Clayton Kershaw will start Game 4 of the National League Championship Series for the Dodgers on Thursday, two days after getting scratched from a start with back spasms.
Dave Roberts before Game 3 on Wednesday said a decision on whether Kershaw would start Game 4 depended on how Kershaw felt on Thursday morning. That very well still may be the case, but after Wednesday’s game, Roberts was more resolute about Thursday.
“My expectation is that he’s going to go out there, make a start, and help us win a baseball game,” Roberts said Wednesday night. “He’s in a good place physically, and you know he’ll be prepared, so I like where we’re at.”
On Tuesday when Kershaw was scratched from his scheduled Game 2 start, Roberts said the likelihood of the veteran left-hander starting in this series was very good, but he didn’t have a date.
“We’re in a better place than we were yesterday,” Roberts said Wednesday. “What that means, I don’t quite know yet.”
Kershaw this season is 8-2 with a 2.12 ERA in 12 starts, with 81 strikeouts and nine walks in 72⅓ innings, including allowing three runs in 14 innings in two wins this postseason.
Dustin May could conceivably start Game 4 if Kershaw can’t go on Thursday. May threw 21 pitches in 1⅔ innings in Game 1. May didn’t pitch in Games 2-3.
Bryse Wilson will start Game 4 for the Braves, manager Brian Snitker announced on Wednesday. Wilson is the third consecutive rookie pitcher to start for Atlanta, following Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright.
Wilson pitched in six games for the Braves this season, including two starts, with a 4.02 ERA and 4.85 FIP. His longest outing was five innings, in a scoreless start against Miami on September 22. Wilson had perhaps the coolest pitching appearance of the major league season, allowing a run in four innings to close out Atlanta’s 29-9 win over Miami on September 9. He entered with a 14-run lead and earned the save.
Game 4 of the NLCS is back to an evening start, with a 5:08 p.m. PT first pitch, and will be televised by both Fox and FS1.