Rockies @ Dodgers September 20, 2019: Kershaw opens Dodgers’ final regular-season home series

It’s somehow the final home series of the 2019 regular season. Following Sunday’s game, the next game at Dodger Stadium will be Game 1 of the NLDS. The Dodgers close out the home slate with three games against the Rockies, a team that took them to game 163 in 2018 and now find themselves 66-87, with the third-fewest wins in the NL. The Dodgers have won 13 of the 16 matchups between the two teams, outscoring them 121-83. The Rockies have yet to win a game in LA this season, as the Dodgers have won the first six. Both teams are coming off a day off, with the Dodgers splitting two games against Tampa and the Rockies having lost two of three against the Mets.

Rockies
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
SS
Story
RF
Pederson
1B
Murphy
3B
Muncy
3B
Arenado
LF
Pollock
RF
Blackmon
1B
Bellinger
LF
Desmond
SS
Seager
CF
Hampson
CF
Taylor
2B
Valaika 2B Lux
C
Wolters
C
Smith
P
Lambert (R)
P
Kershaw (L)

Clayton Kershaw starts tonight, breaking a two-game streak of the Dodgers using an opener. I’d pay to see the conversation between the Dodgers and Kershaw, where they try to convince him to have an opener. Kershaw’s putting up a fine season, and in his last start he surpassed the number of innings he threw in 2018. In 26 starts (165 1/3 innings) this season, Kershaw owns a 3.05 ERA/3.80 FIP and a 1.052 WHIP. Those would be fine numbers for any normal pitcher, but would be Kershaw’s worst ERA/FIP since his rookie year and his worth WHIP since 2010. Kershaw has struggled of late with a 5.87 ERA in his last three starts (a five-inning start in Arizona, four innings against San Francisco and 6 1/3 innings in New York). He’s walked three batters in each of his last two starts. Kershaw’s six percent walk rate is the highest it’s been since 2012.

This is only Kershaw’s second look at the Rockies in 2019. He started at Coors in June and allowed four runs in seven innings, with seven strikeouts and no walks issued.

Peter Lambert makes his 19th career start tonight, and this will be the rookie’s fourth look at the Dodgers this season. He’s had a rough rookie season, with a 6.98 ERA/5.88 FIP in 86 1/3 innings. He’s suffered from Coors, as his home ERA is 7.20 and his road ERA is 6.69. However, he’s allowed fewer baserunners at Coors (1.580 WHIP compared to 1.899 on the road).

Lambert has really struggled with the Dodgers this season. In his first look at them (in LA), Lambert allowed three runs in five innings. His next start came against the Dodgers in Colorado, and he allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings. Then, in his last start against the Dodgers, Lambert allowed eight hits and six runs while recording only five outs (that was somehow only his third-worst game score of the season).

Justin Turner is still out of the lineup as Max Muncy starts at third.

——

Rich Hill is alive and will return next week.

Hill is expecting to make two appearances to tune up before the postseason, which might give him a chance still to compete for the postseason roster.

Turner is expected to return tomorrow.

He could have started today and could appear off the bench if needed, according to Dave Roberts.

——

The Dodgers have set their weekend rotation.

Walker Buehler will start tomorrow and Hyun-Jin Ryu will get the ball in the finale. They’ll maintain that order through the next turn in the rotation as well.

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.