LOS ANGELES -- What we knew at the very second after Justin Upton struck out Monday night was made official on Wednesday by the Dodgers. Zack Greinke will start Game 1 of the NLCS on Friday, and Clayton Kershaw will start Game 2 on Saturday, manager Don Mattingly said before a team workout at Dodger Stadium.
What we don't know is the order after that. Hyun-jin Ryu seems most likely to start Game 3, which would either be at PNC Park against the Pirates or at Dodger Stadium against the Cardinals. Ryu lasted just three innings on Sunday night and allowed four runs on six hits in his shortest outing of the season. Mattingly said Ryu was "in the mix" to start Game 3.
"I'm not concerned about his stamina. He's able to pitch into a game. Everything he's told us and that we're seeing is that he's healthy and didn't have anything to do with the other day," Mattingly said. "I felt like he was nervous the other day honestly. He did some things that were uncharacteristic, that you don't normally see him do. I look forward to see how he's going to pitch, I think he's going to bounce back."
Ricky Nolasco, who was skipped on Monday in favor of Clayton Kershaw, threw in a simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday before the workout. His last start was Sept. 25, and likely to start at some point in the NLCS.
Ricky Nolasco takes the mound in the #Dodgers sim game with Cardinals vs. Pirates on DodgerVision: pic.twitter.com/21drgpK7QF— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 10, 2013
When asked if he would only use three starters in the NLCS, which has only two off days in nine days compared to two off days in seven days in the NLDS, Mattingly said that was "unrealistic," and that it's unlikely Greinke would pitch on short rest.
"We haven't talked about Zack on three days at all," Mattingly said. "I don't feel like we'll do the same things with Zack that we do with Clayton, not that we couldn't do it and not that we wouldn't do it."
The Dodgers find out their NLCS opponent in a few hours, as the Pirates and Cardinals are playing Game 5 of their NLDS in St. Louis Wednesday night.