- Joined ESPN in 2016 to cover the Los Angeles Rams
- Previously covered the Angels for MLB.com
ARLINGTON, Texas — Clayton Kershaw coming back to start Game 4 is “a likely possibility” but still uncertain, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Wednesday, two hours before Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.
The Dodgers will wait to see how Kershaw’s back responds Thursday morning ahead of that night’s game.
Back spasms for Kershaw, which initially arose during a Saturday bullpen session, forced the Dodgers to scratch him on the morning of his Game 2 start, prompting rookie Tony Gonsolin to take his place. Kershaw threw what Roberts described as a “pretty aggressive” bullpen session from Globe Life Field later that afternoon, and the manager said his back has improved over each of the past four days.
If Kershaw can’t go on Thursday, the Dodgers would have to piece together a bullpen game, with Dustin May, who isn’t expected to be available in relief of Julio Urias in Game 3, likely handling several innings. If Kershaw does start Game 4 — he would oppose Atlanta Braves right-hander Bryse Wilson — the Dodgers can theoretically hold May until Game 5.
At this point, however, there is no certainty that Game 5 will even present itself. The Dodgers are down 2-0 in the series, a hole that only 15% of teams have been able to crawl out of in any best-of-seven postseason series.
“I’m just really hopeful that last night that ninth inning sparked us,” Roberts said of a four-run ninth that ended with the tying run at third base. “I just want us to keep taking good at-bats. One pitch at a time. I just trust these guys that we’ll get going.”
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