Dodgers prep Darvish for Game 3 start

Dodgers prep Darvish for Game 3 start

DENVER -- The Dodgers held Yu Darvish's Saturday throwing session on the Coors Field mound instead of the bullpen, indicating that the Trade Deadline acquisition will probably start Game 3 in the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile.

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"Instead of putting him in the 'pen, if for some reason he has an opportunity to pitch here, just to get him a little more familiar with the mound," said manager Dave Roberts. "It was my view, because it's different here and Yu just loves information. He takes it all in and applies it accordingly."

Clayton Kershaw has already been named to start Game 1 at home. Rich Hill figures to start Game 2 at home, with Darvish starting Game 3, either at Arizona or Colorado. Kershaw would be available to start Game 4 on short rest.

Darvish has never pitched at Coors Field, so the Saturday session gave him an introduction to the mound and background at a ballpark generally considered the toughest in the league for a pitcher. Darvish had his only career start against Colorado earlier this month in Los Angeles, where he allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings. He's 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA in his career against Arizona and 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA at Chase Field.

Hill is 0-3 with a 10.38 ERA at Chase Field and 0-2 with an 8.80 ERA at Coors Field, reason enough why the Dodgers would want him starting Game 2 at Dodger Stadium.

• Roberts, who already said Sunday figured to be a bullpen game, tabbed Ross Stripling to start and pitch two innings. Stripling pitched an inning Friday night.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.