They’re more than exhausted, they are gassed. You could say they are Exxon mobile gassed. I saw a stat online last night that stated that the Dodgers have not had a starting pitcher pitch into the sixth inning since August 27 at San Diego. That’s a span of nine games. That annoying little streak continued on Friday night when Clayton Kershaw couldn’t make it past the fifth inning in the Dodger’s 5-4 loss to the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
The baseball season is long and exhausting. Pitchers can and do get tired towards the end of the season. This is very common. When it happens, you have to recognize it right away and make sure you make some adjustments to the staff in order to get some of the guys rest before the playoffs. Right now the Dodger’s entire pitching staff is not just running on fumes, but completely gassed. They’re getting torched on most nights and if it weren’t for the great hitting the Dodgers would have lost a lot more than they won.
Starters Hyun-jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw, and Walker Buehler are all totally exhausted. Their tanks are on empty. Buehler is young and can bounce back quickly, but Kershaw and Ryu are older and can’t recover as quickly as the younger pitchers. Kershaw and Ryu both need some rest if they are going to be anywhere effective come October.
Kershaw has already pitched 159 innings, and has not pitched more than 175 since he tossed 232.2 innings of work in 2015. Ryu has logged 161.2 innings which is the most he’s pitched since his debut season with the Dodgers back in 2014. Buehler has thrown 159.1 innings which is his career high as well. All three of them have not fared well over the last several weeks.
The Dodgers are finally going to try and get these guys some rest. Dave Roberts spoke recently and said that the club expects Ryu to have his next turn in the rotation skipped, and that all the rest of the starters would get an extra day of rest. The Dodgers have a 17 game lead over Arizona in the NL West. Their magic number is just 4 to clinch their seventh consecutive NL West title. They are going to win the division and the rest of the games are meaningless other than playing for home field advantage. Getting their top three starters some rest is much more important than playing for home field.
Not that I don’t consider home field important. It certainly is for a Dodger’s club that plays much better at home than on the road. However getting the starters right for the postseason has to take center stage right now. If the starters had not been tired over the last several weeks than maybe this wouldn’t be happening.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 7, 2019
Just get the pitching staff sorted out. The Dodgers have a little over a month to get this done.