LOS ANGELES — A mere 259 days after Dodgers pitchers and catchers reported to Camelback Ranch, the end is here. It’s now November, and we have a Game 7 of the World Series.
“It’s awesome,” said closer Kenley Jansen. “Game 7!”
“When you're a young kid and you're kind of trying to play through all the heroics and talking about a Game 7 in the World Series, and here we are,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I know that we happy to be at home.”
The Dodgers’ 104 wins gave them the best record in baseball during the regular season, and home field advantage throughout the postseason. They get to play this Game 7 at Dodger Stadium, where they have won 63 games this season — a .716 winning percentage — more than they have ever won at home in any single year.
At home during the postseason, the Dodgers are 6-1, and have outscored opponents 38-22.
Yu Darvish will start for the Dodgers, and will be backed by just about everybody else in the bullpen, if needed.
That includes Jansen, who only needed 19 pitches to complete his two-inning save in Game 6.
“I’m not going to be a hero or anything, but there’s no tomorrow,” he said.
Alex Wood was available in the bullpen in Game 6, and will be available in Game 7 as well. Clayton Kershaw, who threw 94 pitches in his start on Sunday, was in the bullpen on Tuesday, though Roberts wanted to avoid using him so he could “get him a little bit more” on Wednesday.
Kershaw joked after Wednesday’s win that he could pitch 27 innings in the season’s final game.
“When you're talking about Clayton Kershaw, Game 7, I think anything's within reason,” Roberts said. “With Clayton, it's hard to put a number on him.”
Kershaw made two regular season relief appearances in his career — in 2008 and 2009 — and saved Game 5 of the 2016 NLDS, recording the final two outs against the Nationals.
“I’ll be ready to go from pitch one, for whatever they need me to,” Kershaw said. “Preparation’s out the door at this point. Routine is out the door. There’s no excuses. You just have to go get guys out as fast as you can and pitch as long as they want you to.”
Rich Hill, who threw 58 pitches in his Game 6 start, was asked if he could pitch an inning in Game 7.
“Yeah I got it in me,” Hill said. “I can hit, whatever you need.”
Game 7 forever.