Yesterday morning, the Los Angeles Dodgers stated that if they lost Game 3 of their NLDS against the Atlanta Braves, they would send ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound on short rest.
The Dodgers eventually won Game 3, but they’re still sending Kershaw to the mound for Game 4, despite their 2-1 series lead.
Per the Dodgers’ Twitter:
The move will push scheduled Game 4 starter Ricky Nolasco back to Game 5 if the Dodgers lose, however, it’s very possible he could be skipped entirely as the Dodgers may opt to start Zack Grienke in the winner-take-all scenario.
Los Angeles clearly doesn’t want to return to Atlanta for an elimination game, which they would be forced to do with a Game 4 loss, so they’re hoping Kershaw will be able to provide them with a series clinching win on just three days rest.
Assuming the Dodgers are able to advance to the NLCS, moving up Kershaw in the rotation will also allow them to pitch the should be 2013 Cy Young Award winner in either Game 1 or Game 2 of the NLCS as opposed to a likely Game 3.