Prior to concluding their seven-game homestand, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced minor changes in his club’s rotation for the five-game road trip. Alex Wood started Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays, which pushed Kenta Maeda back to a scheduled start on Friday.
Roberts said the reasoning behind the decision was the belief Maeda matches up more favorably with the slew of Toronto Blue Jays right-handed batters. Los Angeles took the series opener against the Rays, but Wood was susceptible to the long ball, and the Dodgers’ modest two-game winning streak came to an end.
In shuffling the rotation and utilizing the two off days this week, Roberts said Ross Stripling was starting and Saturday, and Clayton Kershaw on Sunday in the three-game finale at Rogers Centre.
However, the first-year manager accidentally misspoke, and it will be Kershaw who follows Maeda in the rotation, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Kershaw pitches Saturday, Stripling Sunday. Originally inadvertantly announced opposite.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) May 4, 2016
The now correct alignment pits fellow National League Cy Young Award winners R.A. Dickey and Kershaw against one another. Dickey won the Cy in 2012 in a vote many believed should have gone in Kershaw’s favor.
Had the Dodgers’ left-handed ace won the award in 2012, Kershaw would have won the Cy Young four consecutive years. Instead, he settled for a three-in-four-year stretch. Dickey is 1-3 this season with a 5.73 ERA, 4.39 FIP and 1.61 WHIP in six starts.
He’s 0-2 at home with a 6.75 ERA and 1.62 WHIP over three starts. Three of the four home runs Dickey has allowed have been hit at Rogers Centre. Kershaw has never faced the Blue Jays in his career.
The left-hander is 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA, 1.82 WHIP and 0.72 WHIP in six starts. Kershaw is coming off a complete-game shutout effort against the San Diego Padres, during which he drove in the Dodgers’ lone run to help end their six-game losing skid.