It is now officially Kershaw Day. He'll be stepping back on the mound for the first time since going down on the DL over two months ago. I'd like to think Clayton would return just as good as when he left, but let's get real. We should not expect him to be a Cy Young pitcher right out of the gate. Per Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
"To be off two months and not be in a competitive situation, everybody has to be conscious that he's not in midseason form," said Honeycutt. "He wouldn't be going out there unless he felt well enough to do it. At the same time, he still has not been in a competitive situation at the big league level, using all of his pitches. At that time in '14, it was the curveball that was not as good as it can be. That's not only a control pitch, it's a feel pitch and a release point."I'm just happy to have him back.
For purposes of managing expectations, recall that Kershaw threw seven scoreless innings in his first start off the disabled list in 2014, but he then lost three of his next four starts -- including a seven-run, 1 2/3-inning disaster in Arizona -- before rewriting the record books.
Photo above was tweeted by Kiké Hernández. Below are more links to check out:
- This Day in Dodger History: In 1948 Brooklyn Dodgers starting pitcher Rex Barney throws a no-hitter against the Gaints at the Polo Grounds, 2-0. In 1965 Sandy Koufax threw his perfect game at Dodger Stadium against the Cubs, 1-0. You can listen to Vin Scully's call of the ninth inning here.
- Happy Birthday, Kaz Ishii!
- Video: Go behind-the-scenes as Kike Hernandez makes a cameo on ‘The Young and the Restless’. Hernandez makes his soap opera debut on September 12th. (Link Here)
- Via Ben Lindbergh at The Ringer; "The Dodgers’ Inexhaustible Supply of Starters Is Defying History and Logic."
Let’s put that accomplishment into perspective: Before last season, only one other team in baseball’s long history (the 1989 Giants) had qualified for the playoffs after asking 15 or more pitchers to start. The Dodgers are about to do it in back-to-back years.
The cherry on top of this crazy cake is that the Dodgers aren’t succeeding in spite of their rotation. Even though they’ve cycled starters in and out of active duty all season, the Dodgers’ rotation has helped the team, on the whole. That, too, makes the Dodgers stand out.
- Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider; "Yimi Garcia had arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday."
- Last night the Dodgers Single-A club in Michigan took the first game in their series in convincing fashion. Via Matt DeVries at Great Lake Loons/MiLB; "Loons Run Away with Playoff Opener: Five runs in both the 5th and 6th gives Great Lakes series lead."
After getting three and a half innings in before the rain on Wednesday, both teams came back to Dow Diamond on Thursday to resume their suspended game in which the Loons emerged with a 15-1 victory.
It's the most runs scored and the largest margin of victory by Great Lakes in franchise history (17 games). It's also the first win for the Loons in the postseason since 2010. The Loons now have a 1-0 series lead in the Midwest League Eastern Division Semifinals. The best-of-three series will shift to Bowling Green, Ky., for the final two games beginning on Friday.
- The Dodgers other Single-A club at Rancho Cucamonga couldn't close out their playoff series last night against the Lancaster JetHawks; losing 17-11. Via Mike Lindskog at RC Quakes/MiLB; "JetHawks Force Decisive Game Three."
Needing a win at home to force a game three in the best-of-three series, the JetHawks saw their first eight consecutive hitters all reach safely against Quakes' starter Michael Boyle, scoring eight times in the first to take a commanding lead.
A Rancho Cucamonga five-run fifth put the Quakes back in the game at 11-8, but the JetHawks scored six more over the final three innings against reliever Chris Anderson to complete the romp and force a decisive game three on Friday night.
- The Dodgers Triple-A club at Oklahoma City also won last night - defeating the Nashville Sounds, 5-2. Via OKC on MiLB; "Dodgers Even Playoff Series with Sounds."
O'Koyea Dickson drove in three runs and hit his second home run of the playoffs for Oklahoma City, while Micah Johnson scored three times and tripled as both players recorded two hits to lead the Dodgers offense.
Dodgers starting pitcher Logan Bawcom (1-0) held the Sounds to one run and three hits over six innings in the win. He allowed two walks and six strikeouts. He also retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced.
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