Late last month the Los Angeles Dodgers began a stretch of playing 17 games in 16 days, which concludes Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. In response to the streak of games without a break, the Dodgers expanded to a six-man rotation.
They stuck with an extra starter for a second time through the rotation, though manager Dave Roberts indicated the club would revert back to a traditional rotation around the middle of September. That became true this week, though not without some changes.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is being skipped in the series with the Giants, while Clayton Kershaw was moved up one day to now start Tuesday.
The domino effect left the Dodgers needing a starter for the series finale on Wednesday. Roberts announced and explained that’s being filled by Yu Darvish, via Spectrum SportsNet LA:
“In talking to Yu and Clayton, getting them on regular rest, for this start, then with the scheduled off day they’ll an extra day (of rest). Both of those guys want to get back in there and try to build on what they did in their last start. … To put Yu in line on Wednesday, was the right thing to do.”
With Kershaw and Darvish each pitching in the series with the Giants, neither will take the mound this weekend against the Washington Nationals. The three-game set at Nationals Park could very well signal a changing of the guard for best record in baseball.
While the Nationals became the first team this season to secure a playoff berth, clinching the National League East, manager Dusty Baker said the team would not let off the gas, because of the slim margin between them and the Dodgers in the standings.
For Darvish, the start will be his fourth since a stint on the 10-day disabled list due to back soreness. He spent some of the time working to refine mechanics and revert back to the arm slot from his pre-Tommy John surgery days.
Although the results have not yet been what the Dodgers and Darvish would hope, he and Roberts expressed some satisfaction with progress made in a start last week against the Colorado Rockies.