Clayton Kershaw’s attempt to redefine his postseason legacy will start Friday, when the three-time Cy Young Award winner will pitch for the Dodgers in Game 1 of their National League division series against the New York Mets.
Kershaw will be followed by in the rotation by Zack Greinke and Brett Anderson, the team announced. Kershaw will pitch opposite of Jacob deGrom; Greinke will start against Noah Syndergaard and Anderson against Matt Harvey.
The Dodgers did not name a starting pitcher for Game 4, which will be played at Citi Field in New York on Tuesday. Kershaw is presumably a candidate to pitch that game on three-days’ rest.
Kershaw pitched on short rest in each of the last two postseasons.
“You kind of have to just go case-by-case,” General Manager Farhan Zaidi said. “A lot of times you have to see how a series evolves before you make any decisions on that.”
The implication was that if the Dodgers are leading the best-of-five series after three games, Alex Wood could pitch Game 4.
Kershaw’s last two postseasons ended with crushing defeats against the St. Louis Cardinals, in the NL Championship Series in 2013 and a division series last year.
Asked whether Kershaw had something to prove, Manager Don Mattingly said he wasn’t qualified to offer an opinion.
“There’s probably few people in the world that can actually talk about Kershaw,” Mattingly said. “If you don’t talk to Sandy Koufax or Bob Gibson or something like that, there’s really no one else that’s really on his level.”
Puig for Van Slyke?
Scott Van Slyke continues to be bothered by a swollen wrist, increasing the chances Yasiel Puig will be included as a reserve on the 25-man division series roster.
At the team’s workout Tuesday, Van Slyke attempted to hit in an indoor batting cage.
Asked how that went, Mattingly replied, “It didn’t go as good as I’d like. It’s better than it was, but still not where we need it to be.”
Mattingly didn’t sound particularly enthusiastic with Puig’s form, either, saying he looked “like a guy that hasn’t played in a while.”
Puig was part of a group of hitters that participated in a simulated game Tuesday against the likes of Anderson, Joel Peralta, Juan Nicasio and Carlos Frias. The former All-Star right fielder has played in only two major league games in the last five weeks. He was sidelined with a strained hamstring.
Mattingly tried to be optimistic.
“You never know what’s going to happen at this time of the year,” he said.