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Starting Clayton Kershaw means Dodgers have hit panic button

October 07, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Moving Clayton Kershaw up to start Game 4 seems to be a hasty move by the Dodgers.
Moving Clayton Kershaw up to start Game 4 seems to be a hasty move by the Dodgers. (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images )

This makes sense on some levels, just not the ones most amateur baseball managers hang out on.

The Dodgers announced this afternoon that Clayton Kershaw will start tonight’s Game 4 against the Braves.

They’re going for the kill right now, pitching Kershaw on short rest for the first time in his career. That part is easy to understand. And if their ace should somehow falter Monday, the Dodgers can come back with Zack Greinke for a decisive Game 5.

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Sure, get all that.

But it still feels a bit panicky, a bit unnecessary.

The original plan was to start Ricky Nolasco, which the Dodgers insisted was still the plan Sunday. Until it wasn’t.

What’s the point of having a No. 4 starter in the playoffs if you can’t trust him to go out and beat Freddy Garcia? If the Dodgers should fail to wrap it up with Nolasco tonight, then they could have come back with the National League’s best starter in the decisive Game 5 on Wednesday.

And if Nolasco had started and won tonight, then Kershaw would be available to start the opener of the National League Championship Series on Oct. 11.

Now he won’t be, unless the Dodgers plan to start him on short rest in consecutive starts and push everyone else back into unknown territory.

The Dodgers want it over now, so they’re going with their best. Maybe they just hate the city of Atlanta, which is understandable. Maybe they just want to end it as soon as possible. And just maybe, they’re acting hastily.

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