The past two seasons Clayton Kershaw has started Game 4 of the NLDS on short rest for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This season will be no different after the Dodgers announced that the reigning MVP will be on the mound at Citi Field on Tuesday for Game 4.
Kershaw pitched Game 1 of the NLDS and took the loss after allowing three runs in 6.2 innings. He allowed a home run to Daniel Murphy and came out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. Reliever Pedro Baez allowed a two-run single and those two runs were charged to the Dodgers ace.
It was a tough break for Kershaw, as he’s been criticized for his performance in the postseason. He’s had his share of troubles, but he’s also been a product of a lack of run support. He is 0-5 in his last five postseason starts, although he’s thrown quality starts in three of those games. The three-time Cy Young winner is looking for a statement start that can help the Dodgers win in the postseason and help cement his legacy as a pitcher.
In 2013, Kershaw started on short rest against the Atlanta Braves and tossed six innings with two runs (none earned) and six strikeouts. The Dodgers ended up getting the win when Juan Uribe hit a go-ahead, two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Last year, he threw six scoreless innings trying to send the series to Game 5 before allowing a heart-breaking three-run home run to Matt Adams that gave the St. Louis Cardinals a lead they would not relinquish.
With Kershaw slated for a Game 4 start, Alex Wood will be available out of the bullpen the rest of the series. Zack Greinke will get the ball in a potential Game 5 at Dodger Stadium. Greinke got the win in Game 2 on Saturday, tossing seven innings and allowing two runs. That game became known more for Chase Utley’s controversial slide though.
Brett Anderson is on the mound on Monday night against Mets ace Matt Harvey at Citi Field.