Fortunately, they'll get it Sunday night vs. the Reds, who upended Los Angeles on Saturday to clinch the National League Central and become the first team in baseball this season to claim a division.
Kershaw, who has been bothered by a hip injury, was given the green light to make the start hours before the game. The 2011 NL Cy Young AWard winner will take the hill at a good time for the Dodgers, who fell three games behind the Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card spot.
While Cincinnati still has home-field advantage to fight for, the Dodgers are simply trying to stay alive in the playoff race following their most recent loss.
Aaron Harang had been prepared take the mound for Los Angeles on three days' rest if Kershaw had been unable to go Sunday night. Harang gave up two earned runs in 4 1/3 innings on Wednesday against the Nationals
As for the Reds, Sunday's game -- and the rest of the season for that matter -- won't be make or break like it is for the Dodgers. However, wanting to end the regular season on a strong note, Cincinnati first turns to Homer Bailey now that the team knows its playoff future is secure.
Bailey has recorded quality starts in five of his last six outings and he is 2-0 with a 1.55 ERA in his last four starts.
Dodgers: Victorino sits out again
Left fielder Shane Victorino missed his second straight game on Saturday with an injured left wrist that Mattingly said is improving.
He hurt his wrist hitting the wall chasing Danny Espinosa's fourth-inning double in the corner Thursday night against the Nationals in Washington.
"He can do a few more things," Mattingly said before Saturday's game. "He's playing catch and I think he's going to hit inside. [Friday] he couldn't even play defense."
In 44 games since joining the Dodgers, Victorino is batting .225 with 21 runs scored.
Reds: Baker to return Sunday
Baker is expected to return to Cincinnati on Sunday for the first time since being hospitalized on Wednesday.
Chris Speier has filled in for Baker, who is being treated for an irregular heartbeat.
"He's doing well," Speier said. "The report is they just want to keep him one more and make sure everything is fine before they release him."
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is batting .500 with three homers in 12 at-bats against Bailey.