|7:10 PM PT8:10 PM MT9:10 PM CT10:10 PM ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 PM MST9:10 PM EST9:40 PM VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 PM CT, August 20, 2019
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California Attendance: 52,030
Dodgers' Kershaw looks to stay in rhythm vs. Blue Jays
Clayton Kershaw is coming off one of his best performances of the season and Cody Bellinger is on a roll while taking over the major league lead for home runs, yet the Los Angeles Dodgers will be trying to shake off a rare series defeat when they play host to the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.
A motivated Dodgers team does not line up as an ideal scenario for the Blue Jays, who are coming off back-to-back defeats at home against the Seattle Mariners. The Dodgers, who dropped consecutive games on the road to the Atlanta Braves, still figure to have an edge because they will be back at home, where they have been dominating.
The Dodgers are 48-16 at home this season, easily the best mark in the National League. And Kershaw has also befuddled opponents in Los Angeles, going 8-0 in 12 home starts with a 2.26 ERA.
Yet it was a road start at Miami last week where Kershaw (12-2, 2.63 ERA) gave the kind of performance he is known for, striking out 10 with no walks while pitching seven scoreless innings. His vintage artistry came on seven days of rest.
"It's not ideal," Kershaw told reporters afterward of his lengthy break between starts. "Obviously, I think more than anything you want to stay in that rhythm. One day every once in a while (is good). But, obviously, you have to understand the bigger picture of what we're trying to do, and it set up better for everybody, so just kind of roll with it and move on."
The left-hander will have a quicker turnaround while facing the Blue Jays on Tuesday, but he will still have an extra fifth day of rest thanks to Monday's off day for both teams. Kershaw is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA against the Blue Jays, with his only other start against Toronto coming in 2016, when he struck out 10 in seven innings of a victory.
The Blue Jays will counter with Sean Reid-Foley (2-3, 3.00), who will pick up a bulk of the innings with it still to be determined if that is as a traditional starter or if he will follow an opener. It will be his first career outing against the Dodgers.
Having lost three of their last four, while going 7-8 since a promising five-game winning streak as the calendar flipped to August, the Blue Jays, now 52-75, have long been out of contention.
But the team is still generating excitement with a youth movement that includes the sons of three prominent former major leaguers in Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette. Guerrero missed Sunday's game in Seattle with left knee inflammation and his status is day-to-day.
"I'm not going to put a day (on it)," Guerrero said about his return, according to MLB.com. "I'm the kind of player that likes to go out there and play very hard. When I feel that my knee is fully recovered, I'm going to go out there."
An opportunity to hit against Kershaw might be too tempting to pass up, considering how infrequently the two teams meet.
If both lineups are at full strength, Dodger Stadium could be the home of a power display over the next three games.
The Blue Jays have 11 players this season who have hit at least 10 home runs and have already set a club record by going back-to-back 12 times. The Dodgers are tops in the National League with 218 home runs, including Bellinger's 42 and 31 by Max Muncy.
--Field Level Media
Updated August 19, 2019