Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Clayton Kershaw to pitch Friday
By Tony Jackson
DENVER -- Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, who was told on Tuesday that he was being shut down for the season because the team had no remaining games against playoff contenders, instead will start Friday night's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw's reinsertion in the rotation will push Chad Billingsley back to Saturday and Ted Lilly to Sunday's season finale and will mean right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, who started Tuesday night's game at Colorado, won't pitch again this season.
"I wanted to see how important 200 innings were to Kuroda, so I wanted to give him that priority," Torre said. "We talked this morning, and he was fine with it."
Kuroda, who had said earlier this season that he wanted to reach the 200-inning plateau, instead would finish with a count of 196 1/3.
Immediately after the Dodgers eliminated the Rockies from postseason contention 9-7 on Tuesday, Torre and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt called Kershaw at the team hotel, where he had been resting for his scheduled Wednesday afternoon start, and told him he wouldn't be starting again. But the three met in Torre's office at Coors Field on Wednesday morning, and the change was made.
"[Kershaw] is like a tennis ball right now," Torre said. "He is pretty much doing whatever we ask him to do. I called him last night, so he was already in this [non-pitching] mode for today. It was about getting his arms around this, as he likes to say, so he should be fine to pitch on Friday."
Kershaw already has made a career-high 32 starts and pitched a career-high 204 1/3 innings.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.