Here’s how everyone found out for sure that the Dodgers are starting Ricky Nolasco tonight: Zack Greinke walked into the media interview room and a reporter asked him if he’s pitching tonight, to which Greinke replied: “Nah, I don’t think so.”
And so unlike in Game 4 of the NLDS, when the Dodgers bumped Nolasco at the last minute to start Clayton Kershaw on short rest, they’ll stick with Nolasco in Game 4 against the Cardinals and go with Greinke in Game 5 on full rest.
Reading between the lines, it seems like Greinke would have started tonight had the Dodgers gone down 3-0, but instead it’s 2-1 and manager Don Mattingly knows he can turn to Greinke to stave off elimination anyway if needed.
Nolasco hasn’t pitched since September 29 and hasn’t started since September 25, when he gave up six runs in 5.2 innings versus the Giants.
Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove is done for the year after suffering an abdominal wall muscle strain and stress reaction in his pelvic bone. While he isn’t expected to undergo surgery or miss additional time in 2019, he’s been prescribed six weeks of rest before resuming any baseball-related activities.
Musgrove, 25, finished out his third year in Pittsburgh with a 6-9 record in 19 starts, backed by a 4.06 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9. Despite logging a career-high 115 1/3 innings at the major league level, he’s also been dogged by a string of injuries, from the shoulder strain that robbed him of eight weeks at the start of the season to an index finger infection that kept him sidelined for a minimum 10-day stay on the disabled list in June.
While he works his way back up to full strength yet again, rookie right-hander Nick Kingham is expected to cover for him and will make a spot start during the Pirates’ series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t started a single game for the team since August 1, and currently carries a 4.69 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 over 71 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.