With Game 1 of the NLCS just hours away, the Dodgers got great news that Andre Ethier will be back in the starting lineup. Zack Greinke will start tonight followed by Clayton Kershaw tomorrow in Game 2.
However, manager Don Mattingly revealed his plans moving forward in the pregame press conference for Games 3 and 4. According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, Mattingly confirmed what most people believed to be the rotation schedule:
Mattingly says Ryu starts Game 3, Nolasco Game 4. #Dodgers
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 11, 2013
The announcement brought no surprises, as it was the same rotation announced for the NLDS. However, in the NLDS, Nolasco didn’t pitch Game 4 because Kershaw went on three days’ rest to close out the series.
The duo will get to pitch at Dodger Stadium and sets up Ryu for a Game 7 start at Busch Stadium. Ryu pitched Game 3 at Dodger Stadium against the Braves and went just three innings giving up four runs on six hits and a walk.
The left-handed rookie had a solid season going 14-8 with a 3.00 ERA, including a strong outing at Busch Stadium, where he threw seven innings allowing an unearned run. The Cardinals hit just .238 on the season against left-handers and an even lower .167 against them in the postseason.
Nolasco hasn’t started since September 25 and hasn’t pitched since the 29th. Nolasco had an overall record of 13-11 with a 3.70 ERA, but was 8-3 with a 3.52 ERA since being acquired by the Dodgers. Against the Cardinals this season, Nolasco went 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA and at Dodger Stadium, he went 4-2 with a 2.48 ERA.
Depending on the first few games, there’s a possibility that Nolasco could be skipped or moved back in the rotation in favor of Greinke and/or Kershaw throwing on three days’ rest. Greinke would be available on short rest for Game 4 and Mattingly could decide to use him if the Dodgers are down in the series.
In case you missed it, here’s the home run that sent the Dodgers to the NLCS!