Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has gone as far as to name his Game 1 and 2 starters, but has mum about naming a number three starter. The likely candidates are Hyun-Jin Ryu and Ricky Nolasco, but Nolasco has been shaky down the stretch.
In his rookie season, Ryu went 14-8 with a 3.00 ERA, while Nolasco was acquired mid-season from the Marlins and was 8-3 with a 3.52 ERA in Dodger blue.
Speaking to Matt Yallof of MLB Network, Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt discussed the Dodgers first three starters:
Clayton will be Game 1, Greinke will be Game 2 and Ryu will be Game 3 and we’ll see where we go after that.
Mattingly said there hasn’t been talk about using a three-man rotation, but if the Dodgers are down 2-1, you’d have to think they’d run out Kershaw in an elimination game.
After posting a 1.64 ERA in August, Nolasco went 2-2 with a 6.66 ERA and had everyone worrying that he wouldn’t be the same pitcher come playoff time. However, the Dodgers pitching staff posted a combined 3.13 ERA and led all of baseball in that category and they’ll have to lean on them during the playoffs.
Ryu will be opposed by Braves starter Julio Teheran and was 2-0 in two starts against the Braves this season. Another reason why starting Ryu makes sense is how much better he’s been at Dodger Stadium.
He’s 7-4 with a 2.32 ERA at Chavez Ravine and Yallof asked Honeycutt if there was any thought about having Greinke pitch Game 3 at home, but the Dodgers pitching coach said they wanted to throw their two best pitchers in Games 1 and 2.
After a hiccup in the middle of the season, Ryu finished August and September strong as the Dodgers hope he’s closing out a possible series or taking the lead in Game 3.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!