NEW YORK (Reuters) - Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Tuesday’s Game Four of their National League Division Series against the New York Mets, regardless of the outcome of Monday’s pivotal game.
Three-time Cy Young Award winner Kershaw will be pitching on three days rest, one day less than usual, when he goes against Mets’ rookie left-hander Steven Matz (4-0, 2.27 ERA).
Having the big left-hander draw the starting assignment on Tuesday leaves his co-ace Zack Greinke available to pitch a climactic Game Five, if needed, back in Los Angeles on Thursday.
“The adrenalin takes over,” Kershaw, 27, said before the game on Monday. “You don’t really feel tired or anything like that.
“It’s the playoffs. Obviously your routines change a little bit ... but as far as being prepared, being ready for it, I’ll be fine come tomorrow.”
Kershaw, who had another great campaign in 2015 with a 16-7 record, 2.13 ERA and 301 strikeouts, was the losing pitcher in Friday’s opening 3-1 loss in the best-of-five that was tied 1-1 heading into Monday’s contest.
Despite his unquestioned regular season brilliance, Kershaw has suffered bitter playoff disappointments the past two years.
In 2013, Kershaw gave up seven runs in four innings in a 9-0 elimination loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Six of the 2013 NL Championship Series.
Last year the Cardinals were again his postseason nemesis as the Dodgers were ousted 3-1 in the NL Division Series. St. Louis erupted for eight runs in the seventh inning to stun Los Angeles and Kershaw in a 10-9 Game One shocker.
Pitching on short rest in Game Four against the Cards, Kershaw was initially dominant but again would take the loss after giving up a three-run homer in the seventh inning.
“Last year I did OK until the last inning,” Kershaw said about his last outing on three days rest. “(I’ll) try not to do that again, I guess.”
Editing by Andrew Both