Adrian Gonzalez left Thursday’s game for precautionary reasons after being hit by a pitch on the elbow in the fourth inning.
The Dodgers first baseman was wearing a pad on the elbow, but it didn’t completely protect him from the inside pitch by the Angels’ Hector Santiago in the Dodgers’ 7-5 loss in the opener of a three-game Freeway series to close out the spring.
“He said he felt like he could have kept playing,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He had two at-bats, was going to get one more. It didn’t seem worth it. Might as well get ice on that thing and try to keep swelling down if it’s going to be that bad.”
Mattingly is holding out hope that Gonzalez will be ready for Friday’s game against the Angels.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is one successful bullpen session from being named the Dodgers starter in the U.S. opener Sunday night in San Diego.
The second-year pitcher injured his big toe running the bases in the second of a two-game series against the Diamondbacks in Australia, bringing into question his ability to start in place of the injured Clayton Kershaw Sunday. Ryu will test the toe in a bullpen session Friday, after which the Dodgers will make their final determination about his status for Sunday.
“He looks positive,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “With that being said, he’s going to throw a pen (Friday), so we can’t really say 100 percent where we’re going to go until we find out how that goes.”
If Ryu can’t go, Dan Haren is available to start on Sunday after he threw a successful bullpen on Thursday.
Don Mattingly, Ned Colletti, Rick Honeycutt and Clayton Kershaw were the last ones in the room late Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw pleaded with the Dodgers manager, general manager and pitching coach to grant him the start in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. But they couldn’t take him seriously.
“I said, ‘Hey look, I need you to take your competitiveness out of your answer,’” Colletti said. “’If you threw today and I said can you throw tomorrow, you’d say you can start tomorrow. So, you got to be true with us. You got to be honest about how you feel and where you’re at with this.’”
Whatever change Kershaw made to his tone, it worked. The four men walked out of the room having decided that the Game 1 winner would pitch on three days rest for the first time in his five-year career.
“He’s 25 years old and he was ultra convincing,” Colletti said. “You’re not going to take the ball away from somebody who wanted it that bad and who is as good as he is. If not him, who?”
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Whether or not the Dodgers are facing elimination in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, manager Don Mattingly certainly didn’t slam the door on the possibility of pitching Game 1 winner Clayton Kershaw on short rest in place of scheduled starter Ricky Nolasco.
“Right now Ricky’s the pitcher in Game 4,” Mattingly said. “That’s what we’ve decided.”
Kershaw has never started on less than four days rest in his five-year career and Nolasco hasn’t been informed of any potential change of the plan for him to start his first ever postseason game on Monday. Given that he won eight of his first nine decisions after being traded from the Marlins to the Dodgers, but has posted a 12.75 earned-run average in his last three starts, Nolasco said he wouldn’t object to a change.
“This isn’t about me. It’s about the team,” Nolsaco said. “Whatever decision they make, it’s going to be the best decision for the team. They’re the ones getting paid to make those decisions. I’ll be here ready to take the ball whenever they ask me to pitch.”