Over the past week Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman faced the question of whether Clayton Kershaw would start a potential Game 4 of the National League Division Series on short rest.
Friedman and Roberts said it wasn’t a decision they needed to make, and would wait to determine if Kershaw was coming back on short rest after seeing how he fared in Game 1. The three-time Cy Young Award winner went on to labor through five innings on Friday.
Kershaw allowed three runs, the sixth time he’d done so in a postseason start, but more importantly was back at Nationals Park on Saturday going through his customary workout.
Game 2 was postponed to Sunday due to rain, which throws a wrench in the Dodgers’ potential plans.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group, Roberts said it makes it more likely Julio Urias will start Game 4 at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday:
"There's no absolutes," Dave Roberts says, "but right now I see Julio making that start" even if Dodgers trail in the series.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) October 8, 2016
Prior to Saturday’s game getting rained out, Roberts said Urias was likely to start a Game 4 if the Dodgers were up in the series. With Rich Hill now pushed back to Sunday, it prevents him starting a potential Game 5, because he’d be on short rest.
That instead would go to Kershaw on five days’ rest. For Urias, a postseason start would be the first of his career. He twice faced the Nationals this season, allowing just three runs and collecting 10 strikeouts over nine innings pitched.
Urias went 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA in 18 games (15 starts). Including time spent with Triple-A Oklahoma City, he tossed a career-high 112 innings this season.