On short rest – and with a 2-1 series lead – the Dodgers have just announced a change:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 7, 2013
Personally, I think you could look at this one of three ways or so (their perspective):
- #1 – The Dodgers are “going for it” – trying to win the series at home, and give themselves an extra day or so of rest in the process. Never mind (if successful) avoiding a cross-country trip. Note that they would host Pittsburgh, though not St. Louis if they were to prevail in this NLDS series. Then again, they won’t have Kershaw available in the next series until probably at least Game 3 by using him tonight. Were they to win with Nolasco tonight, then he’s available in Game 1.
- #2 – It’s possible they don’t entirely trust Ricky Nolasco. Throughout the day, there have been tweets about how well the Braves hit him… which perhaps was decently enough to give them pause. Also, this:
Kershaw never has started on 3 days rest, Ryu pitched poorly, now #Dodgers show no confidence in Nolasco. It’s a mess if they advance.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 7, 2013
- #3 – Kershaw pitches better at home than on the road (not that he’s horrible anywhere, for that matter). The Braves do worse on the road (clearly much better at home).
That said, the Braves knew that they would see Kershaw again if they got to Game 5. While he’s clearly their “horse”, to get him on short rest is thus probably a slight benefit – if anything. Also, you could argue that this puts the risk onto the Dodgers: if Atlanta actually prevails tonight with Freddie Garcia on the mound, then suddenly momentum swings dramatically toward the Braves: with Medlen on full rest, back in Atlanta… vs. Greinke. Though clearly, Zack pitched well, the Braves still won that game.