Dodgers head to St. Louis for NLCS start
LOS ANGELES — After two days of waiting, the Los Angeles Dodgers found out they will play St. Louis in the National League championship series.
The Dodgers worked out Wednesday just as the decisive Game 5 between Pittsburgh and St. Louis began. The team went through hitting sets with the game shown on the stadium’s video boards, although there was no noticeable reaction as it progressed.
With the Cardinals winning 6-1, the Dodgers boarded buses to the airport for a flight to St. Louis.
“They’re not going down easy,” manager Don Mattingly said before the Cardinals won. “We felt like they were the best team in that division. They’re a good mix of everything.”
If the Pirates had won, the Dodgers would have unpacked their suitcases to stay home for the start of the series Friday.
Beating the Atlanta Braves to wrap up their division series in four games Monday night gave the Dodgers extra rest and time to reset their rotation. They took Tuesday off.
Zack Greinke will start Game 1 of the NLCS. Clayton Kershaw, who pitched on three days’ rest Monday for the first time in his career, was set to go on regular rest in Game 2.
The team hopes the layoff will benefit rookie pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, who struggled in Game 3 against Atlanta, giving up four runs and six hits over three innings.
“I felt he was a little nervous the other day,” Mattingly said. “He did some things that he doesn’t usually do.”
Ryu has said he isn’t injured, but the left-hander’s performance wasn’t as solid as what he showed during the regular season.
“He claims he felt fine and he continues to say he had no type of injury,” general manager Ned Colletti said. “Everybody can have a bad start from time to time.”
The Dodgers will announce a new 25-man roster for the NLCS. Mattingly said spots were still being discussed.
Andre Ethier was limited to pinch-hitting duty against the Braves, but if his left ankle has healed sufficiently, he could play the outfield. He did some hitting during the workout.
“I still have to sleep tonight to see if it responds tomorrow,” Ethier said. “It feels good.”
Hanley Ramirez got some rest for a bad back that has slowed him at shortstop, but not at the plate.
Mattingly goes into the next round not knowing if he will be managing the Dodgers next season. The club’s new owners, including Mark Walter, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson, didn’t guarantee his option for 2014 last offseason.
“I don’t want to speak about my contract,” he said. “It’s not the right time.”
Colletti said he wasn’t worried about Mattingly’s status, adding, “That will all resolve itself.”
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