Dodgers manager Don Mattingly left the door open after last night’s Game 3 win over the Cardinals that Zack Greinke could start Game 4 tonight on short rest.
However, the Dodgers said that Greinke would be in the interview room this afternoon, which is unusual since the starting pitcher doesn’t talk on the day he pitches. Mattingly said the same thing prior to Game 4 of the NLDS and brought back Clayton Kershaw on three-days rest.
With Greinke walking into the interview room this afternoon, it was confirmed that Ricky Nolasco would start Game 4 tonight according to Pedro Moura of the OC Register:
Zack Greinke confirms he’s not starting today’s Game 4.
— Pedro Moura (@PedroMoura) October 15, 2013
Nolasco hasn’t made a start since September 25 and last pitched in the regular season finale with a one inning tuneup against the Rockies. At Dodger Stadium this season, Nolasco was 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA, but struggled down the stretch for the Dodgers.
After starting out 8-1 with a 2.08 ERA in Dodger Blue, Nolasco went 2-2 with a 6.66 ERA and went from being the projected number three starter in the playoffs to not making his first start until tonight.
If Nolasco is to falter, the Dodgers have long reliever Edinson Volquez behind him after the coaching staff went with him instead of Chris Capuano out of the bullpen. A native Angelino, Nolasco was fired up when he was traded from Miami to the Dodgers and he’ll face Cardinals righty Lance Lynn.
Lynn won Game 1 with two shutout innings out of the bullpen, but his last playoff start in the road was in the NLDS against the Pirates. In 4.1 innings, Lynn allowed five runs and seven hits while he’s struggled on the road all season long.
Keeping Nolasco in this spot sets up the Dodgers rotation for the rest of the series as Greinke, Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu would pitch Games 5, 6 and 7 respectively. Still down 2-1, the Dodgers need Nolasco to be the pitcher he was when he first arrived in LA as they look to tie the series at two.
In case you missed it, here’s the home run that sent the Dodgers to the NLCS!