After using Clayton Kershaw on short rest during the NLDS against the Braves, the Dodgers could ask Zack Greinke to do the same tomorrow in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Cardinals.
Ricky Nolasco is currently lined up for the assignment, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly acknowledged to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times this afternoon that things could change depending on the results of tonight’s game. In other words, Nolasco should go if the Dodgers win, but they’ll likely turn to Greinke on three days’ rest if they are facing elimination tomorrow. This would set up the possibility of Kershaw going on short rest again in Game 5.
Greinke allowed two runs and struck out 10 batters over eight innings in Game 1 of the series on Friday. While Kershaw started on three days’ rest for the first time in his career last week, Greinke has done it twice before.
The loss of a close, well-pitched game is hard enough for any team to take, but when you lose two key players to injury in the process it’s gotta be damn nigh intolerable. That’s what happened to the Angels last night in their 3-1 loss to Minnesota, losing Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani. And it happened on consecutive plays in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Simmons is likely to be gone for an extended period after suffering a sprained ankle which was later deemed “severe”. Indeed, they weren’t sure it wasn’t broken until the X-rays came back negative. He sustained the injury running to first base, trying to beat out an infield hit. He came down on the ankle and it twisted in ugly fashion — there are Gifs of it on Twitter and stuff, but you don’t wanna see them — before tumbling over the bag to the ground. Simmons will have an MRI today to see how bad things really are.
Ohtani got off more easily, getting hit in the right ring finger with a pitch while striking out. His X-rays were also negative, but they will reassess him today.
Simmons is hitting .298/.323/.415 on the year while playing his usual spectacular defense. Ohtani, who just came back from Tommy John surgery as a hitter a couple of weeks ago, is hitting .250/.345/.375.