Clayton Kershaw will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, the Dodgers announced Monday.
The choice is not surprising. Kershaw is the only Dodgers starter available on regular rest. The left-hander was available for Game 7 of the National League Championship on Sunday. He spent the Dodgers’ win over the Atlanta Braves in the bullpen. He bounced around to stay loose in case he was called upon. At various points he walked around with a baseball in hand.
But the Dodgers viewed him as a last-resort option. He had thrown five-plus innings three days earlier after back spasms delayed the outing two days. They didn’t want to push him if they didn’t have to. And they didn’t. Julio Urías threw three perfect innings to finish the game.
Kershaw will oppose right-hander Tyler Glasnow in Game 1. The Rays also announced left-hander Blake Snell, the 2018 American League Cy Young Award winner, will start Game 2.
Kershaw pitched into the sixth inning in his Game 4 start against the Braves on Thursday but didn’t secure an out in the frame. He was charged with four runs and seven hits after a strong start to his postseason.
The left-hander began the playoffs by tossing eight scoreless innings with 13 strikeouts against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 2 of the wild card series. He then held the San Diego Padres to three runs over six innings in Game 2 of the NLDS.
The Dodgers’ pitching plan after Game 1 is unclear. The Dodgers’ other four starters — Walker Buehler, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Urías — all pitched in the NLCS’s final two games. Buehler logged six scoreless innings in Game 6 on Saturday, meaning he would pitch on three days’ rest Wednesday.
Gonsolin threw 41 pitches in two innings in Game 7. Urías tossed 39 pitches in his Game 7 effort after throwing a career-high 101 pitches in Game 3.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="May is the most rested. The rookie right-hander started Game 7 but threw just 18 pitches in one inning. He hasn’t thrown more than two innings in five appearances in the postseason. He could assume the bulk of the innings in Game 2, whether as a starter or after an opener.
” data-reactid=”35″>May is the most rested. The rookie right-hander started Game 7 but threw just 18 pitches in one inning. He hasn’t thrown more than two innings in five appearances in the postseason. He could assume the bulk of the innings in Game 2, whether as a starter or after an opener.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.” data-reactid=”36″>This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.