Kapler goes with new look in Giants outfield for NLDS Game 2 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO -- If a lineup could talk, Gabe Kapler's card for Game 2 of the National League Division Series would be screaming just one thing:
"KNOCK JULIO URIAS OUT EARLY AND THEN WE'LL BRING THE GLOVES IN."
Kapler went heavy on right-handed bats against the Dodgers' lefty, who was the only 20-game winner in the big leagues this season. He has Darin Ruf in left field and leading off, followed by center fielder Kris Bryant and right fielder Austin Slater. It's a subpar defensive alignment, but the Giants are surely hoping to get to Urias in the first inning or shortly thereafter and then change it up with guys like Mike Yastrzemski, LaMonte Wade Jr. and Steven Duggar. Here's the full lineup, which includes just one left-handed bat aside from starting pitcher Kevin Gausman:
Will it work? Well, Urias doesn't even really have differing splits -- he's been that good this season -- but the Giants have had success with Ruf leading off in righty-heavy lineups and Slater crushed southpaws, too. Bryant homered on Friday night.
Bryant has only made three starts in center field since getting traded to the Giants, but he has not looked comfortable in right field, which is harder to play at Oracle Park.
The Dodgers didn't have big changes, but did swap Chris Taylor in for Matt Beaty, who was part of a brutal night for the bottom of their lineup on Friday:
Gausman made three starts against the Dodgers this season and allowed five runs in 14 innings. They didn't hit him hard, but they showed an ability to lay off his splitter and get his pitch count up early.