The once immortal Dodgers have seen stars like Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford and even Yasiel Puig not start due to injuries as they look to clinch the NL West against the Diamondbacks. Zack Greinke pitches tonight and following him was supposed to be ace Clayton Kershaw tomorrow night.
However, according to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com, Don Mattingly and his staff have pushed back Kershaw to Saturday:
The Dodgers will give ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw three extra days of rest and start rookie Stephen Fife on Wednesday night against the D-backs. Kershaw will instead start Saturday in San Diego.
Kershaw leads baseball in ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, WAR, but also innings pitched as he’s thrown a league high 223 innings in 31 starts. While he’ll never admit to be tired, Kershaw hasn’t been his typical self as he’s 1-2 in his last four starts, but still has kept the Dodgers in all the games he’s pitched.
Meanwhile, Fife was a September call up and while many have asked for him to be inserted into the rotation, he’s filled the role of long reliever as he pitched three innings on Saturday night when the Dodgers were crushed 19-3 by the Giants.
If Greinke does his job tonight, Fife will be on the mound tomorrow with a chance to pitch the Dodgers to a division title, something I’m sure many wouldn’t have predicted at any point this season. With one eye towards the playoffs, Mattingly and the coaches are making sure everyone is 100 percent as the Dodgers look to finally get rid of their magic number.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about Hanley Ramirez’s hamstring injury.