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NLCS notebook: Dodgers stick with four-man rotation

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Both Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw volunteered to pitch on three days' rest this week, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said, but after much debate, Mattingly said he was not comfortable going that way and kept Ricky Nolasco as his starter for Game 4 of the National League Championship Series on Tuesday.

"We flip-flopped more than once on what we wanted to do with it," Mattingly said. "As the (Monday) game went on, I just told Rick (Honeycutt, Dodgers pitching coach) that I didn't feel good about it, and everybody's staying where they're at.

"I really think it tells you a lot about Zack and about Clayton that they both come and want to do it. These guys want to win. So it tells you about where their heads are, and we appreciate that part of it. But we just didn't feel like at this point it was the right thing."

Greinke is scheduled to oppose Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly in Game 5 Wednesday on regular rest, a rematch of Game 1, which the Cardinals won 3-2 in 13 innings. Kershaw would pitch Game 6 (if necessary) on five days' rest Friday after the travel day to St. Louis.

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The Cardinals were not particularly pleased with the emotion shown by the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez after their fourth-inning hits in Game 3.

St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright accused Gonzalez of heckling him on the bases, doing "Mickey Mouse stuff," and Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran said Puig does not know how to act, a criticism that has dogged the flamboyant Puig since his arrival in the majors in early June.

"I had zero problems with Adrian's hit," Mattingly said. "Puig's kind of being excited at third base (after his triple). I also had zero problems the other day when they got out of the bases-loaded jam and Yadier (Molina, the St. Louis catcher) pumps his fist. To me, it can't be a double standard. To me, that's just baseball. Guys get excited."

Puig threw his bat and raised his hands while still in the batter's box following the hit that drove in Gonzalez for a 2-0 lead in the Dodgers' 3-0 victory.

"The bat thing, really, it's more our problem than theirs because if he stands there and doesn't run, it goes from a triple to a double. It helps them and hurts us," Mattingly said. "So you would think they would be excited that he doesn't run from that standpoint, really, because it helps them or has a chance to help them."

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny did not address specific situations, saying, "We go out and play the game that we think should be playing in a way that we think it should be played. Anything outside of that is not our responsibility."

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NOTES: Cardinals 3B David Freese was back in the lineup for Game 4 after being pulled in the fifth inning of Game 3 when he felt tightness in his right calf. Freese, the MVP of the 2011 NLCS and World Series, began play Tuesday night 5-for-26 (.192) with a home run and four RBIs in this year's postseason. ... Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez (rib) and CF Andre Ethier (ankle) remained in the lineup for Game 4. Ramirez had two singles and an RBI in Game 3.
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