The Dodgers begin their final home series of the regular season. They welcome in the Rockies for a three-game set after splitting a two-game series with the Rays earlier this week.
Clayton Kershaw gets the ball tonight. He’s sporting full-season career-worsts in ERA (3.05) and FIP (3.80). Most pitchers would kill for that to be their “career-worsts.” But for Kershaw, it’s definitely uncharted territory.
He’s had a few rough outings of late. Since throwing seven shutout innings in Miami on Aug. 14, Kershaw has a 5.08 ERA, averaged 5 2/3 innings per start and allowed a whopping 10 home runs in that span. These last two starts of the season for him should be a solid tune-up for a potential Game 1 or 2 start in the National League Division Series.
Somewhat surprisingly, Kershaw has only faced the Rockies once this season (June 29 in Colorado). This is the first time he has faced them at Dodger Stadium in just a little more than a year (Sept. 18, 2018).
The lineup behind Kershaw tonight is a good one, highlighted by Corey Seager. Seager has multiple hits in four of the last five games and since his two-home run game in Baltimore on Sept. 10, he’s hitting 344/.382/.594. Sure, it’s a small eight-game sample, but if he can get rolling just in time for the postseason, that’s going to make the Dodgers’ lineup even more difficult for the opposing pitcher.
Let’s get to a couple bits news.
Dave Roberts wouldn’t commit to a rotation order beyond next week, but said it will be Kershaw-Buehler-Ryu next time through as well— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) September 20, 2019
Rich Hill starts Tuesday in San Diego, plan is to throw 2 innings. He said he’s starting Sunday in SF too, but Roberts wouldn’t commit beyond Tue.
So, if you’re trying to figure out a potential postseason rotation order, this doesn’t help much. But the interesting part is Rich Hill. He’s been working ever since he hurt his knee in his comeback start a couple weeks ago, and he’s going to try to pitch his way onto the postseason roster. But we know the Games 1 through 3 starters will be some combination of Kershaw, Walker Buehler and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Roberts said Turner is available tonight, will start tomorrow for a couple of at-bats.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) September 20, 2019
This is encouraging. Justin Turner hasn’t played in 13 days because of his sprained ankle, so the fact Dave Roberts feels strongly enough that Turner can at least appear in a game is positive. Let’s hope these last nine games can help get Turner ready for the NLDS.