NLDS 2013: Clayton Kershaw Should be Ready to Pitch on Short Rest
There are very few things in the game of Major League Baseball that are guaranteed. For the Los Angeles Dodgers, they have one of the few things that is close to a guarantee in starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw. His performance during game one of the NLDS was second to none. He even struggled a little bit but still dominated the Atlanta Braves. With the series now even at one, Kershaw should be prepared to pitch on short rest if the Dodgers face an elimination game.
Even if Kershaw was at 75 percent it would still be better than most starters on the Dodgers staff. There is no indication one way or the other but it would seem strange if Don Mattingly wouldn’t bring him back on short rest if needed. Even if it wasn’t a situation where he started the game, he could be ready for long relief in an emergency situation elimination game. For the Dodgers to allow their best weapon towards winning a game to sit on the bench while losing the series would be very strange.
At the very least you figure the pressure will be on in Game three so they do not have to worry about what to do with Kershaw on short or normal rest. He has never started a game on three days of rest in his professional career with only one inning of scoreless relief to his credit. It would certainly be a dramatic move and in all likelihood he wouldn’t be asked to start with Ricky Nolasco waiting for game four. I would not be shocked at all to see him able to come in long relief for multiple innings however.