throw a perfect ninth inning Saturday to finish off a 3-1 win over Atlanta, tying the NL Championship Series at three games each. The previous day, he struck out the side to close out a 5-1 victory.

The three-time All-Star said he’d had some recent conversations with former pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and another pitching guru, former Dodgers righty Charlie Hough.

“They showed me pictures of the past and how everything was working together. And, you know, it wasn’t quite the same,” the 33-year-old Jansen said Saturday. “And kind of get back to that, to make my delivery simple like it was, and repeat it, and it shows, it showed yesterday.”

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