Dodgers @ Padres Sept. 21, 2013: Kershaw’s Last Real Start?

September 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

petco_park_opener2013So after last night’s hilarity — Drew Butera! At first base! — the Dodgers put out something that actually resembles the real lineup that they might go with in October, Nick Punto subbing for Hanley Ramirez aside.

That includes Clayton Kershaw on the mound, and there’s a good chance that this is his last “real” start of the regular season. Depending on how Don Mattingly handles Monday’s off day, Kershaw could either start September 26 in San Francisco, or (more likely) September 27 back at home against Colorado. Either way, those are the kind of meaningless games where you can easily see Kershaw getting a three- or four-inning tune-up just to make sure he doesn’t have too much time off before the playoffs, but not really being pushed all that hard.

Dodgers
Padres
RF
Puig
CF
Denorfia
LF
Crawford
3B
Headley
CF
Kemp
2B
Gyorko
1B
Gonzalez
LF
Guzman
3B
Uribe
1B
Medica
2B
M.Ellis
RF
Blanks
C
A.Ellis
C
Hundley
SS
Punto
SS
Cedeno
P
Kershaw
P
Smith

If so, and if he has a usual Kershaw start tonight, let’s say that he has something like 11 innings remaining in his regular season. That would put him at 234 innings, breaking the high he set in 2011 — when the Dodgers did not have to worry about postseason play, of course, — and it would mean that (assuming the 11 innings, which is of course a guess) he needs to give up no more than three earned runs over his next two starts if he wants to keep that ERA under 2 and guarantee the Cy Young award he’s likely to get no matter what.

Can he do it? In three starts against San Diego this year, he’s allowed two, three, and four earned runs, though the Dodgers have lost all three, scoring just two runs in each game. Other than seeing how Matt Kemp can perform, that’s really the only intrigue we’re likely to see tonight.

While this may be basically it for Kershaw, it sounds like Andre Ethier is progressing, per Tony Jackson, and we’re likely to see him during the upcoming series in San Francisco, so that’s something.

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