Ideally, the Cardinals would have NLCS Game 4 starter Adam Wainwright available to start Game 1 or 2 of the World Series next week against Detroit.
But the Cardinals have to get to the World Series first, and so they’re not ruling Wainwright out for a relief appearance in a potential NLCS Game 7 on Monday against the Giants. Via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Matheny offered that using Wainwright in relief was at least a topic of discussion for the team, depending on how the next two days unfold.
“We’re still talking about that, but nothing in stone right now,” Matheny said. “I think it’s taking everything into account.”
Wainwright was shelled for six earned runs over just 2 1/3 innings in Game 5 of the NLDS versus the Nationals, but he’s been sharp in his other two postseason outings. The 31-year-old right-hander has a 20/3 K/BB ratio in 15 innings since the beginning of the playoffs. His curveball has been excellent.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.