Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw likely to start World Series opener after closing out NLCS

first_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies “I just felt that we have to still get there,” Roberts said of the decision to use Kershaw. “For him to be able to pitch Games 2 and 6 vs. Games 1 and 5 (in the World Series) – it’s still two games. And to put ourselves in any situation to not win that game – although I appreciate the probabilities – I just didn’t want to take any chances.”Kershaw needed only 15 pitches to retire the side in the ninth, striking out two of the three batters he faced. That provided some interesting symbolism – Kershaw throwing the pennant-clinching pitch and being engulfed by teammates on the field after enduring the painful slight of not being given the ball for the playoff opener against the Braves.“I’m not going to lie,” Roberts said. “I think there was a little bit of thought, I guess, that it would be a pretty special moment for him and the organization. But my No. 1 thought was I felt that gave us the best chance.” How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco center_img Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Rich Hill will start Game 1 if Kershaw does not. If Hill isn’t needed to start Game 1, he would start Game 4 in Los Angeles with Hyun-Jin Ryu the likely Game 2 starter (Walker Buehler would be on three days’ rest). That once again lines Buehler up to start Game 3 – and Game 7 if the series goes the distance.A World Series start at Fenway Park would be a special moment for Hill, a Boston-area native who grew up rooting for the Red Sox, pitched for them intermittently as injuries sidetracked his career in 2010-12 then began his career rebirth with them in 2015.“It is special. It is very special,” Hill said. “I mean, they gave me the opportunity to get back into this position again. I’m truly grateful for that. I wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for that.”Roberts made it clear before Game 7 against the Brewers that not only was Kershaw available to pitch out of the bullpen it was “hard to see a scenario that he’s not a part of this game.”Related Articles BOSTON — The same man who threw the last pitch of NLCS Game 7 will probably throw the first pitch for the Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series.Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Sunday that left-hander Clayton Kershaw is his preferred starter when the World Series opens at Fenway Park on Tuesday despite the fact that he used Kershaw to close out the pennant-clinching win Saturday night in Milwaukee.“That’s the plan,” Roberts said. “But he’s actually going to go throw and do some working out (Sunday) just to make sure he can do it and he feels good enough. We’re hopeful but it’s not definitive yet. We’re not locked in yet. But it’s going to be either Game 1 or Game 2.”After the Dodgers arrived in Boston late Sunday afternoon, Kershaw was among a number of Dodgers players who went to Fenway Park to get treatment and work out informally. A potential scenario to save Kershaw did play out. The Dodgers built a four-run lead after six innings. But Roberts still went with closer Kenley Jansen for the final out of the seventh inning and all of the eighth, leaving the ninth for Kershaw, who had delayed throwing his usual between-starts side session in case he was needed in Game 7.last_img

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