After a grueling first month and a half to start the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of a stretch with four off days in two weeks. After a break Monday, they swept the San Diego Padres, then spent Thursday traveling to Cincinnati for the start of a road trip.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts used the break in the schedule to shuffle his starting rotation, having Kenta Maeda face the Padres and pushing Rich Hill back to Friday’s series opener against the Reds.
The change meant Hill takes the mound at Great American Ball Park on seven days’ rest. After some uncertainty over who would start the series finale, Roberts named Hyun-Jin Ryu the probable, with he too going on extra rest (six days).
That left Clayton Kershaw the likely starter for Tuesday’s matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays, which Roberts has now confirmed and also said Hill’s next turn in the rotation will come on regular rest as he too will start at Tropicana Field, per Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
Dave Roberts said Clayton Kershaw will start Tuesday in Tampa. Rich Hill will pitch Wednesday.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) May 17, 2019
Kershaw tied a season high by going seven innings against the Atlanta Braves his last time out. The 98 pitches he threw are second-most in any outing this year for the left-hander. Kershaw is 3-0 with a 3.40 ERA in six outings this season, and the Dodgers are undefeated in his games.
When looking back to last season, L.A. has won 14 consecutive regular-season starts Kershaw has made. Tuesday will mark his first time ever pitching at Tropicana Field and only a second start against the Rays.
In 2013, he held Tampa Bay to just two runs (one earned) on three hits and had eight strikeouts over eight innings to earn a win at Dodger Stadium.
While the Dodgers are using off days to provide their starters with extra rest, it’s also affording them the opportunity to temporarily get by with a four-man rotation. Maeda was placed on the 10-day injured list Friday due to a left adductor contusion.