Kershaw looks to stay sharp with sim game

Dodgers ace will throw side session Sunday in advance of NLDS

Kershaw looks to stay sharp with sim game

LOS ANGELES -- With their Division Series not starting until next Friday, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will throw a simulated game on Sunday.

Manager Don Mattingly said Kershaw was hoping to throw an inning out of the bullpen during the weekend.

"We'll probably do a little bit more of a sim game on Sunday instead of that," Mattingly said. "We can control that a little bit. If he gets out there, he's going to turn it loose, and we don't want him to do that."

Kershaw last pitched Wednesday in the National League West-clinching win against the Giants. Kershaw -- a frontrunner for the NL Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards -- is the Dodgers' likely Game 1 starter. Mattingly said he wasn't ready to announce that decision.

The left-hander is 21-3 on the season and is on pace to have the Majors' best ERA for the fourth straight year with his 1.77 mark.

Kershaw missed 31 games at the beginning of the season with a teres major (near the shoulder) muscle strain but compiled 198 1/3 innings across 27 starts.

Michael Lananna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.