The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday evening by a score of 15-3. Now they’ll turn to ace lefty Clayton Kershaw as they try to even the series in Thursday’s Game 4.
Kershaw, who was scratched from his Game 2 start because of back spasms, was earlier described by manager Dave Roberts as a “likely possibility” to start Game 4 by manager Dave Roberts, according to Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times. After Game 3, however, Roberts confirmed that Kershaw would indeed make the Game 4 start.
In 10 regular season starts, the three-time Cy Young winner posted a 2.16 ERA and averaged nearly six innings per pop. He also recorded 7.75 strikeouts for every walk he issued. Even beyond Kershaw’s expected level of output, the Dodgers would have been facing a logistical headache if he had proved unfit for action.
Presumably the Dodgers would’ve run a modified bullpen game in Kershaw’s place, with rookie Dustin May likely getting the nod. The problem there is that May threw 21 pitches in Monday’s Game 1, and he would likely have been limited to one time through the order. The Dodgers would, ostensibly, be without Alex Wood, who threw 40 pitches in Game 2. As such, they would have had to string together a sequence of shorter relief appearances, which might not be a problem in a typical year, but could prove costly with the series offering no days off.
No such concerns now, though, as Kershaw is set to take the mound and try to notch the series up at 2-2.