All signs pointed to Kershaw being the starter, as his spot lined up perfectly after he started Game 4 of the NLCS last week. He last pitched on Thursday, so pitching on Tuesday will give him his normal amount of rest.
Something to note, though, is that Kershaw only pitched on regular rest twice in 2020. The first outing was on September 14 at San Diego, where he allowed three runs in 6 1⁄3 innings of work. His next came five days later at Colorado, where he threw seven innings of one-run ball.
For Kershaw, this will be the 10th time he’s started a series opener for the Dodgers. Things haven’t historically gone well for him, as he’s 4-5 with a 5.86 ERA in those starts. His last start in a Game 1 was in the 2018 World Series, when he allowed five runs in four innings on the road at Boston.
Ironically, his best Game 1 start of his career came the year prior in the 2017 World Series against the Astros. In that game, Kershaw threw seven innings of one-run ball. He struck out 11 and walked zero batters.
After a great first start this postseason, the last two outings for Kershaw have been a little shaky, although he still looked good in both. He’s thrown 11 innings, allowing seven runs and striking out 10. Though, some of those runs were scored when he had already exited the game.
Kershaw was supposed to make the start in the NLCS in Game 2, but back spasms pushed his start back two days. It looks like his back is good-to-go, as there isn’t an issue with him making the start tomorrow.
During the NLCS, the starting rotation went: Buehler, Gonsolin, Urias, Kershaw, May, Buehler, May. There will likely being some shakeups coming in the rotation, as May, Gonsolin and Urias all pitched yesterday. We’ll likely see Buehler in Game 3, as that will be normal rest for him, meaning Game 2 will be a bullpen game of some sorts. If I were to guess, we won’t find out who’s starting or who we’ll see until Wednesday.
This post will be updated throughout the day with quotes.