LOS ANGELES -- Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Game 1 of the National League Division Series for the Dodgers on Thursday, while Clayton Kershaw will get the nod in Game 2 on Friday, the club announced Tuesday.That gives both pitchers an extra day of rest and keeps them in order, as
LOS ANGELES -- Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Game 1 of the National League Division Series for the Dodgers on Thursday, while Clayton Kershaw will get the nod in Game 2 on Friday, the club announced Tuesday.
That gives both pitchers an extra day of rest and keeps them in order, as Ryu pitched Friday night in San Francisco and Kershaw on Saturday. Because of scheduled off-days after Games 2 and 4 in the NLDS, Kershaw could still start Game 5 on normal rest, so the move does not affect his availability to pitch twice on full rest in the series.
:: NLDS schedule and results ::
This year, Kershaw has a 3.21 ERA with 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings, and a 3.9 strikeout-to-walk ratio on four days' rest. With five or more days of rest, he has a 2.48 ERA, a 9.2 K/9 and a 6.4 K/BB ratio. Although Kershaw has started on short rest repeatedly in past postseasons, there are no plans to use him that way this year. He did say after Monday's win over the Rockies, though, that he was available out of the bullpen on two days' rest.
Ryu also was more effective down the stretch, with a 1.88 ERA and a 1.082 WHIP after returning from a badly strained groin. Kershaw, despite finishing an injury-plagued season with a 2.73 ERA, had a 3.89 ERA in six September starts.
Ryu has not pitched in the postseason since 2014. He was injured for nearly the entire 2015-16 seasons, and he was left off the postseason rosters last year after going 5-9 with a 3.77 ERA.
Kershaw, however, has started eight of the past 10 postseason Game 1s for the Dodgers, with timing from previous starts preventing him from the other two.
The move is somewhat reminiscent of the decision Cleveland made last year, holding ace Corey Kluber to Game 2 of its American League Division Series.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.