Kershaw gets Game 1 start
Having led the Dodgers to their most important victory of the regular season, Clayton Kershaw now gets the chance to notch his team’s biggest win of the playoffs.
The 21-year-old left-hander will start Game 1 of the National League Championship Series today at Dodger Stadium against the Philadelphia Phillies. Kershaw said Manager Joe Torre informed him of his decision Tuesday during a phone call from Arizona, where Torre was watching Hiroki Kuroda pitch in a simulated game.
Torre said Kershaw’s six scoreless innings against the Colorado Rockies during the Dodgers’ division-clinching victory on Oct. 3 “played a big part in our decision to do this.” Kershaw also pitched 6 2/3 strong innings during the Dodgers’ 3-2 victory over St. Louis in Game 2 of the division series.
Kershaw will make his first start in the NLCS. He pitched two innings in relief last year against the Phillies.
“I think I’ve grown up a lot since last year,” said Kershaw, who was 0-2 with a 5.23 earned-run average in two starts against Philadelphia during the regular season.
Vicente Padilla, who pitched seven shutout innings against St. Louis in Game 3 of the division series, will start Game 2 of the NLCS, with Kuroda slated for Game 3 and Randy Wolf for Game 4.
Sidelined for the division series because of a bulging disk in his neck, Kuroda is expected to take the roster spot of Jon Garland, who did not pitch in the division series. Chad Billingsley, who did not pitch in the division series, will move to the bullpen for the NLCS.
You don’t hear much about Ken and Clete Boyer these days.
The brothers who were born six years apart eventually played against each other, in the 1964 World Series, Ken as a third baseman with St. Louis and Clete as an infielder with the New York Yankees. The Cardinals won in seven games.
Jeff and Jered Weaver could become the first brothers to face each other in a World Series since the Boyers if the Dodgers and Angels advance that far.
“I think it would be pretty awesome,” said Jeff Weaver, the Dodgers reliever who is six years older than Jered, an Angels starter.
Several Dodgers players and coaches suffered from upper-respiratory illnesses the last few days, Torre said. No player is expected to sit out the NLCS opener today. . . . The Dodgers’ streak of no rainouts at Dodger Stadium since April 17, 2000, probably will remain intact. Today’s forecast calls for partly cloudy skies in the morning and afternoon sunshine.