The Dodgers are about to play their last game of the regular season at the time of writing this, and then will begin the hunt for the World Series title on Friday. The Rockies clinched the second wild card spot on Saturday, guarenteeing the Dodgers’ opponent in the NLDS to be either Colorado or Arizona. Because of this, the starting rotation will be a bit different than many anticipated.
Clayton Kershaw will obviously be pitching game 1, but Rich Hill is being lined up to start game 2 of the NLDS at home. This leaves Yu Darvish with the task of starting game 3 on the road. Bill Plunkett laid out pretty clearly the logic behind this move, showing Hill’s ERA at Coors Field and Chase Field.
#Dodgers are lining Rich Hill up for NLDS Game 2, Yu Darvish in Game 3.
Hill career at Chase Field –10.38 ERA
Coors Field – 8.80
LA – 2.23
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) September 30, 2017
Dave Roberts also commented on Alex Wood’s role in the NLDS, noting that he’ll likely begin in the bullpen and could end in the starting rotation. It seems like Wood is likely the man for the job should the Dodgers get to game 4, especially since Roberts told reporters that Kershaw will not be starting on short rest. However, we will just have to wait and see.
Roberts doesn't rule out Wood in bullpen early in series, then starting later in series.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) October 1, 2017
#Dodgers Dave Roberts said already had conversation with Clayton Kershaw and told him he won't be asked to start on short rest in NLDS
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) October 1, 2017
Starting Rich Hill at home is undoubtedly the right call. He faced both Arizona (6 IP) and Colorado (5 IP) at Dodger Stadium in September and gave up just two runs in each outing. What hurt him was the fact that the offense put up just one run in both of those outings combined. Luckily, it seems like the offense is coming around, recently putting up 28 runs in three games against the Padres. Sure, I know it’s just the Padres, but runs are runs.
Postseason baseball is less than a week and I couldn’t be more ready!
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