It turns out the Dodgers' Game 3 victory was not the determining factor for when Clayton Kershaw would make his next start.
Don Mattingly announced this afternoon that Kershaw will go in Game 4, and not Ricky Nolasco. The thought coming into Sunday night's Game 3 was that a loss would mean he'd take the ball immediately, and a win would push him back to a possible Game 5. But the Dodgers and Mattingly had other plans.
I think it's obvious that Kershaw was begging for this to happen, as there's no way Mattingly would make this move without his ace fully on board. Knowing the competitor that Kershaw is, I can easily see him making a big deal about finishing off the Braves as soon as possible.
But the question has to be asked: Is this a smart move? In listening briefly to guys on ESPN and TBS, it's certainly not. Kershaw is the Dodgers' franchise player, and is about to cash in with a huge contract extension. Plus the fact that a loss by the Dodgers would still mean they'd live to fight another day makes them look a little desperate.
If Kershaw and the Dodgers do lose tonight, then Zack Greinke will get the call in the sudden death Game 5 in Atlanta. That means four of the five games would be started by the big two, so if the Dodgers still manage to lose this series, they didn't deserve to win it in the first place.
Let's hope this all works out, Kershaw has a clean game, and looks good going forward. It would also help if the offense puts the pressure on like they did Sunday night. Stay tuned and see.