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Clayton Kershaw back in the Dodgers' rotation, Hiroki Kuroda done for the season

Clayton Kershaw was pitching, then he wasn’t. Now, he’s pitching again.

Kershaw was scratched from his scheduled start on Wednesday and shut down for the season after the Dodgers eliminated the Colorado Rockies from postseason contention on Tuesday night. But with Hiroki Kuroda telling Manager Joe Torre that reaching the 200-innings plateau wasn’t enough of a reason to pitch in the season finale on Sunday, the Dodgers suddenly had an opening in their rotation.

In came Kershaw.

The 22-year-old left-hander, who has pitched a career-high 204 1/3 innings, is now scheduled to start the opening game of the Dodgers’ three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium, which is on Friday.

Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly, who were initially scheduled to pitch on Friday and Saturday, respectively, have both been pushed back a day.

“They came up and asked me,” Kershaw said. “I said, ‘Sure.’”

Of the mental strain resulting from the events of the last 12 hours, Kershaw said, “I have to be mentally tough and get through it.”

Kuroda said he always thought his start on Tuesday would be his last of the season. While he started the season with a goal of pitching 200 innings and thought it was nice of Torre to offer him the chance to pursue the mark, he said he didn’t seriously consider pitching again.

“I had been told at the start of September that my last start would be in Colorado, so I mentally shut down after that,” Kuroda said.

-- Dylan Hernandez in Denver

Comments () | Archives (8)

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i hope kershaw throws a no-hitter on friday. and, given the dodger offense lately, i hope he wins.

Hiroki is the true professional, a gifted, spirited competitor that has always given the Dodgers his best physical and mental effort. His career numbers are below .500 not because he is a break even pitcher. He is one tough hombre. He, along with other starters, has not been given proper run support by the offense and proper relief support from the bullpen this season.

I believe that he is understands the Dodger's shortcomings as a team this year. But that doesn't explain the crappy decisions of Joe Torre. Once again he was removed from a game he was winning after only allowing a base hit in the sixth inning. End result for decision. End result for bullpen .... win after seventh inning comeback.

Proud samurai or not, this is a statement to Joe and Dodger management that he won't be back next season. Read (Sayonara, wish I could say it's been fun, but I need to get away from you losers now.)

HI Dodger Fan - that's too good. Is that the reprisal of Drysdale on Koufax? Classic!

Glad for Kershaw to make another start.

I realize its different, and accept it. So don't pile on that mistakenly.

But 200 innings? All this talk, not only Dodgers, but all around MLB about this 200-inning mark?

Koufax - granted, there are no Koufaxes out there right now, I know that - threw 335 with constant pain in 1965, with 26 wins, 382 K.

Of course, you look at these lockerroom celebrations this week? Players wearing eye protection? Swimmers' goggles? Look like dang fools. They're so mamby-pamby.

Cut Kuroda's pay by a pro-rated portion that his "...the 200-innings plateau wasn’t enough of a reason to pitch in the season finale on Sunday..." represents. Defiance of and failure to adhere to his contract is enough reason to send this wimp back to his safe haven of Japan. Another spoiled rotten "athlete" that deserves to be kicked out on his rump ASAP.

We have mentally shut down regarding Hiroki Kuroda returning in 2011.

Clayton gets it.
Now, Clayton, please don't get hurt.

Kuroda has mentally shutdown for my fantasy team right when I needed him!


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