Clayton Kershaw will start Games 2, Rich Hill Game 3, of NLCS.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw raises his arms after recording the save in Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals on Thursday. Kershaw starts Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday. (Getty Images)

CHICAGO — Clayton Kershaw will start Game 2 of the National League Championship Series for the Dodgers on Sunday, and Rich Hill will start Game 3 on Tuesday in Los Angeles, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced Saturday.

“It’s not complicated in the sense that if he feels good, it’s a no-brainer,” Roberts said of Kershaw.

“I feel fine. I feel good. I feel excited,” Kershaw said.
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A brief pregame note on Rich Hill and Julio Urias.

Julio Urias

Julio Urias has pitched three games out of the Dodgers’ bullpen this season. Tonight’s game will likely be his fourth. (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It probably goes without saying that Dodgers aren’t looking for starting pitcher Rich Hill to pace himself tonight. Lose the game, and their season is over.
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Rich Hill starts tonight for the Dodgers in Game 5 of the National League Division Series.

Rich Hill

Rich Hill will start a game on fewer than four days’ rest for the second time in his career tonight. (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Veteran Rich Hill will start Game 5 of the National League Division Series for the Dodgers, an interesting choice considering it’s been seven years since Hill pitched on short rest. He’s had three days off since Sunday’s Game 2, in which Hill started and pitched 4 ⅓ innings.

Dave Cameron at offers a thought experiment about how a bullpen game might unfold from the Dodgers’ perspective. My guess: Ross Stripling might see some work in the middle innings as well, if Dave Roberts has concerns about piggybacking one left-hander (Hill) with another (Julio Urias).

It’s Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers) against Joe Ross (Nationals) in Game 4.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw allowed three runs in five innings in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. (Associated Press photo)

Clayton Kershaw will start a do-or-die Game 4 of the National League Division Series today against the Washington Nationals. Right-hander Joe Ross starts for Washington. The game begins at 2 p.m. Pacific Time by virtue of the Chicago Cubs’ loss to the San Francisco Giants last night.

The full story is here.

Kershaw last pitched four days ago, allowing three runs in five innings in the Dodgers’ 4-3 win in Game 1. He is no stranger to pitching on short rest in October. In fact, it’s when he’s done some of his best work:

If the Dodgers win today, they’ll play a winner-take-all Game 5 on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Rookie left-hander Julio Urias, who hasn’t pitched in the series, and veteran left-hander Rich Hill, who started Game 2 on Sunday, are the candidates to start that game. Hill would be pitching on three days’ rest, something he’s done only once in his career. That was in July 2009, when Hill allowed five runs in three innings in the Baltimore Orioles’ loss to the New York Yankees.

Dave Roberts spoke about the decision to start Kershaw today and his options for Game 5:

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NLDS Game 2: Dodgers’ runners in scoring position amount to a whole hill of beans.

Andrew Toles during BP today. Note the wool cap. It's cold. #Dodgers #Nationals #baseball

A photo posted by J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) on

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Dodgers squandered one opportunity after another in their 5-2 loss to the Washington Nationals in Game 2 of their National League Division Series. The box score is here.

The Dodgers’ shortcomings against left-handed pitchers — including Game 3 starter Gio Gonzalez — were largely the result of right-handed hitters failing to perform as expected.

Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill put the loss on himself, even though only one mistake might have cost him the game.