Even with the series tied 1-1, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly continues to be asked about every scenario, including starting ace Clayton Kershaw in Game 4 if the Dodgers were to lose Game 3 tonight.
Hyun-Jin Ryu will make his first career postseason start and Ricky Nolasco is slated to start Game 4 tomorrow night. Kershaw has never pitched on three days rest, but if the Dodgers were to lose, the idea would certainly be entertained.
Talking to the media before tonight’s game, Mattingly admitted that Kershaw threw a bullpen session yesterday to Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA.com:
Clayton Kershaw threw a bullpen session yesterday
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) October 6, 2013
Mattingly is still adamant that Nolasco will start in Game 4, but I can’t imagine a scenario where the Dodgers were down 2-1 and Kershaw wouldn’t take the mound.
In Game 1, Kershaw tossed seven innings, allowing just one run and struck out 12 Braves as he fought his control, but kept the Dodgers in the game. Meanwhile, Nolasco hasn’t been sharp down the stretch as he went 2-2 with a 6.66 ERA in September after starting out so well in Dodger blue.
However, when talking about possibly not starting Game 4 in favor of Kershaw, Nolasco understands according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
Nolasco says he would understand if Kershaw started tomorrow. “This isn’t about me,” he said. #Dodgers
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 6, 2013
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has been more concrete in his plan, saying that Freddy Garcia will start Game 4, even if they were to lose tonight.
All of this talk can be for naught if the Dodgers deliver a Game 3 victory, but expect Kershaw to start Game 4 if the Dodgers were to fall down in the series 2-1.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!