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Clayton Kershaw to start for Dodgers in Game 4 of NLDS

Clayton Kershaw to start for Dodgers in Game 4 of NLDS
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw will pitch Game 4 of the National League division series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Clayton Kershaw will start Tuesday on three days' rest in Game 4 of the Dodgers' National League division series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

In the wake of his disastrous start in Game 1, Kershaw said he feels as if he has something to prove. Kershaw was charged with eight runs in a 10-9 defeat on Friday at Dodger Stadium.

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"There's always something to prove," Kershaw said. "This game is very humbling. People don't care what you've done in the past. It's, 'What have you done for me lately?' People turn on you really fast, and I know that."

With Kershaw pitching in Game 4, the Dodgers have scheduled Zack Greinke as their starter in Game 5, which, if necessary, would be played Thursday at Dodger Stadium. Greinke would be pitching on the regular four days' rest.

Dan Haren was listed as the Game 4 starter until Monday afternoon, but Manager Don Mattingly acknowledged the plan was always to pitch Kershaw on short rest.

"He's our best guy," Mattingly said.

Haren was available Monday as a long reliever, and Mattingly said he would be in that role for the remainder of the series.

Kershaw acknowledged he was emotionally affected by the Game 1 defeat, in which he blew a five-run advantage.

"It's definitely not easy to swallow, especially when we had such a big lead," Kershaw said. "We should be up 2-0 right now."

Kershaw said his spirits were lifted by the Dodgers' victory in Game 2.

"It helped that we won," he said. "It helped that Zack pitched so well. That's the good thing about baseball. You play every day, for the most part. And for us to get that win, play as well as we did, it made me feel a little bit better, knowing that I would get another chance at this thing, maybe."

Mattingly said he has no concerns about Kershaw's mindset entering Game 4.

"It's Clayton Kershaw," Mattingly said. "These kinds of guys don't curl up and go away. This is a different cat."

Kershaw pitched on three days' rest last year in the Dodgers' division series against the Atlanta Braves. He gave up two unearned runs in six innings in Game 4, which the Dodgers won to clinch the series.

Looking ahead

If the Dodgers advance, Kershaw would have to pitch on three days' rest to start Game 1 of the NL Championship Series, which is scheduled for Saturday.

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If the Dodgers win their NLDS and don't want to start Kershaw on short rest again, both Kershaw and Greinke would be unavailable for Game 1 of the NLCS, meaning Hyun-Jin Ryu would probably pitch the series opener.

The opponent

Pitching opposite Kershaw for the Cardinals will be Shelby Miller, who was 10-9 with a 3.74 earned-run average in the regular season.

Miller, who turns 24 on Friday, was on the Cardinals playoff roster last year as a reliever.

"To be part of it this year, to be part of the rotation is exciting, obviously," Miller said. "Last year, in the postseason, it was fun to watch. Obviously, I wished I could have played more, but, at the same time, we got to the World Series and had a heck of a year."

Miller said he expects to be nervous.

"I feel like it's an awesome opportunity to get to pitch in games like this," he said. "My whole life, I've been excited and been waiting for this kind of opportunity."

Short hops

Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig received the loudest boos during pregame introductions at Busch Stadium Because the Washington Nationals avoided elimination Monday by beating the San Francisco Giants, Game 4 between the Dodgers and Cardinals is scheduled to start at 2:07 p.m. PDT.

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