Although it seems unlikely, there’s still a small chance the Dodgers can force a Game 163 versus the San Francisco Giants. As of Thursday, it appears Walker Buehler could be slated for the potential Monday tie-breaker game. He’s technically scheduled for Sunday’s season finale but Dave Roberts has backed down on that possibility in recent days. Still, former Dodgers GM Ned Colletti and AM 570’s David Vassegh both agreed that Clayton Kershaw should start a potential Game 163 either way.
Vassegh put it plainly.
“The best option for a game 163 in San Francisco would be Clayton Kershaw.”
Kershaw put to bed much of his checkered playoff history during the 2020 championship run. In five starts, he had a 2.93 ERA including a 2.31 ERA in two World Series starts. Fast forward to the present, Kershaw has a 3.29 ERA in his three starts after returning from injury.
Kershaw’s Familiarity with San Francisco
For Colletti, he referenced Kershaw’s familiarity with Oracle Park as the main reason for giving him the start.
“Would not be opposed to that [starting Kershaw]. He’s had a great record lifetime in that ballpark. In that environment. Nothing is going to shake Clayton Kershaw. Clayton’s the one with the experience…it’s not going to be a foreign environment if he’s the one called upon and if that ends up taking place.”
For his career, Kershaw owns a 1.52 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP at Oracle Park (formerly AT&T). It’s not a small sample size either. He’s started 24 games (178 IP) in San Francisco. That’s tied for the most road starts he’s made at a single stadium with Coors Field.
Plenty of Good Options
To be fair to Mr. Colletti, he did add that Buehler, Scherzer, Urias, or “Clayton” are all great options.
“Any way you go [with a starter], I think you’re going to be fine.”
Despite Colletti and Vassegh’s opinions, Kershaw is scheduled to start Friday night against the Milwaukee Brewers. Urias will take the hill Saturday. Making a Monday start in a potential Game 163 for either of them impossible.
That opportunity will go to either Walker Buehler or Max Scherzer.