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True Blue LA podcast episode 2134: Clayton Kershaw & Gavin Lux return

Getting ready for the playoffs

Miami Marlins v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After a brief respite, the podcast is back to catch up on two weeks of Dodgers baseball. That includes a ninth consecutive postseason berth, and the recent returns of two players who could factor into October.

Clayton Kershaw is the obvious one here, back after missing over two months with left elbow soreness. He looked shark in his first two starts, with two more outings planned before the postseason.

Gavin Lux is the wild card, whether the Dodgers play on October 6 or not. After a few weeks on minor league option, Lux has been an everyday starter in left field, a brand new position for him. More importantly, he’s hitting his way back into relevance, adding an extra dynamic to the roster.

We also look at recent pitcher usage making it clear who the obvious postseason relievers are, with maybe only one or two decisions to be made once the playoffs start.

Thanks as always to producer Brian Salvatore for his hard work behind the scenes.

Dodgers rewind

With Max Scherzer’s streak of no earned runs still going, we look back at Freddie Fitzsimmons, the right-hander who had a four-start streak without an earned run in 1941. He allowed a whopping nine unearned runs in that stretch, but it was impressive nonetheless.

Frederick Fitzsimmons in Baseball Uniform
Freddie Fitzsimmons won 217 games in his 19-year career, including pitching parts of seven seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images

Fitzsimmons pitched only for two teams in his career. The final six and a half years came with Brooklyn, for whom he had a 116 ERA+ from ages 35-41, including a 16-2 season in 1940.

“With his short arms and legs, long torso, and ample midsection, right-hander Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons may not have looked like a major-league pitcher during his 19-year career with the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers from 1925 to 1943,” Gregory H. Wolf wrote in his SABR bio. “But with one of baseball’s most effective knuckleballs and a deceptive, whirling delivery, he won 217 games.”

Fitzsimmons kept the Yankees scoreless for seven innings in Game 3 of a tied 1941 World Series, but had to leave shortly after taking a line drive off his left kneecap. New York scored immediately after Fitzsimmons left the game, and took control of the series.

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