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Dodgers keep door open for Greinke in Game 4

Dodgers keep door open for Greinke in Game 4

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Dodgers keep door open for Greinke in Game 4

LOS ANGELES -- Zack Greinke's bullpen session Sunday lasted only 12 pitches, leaving him fresh enough to pitch Game 4 of the National League Championship Series if the Dodgers choose.

Greinke, who started Game 1 Friday night, wouldn't indicate whether he had been asked by the club, or whether he'd be physically able, to start on three days' rest. He also said his bullpen sessions vary in length throughout the season, hinting that drawing conclusions from them might be risky.

Manager Don Mattingly said the club hasn't talked about bringing Greinke back that soon, and maybe they are the only participants in this series that haven't.

"It always makes sense any time you mention those two guys' names," said Mattingly. "But it's something, as I said, we haven't talked about at this point."

More likely, he's telling the media what he wants the Cardinals to believe, as that's what he said a week ago before he pitched Clayton Kershaw on three days' rest to clinch the NL Division Series against the Braves.

Ricky Nolasco is lined up to pitch Game 4 for the Dodgers against St. Louis, as he was in the NLDS before being bumped for Kershaw.

Conceivably, the Dodgers could start Greinke in Game 4, Kershaw in Game 5 and Greinke again in Game 7, all on three days' rest, with Game 3 starter Hyun-Jin Ryu starting Game 6.

But with so many starts on short rest, the Dodgers wouldn't be able to expect much more than 75 pitches each.

In their Game 1 and 2 starts, Greinke threw 104 pitches, Kershaw only 72, both on regular rest. Greinke started one game in 2011 on three days' rest, allowing two runs in six innings and making 74 pitches.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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