Dodgers Bullpen Could Use A Rest; Clayton Kershaw Might Provide It

"No but seriously, four times in five nights. I could use a rest on Tuesday. Tell Clayton."

While the Dodgers await word on the 2012 fate of closer Kenley Jansen on Tuesday, the rest of the bullpen has been getting a lot of work of late. Here's a look at the workload for the last week or so for Dodgers relievers.

Dodgers Bullpen, Pitches Thrown
Pitcher 8/27 8/28 8/29 8/30 8/31 9/1 9/2 9/3
Belisario 21 26 19 4
League 30 14 12 15 28
Wright 13 22 20 19
Choate 7 6 5 4
Guerrier 1 IP
13 9
Tolleson 17 30 12
Guerra 28 15
Ely 85

As manager Don Mattingly said on Monday, "Every day I feel like I'm down a guy, the way I'm having to use the back end right now." One would have to think Brandon League, and perhaps Ronald Belisario, would not be available on Tuesday night against the Padres.

Sounds like the perfect time for National League innings leader Clayton Kershaw to start.

Kershaw needs eight strikeouts to reach 200 on the season, which would put him in select company in franchise history.

Dodgers With 3 Straight 200-Strikeout Seasons
Pitcher Ages Years Strikeouts
Hideo Nomo 26-28 1995-97 703
Fernando Valenzuela 23-25 1984-86 690
Sandy Koufax 25-30 1961-66 1,713
Don Drysdale 25-28 1962-65 930

Kershaw struck out a league-leading 248 at age 23 last year, and struck out 212 in 2010. He trails Stephen Strasburg by three strikeouts and leads R.A. Dickey by one this season. With Strasburg getting shut down next week, Kershaw has a chance to become just the fourth Dodger ever to lead the National League in strikeouts in consecutive seasons, joining Dazzy Vance (1922-28), Drysdale (1959-60), and Koufax (1965-66).

2013 Interleague Play

The Dodgers are tentatively scheduled to host both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees next season at Dodger Stadium, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Shaikin, who a few weeks ago also reported the Dodgers would travel to The Bronx to play the Yankees, has the breakdown of the schedule, which has been distributed to teams but still subject to change.

If the schedule holds, the Dodgers will play two games at Yankee Stadium in June, host the Yankees for two games in July, and host the Red Sox for three games in August. The Dodgers will also reportedly play the Giants 10 times at home next season instead of nine.

Game Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: KCAL

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