Dodgers’ ro­ta­tion has depth in ad­di­tion to star power

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Noah Tris­ter The As­so­ci­ated Press

It may seem like ev­ery­thing has gone right for the Los An­ge­les Dodgers this year, but that’s ac­tu­ally not the case.

Clay­ton Ker­shaw hasn’t pitched since July 23 be­cause of a back in­jury, and promis­ing left-han­der Julio Urias was lost to shoul­der prob­lems.

The rea­son the Dodgers are on pace to win 115 games is be­cause no mat­ter who has been on the mound, their start­ing pitch­ing has been sharp. Los An­ge­les has six play­ers with at least 16 starts for the Dodgers, and they all have ERAs of 3.84 or lower.

And that doesn’t even in­clude Yu Darvish, who had 10 strike­outs in his de­but for the Dodgers on Fri­day night af­ter be­ing ac­quired in a trade from Texas.

This past week has been a mi­cro­cosm of the sea­son. Los An­ge­les went 5-1, and in the five wins, starters Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood, Darvish, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu al­lowed four runs in 32 in­nings.

It was a dom­i­nant stretch that didn’t even in­clude Ker­shaw, who is set to re­join the team Mon­day night in Phoenix.

The depth of this staff has al­lowed the Dodgers to with­stand in­juries, not just to Ker­shaw and Urias, but also to Maeda (ham­string is­sue in May) and Ryu (bruised foot in July). And Hill and Bran­don McCarthy have had blis­ter con­cerns.

Ker­shaw, Wood, Maeda, Ryu, McCarthy and Hill have all thrown at least 83 in­nings, but only Ker­shaw has pitched more than 110. What mat­ters is that those six pitch­ers have been ef­fec­tive — and that their in­juries haven’t over­lapped enough to cause any ma­jor prob­lems.

With Darvish now in the mix, the Dodgers will have some in­ter­est­ing de­ci­sions to make down the stretch.

If ev­ery­one is healthy, the post­sea­son ro­ta­tion would al­most cer­tainly in­clude Ker­shaw, Darvish and Wood, who is 13-1 with a 2.33 ERA. Hill’s strike­out num­bers make him an en­tic­ing op­tion as well, but Ryu and Maeda may not be done mak­ing their cases yet.

Here are a few other de­vel­op­ments from around base­ball:

Quotable

Dave Dom­browski has rarely been one to make head­lines with his pub­lic com­ments, but Bos­ton’s pres­i­dent of base­ball op­er­a­tions added some juice to the ri­valry with the Yan­kees af­ter New York gen­eral man­ager Brian Cash­man ac­quired Sonny Gray from Oak­land at the dead­line.

“I think that Brian has made them the Golden State War­riors and we’re the sig­nif­i­cant un­der­dogs,” Dom­browski said.

“Like he said ear­lier in the year, that he didn’t know how the Red Sox would lose a game, I think it’ll be the same: I don’t know how they’ll lose a game right now.”

Dom­browski was al­lud­ing to a pre­sea­son com­ment by Cash­man, who com­pared the Red Sox to the War­riors af­ter Bos­ton ac­quired ace pitcher Chris Sale.

It’s Dom­browski’s Red Sox who have now won six in a row to take a three­game lead over New York atop the AL East.

High­light

The Detroit Tigers had an amus­ing mo­ment in Fri­day night’s win over Bal­ti­more when they col­lec­tively seemed to for­get how many outs there were . Justin Ver­lan­der struck out Jonathan Schoop for the third out of the bot­tom of the third in­ning, but the Tigers be­gan throw­ing the ball around the horn and re­mained on the field be­fore re­al­iz­ing the in­ning was over.

Line of the week

Paul Gold­schmidt, Di­a­mond­backs, hit three home runs, in­clud­ing a tiebreak­ing shot in the ninth in­ning of Ari­zona’s 10-8 win over the Chicago Cubs on Thurs­day.

ALEX GALLARDO / THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Dodgers start­ing pitcher Clay­ton Ker­shaw throws dur­ing the first in­ning July 23 against the Braves in Los An­ge­les.

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