Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo, right, talks to his teammates during batting practice before Game 1 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in Chicago. Manager Joe Maddon returns the NLCS for a second straight season in his second year with the team, and knows about the curse and the drought. "I'm excited", the three-time NL Cy Young victor and one-time MVP said before the best-of-seven series started at Wrigley Field.
Only two days removed from his first major league save, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced Kershaw would start against the Cubs in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday night. Outfielder-infielder Kike Hernandez and left-hander Alex Wood made the roster, while infielder Charlie Culberson and catcher Austin Barnes were left off for this round. He missed 2 1/2 months of the season while dealing with a back injury.
Jon Lester is the starter of the Cubs in the series opener, just as he did in the NLDS against the Giants.
"I think that they're constantly working counts, getting into good hitters counts, getting on base", Kershaw said.
Working on one day of rest, Kershaw recorded the final two outs in Game 5 to clinch a NL Divisional Series victory for the Dodgers over the Washington Nationals.
The three-time N.L. Cy Young Award victor is 3-6 with a 4.79 ERA in 16 career playoff appearances, including 12 starts. Chicago infielder Tommy La Stella was left off the roster.
Richards went 1-3 with a 2.34 ERA in six starts before being shut down in May and is 40-32 with a 3.58 ERA in 148 career games - 93 starts. He's got good makeup.
Kershaw's mound opponent, Kyle Hendricks, also was a bit of a question mark before the Cubs committed to starting him in Game 2. The Dodgers hit.213 against lefty pitching this year.