The Cardinals didn’t work out either, taking a bit of a mental break.
“We’ve had a lot of these lately,” Matheny said. “Going back and forth I can feel a little jet lag. The guys aren’t going to forget how to hit, forget how to throw.”
Kershaw is the major league ERA leader three years running and worked the Dodgers’ division clincher against Atlanta on three days’ rest. He gave up just two hits in six innings of Game 1 and was ready to go long before the Dodgers’ bats came alive.
“I don’t really think about the what-ifs,” Kershaw said. “I always assumed I was going to pitch Game 6.”
Kershaw has a career 1-2 postseason record despite an impressive 2.88 postseason ERA.
“All we have to do,” Gonzalez said, “is score for him.”
Wacha is 2-0 with a microscopic 0.64 ERA in the postseason, allowing just six hits in 14 innings with 17 strikeouts. Counting his last start of the regular season, when he was one out shy of a no-hitter, make it 3-0 with an 0.42 ERA.
Slim leads have been of no concern, with the Cardinals totaling five runs in those games.
“Just this whole postseason ride has been amazing,” Wacha said. “Hopefully we can just keep it going.”
He knows how tough the opposing pitcher is, but says that can’t be factor.
“Kershaw’s a tough pitcher, obviously, and you saw that in his last start,” Wacha said. “But I try not to worry too much about who I’m facing.
“Just try to approach it like any other start and just worry about myself, really.”
Both are hard throwers from Texas who got to the majors fast. Kershaw was 20 when he made his debut in 2008 and Wacha was 21 and hadn’t been in the system a year when he opened with seven strong innings against the Royals in May.