Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Offered To Be Available For Game 6, But Dave Roberts Counters With Game 7 Plan
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Facing elimination in Game 6 of the World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers expect to have all pitchers available with the exception of Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw. Manager Dave Roberts said Alex Wood’s availability would be determined Tuesday afternoon.

He last pitched on Saturday, throwing 84 pitches over 5.2 innings in an impressive start against the Houston Astros. As it stands, Darvish would start a potential Game 7 on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, Kershaw is one day removed from throwing 94 pitches and 4.2 innings at Minute Maid Park.

The viability of Wood or Kershaw pitching in relief would be a boon for a Dodgers bullpen that’s lost its footing of late as fatigue set in.

Kershaw went so far as to inform Roberts he was available for Game 6, but the Dodgers manager indicated he intends to hold back his ace for a winner-take-all scenario, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney:

“Clayton is adamant that he feels good today and wants to be available,” Roberts said during his press conference prior to Game 6. Roberts reiterated his preference is to utilize Kershaw in an expanded role for Game 7, with an understanding the Dodgers must first reach that point.

Kershaw made his first career relief appearance last October when he entered in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals. Kenley Jansen had been pressed into duty in the seventh inning and reached a point of exhaustion come one out in the ninth.

Kershaw retired Daniel Murphy and Wilmer Difo to notch his first save and send the Dodgers to the NL Championship Series. The appearance was Kershaw’s second in three days, and came after he’d already started Game 4 on short rest.

While that was commonplace in the playoffs from 2013-2016, it’s a trend the Dodgers broke from this October. But whether Game 6 or a possible Game 7, Kershaw is in line to pitch on short rest for a fifth consecutive postseason.