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 Posted: Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 05:52 am
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lobo316



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Unlike last year, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw won't pitch on short rest in the National League Division Series, manager Dave Roberts confirmed Sunday ahead of his club's regular-season finale.

"We've assured him, the reason we acquired a guy like Yu Darvish is to keep him away from short rest," Roberts told reporters, including MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. "You look at our potential playoff starters, we're in pretty good shape, we're in great shape. So, like I told Clayton, we don't see him pitching on short rest this series."

In 2016, Kershaw started the NLDS opener against the Washington Nationals, then started again on three-days' rest in Game 4 with the Dodgers facing elimination. He managed to eke out a victory in that contest at Dodger Stadium, but the three-time Cy Young award winner wasn't all that sharp, allowing five runs on seven hits and pair of walks while fanning 11 over 6 2/3 innings. For a fifth straight year, Kershaw has been tabbed to start his club's opener in the best-of-five division series, but he won't come back and face the Chicago Cubs in a potential Game 4.

In lieu of using Kershaw - who missed five weeks with a lower-back strain before rejoining the rotation Sept. 1 - the Dodgers will likely send left-hander Alex Wood to the mound for Game 4, if necessary. Roberts is still considering his options, though.

"Anything should be on the table," said Roberts. "If you don't run those plays out, you're not being thorough."

Kershaw, a seven-time All-Star, authored another superb season in 2017, putting up a 2.31 ERA (180 ERA+) and 0.95 WHIP across 27 starts.