Dodgers rookie Tony Gonsolin will be starting on Tuesday night in Game 2 of the NLCS instead of Clayton Kershaw (back).
Update: Clayton Kershaw spotted working out ahead of Game 2
Presented for your…approval (?), Clayton Kershaw was spotted in the bullpen both throwing and doing dry work after being scratched hours before his Game 2 start. The team believes they’ve averted disaster, and he could potentially appear as soon as Game 4. Still, weird!
The latest Clayton Kershaw playoff disaster is the most 2020 outcome that Dodgers fans could’ve ever imagined.
The ace was on the verge of being called on to save this spectacular 60-game season in Game 2 of the NLCS, following the bats being stymied by Max Fried’s curveball.
Instead, in a short series with no off days, Kershaw has now been shockingly scratched for the second time this season with back spasms. When he missed Opening Day with the same affliction, it took him 10 days to get ready. This time, he doesn’t have anywhere close to that luxury.
Tony Gonsolin, inactive for 16 days prior to this outing, will now be forced to grab the torch and save a title run. No pressure.
Gonsolin was spectacular with regular work in 2020, posting a 2.31 ERA in 46.2 innings pitched, but he’s not even the standout rookie hurler in this contest. That’d be Ian Anderson, whose buzzsaw efforts have led the Braves’ spectacular pitching lines throughout the first two playoff series.
With the difficult-to-navigate playoff schedule still ahead of them, the Dodgers will be playing a hypothetical Games 3-7 in five days, even if Gonsolin manages to save the season with his even-keeled effort.
In retrospect, it would’ve been nice for Padres-Dodgers to have gotten to Game 4 so that Gonsolin could’ve gotten a chance to start and work out his right arm. There’s a solid chance that this becomes a bullpen game instead. In other words, a disaster.
Up until just a few minutes ago, we anticipated sending Kershaw to the mound in a potential legacy-swinger and season-saver; this Dodgers team simply cannot go down 0-2, after all the October narrative building they’ve done and Mookie Betts-infused swagger they’ve imported.
With a tired Dustin May and Brusdar Graterol behind him, you’ll be seeing plenty of pitchers you likely have no interest in deploying in this one, Dodgers fans.
Add in Walker Buehler’s ongoing blister crisis, and this particular development just seems cruel.