Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Surprise Move: Dodgers to Start Kershaw Tonight/NLDS Game 4

On short rest – and with a 2-1 series lead – the Dodgers have just announced a change:



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:
  •   #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.

Interesting call.


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Tags: Atlanta Braves Nlds Game 4

  • Chris Headrick

    With the LA change, do we see a corresponding move to have Meds on the mound tonight as well? Any news on that. However that happens, I don’t blame LA. I’d love to see Kersh blow it, but clearly LA doesn’t want to go back to Turner Field. Interesting move,and possibly risky. Hersh can handle that, but if he loses, what does that bode for game 5 (if there is one)?

    • carpengui

      News is Medlen for Game 5 – if, of course we get there. This despite Minor out-pitching him, and being on full rest, too. Braves do not have anyone on full rest for tonight… except Garcia, of course.

  • Stacie Wheeler

    The Dodgers want to put this series to bed. If they still lose with Kersh tonight they’ll pitch Greinke in game 5 on regular rest.

    • carpengui

      Oh yeah – I get that. But it’s the riskier path regardless. It could very well work… but either St. Louis or Pittsburgh will then chew them up.

  • fireboss

    Mattingly is worse than Fredi, honest to goodness worse. First the debacle with Constanza RJ and Heyward then using his closer with a 7 run lead then this panic move and it is Panic. If they get to the NLCS they have Greinke to start if they win tonight but if they don’t they surrender games one and two to the Cards/pirates. This is plain and simple silly but thanks Mattingly I appreciate you making Fredi only the 8th worst manager in the NL.

    Ringgggggggggg Hello
    Magic? Dusty here, just wanted to call and wish you all luck in the playoffs. I was a Dodger ya know and I have a place in my heart for them. How you doing otherwise?
    Thanks Dusty I’m fine, I’m expecting a win . What about you?
    OH you know now that I’m out of a job I’ll probably move back out west and spend some family time until I find something to do. I been managing a long time and I don;t expect to quit. Speaking of that, Don;t be too hard on Donnie, he’s learning to manage to things like bullpen use are hard to learn. he’ll get that right in a year or two.

    Yea Dusty I hear ya. Say when you get out to LA look me up we’ll have coffee.
    I’ll do that Magic, how’s next week?

    • carpengui

      Heh… Dusty’s probably a little better, yes; but not that much.
      Hey, if you’re Joe Girardi, which job do you want: Cubs? Yankees? Or Dodgers?

      • fireboss

        I know he’s not that wonderful but that p[hone call just popped into my head when I saw mattingly go through those pitchers I could see Dusty sitting at home chewing on a toothpick and saying go on Don screw it up I need a job

        Girardi stays in NY. It is the only job. Cubs aren’t ready and Dodgers are pretendierrs so far

    • Pridenpoise

      Ringg ringgg hi it’s Don, how’s that move looking now.

      • fireboss

        The Braves bats didn’t arrive and Gonzalez fought hard to get his worst manager title back but, as Dodger fan can you honestly say that his maneuvers for Constanza and Reed Johnson and using your closer up by a huge margin were the ones you expected from your manager?

        I spent some time earlier in the season defending Donnie to a fan who claimed to be a Giants supporter. I say claimed because I never seen an opposing fan so critical of a manager who’s ineffectiveness would benefit their team. That aside, I defended him and this wasn’t an attack or even a recommendation. I don’t care who manages the Dodgers and I don;t think Dusty Baker is a particularly smart choice anywhere. I could imagine a version of the scenario happening and actually still can.
        While Gonzalez failure to give Kimbrel the ball was the last thing that went wrong and what people will dwell on, our bats mostly were silent for the series and yet we were within four outs of a game five because the Dodger defense gave us two runs. Mattingly’s stumbles still rattle around in the minds of ownership and if he stumbles them out of the playoffs I wouldn’t be surprised to see him replaced. That’s what Steibrenner would have done for the Yankees and magic et al have declared they want to be the Steinbrenner Yankees.

        The comment was satire and I don’t have a horse in that race but it will be interesting to watch from afar as we try to autopsy our season.