Rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu is set to take the mound for the Dodgers tonight in Game 3 of the NLCS, but the starter for tomorrow night’s game could change.
Before the series, it was announced that Ricky Nolasco would be the Game 4 starter; however, he was also announced as the Game 4 starter in the NLDS before Clayton Kershaw ended up pitching that game on three days’ rest.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the L.A. Daily News, Mattingly announced the pitching plans for Game 4:
Mattingly said that today’s result could determine who starts tomorrow.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) October 14, 2013
This could mean that the Dodgers could potentially start Zack Greinke on three days’ rest depending on the results in Game 3. It would seem that a loss tonight could prompt the Dodgers to use their second-best starter a day earlier than expected.
Greinke threw eight strong innings in Game 1 allowing only two runs, but didn’t factor in the decision. He has never thrown on short rest before in his career.
Using Greinke on short rest could also incline the Dodgers to use Kershaw on short rest again should the Dodgers survive. Kershaw threw 72 pitches in six innings in Game 2 and could be ready to go again if needed.
Depending on what happens tonight, the Dodgers could implore a three-man rotation with Ryu pitching Game 6 and Greinke pitching in a potential Game 7. However, this is all dependent on what happens tonight as a Dodger win could prompt Mattingly to go with Nolasco as regularly scheduled tomorrow night.
If the Dodgers lose tonight, they would go into a survival mode and pull out all stops necessary to extending the series. A win tonight could make all this talk subside, but Mattingly has been aggressive in going for it all rather than just playing things by the book.
In case you missed it, here’s the home run that sent the Dodgers to the NLCS!