2017 NLCS: Dodgers Starting Rich Hill, Yu Darvish And Alex Wood Against Cubs In Games 2, 3 And 4
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

With Clayton Kershaw already penciled to start against the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, and Alex Wood in Game 4, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced the club will go with Rich Hill in Game 2 and Yu Darvish in Game 3.

The rotation is the same the Dodgers aligned for their NL Division Series matchup with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Los Angeles was adamant Kershaw would not be used on short rest in a Game 4, a scenario that ultimately was never tested as the Dodgers swept the series.

“We felt good in the DS with that, and I think just to continue as we kind of looked into matchups with things like that, just to stay and keep the guys on turn just made sense for us,” Roberts explained Thursday of the rotation.

Wood’s start next week will mark his 2017 postseason debut. The southpaw made his first start of the season at Wrigley Field, where he allowed two runs (one earned), walked five and struck out four in just 3.2 innings.

He was improved a second time facing the Cubs, limiting them to just two hits and only issuing a pair of walks while striking out eight over six shutout innings at Dodger Stadium. Wood pitched two shutout innings out of the bullpen in Game 4 of last year’s NLCS.

Darvish’s only career outing against the Cubs came last season while he was a member of the Texas Rangers. The right-hander collected nine strikeouts but walked four, allowed two runs on two hits in 4.1 innings and suffered the loss.

Darvish’s start did come at Wrigley Field, which gives him some familiarity with the setting. He also had minimal experience pitching at Chase Field but that seemed to have little impact on his NLDS start.

Hill last faced the Cubs in Game 3 of the 2016 NLCS. He tossed six shutout innings, with six strikeouts against two walks, and earned the win to give the Dodgers a 2-1 series lead that ultimately proved futile.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said a decision had yet to be made on their starter for Game 1. A report indicated Jose Quintana was the likely option, though Maddon only said Quintana and John Lackey are under consideration. He added Jon Lester is candidate to start Game 2.