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OK, Clayton Kershaw's season is NOT over

Sep 29, 2010, 2:03 PM EDT

UPDATE: So much for that. The Dodgers had to scratch Hiroki Kuroda for Sunday’s start, which means Kershaw is going back in the rotation for Friday’s start, with Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly picking up Saturday and Sunday.

In other news, I am 100% certain that hundreds of players will be shut down for the season by late Sunday afternoon. Bank on it.

11:29 A.M.: Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to start today, but the Dodgers have decided that 32 starts and 204 and a third innings are enough for the year and have shut him down.

Of course the timing of the announcement — The Dodgers just told Kershaw that he wouldn’t be starting today’s game as scheduled until after last night’s game — suggests that the innings and starts count, in and of themselves, weren’t enough to warrant him being shut down for the year. Rather, it would seem that the Rockies being eliminated, rendering today’s Dodgers-Rockies contest meaningless, was the key factor.

There’s something I like about the Dodgers caring about the integrity of the competition faced by would-be playoff contenders, so much so that they’d run out their 22 year-old ace for another start when they otherwise wouldn’t due to innings limits. There’s something a bit troubling about it too in that, if they were worried at all about his workload, they probably should have been prepared to sit him anyway.

It’s just another thing — like having the individual player awards enter into player usage and possibly even strategy — that has always made this last week of the season so darn awkward. 

  1. BC - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    I could have used that last start for my fantasy team. I’m just out of first place, and tied with the fantasy league leader in wins. Thanks, Mr. Torre. Enjoy your time on the golf course. Jerk.

  2. Seattleite - Sep 29, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    Yeah… I’m one up in the K category and really needed this start. Though, I’m guessing it’s the fat walrus that made the decision and not Torre. He’s just along for the ride at this point.

  3. The Baseball Idiot - Sep 29, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    There is actually some precedence to this. Back in ’39, the Boston Braves called up a Whitey W and some other rookies and announced to the press that they would play them throughout September. A lot of those games were with the Reds, who were leading the Dodgers and Cardinals in the pennant race. Those two team complained to the Commissioners Office about the Braves taking it easy against the opponent they needed to beat, and the Braves were told to play thier regulars in all games mattered in the pennant race. I might not be 100% on the details, but it’s close.
    Yeah, that was a long time ago, but the Dodgers have an extreme sense of history, and I can believe that played a part in it. Also, I remember as a kid growing up that it was expected (yeah, an unwritten rule, I know) that you played you regulars in games that mattered so as not to adversely affect a pennant race. Mattingly and the other Dodger brass are older than me, so I can see that being why Kershaw was slated.
    Probably an outdated idea now, but I like it for the competition aspect of it. In the last 2 weeks of the season, a lot of teams coast, but making the effort in games that afffect the playoffs seems to be the right thing to do.
    As far as the innings limit, if they were really worried about the innings, they would have pulled him out of the rotation after they were out of the race. If 5 or 6 more innings were really going to make that much of a differerence, they would have stopped him earlier than this.

  4. tda - Sep 29, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    i love these articles. hope we keep getting them til the final day of the regular season.
    “the cardinals are shutting down albert pujols for the season. he won’t play today, the final game for the cardinals.”
    “the cubs are shutting down ryan dempster for the season. he wasn’t scheduled to pitch on the final game of the season, so he won’t pitch, so he can be considered to be shut down.”

  5. Philip P - Sep 29, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    If they were prepared to shut him down, why not just start John Ely or go with some bullpen by committee approach? Neither they nor the Dbacks are playing for anything and each has extra players to choose from thanks to the September roster expansion. The only way this makes sense is if the Dodgers are tying to win each of their final games and do no worse than a record of 81-81 on the season.

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 29, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    This weekend, the Phillies would be nuts to start any of the big three, even if the Braves are trying to win the wild card. However, they should probably play guys like Howard, Utley, and Werth, but rest the older guys like Ibanez and even Chooch could use a rest. Rollins needs the work so keep him in there along with Shane.

  7. BC - Sep 29, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Wow, glad I checked back. I’ll have to make a roster change and start him.

  8. BC - Sep 29, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Here’s a trick you can try, unless you’re in a keeper league. One by one, cut your starting pitchers after their last start, no matter who they are, and pick up a guy who you know is going to pitch. Try to get as many starts as you can, pile up a ton of extra starts. Even 4 or 5 mediocre pitchers can get you strikeouts.

  9. Tony A - Sep 29, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    Why don’t these various teams in these situations just do what they’re going to do WITHOUT making an announcement. Less egg on faces that way…

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