Don Mattingly decided not to postpone the intrigue over Clayton Kershaw.
The Los Angeles Dodgers manager said Monday he’ll go with Kershaw on three days’ rest in Game 4 of their National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Mattingly made the announcement before Game 3 in a best-of-five series tied at a game apiece. He added he "pretty much knew" he’d go that way with his ace before the series started.
Kershaw is set to pitch Tuesday night. Mattingly said Zack Greinke would start a potential Game 5 on regular rest Thursday in Los Angeles.
Kershaw is the heavy favorite to win a third NL Cy Young and won on short rest in the NL Division Series last year, beating the Braves in the series clincher. That’s the only time he’s pitched on three days’ rest in his career.
But he’s been pummeled his last two times in the postseason by the Cardinals, and surrendered eight runs in 6-2/3 innings while blowing a five-run lead in Game 1.
Mattingly said Kershaw had bounced back mentally as well as physically, and noted the lefty came back strong last fall the start after he pitched on three days’ rest, a 1-0 loss to St. Louis in the NL Championship Series.
"It’s Clayton Kershaw. I hate to say it like that," Mattingly said. "These kind of guys don’t curl up and go away. So, this is a different cat."
Mattingly had previously penciled in Dan Haren for Game 4. Hyun-Jin Ryu was set to start Game 3 against John Lackey of the Cardinals and Haren was available in long relief if needed.
Ryu made his first start since Sept. 12, when he injured his shoulder.