Yu Darvish returned to the pitching mound at Dodger Stadium on Sunday afternoon, August 27, 2017. He is the vaunted number two starting pitcher in the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation behind the soon to return Clayton Kershaw. If you had wondered why the Dodgers had not lost back-to-back games since Thursday, July 20, and Friday, July 21, 2017, it came down to pitching depth and expertise.
As in 2015, when starting pitcher Zack Greinke was the vaunted number two starting pitcher behind Clayton Kershaw, he provided insurance to make sure that the Dodgers did not go on losing streaks. In 2001, when the Arizona Diamondbacks won the World Series against the New York Yankees, the Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling duo propelled them to victory. In 2010, 2012, and 2014, it was Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Madison Bumgarner in varying roles and importance that propelled them to three World Series titles. The Dodgers last World Series Championship in 1988 included Orel Hershiser at the number one spot and Tim Leary as the number two with Tim Belcher as well.
The 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation when healthy has included the left handed Clayton Kershaw, the right handed Yu Darvish, the left handed Rich Hill, and the left handed Alex Wood. Should anyone falter, the Dodgers could counter with righty Kenta Maeda (currently a twelve game winner/only three less wins than Zack Greinke), the resurgent lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, and a combination of righties Brandon McCarthy and Ross Stripling. Did we mention the young and healthy arm of the right handed Walker Buelher who is awaiting a September call up from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
As mentioned, Yu Darvish returned to the pitching mound Sunday and Kershaw is due back next week. Alex Wood will soon follow. Rich Hill just pitched a near perfect game of 10 innings. The Dodgers are in good hands, pun intended, and they enter the final month of the regular season with the best record in baseball and a chance to not lose more than one game in a row through October and November. The Dodgers have practiced what they preached years ago, building up pitching depth and expertise.