Well, well, well, what a surprise. Actually, it’s no surprise at all.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was announced to start game one of the NLDS against, what’s looking like, the Rockies or D-Backs.
Clayton Kershaw will start Game 1 of the NLDS, Dave Roberts said. The team does not plan to use him on short rest in Game 4. We'll see.
— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) September 29, 2017
Clayton Kershaw has been the Dodgers’ number one pitcher for several years now. He has claimed ownership of three Cy Young awards and an MVP award. This year has been one in the same for him. He is 18-4 with an ERA of 2.21. He is pitching on Saturday night against the Rockies, so that line may change. Kershaw is also a front-runner for the 2017 Cy Young award!
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 24, 2017
Although it is unclear, it is likely that we will see Yu Darvish follow Kershaw and Rich Hill after that. After Hyun Jin Ryu’s struggles last night, it doesn’t look good for his chances of making the Dodgers’ starting rotation for the playoffs. Alex Wood would, instead, be pegged as the number four starter.
Another thing worth mentioning is that Roberts does not plan on using Kershaw on short rest. We have seen in the past couple of years Kershaw go on short rest. In 2016, Kershaw pitched game four of the NLDS and gave up 5 runs in 6.2 innings. Roberts plans on giving him all the rest he needs, a luxury made possible thanks to elite pitchers like Darvish, Hill, and Wood. The curiosity lies at whether or not Roberts will stick to that plan if the Dodgers are facing elimination, because we all remember seeing Clayton Kershaw come in for game 5 of the NLDS after Roberts said the wouldn’t happen!
Playoffs are around the corner! So get ready for some Dodger playoff baseball. This year is as good as any to end the drought.
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