After concluding the regular season Sunday, the Dodgers will host either the St. Louis Cardinals or Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 1 of the NLDS Oct. 3. While the long layoff will afford players with a day of rest, the potential for rust may also set in.
That’s particularly true for Clayton Kershaw, who would start Game 1 on eight days’ rest. In an effort to get Kershaw work between starts, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports the lefty will throw a simulated game Sunday:
Kershaw will throw sim game Sunday. There had been talk about innings in a game, Mattingly said.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) September 27, 2014
As for Hyun-Jin Ryu, who threw off the mound Friday, he’ll also throw a simulated game if he’s able to get through a bullpen session without suffering a setback:
Ryu will throw a sim game if bullpen goes well Sunday.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) September 26, 2014
Last season, Kershaw only had five days between his final regular season start and his first outing in the 2013 postseason. Some of the extended delay this year can be tied to manager Don Mattingly’s decision to ensure Kershaw started a game against the the San Francisco Giants and would be available for a potential Wild Card matchup.
While there is talk of Ryu throwing a bullpen session followed by a simulated game, he must first bounce back from throwing off the mound for the first time since being injured. While Mattingly has yet to commit to a postseason rotation, it’s presumed Ryu would start Game 3 of the NLDS if he were available.