The Los Angeles Dodgers dropped Game 3 of the National League Division Series, putting them on the brink of elimination against the Washington Nationals. With Game 4 set for Tuesday afternoon, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the club has not yet determined a starter.
“We’re in talks,” Roberts said after losing Game 3. “Obviously, the use of the bullpen [Monday] is something we’ll keep in mind. We’re not ready to announce yet.” Roberts added a decision may be announced as soon as Monday night.
The club’s options boil down to entrusting rookie Julio Urias with helping stave off elimination, or handing the ball to Clayton Kershaw on short rest.
“You look at Julio at home, but Kersh on short rest, so as an organization we have to figure out what gives us the best chance,” Roberts said.
What makes the decision all the more difficult is Game 2 getting postponed removed the option of starting Rich Hill on normal rest in a potential Game 5. Thus, using Kershaw on Tuesday likely means the Dodgers would then hand the ball to Urias on the road in a winner-take-all game.
Roberts did say Hill was “open to” starting on short rest in Game 5 despite never pitching under such conditions in his career. What’s more, there’s also Hill’s blisters that have forced the Dodgers to tread carefully with the veteran southpaw.