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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Starts Clayton Kershaw on Short Rest for First Time Ever

In the regular season… (for you “um, actually” people)



There’s no way to sugar coat it, the Dodgers are bad right now. Real bad. They’re finding new and infuriating ways to lose while missing nearly a third of their roster on the injured list. Because of that last point, Dave Roberts is opting to do something that has never been done in the regular season…

Clayton Kershaw is starting on short rest.

Not that there’s anything actually dramatic about it, but with as bad as the team has been of late, the added tinge of drama just makes me feel better. 

Notably, Kershaw has started plenty on short rest in postseason’s past, all with varying levels of success, but never in the regular season. In today’s case, he’s coming off the shortest outing of his career having completed just 1 inning in Chicago against the Cubs.

Back to the created feeling of drama here, it’s also important to note that Clayton has had his share of injury concerns in the past with his back and neck regularly keeping him out of games for stretches each season since 2016. Still, Roberts is ready to roll the dice with Kersh thanks to his injury-riddled club.

We definitely obviously know Clayton’s history. But as far as kind of where he’s at in recent history — and currently physically — he’s in a great spot. So it just made our decision for us. But yeah, in past years we wouldn’t have done this.

Related: Dodgers Are Not Worried About AJ Pollock’s Hamstring… Yet

The Dodgers have lost 14 of 18 and 4 straight. Once again, Clayton Kershaw will be called upon to play the role of stopper for floundering ballclub that finds itself 2.5 games behind the San Fransisco Giants in the NL West.

It has to stop some time… right?

NEXT: Fixing the Bullpen, Trades, Call Ups, Any LA Interest in Shane Greene?

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. Won’t matter. He’ll go seven innings and leave trailing 2-0 because the Dodgers will make Bundy look like Randy Johnson.

  2. Seriously doesn’t this smell a little like the playoff desperation that hit the team every year before 2020? Let’s rely on Kershaw to bail us out? Seems like we’re tempting the baseball gods. There are three possible outcomes, two of them not good.

  3. Kershaw pitched a gem tonight and left the game with an amazing lead (was it 13-0) and now we are entering the 8th inning 14-11. Why these relievers (Santana and White) were allowed to stay in the game for as long as they did as the Angels pummeled them with hit after hit after hit is truly beyond me. If we still manage to pull this one off it will be nothing short of a miracle, but I still have to believe that we can do this.

  4. Kershaw threw what was nothing more than a bullpen session in his last start, so stop making it seem as though he went 7+ innings throwing 90+ pitches. At some point, Roberts just needs to say, “I was wrong.” I’ll wait.

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