Pitcher Clayton Kershaw has been scratched from Tuesday’s National League Championship Series game against the Braves due to back spasms, according to the team.
Rookie right-hander Tony Gonsolin will start in his place as the Dodgers try to even the series. Atlanta won Game 1 Monday 5-1 with a late-inning rally at Globe Life Field in Texas.
Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Tuesday that the three-time Cy Young Award winner first felt the spasm in his back on Saturday after a bullpen session.
Roberts said that the team remained open that Kershaw could still make his scheduled start in Game 2, especially after the left-hander told the team the back was improving with each passing day. However, he felt it was not strong enough on Tuesday morning for him to be able to pitch at the level he was accustomed to.
Kershaw was 6-2 with a 2.16 ERA in the regular season. He was scheduled to face Ian Anderson, who was 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA in the regular season.
Gonsolin, 26, is making his postseason debut. He was 2-2 in eight starts and one relief appearance in the regular season. His ERA of 2.31 was best among rookies with at least 40 innings pitched.
A few hours after the announcement, the team announced that LHP Julio Urias will now start in Game 3 of the NLCS after appearing out of the bullpen so far this postseason.
It is still uncertain if Kershaw will be able to pitch in Game 4 of the series on Thursday, but the team is hoping he'll be ready by then.