Because the Dodgers haven’t played since Saturday, Torre had his pick of rested starting pitchers. As in the division series sweep of the Cardinals, he could go with Wolf in Thursday’s Game 1, Kershaw in Friday’s Game 2 and then the resurrected Padilla in the first game in Philadelphia. From there, the Dodgers are considering Kuroda, who didn’t pitch in the division series but seems recovered from a sore neck. Torre and pitching coach Honeycutt traveled Tuesday to Arizona to watch Kuroda throw five innings in an instructional league game and came away satisfied.
“We’ll think overnight,” Torre said, “and we’ll see how he feels overnight.”
If not Kuroda, then Torre could take a shot with Billingsley or Jon Garland in Game 4. Billingsley, of course, was pounded in two starts against the Phillies in last year’s NLCS, failing to get through the third inning in either of them. On the other hand, in four career regular-season starts against the Phillies, three of them in Philadelphia, Billingsley is 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA. He hasn’t pitched since the end of September and hasn’t won since mid-August, so Torre’s decision would seem simple, and it’s possible he’ll decide Billingsley simply isn’t an October guy.