As suspected, Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers in their series finale against the Reds. Earlier in the week the team said Kershaw wouldn't be allowed to pitch unless he was pain free, and the left-hander threw a bullpen session on Friday.
The risk is rather great for Kershaw, especially if he hurts himself by alternating his mechanics to compensate for his right hip impingement.
But the reward for the Dodgers, assuming Kershaw is healthy, is that their ace gets to pitch three times in the last 10 games, on regular rest. If those games matter, that is, and with the Dodgers 3½ games behind the Cardinals for the second wild card spot in the National League.
Having Kershaw start three times maximizes the Dodgers' chances, no matter how slim, and hip specialist Dr. Bryan Kelly did say that Kershaw could pitch without further damaging his hip. Kershaw allowed just one unearned run on Sept. 11 in Arizona while dealing with the hip injury.
Now the best the Dodgers can hope for, aside from Kershaw's short-term and long-term health, as that his potential third start, on Oct. 3 against the Giants, is a meaningful game.
Shane Victorino is out for the third straight game after injuring his right wrist, with Elian Herrera getting the start in left field. It is the first start for Herrera since July 8.
Game Time: 5:05 p.m.