Rockies @ Dodgers August 10, 2023: Kershaw returns as Dodgers open up a 10-game homestand

The Dodgers handled business on their road trip, as they took three of four in San Diego and swept a mini series in Arizona. They ended their last homestand with a sweep of Oakland to put them at 2.5 games up in the West. Today they return home six games up, as the Diamondbacks are in a freefall and the Giants dropped four of five against Oakland and the Angels.

The Dodgers open up the homestand with four against the Rockies, who have the worst winning percentage in the NL (third worst overall) and have lost nearly twice as many games as they’ve won on the road (20-39). The Dodger rotation finally found some length and success on the road trip, as each of the last four starters have all completed six innings. Now, they get their ace back as Clayton Kershaw makes his first start since the end of June.

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7:10 PM Los Angeles
LF Profar (S) RF Betts
SS Tovar 1B Freeman (L)
3B McMahon (L) 2B Rosario
C Diaz DH Muncy (L)
RF Jones (L) LF Taylor
2B Trejo 3B Hernández
1B Toglia (S) CF Outman (L)
DH Montero SS Rojas
CF Doyle C Barnes
P Blach (L) P Kershaw (L)

Kershaw returns after a mysterious shoulder thing kept him out for about six weeks. He was originally expected back shortly after the All-Star break, but finally makes his return after surviving a few bullpen sessions and sim games. Prior to the injury, Kershaw was having a great year that had him in the Cy Young race. He posted a 2.55 ERA/3.52 FIP/1.049 WHIP in 95 1/3 innings and the Dodgers were 11-5 when he started. He was excellent in June, as he allowed four runs in five starts (all solo homers) and averaged 6 2/3 innings per start. The rotation was in tatters while he was out, but he re-enters a rotation that’s been much improved of late.

Kershaw’s final start before the injury came against these Rockies at Coors. Kershaw generally struggles there (like most pitchers), but he allowed only two baserunners (one hit and one walk) over six innings. He did strike out a season-low two batters, but it was a great start that ended on a sour note as he left with “fatigue” that evolved into shoulder soreness and a six-week absence.

Ty Blach gets the start for the Rockies. Blach used to give the Dodgers trouble as a Giant, as he allowed 12 runs in his first 57 innings against them. The Dodgers cracked the code against him in 2019 as he allowed 13 runs in 5 2/3 innings against them. He was waived by the Giants and picked up by the Orioles before signing in Colorado before last season. He’s primarily been a reliever for the Rockies, with only four starts in 34 outings. Three of those have come in the last few weeks. He didn’t allow a run in his first two starts (totaling eight innings), but allowed four in 4 2/3 innings against the Cardinals last time out. He threw 80 pitches against the Cardinals, the most he’s thrown in a major league game since August 2019.

Blach is a sinkerballer, throwing a sinker 55.3 percent of the time this season getting a ground ball on 42 percent of batted balls against. His strikeouts are practically non-existent, as he’s only struck out 11 in 26 innings. Blach has also thrown a changeup 23.5 percent of the time (almost exclusively to righties), cutter 15.8 percent of the time and a curve 5.4 percent of the time.

Austin Barnes catches Kershaw in his return, as Will Smith starts the game on the bench. Max Muncy will DH and Enrique Hernandez starts at third.


The roster move for Kershaw.

Victor Gonzalez was optioned for Kershaw. Gonzalez was called up on Tuesday after Bryan Hudson was sent down and didn’t appear in a game before being sent back down.

Kershaw doesn’t appear to have limitations, but he might get piggybacked with Ryan Yarbrough available to throw today. I’d assume Evan Phillips (pitched the last two games) will be down tonight, so lengthening the game with a piggyback isn’t the worst idea in the world.


No big updates on Walker Buehler and Blake Treinen, who each threw their first bullpens yesterday. They both remained in Arizona and Dave Roberts went with a “no news is good news” outlook.


Earlier in the day, the signing of Hyun-Seok Jang became official. Josh wrote about it, so go read that.


First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PT and will be shown on SportsNet LA.

About 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.