LOS ANGELES — With Rich Hill getting placed on the disabled list on Wednesday the Dodgers shuffled their rotation for the pending weekend series against the Nationals, and a byproduct is that we get Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer dueling in Friday night’s opener at Dodger Stadium.
We were originally scheduled to get Kershaw vs. Stephen Strasburg on Saturday, which is a fantastic matchup in its own right. It’s one Vin Scully braved a sore throat to try to call two years ago, only to see Strasburg scratched late with a back injury.
But Kershaw and Scherzer is the upper tier, the first time the top two finishers in the previous year’s Cy Young vote will face one another since Dallas Keuchel and David Price pitched against one another on May 12, 2016.
There are only 10 pitchers ever to win at least three Cy Youngs, and Kershaw and Scherzer are two of them, with Scherzer winning the last two. This is just the 13th-ever meeting between a pair of three-time winners, per STATS LLC, and the last since Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux faced off on July 19, 2006.
The Dodgers used Thursday’s off day to move a few pitchers up for the weekend, such that Hyun-jin Ryu on Saturday and Alex Wood on Sunday will be pitching on regular four days rest, as will Kershaw.
The team will call up a pitcher to start Monday’s opener against the Marlins, with Brock Stewart and Walker Buehler the obvious candidates. It could be a two-start stint with the big club, with the Dodgers also set for a doubleheader in San Francisco on Saturday, April 28.
But for this weekend, it’s all about Dodgers-Nationals. Here is the weekend schedule and pitching matchups:
Friday, 7:10 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA): Clayton Kershaw vs. Max Scherzer
Saturday, 6:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA, KTLA, MLBN): Hyun-jin Ryu vs. Stephen Strasburg
Sunday, 5:08 p.m. (ESPN): Alex Wood vs. Jeremy Hellickson