With a loss in Game 3 of the National League Division Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves on the brink of elimination heading into Game 4 Tuesday afternoon. With the Dodgers potentially on their way out of the postseason, they’ll hand the ball to Clayton Kershaw on three days’ rest.

While the Dodgers have had bullpen issues throughout the season, which have been magnified in the series, manager Don Mattingly indicated he’s not expecting a high number of pitches thrown by his ace and referenced Kershaw’s start on short rest in the 2013 NLDS, to according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:

In his start on short rest in Game 4 of the 2013 NLDS against the Atlanta Braves, Kershaw threw 91 pitches in six innings and allowed two unearned runs. He didn’t earn a decision and the Dodgers won the game after Juan Uribe’s home run in the eighth put them ahead.

Kershaw started Game 1 of this year’s NLDS and held the St. Louis Cardinals to two runs on two hits through six innings. As Kershaw was working his way through the Cardinals’ lineup, the Dodgers chased Adam Wainwright in the fifth inning and led 6-2 heading into the seventh.

The Cardinals exploded for eight runs in the inning, six of which were charged to Kershaw, and stole a Game 1 win. Kershaw now gets a shot at redemption not only for his Game 1 loss, but also for his last postseason start at Busch Stadium.

With the Dodgers trailing in the 2013 NLCS three games to two, Kershaw started Game 6 and gave up seven runs in four innings in the elimination loss. Despite posting one of the more successful regular seasons for a pitcher in MLB history, his 1-4 postseason record, 5.23 ERA and 1.27 WHIP has the jury out as to whether or not the lefty is a ‘big game’ pitcher.

On Tuesday, Kershaw can answer his critics and give the Dodgers an opportunity to win the series with a potential Game 5 scheduled Thursday at Chavez Ravine.

About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

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