Kershaw shifts focus to Game 2 start

Dodgers ace turns page on NLDS save appearance, ready for Cubs

Kershaw shifts focus to Game 2 start

CHICAGO -- The day after Clayton Kershaw's dramatic, clinching save against the Nationals, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Kershaw was "tracking to start when we all think," meaning Sunday's Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Cubs. The series begins Saturday at 8 p.m. ET/5 PT on FS1.

"Clayton came through well," Roberts said. "I think that he, his teammates, were really excited that he got the last two outs of that game. Physically, he feels great. He's going to go out there and get a lift in and throw and run and do what he does. So, obviously, we're not prepared to make that decision yet, but he's tracking to start when we all think."

Kershaw said he can't get caught up in the buzz over his unconventional relief appearance.

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 15 CHC 8, LAD 4 video
Gm 2 Oct. 16 LAD 1, CHC 0 video
Gm 3 Oct. 18 LAD 6, CHC 0 video
Gm 4 Oct. 19 CHC 10, LAD 2 video
Gm 5 Oct. 20 CHC 8, LAD 4 video
Gm 6 Oct. 22 CHC 5, LAD 0 video

"It's cool if we win this series and win the next series, and if we don't, I guess it is kind of cool, but people will forget about it kind of fast," he said. "If you don't win the World Series -- that's really the ultimate and it makes all of this worth it. All the things you do leading up to that are significant at the time, but if you lose the last game of the season the significance is lost for sure."

Kershaw said he turned the page on Game 5 when he woke up on Friday "and started thinking about the Cubbies."

Roberts said closer Kenley Jansen, who threw a career-high 51 pitches over 2 1/3 innings to set up Kershaw's save, had leg fatigue Friday. But Roberts said he expected Jansen to be available for an inning in Saturday night's Game 1, which will be started by Kenta Maeda.

Dodgers tab Maeda to start Game 1 of NLCS

Jansen agreed.

"I'll be ready to go tomorrow," the closer said.

#THIS: Kershaw saves the game

Kershaw and Jansen played catch and long toss during the club's Wrigley Field workout held after the club flew in from Washington on Friday afternoon. Rich Hill said he assumes he's preparing to start Game 3 in Los Angeles on Tuesday, but has not been told that's the case.

Roberts said the club would carry 13 pitchers for the best-of-seven series against the Cubs, one more than for the best-of-five NL Division series. Candidates to be added are starters Brett Anderson and Brock Stewart and lefty reliever Alex Wood.

Utility man Kiké Hernandez also was called back from the Arizona training complex and is expected to be added.

Roberts on Jansen's health

Roberts said he was undecided whether to start Yasmani Grandal (2-for-16 in the NLDS) or Carlos Ruiz (2-for-4, homer, 3 RBIs) at catcher in Game 1 against lefty Jon Lester. Ruiz is 0-for-14 against Lester in his career.

"Well, Chooch is in the mix as well as Yasmani, I haven't made that decision yet," Roberts said. "... But I do like the at-bats that Chooch can give us against left-handed pitching. So I'm weighing through some things, but I can't say enough about Chooch and what he's done, not only in the two postseason at-bats, but what he's done for Yasmani, for Austin Barnes, for just everyone, the impact he's made in such a short time. And he's a guy that's performed on this big stage. So, that's certainly noted."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.