The decision awaits
Dodger fans had to wait until almost midnight to find out when the Dodgers would be playing today but that decision was based on a specific outcome.
The Dodger front office has a bigger decision to make as they consider multiple variables and ramifications. They have a 20 team analyst staff, numbers will be crunched, but this might be a gut call.
If Dave Roberts has the biggest vote this will be his biggest decision of the year unless they get to play on Thursday.
Start Kershaw on three days rest after he struggled considerably in game one and seemed to have given maximum effort in his five innings.
Start Julio Urias in an elimination game.
The bullpen has to be a big part of the consideration as they play their 3rd game in a row. The front office is backed into a corner with the inability of Kenta Maeda to go more than three innings, and Rich Hill only getting 13 outs on Sunday. The key players in the bullpen will probably need to pitch for the 3rd game in a row just to get to Kenley Jansen who didn’t inspire confidence with his performance yesterday.
The Pros of starting Kershaw:
- He’s Clayton Kershaw, and until his start on Friday still looked very much like the Clayton Kershaw before his DL spell.
- Kershaw gives the team the best chance to win today
- Kershaw gives the team the best chance for some length, you know he will at least go five, he could go six, and seven could be on the table
The Cons on starting Kershaw:
- If you use Kershaw today, you won’t have a fully rested Kershaw to face Scherzer on Thursday.
- Do you waste Kershaw on a day when the Dodgers have their best chance to bring their bats into play
The Pros of starting Urias:
- You save Kershaw for Scherzer
- He’s been solid since his debut, he might be ready for this big moment in the spotlight and give the Dodgers five good innings on a day the Dodgers might bring their bats into play
The Cons on starting Urias
- His max would be five innings, and a decent % chance he can’t even do that.
- Urias has shown some impressive composure for someone his age, asking him to save the Dodger season might be asking too much of him and his young arm
- The Dodgers have taken care of his arm all year. Do you change all that for one game? He has thrown only 13 innings in Sept, do you ask someone who hasn’t pitched five innings since Sept 5th to pitch five innings? I guess he wouldn’t be on the postseason roster as the 4th starter option unless the answer was Yes.
- Nationals could make his inning limit a moot point by knocking him out just as they did Hill and Maeda, and almost Kershaw.
I’m tenuously going with Kershaw, give your team the best chance to win today, and worry about tomorrow on Thursday.
I’d be shocked if the Dodgers don’t go that route, but it will be exciting if they try the kid and give themselves the best chance for Thursday.