The Los Angeles Dodgers went into last weekend’s series against the San Diego Padres trailing the Arizona Diamondbacks by 4.5 games for first place in the National League West. A sweep of San Diego cut into that deficit ahead of the forthcoming showdown at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers began preparing for that four-game series by adjusting their pitching probables so that Hyun-Jin Ryu started the finale against the Padres. That pushed Alex Wood back to Wednesday, and left Ryu on track to start Saturday against the Diamondbacks.
It also meant the Dodgers had Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw, Ryu and Walker Buehler lined up to start in the pivotal NL West series. However, club has now swapped the order of Kershaw and Ryu, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Dodgers planning to push Clayton Kershaw’s next start back one day until Saturday, so his following start will be in Colorado instead of against the Mets. Rotation vs. Az: Hill, Ryu, Kershaw, Buehler.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) August 29, 2018
The change provides Kershaw with an extra day of rest before taking the mound against the Diamondbacks. He threw 107 pitches over eight innings in his Aug. 25 outing against the Padres.
With the three-time Cy Young Award being pushed back one day, it erases what was shaping to be a duel between Kershaw and former teammate Zack Greinke. Arizona is currently penciled to start Robbie Ray, Greinke, Patrick Corbin and Clay Buccholz during the series at Dodger Stadium.
Moreover, Kershaw is now penciled to also start during the series with the Colorado Rockies, who remain ahead of the Dodgers in the NL West standings.