Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Not Expected To Start On Short Rest In Potential NLDS Game 4
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

When the Los Angeles Dodgers begin the playoffs on Friday, Oct. 6, at Dodger Stadium, they will do so with Clayton Kershaw on the mound for Game 1 of the National League Division Series. It will mark a fifth consecutive year Kershaw has started the team’s first playoff game.

He’s 2-2 in the previous instances. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirming Kershaw would take the ball was nothing short of expected. The left-handed ace presumably will be joined in the rotation by Yu Darvish and Rich Hill.

Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alex Wood are candidates to be tabbed the fourth starter, though whether either would take the ball in a potential Game 4 of the NLDS is certainly questionable.

But as it presently stands, Roberts said the Dodgers do not intend to bring Kershaw back on short rest, per Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:

Kershaw has started Game 4 of the NLDS on short rest in each of the past four Octobers. The Dodgers won in 2013 to advance, lost in 2014 and were eliminated, won in 2015 to force a decided Game 5 at Dodger Stadium that was a loss, and won last year to send that series to a Game 5.

Although Roberts said Kershaw was not available under any circumstances for the winner-take-all contest at Nationals Park, the three-time Cy Young Award winner entered out of the bullpen to record the game’s final two outs and earn his first career save.

While the Dodgers do not yet know their opponent for the 2017 NLDS, a potential Game 4 would be played on the road. Los Angeles thus far has clinched home-field advantage through the NL playoffs.