Dodgers’ Kershaw to start Game 1 of NLDS against Mets
The Dodgers have set their pitching rotation for the first three games of their best-of-five NL playoff series against the New York Mets.
Clayton Kershaw will start Game 1 on Friday at Dodger Stadium, as expected, against Jacob deGrom.
Zack Greinke will take the mound for Game 2 on Saturday against Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard, followed by left-hander Brett Anderson against Matt Harvey in Game 3 back in New York on Monday.
The Dodgers announced their rotation Tuesday a few hours after their workout, which featured a simulated game thrown by various pitchers, including Anderson and relievers Carlos Frias, Joel Peralta and Juan Nicasio. Kershaw threw a bullpen session.
It’s uncertain who would start for the Dodgers if a fourth game is needed. Kershaw could be brought back on three days’ rest, which he has done twice before in his career. The left-hander allowed two unearned runs in six innings against Atlanta in 2013 and gave up three earned runs in six innings last year against the Cardinals, who eliminated the Dodgers.
"It’s a complicated decision," general manager Farhan Zaidi said, without mentioning a specific pitcher. "There’s no easy way to evaluate it, and you usually have to go case by case and see how a series evolves."
Kershaw (16-7) and Greinke (19-3) combined to post a 1.90 ERA during the regular season, the lowest by a set of teammates with a minimum of 25 starts since 1968. Greinke’s 1.66 mark earned him the NL ERA title.
Yasiel Puig remains "rusty" as he works his way back from a hamstring injury that cost him the final month of the season, and the Dodgers are still evaluating whether the Cuban outfielder will be on their playoff roster.
Puig took part in the simulated game and did some work in the batting cage. He played in the last two games of the regular season, getting a hit in the only game he started, after a strained right hamstring had sidelined him since late August.
"He looks like a guy that hasn’t played in a while," manager Don Mattingly said. "He’s a bit rusty, but that doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean the thing doesn’t turn and the bright lights come on and something good happens. You never know."
Puig never had reason to run at full speed in either game last weekend against San Diego.
"Ultimately, it was just a game and a half of major league action," Zaidi said, adding the team has a lot of information from Puig’s batting practices in the Arizona instructional league on which to base their decision.
Puig’s season was disrupted by two different stints on the disabled list, which limited him to 79 games and career lows in several categories.
"He’s 100 percent from what we saw in Arizona and from not having any complications here," Zaidi said. "The big questions for all of us was his health and if he’s had enough reps. We’ve tried to put ourselves in the best position with that."
Scott Van Slyke’s roster status is also up in the air.
The infielder/outfielder hasn’t played in a game since Sept. 29 because of an injured right wrist and was limited while taking batting practice Tuesday.
"It didn’t go as good as I would like. He’s doing better, but it’s still not where it needs to be," Mattingly said. "He got to working today and he felt better, but he still has some restrictions, so that answers some questions."
The 25-man playoff roster is due Friday.