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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Talks About Using Clayton Kershaw Game 5

Talk of ‘piggybacking’ returns, all the way from humble beginnings

Obviously, you know the NLDS game five starter. Of course, it’s Walker Buehler; the unbeaten hurler in winner-take-all match-ups.

However, something interesting arises in the wake of the Dodgers’ NLDS game four defeat at Nationals Park in Washington. Remember back in March when the Dodgers toyed with the idea of ‘piggybacking’ Buehler in a start with Clayton Kershaw? Ironically, this scenario could play out in one of the season’s final chapters.

Furthermore, Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts was asked of Kershaw’s usage in the upcoming series finale. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register has it for us.

Indeed, it’s on the table for the Dodgers to use Kershaw. While that seems rather obvious that the Dodgers would go to their scariest weapon after Buehler is finished – it sounds like relative certainty. First, you’re going to see Buehler take it as long as he can go. Then, the plan is to bring in Kershaw; who threw six innings in game two.

“Piggybacking with Walker at some point that’s the thought.”

Surely, an elimination game is stressful for all parties involved. However, there are two elements in play that should give Dodgers’ backers a degree of confidence.

One is 5-0 lifetime in elimination game scenarios. The other is a three-time Cy Young Award winner who will be a future Hall of Fame pitcher.

Finally, Kershaw has two elimination game relief appearances of recent record. In each of those contests he didn’t allow a run. The first was game seven of the 2017 World Series against Houston, spanning four innings. The second was game seven of the 2018 NLCS against Milwaukee where he closed out a 5-1 win without allowing allowing a batter to reach.

It will be all hands on deck, and the first two mates of the ship are Buehler and Kershaw.

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

11 Comments

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  1. The Dodgers need to outscore the Nationals. If they do not hit, they do not score, they don’t score, they don’t win. Situational hitting, the Dodgers and sabermetrics biggest flaw.

  2. Roberts will start the wrong guys and the offense won’t score and the Nationals will get just enough offense to win

  3. Dave Roberts has failed leading his team to hit elite pitching. The players’ efforts are not threaded with the same strategic thinking. We saw heroic moments, but not strategically advance the runners and hitting sacrafice flies to score runs effectively. While they are counting on home runs/doubles to score runs, they are hitting more secondary pitchers, getting less selective and making the easier outs. For so many years since Roberts manages team, it has been the same way, only counting on players raw talents and the opposite team’s mistakes.

  4. Dave Roberts don’t get it. He only see the obvious left hand-right hand matchup. He needs to mix the patient hitters who can provide good-at bats with the ones are good hitting at mistakes. Right now, we only see a string of hitters that are good at hitting mistakes, not much patience in the lineup, that’s how we lost those games against elite pitchers as they just use their secondary pitches overpowering our impatient hitters. (Lux, Seager, Pollock, Pedersen, etc)

  5. Not too happy with our performance in game 4. And, I have a lot of anxiety as to Strasburg pitching in game 5. We couldn’t hit him in the previous game, and had a ton of strikeouts. I don’t really think that we should be struggling against the wildcard team, but here we are. I just hope and pray our season does not end Wednesday.

  6. If Buehler goes 7, wouldn’t you want to bring in guys used to pitching the 8th and 9th inning? If he has to come in earlier than yeah.

    But this got me thinking, since Kershaw has trouble in the 1st inning maybe next season they should try using an opener when he starts,(Maeda, Stripling).

    • Yes a great idea to go to the gas can bullpen once again. If Friedman didn’t load the pen with garbage then the team might have a chance. 106 wins but how may losses by the bullpen? How many blown saves? It feels like another heartbreak is imminent.

  7. Roberts’ lefty-righty platooning game failed, again. The “righties” were amazing in game 3. All the lefties did against the righty pitcher in game 4 was strike out on the low and inside slider. Typical Dodgers analytics. If platooning works, platoon Seager with Taylor the next time a lefty pitches.

  8. HMMMMMM THIS IS A VERY INTERESTING POINT CONSIDERING THAT KERSHAW HAS NOT BEEN HIS USUAL DOMINANT SELF. HES GIVING UP WAYYYYY TOOOOO MANY HOMERS THIS YEAR N HIS FASTBALL IS VERY FLAT. HITTERS ARE TEEING OFF ON HIS FASTBALL ALL YEAR. IF WE HAVE A LEAD MAYBE USING HIM FOR A INNING OR TWO MIGHT WORK BUT NOT MUCH MORE. JUST TO KEEP JOE KELLY IN THE BULLPEN SITTING DOWN. THAT GUY IS A COMPLETE HORROR SHOW. A RELIEVER WHO CANT THROW STRIKES IS USELESS. AND KELLY JUST THROWS PITCHES THAT ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE N WILD ONES INCLUDED. HORRIBLE.

  9. We need to worry MORE about Offense because if we DONT get any we go home!!! Just keep Baez and Ruiz out of there and let Joe pitch to Smith not Martin!! Need Kike in there too!! Annd Taylor!!

  10. Roberts leaves pitchers in trouble waaay to long, he should pull pitchers in trouble before opponents score, why did he pull Maeda when he did great, just because of the lefty, rightty thing.Forget analytics when a pitcher is hot. In game 5 he better forget hid bullpen and bring in starters for relief.

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