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Dodgers rotation is off to a great start

Depth serving a dual meaning so far for LA starters

Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

It’s hard to glean any useful information from only eight games, but in the early going the Dodgers starting pitching has been every bit as good as advertised.

The Dodgers rotation is eighth in the majors in ERA (2.66), but second in FIP (2.67), but fifth in K-BB% (22.8 percent), and lead in walk rate (3.6 percent) and FanGraphs WAR (1.6).

Dodgers starters are also tops in innings pitched, averaging exactly 19 outs per start. After Clayton Kershaw pitched 5⅔ innings on opening day, every starting pitcher since has lasted at least six innings.

Julio Urías had the longest start of all, pitching into the eighth inning on Sunday in Denver, just the 22nd time in 238 games a Dodgers starter has lasted past the seventh inning against the Rockies on the road. It was the longest start of Urías’ career to date, thanks to a reintroduction of his changeup, a pitch he used up to a quarter of the time before shoulder surgery in 2017.

Urías threw his changeup 30 percent of the time last Sunday, and Colorado batters were 0-for-11 in at-bats that ended on the pitch, including four strikeouts. He struck out six batters on the changeup all of last season.

“Looking back, four years ago that was a really plus pitch. Over the last couple years it just wasn’t as consistent as he would have liked,” Dave Roberts said last week. “But he’s worked really hard to get it back to where it needs to be.”

The Dodgers plan to honor Tommy Lasorda in a pregame tribute before Saturday night’s game.

Game info

  • Teams: Dodgers vs. Nationals
  • Location: Dodger Stadium
  • Time: 6:10 p.m. PT
  • TV: SportsNet LA