Neither Washington Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker or Los Angeles Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts was interested in letting reporters know who their respective Game 4 starters were going to be until they knew how the third game of the NLDS turned out.
Baker was asked before Game 2 in D.C. if he’d settled on a fourth starter, but he was not ready to say.
“You guys have been asking me that every day and I'll give you the same answer I gave you yesterday: It all depends on what happens in these games,” Baker said.
“I mean, I'd like to say -- I'd like to give you the starter, but I can't. You know, I mean, we're kind of -- because of injuries, we're kind of upside-down, you know, in our pitching.
“You know, after Gio [Gonzalez], then until we get to game No. 5, we really don't know.
“Do we go to a combination of guys; do we go with -- [Joe] Ross is coming off an injury himself. So depends on how far he can go.
“Like I said, we're just mixing and matching and trying to piece this thing together, and if I could give you a definitive answer, I'd love to. I'd love to give it to myself.”
Roberts was asked for his thoughts before the start of Game 3, but he remained non-committal, though he did discuss potential options.
“We know that Julio [Urias] right now is scheduled to start regardless, but after today, there [are] no absolutes, we can change, and we do have [Clayton] Kershaw available,” he explained.
“We just haven't decided as an organization what makes the most sense, whether it's a win or a loss today. We're still going to, we do a good job of just focusing on today, and to have those two options, very good options, and we'll discuss after the game.”
Even after the Nationals’ 8-3 win in Game 3, however, neither manager made an announcement.
Roberts was asked if he’d finally made a decision between Urias and Kershaw?
“We're in talks,” Roberts said. “I think that obviously the use of the pen today, no off-day tomorrow, playing tomorrow, so those are things that we're going to keep in mind. But we're not ready to announce yet.”
“I think you look at Julio at home,” he continued, “but you look at Kershaw on short rest at home. So as an organization, we've got to figure out what gives us the best chance tomorrow.”
Asked if Kershaw was good to go on short rest if necessary, Roberts said he was.
“I think Clayton is just open to -- we've had conversations,” he explained.
“I think Clayton is open to whatever we feel and he's just waiting for the go ahead, so he's prepared either way.”
Baker wasn’t ready to name his Game 4 starter either. He told reporters after the Game 3 win that he hadn’t made a decision.
“We haven't decided yet,” he said. “[Pitching Coach] Mike [Maddux] and I were just talking about that.
“It's probably between, you know, [Reynaldo] Lopez and [Joe] Ross. So we haven't really decided yet.”
“Who's starting for them?” Baker asked.
“They said the same thing,” a reporter told the Nationals’ skipper. “Does their decision have any impact on you?”
“No,” Baker said.
“We're not playing gamesmanship or whatever you call it. No, I mean, we just haven't decided. If we had decided, it doesn't really make any difference. You've got to tell them at some time sooner or later, and so no, we haven't decided yet.”
Baker is scheduled to meet with reporters at 1:25 EDT and Roberts will meet with the press in LA at 2:00, so we should have answers shortly after they do, if not before then.
• We talked about the options for both teams on Nats Nightly after the game last night: