Clayton Kershaw has been scratched from his Sunday night start, leaving the Los Angeles Dodgers without their ace as they get ready to take on the San Francisco Giants in the rubber match. Joe Blanton will start in his place.
Clayton Kershaw scratched. Joe Blanton starting for the #Dodgers today.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) September 9, 2012
The left-hander has a hip injury and was seen trying to run in the outfield this afternoon, but apparently he did not prove to himself and the trainers that he was healthy enough to pitch. The injury is not considered serious and the expectation is that he will pitch on Tuesday.
The Dodgers' ace is 12-8 on the year with a 2.79 ERA, which is the third-best in the National League. He has also already topped 200 strikeouts.
Kershaw has pitched excellently against the Giants this year, limiting them to a .216 batting average and just six runs in four starts. Run support has been a problem, though, and the southpaw is just 1-3 against San Francisco on the season.
Blanton has not been nearly as good against the Giants this season, allowing 11 runs in 18.2 innings. He is coming off of a solid start, limiting the Padres to three runs in 6.2 innings on Monday.
The Dodgers and Giants split the opening two games of this key series in the N.L. West. San Francisco holds a 4.5 game lead on LA heading into Sunday and they finish the season with three games against each other at Dodger Stadium.
Head over to True Blue LA for more updates on Kershaw and the Dodgers' playoff push.