Maybe Ricky Nolasco won't start NLCS Game 4 after all

Harry How

Both Nolasco and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly talked Monday about his potential Game 4 start on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

LOS ANGELES -- The first official seeds of doubt in Ricky Nolasco starting for the Dodgers on Tuesday in Game 4 of the NLCS were planted by manager Don Mattingly before Game 3 on Monday.

After insisting for days that the club hasn't talked about either Zack Greinke or Clayton Kershaw starting on short rest against the Cardinals, Mattingly softened a little on Monday. Mattingly was asked if the results of Monday's game would have any effect on who will start Game 4.

"Well, we don't know," Mattingly said. "Ricky is ready to go. I'll probably be able to tell you a lot more after the game. So I would say, yes, today's results may have something to do with it."

Nolasco last pitched for the Dodgers on Sept. 29 with an inning of relief on the final day of the regular season. His last start was Sept. 25, though he did throw roughly 80 pitches in a simulated game on Oct. 9 and has been throwing regular bullpen sessions to stay sharp.

"Until somebody says otherwise, I'm focused on going out there and pitching tomorrow," Nolasco said. "Those things are out of my control. I'm only concentrating on the things I can control."

Nolasco allowed 19 runs in 12 innings over his final three starts of the regular season. But he says he's prepared if asked to pitch in Game 4.

"I didn't locate as good as I was before, and caught a couple of tough breaks here and there. But those things are going to happen throughout the course of 34 starts in the season," Nolasco said. "Like I said, even the starts where I struggled, I felt good, arm felt good and stuff like that. So I felt good in the sim game and I'm ready to go tomorrow."

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