Ricky Nolasco scheduled to start Game 4 of NLCS…for now

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Dodgers manager Don Mattingly indicated earlier today that he could skip Ricky Nolasco and go with Zack Greinke on short rest if his team was facing elimination tomorrow, but it sounds like the idea isn’t dead even after Monday’s Game 3 victory over the Cardinals.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Nolasco is currently scheduled to start Game 4 and oppose Lance Lynn. However, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times notes that Mattingly continues to say that’s the plan “right now,” which could be a sign that things are subject to change. You see, Mattingly used the same “right now” description before he skipped Nolasco in favor of using Clayton Kershaw on short rest in Game 4 of the NLDS against the Braves last week. Don’t be surprised if we see another last-minute change.

Nolasco posted a 3.70 ERA and 165/46 K/BB ratio over 199 1/3 innings during the regular season, but struggled to the tune of a 6.66 ERA over his final six outings. He hasn’t pitched since a relief appearance on September 29.

Clayton Kershaw could return on September 1

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Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.

Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.

Ian Kinsler was fined for ripping umpires publicly. Brad Ausmus says it’s the largest fine he’s seen in 25 years.

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Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.

After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”

Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”

As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.