You All Know There’s No Way Ricky Nolasco Starts Game 4, Right?

nolasco_homer_2013-08-01

As things currently stand, the Dodgers are planning to send out Hyun-jin Ryu against Adam Wainwright in tomorrow’s Game 3, and Ricky Nolasco in Tuesday’s Game 4 against Lance Lynn. If the series goes beyond that, the Dodger rotation is lined up for Clayton Kershaw in Game 5, Zack Greinke in Game 6, and Ryu again in Game 7.

You may remember that this was the plan in the NLDS, too — Ryu in Game 3, Nolasco in Game 4, Kershaw ready for a possible Game 5. That didn’t happen, of course, because Kershaw came back on short rest to start Game 4 instead. And I’m telling you right now, there’s no way that Nolasco starts Game 4 this time around either.

Yes, that’s despite Don Mattingly saying that “we haven’t talked not even once on using Zack on short rest” and then immediately changing the subject to trying to “regroup”. I assume I don’t need to remind you not to ever, ever trust the statements of baseball officials in public — it was only a few days ago that Rick Honeycutt was flat-out insisting that Kershaw wouldn’t start Game 4 of the NLDS, don’t forget, and Mattingly all but admitted to the press earlier this year that he wasn’t always truthful to them.

That’s especially the case when you look at how Greinke himself replied to Dayn Perry when asked about it:

 ”I mean, I could probably respond to it [the question], but I might give information out that we might want to keep a secret, so I just won’t respond to that question for that reason.”

Greinke’s not known to be a man who plays games with the media, so you tell me if that sounds like a guy who hasn’t had a talk “not even once” about starting on three days rest.

Unlike Kershaw, Greinke has started on short rest before… sort of. Last year, he actually started three straight games for Milwaukee, but that was more than a little bit of a fluke. Greinke made only 4 pitches on July 7 before being ejected, so the Brewers brought him back the next day; since that was the final game before the All-Star break, he also started their first game back on July 13. In 2007, he spent most of the year in the bullpen, and moved into the rotation in late August, three days after a relief appearance.

The only two times that Greinke made real starts on short rest came in the midst of another playoff run, in 2011. He started the season finale on three days rest as the Brewers tried to secure home field advantage (six innings, two earned runs) and then again in Game 2 over Shaun Marcum against Arizona. That was one of the weirder starts of his career, because he struck out seven and walked none, but also allowed three homers. Part of the decision-making at the time? That Greinke had a low season innings count after missing time due to a broken bone suffered in a freak accident (he’d broken a rib in a basketball game). That doesn’t sound familiar, does it?

It’s fair to remember that Greinke missed much of the spring with right elbow soreness, though that hasn’t been an issue so far as we know this season. Over his last four starts, dating back nearly a month, he’s thrown only 345 pitches, an average of about 86 per. Over the same time frame, Nolasco has thrown 186, but that’s because he hasn’t started in well over two weeks, an entirely separate concern. You really think that Mattingly, still without a contract for 2014, is going to down with Nolasco, if the series is 3-0? Or risk going down 3-1, if they win tomorrow? Not a chance.

Ryu will start tomorrow, of course; he has to. But then starting Greinke in Game 4 allows you to start Kershaw in Game 5, also on short rest. That’s not ideal, of course, but remember that he only threw 72 pitches in Game 2, which is why I didn’t hate the move to lift him nearly as much as everyone else did.

That does, of course, leave you in a bit of a spot for Game 6. Ryu on short rest? Nolasco then? Edinson Volquez? But without ignoring the issue, that’s a problem for later. If you don’t even survive long enough to see Game 6, then it’s not a problem, because right now, it’s far from a guarantee. We’ve already seen Nolasco get pushed aside once. With the season on the line, it’s going to happen again. Believe it.

1004 comments
Master of My Domain
Master of My Domain

Nolasco could start tonight, bury a 95mph fastball in Beltran's ribs then let Ryu come in? Old Testament, right?

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Given Ryu's background in Asia (longer rest between starts), I'm really nervous about him on short rest if it comes to that.

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

So excited to be going to my first postseason game ever. And so very, very nervous. C'mon Bums... let's get that magic back!

http://imgur.com/xXZxG5c

Hoze
Hoze

Sigh. 2 of the next 3 games at home must go the Dodgers' way. It is entirely possible, but there are factors putting the team at a pretty bad disadvantage... The team must string some consecutive hits and those runs scored surpass what Ryu and pitching company allow. 

SteveLyonsFan
SteveLyonsFan

Game 3: Greinke on two days rest; Game 4: Clayton Kershaw on two days rest; Game 5: Ryu; Game 6: Greinke on three days rest; Game 7: Kershaw  on three days rest

Kewldood69
Kewldood69

Hey @card4life69, only one guy around here uses '69' in his username, so you better high tail it out of here!

InsideThePark (Ethier, Kemp, Puig)
InsideThePark (Ethier, Kemp, Puig)

My next car is going to be a Chevy so I've been clicking on the ads.

Some helpful information on what I might expect to pay for a used 2-3 year old vehicle.

I love these ads!

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

I'm following VND's rule by posting this here.


Fuck that racist Boston fan. I hope they identify his name and release it ala Steve Bartman. Dude deserves some sort of hell

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

So players are unsatisfied with Mattingly's style?

This really shouldn't be news. I bet every team has players who disagree with their manager in some capacity.

BIah
BIah

@LA_Woman I like the new avatar.  Let's hope it bring good fortune like changes past!

TheReggieHurley
TheReggieHurley

@DKDodgers ok now this makes sense! dam it woulda been betteer if kershaw had pitched game 1!!! oh well greinke is still an ace. 

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

@Purple Drank they will figure out who it is. he was probably just way too drunk and pissed off. 

Lobo
Lobo

@NPaulCS SINTOBER???  THE MONTH OF SINNING?????  VND LOVES THAT MONTH

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

@^<<**(chị yêu)**>>^ @Purple Drank USA Today article. Don is going to be extended.

Whatever, managers don't have a significant say on the season. Just stop making stupid fucking decisions like on Friday, learn to use a bullpen the way it should be used, and stop relying on SSS, and we'll be good.