Heading into Clayton Kershaw’s start in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said they’d treat it as any other outing. Kershaw was going on three days’ rest, which he’d done in each of the last two NLDS the Dodgers played in.
Although Mattingly said there weren’t any unusual limitations on Kershaw, he was nonetheless prepared to rely on Chris Hatcher and Kenley Jansen for extended work, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Chris Hatcher was slated to receive the sixth inning of work:
Well, we were willing to go six outs each with Hatch and Kenley right there,” Mattingly said. “We would have went Hatch 6, 7 and Kenley 7, 8. Hatch came in and got two big outs for us. When we get to David, we think that’s a spot for Kenley to come in there and obviously Kenley finishes it up in the ninth.”
Hatcher came into the game in the eighth inning, retired the first two batters before walking Curtis Granderson. It still was another successful outing for Hatcher, who turned his season around after returning from the disabled list, earning himself the eighth-inning role in the process.
In the 2015 NLDS, Hatcher has pitched 2.2 innings, earning up two holds and not allowing a single hit. Jansen was called on to convert a four-out save. He battled David Wright and wound up walking the Mets third baseman, then needing to face Daniel Murphy who represented the go-ahead run.
Jansen got Murphy to fly out, returned to the mound in the ninth, and struck out two of three batters faced as he retired the side in order. Mattingly came under fire after going to Pedro Baez in Game 1, which makes him outlining the extended plan for Hatcher and Jansen all the more interesting.
With Wednesday’s day off, both relievers, as well as the rest of the bullpen, should be at Mattingly’s disposal in the winner-take-all Game 5 on Thursday.