LOS ANGELES -- Beginning with Clayton Kershaw for Friday's Game 1 (6:30 p.m. PT on TBS), there were no surprises in the rotation Dodgers manager Don Mattingly announced Tuesday for the National League Division Series against the Mets.
Kershaw will be followed by Zack Greinke in Game 2 on Saturday (6 p.m. PT on TBS) and Brett Anderson in Game 3 on Monday (TBA on TBS). The club did not announce a starter for Game 4, if necessary.
Kershaw's postseason history has become a focal point of this series, as he is 1-5 with a 5.12 ERA having appeared in 11 games with eight starts. He pitched twice out of the bullpen in 2008 against Philadelphia; started in the 2009 NLDS against St. Louis and started and relieved that year in the NL Championship Series against Philadelphia; started in 2013 against the Braves in the NLDS and Cardinals in the NLCS; and in 2014 against the Cardinals. In his past four postseason starts, all against the Cardinals, he is 0-4 with a 7.15 ERA.
Greinke is 2-2 with a 3.63 ERA in seven postseason starts, pitching for Milwaukee against Arizona and St. Louis in 2011, for the Dodgers against Atlanta and St. Louis in 2013 and against St. Louis in 2014, when he threw seven scoreless innings in a no-decision.
Anderson won his lone postseason start for Oakland in 2012 with six scoreless innings against Detroit and allowed one run in a one-third of an inning relief appearance in 2013. Alex Wood, who is a candidate to start Game 4 if the series goes that far, pitched twice in relief for the Braves against the Dodgers in 2013, allowing four unearned runs.
By starting Kershaw in Game 1, he could be brought back on short rest to pitch Game 4 if the Dodgers are trailing in the series. He's done it twice before, allowing two unearned runs in six innings against the Braves in 2013 and allowing three earned runs in six innings while being eliminated by the Cardinals in 2014.
Speaking generally about pitchers on short rest, general manager Farhan Zaidi said:
"It's a complicated decision, that's the most straightforward way to put it. Part of what complicates it is you're usually not going off a great sample because it's becoming a less and less frequent thing. There's no easy way to evaluate it and you usually have to go case by case and see how a series evolves."