Blue Jays @ Dodgers August 20, 2019: Kershaw opens up interleague homestand

The Dodgers are back home, coming off an east coast road trip that wasn’t all that successful. The Dodgers set the record for the most home runs over a five-game span and tied the record for the most over a six-game span, but went 3-3 against the Marlins and Braves, dropping two of three against the latter. After six games against NL East opponents, the Dodger return home for six games against AL East opponents. First, the Blue Jays. At 52-75, Toronto owns the fourth-worst winning percentage in the Majors. They’ve won three of their last four series, as they got a little hot before dropping two of three against Seattle over the weekend.

Blue Jays
Dodgers
7:10 P.M.
Los Angeles
SS
Bichette
CF
Pollock
2B
Drury
3B
Muncy
3B
Guerrero Jr.
C
Smith
RF
Grichuk
1B
Bellinger
CF
Hernandez
LF
Taylor
1B
Smoak
SS
Seager
C
Jansen 2B Hernández
LF
Fisher
RF
Pederson
P
Boshers (L)
P
Kershaw (L)

Clayton Kershaw gets the ball for the Dodgers and is coming off his best start of the season in Miami. Kershaw threw seven shutout innings against the Marlins, allowing two hits and striking out 10 while not walking a batter. He was efficient, completing those seven innings in only 90 pitches. He struck out each of the first seven batters he saw and tallied nine strikeouts in only the first four innings. It should be graded on a bit of a curve since it’s the Marlins, but Kershaw looked like vintage Kershaw even with the diminished velocity.

Kershaw has been overshadowed in the rotation by Hyun-Jin Ryu and Walker Buehler at times, but Kershaw has been a model of consistency. He’s lasted at least six innings in each of his 21 starts this season and has allowed more than three runs in that time only three times.

Buddy Boshers will make his first career start today as the opener. He hasn’t pitched more than 1 1/3 innings or made more than 26 pitches in a game this season, so chances are today’s original planned starter, Sean Reid-Foley, will pitch a large chunk of the game.

Reid-Foley entered the season as the Blue Jays’ ninth-ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline. After 33 1/3 uneventful innings last season, Reid-Foley has been up and down between Toronto and Triple A-Buffalo this season. He’s been up and in the rotation since July 30 and has finally looked good in the Majors, allowing five earned runs in 17 1/3 innings. Two of those starts came against the two worst teams in baseball (Baltimore and Kansas City), but he also held the Yankees to a run in five innings. Last time out, Reid-Foley allowed three runs and four hits in 3 1/3 innings against the Rangers.

Pipeline rated Reid-Foley as having the best slider in the Blue Jay system. He’s thrown it nearly 34 percent of the time in the majors this season, and opponents own a .222 batting average (.209 XBA) and a .244 slugging percentage (.285 XSLG) against it. The Dodgers seem like a tough matchup for Reid Foley, who has walked 19 and struck out 26 batters this season.

The Dodgers welcome Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor back to the roster, and both are in the lineup today. A.J. Pollock leads off with Joc Pederson hitting eighth, to counter the left-handed Boshers opener. Justin Turner is out of the lineup, with Max Muncy starting at third and Hernandez starting at second. The Blue Jay’s lineup is fun and makes me feel old, as Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. make up the left side of their infield.

——

The Dodgers made three roster moves today.

Hernandez and Taylor are back. To make room, Kristopher Negron was placed on the IL and Kyle Garlick was optioned. The Dodgers also brought Dylan Floro back, with Casey Sadler also getting optioned. Rough day for Chad, who loses his two son’s Negron and Sadler in one tweet.

——

A pair of injured Dodger pitchers have updates.

Rich Hill is scheduled to throw a bullpen later this week. Ross Stripling‘s bullpen reportedly went well, and will throw a simulated game next.

While that’s good news with the arms, we have an Alex Verdugo update.

Verdugo won’t be back at least until rosters expand. He’s been sidelined since August 4 with an oblique injury.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.