Prior to knowing Game 4 would be an elimination game, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Clayton Kershaw would start Tuesday. While Mattingly is going with the ace of his staff, he benched Yasiel Puig, his most dynamic outfielder.
Kershaw takes the mound on three days’ rest and returns to the site where his season came to a grinding halt in 2013. The left-hander started Game 6 of the NLCS and was undone by a four-run third inning that propelled the St. Louis Cardinals to a 9-0 win.
Kershaw suffered a similar fate in Game 1 of the NLDS as he allowed just two runs through six innings before giving up six runs in the seventh, three of which came on a Matt Carpenter bases-clearing double. For all his regular-season greatness, it’s no secret Kershaw has struggled in the postseason.
The Dodger ace enters Tuesday’s start with a career 1-4 postseason record and 5.20 ERA and he’s never beat the Cardinals in the playoffs. The Cardinals counter with right-hander Shelby Miller, who finished the season with a 10-9 record and 3.74 ERA.
Miller last on the mound Sept. 23 when he threw 4.1 innings against the Chicago Cubs and allowed three earned runs, including two home runs. The 23 year old has made three career postseason appearances, but Tuesday marks his first start.
In his career, Miller is 1-1 against the Dodgers in five appearances (three starts) with a 6.57 ERA. Miller started one game against the Dodgers this season — June 29 at Chavez Ravine — when he faced Kershaw and suffered a loss.
With Puig out of the lineup, Carl Crawford bats second in the order and Ethier hits sixth, where Crawford had been batting. The Cardinals send out the same lineup they used in Game 3.