Dodgers right-hander Ricky Nolasco will start for L.A. in Game 4 of the National… (Harry How / Getty Images )
Monday's win in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series didn't change Dodger Manager Don Mattingly's mind about who will pitch in Game 4 on Tuesday: Right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who was passed over in the Division Series with Atlanta, will get the ball Tuesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals.
"Well, to be really honest, we've put Ricky in; it's not a great spot for Ricky. He hasn't pitched in a while," Mattingly said of Nolasco, whose last appearance was Sept. 29. "Ricky's competitive, and he's worked hard in here to try to stay sharp. We'll just be keeping an eye on him and see where he's at and try to manage the game as it tells us what to do."
If the Dodgers had lost Monday, Game 4 would have been a potential elimination game and there was speculation Mattingly would have gone to ace right-hander Zack Greinke on short rest. But the victory eased those pressures and Nolasco, who had a 6.66 ERA in six September appearances, will make his first postseason start.
"Ricky would have went win or lose," Mattingly said.
But that doesn't mean he didn't think about making a change.
“Well, the way it went down more than anything was Zack and Clayton [Kershaw] both wanting to pitch and offering to pitch on three days,” Mattingly said. “Honestly, we went back and forth and thought of different scenarios. We flip-flopped more than once on what we wanted to do with it, and at the end of the day really, we talked yesterday about it -- we said we'd wait until after the game. As the game went on, I just told Rick I didn't feel good about it, and everybody's staying where they're at.
"I really think it tells you a lot about Zack and about Clayton, that they both come and want to do it. These guys want to win. So it tells you about where their heads are, and we appreciate that part of it. But we just didn't feel like at this point it was the right thing."
Greinke is now expected to start Game 5 on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium and Kershaw will go Friday in St. Louis in Game 6, if needed. Both pitchers will be working on regular rest.