For the second consecutive year the Los Angeles Dodgers will be in the same predicament for Game 4 of the National League Division Series: They’re on the road facing elimination. Just like last year, they turn to their ace Clayton Kershaw pitching on three days rest.
After a disappointing outing by Brett Anderson and Alex Wood in Game 3, which led to a 13-7 rout by the New York Mets, the Dodgers are in another win-or-go-home situation Tuesday night.
Before Game 3, manager Don Mattingly penciled in Kershaw to start Game 4.
According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has confidence in the reigning MVP as well as Zack Greinke, who is scheduled to start Game 5 (if necessary):
You always feel good when you’ve got that two-headed monster on our side,” Grandal said. “They’ve been doing it for us all year. If we go down, we’re going to go down with our two horses.”
The switch-hitting catcher wasn’t around last year when Kershaw pitched in the same situation against the St. Louis Cardinals. Kershaw and the Dodgers came up short and were eliminated. One player who was there is Andre Ethier, who knows the offense has to step up should they want to force a Game 5:
I know we’re going with Kershaw. He’s our guy,” Ethier said. “We can have all the confidence in the world but we’ve got to do our job as an offense and do a better job of getting more than three runs and take some pressure off him.”
Ethier and the rest of the Dodgers offense were unable to provide any run-support for Kershaw in Game 1. The left-hander had pitched six strong innings making just one mistake which Daniel Murphy capitalized on and gave the Mets a 1-0 lead.
The score remained the same until the seventh inning when Kershaw walked three batters and would give way to reliever Pedro Baez, who gave up a two-run single to David Wright.
Kershaw will get the chance to prove his postseason doubters wrong Tuesday night. However, as Ethier said, he won’t be able to do it without some help from the offense.